Maintenance of samaya and loss of confidence in the guru

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Maintenance of samaya and loss of confidence in the guru

Post by PeterC » Tue May 20, 2014 1:06 pm

I didn't want to post this in the general forum where it might provoke people into criticizing individual teachers.

I have received various empowerments and individual teachings from a well-respected lama teaching in a prominent lineage. This lama has clearly taken his commitment to me very seriously and given me a lot of time and advice.

My issue is that the guru, and his sangha, have become increasingly focussed on what might be called commercial activities: raising funds, running charitable projects, building things, etc. No Rolls Royces or gold jewelry, but the focus on mundane projects has become stronger and stronger.

This has affected my ability to perceive him as fully enlightened. Now the traditional remedy would presumably be to strengthen my devotion, do lots of guru yoga etc., but the seed of doubt has been planted and I cannot uproot it. That doubt is: before taking empowerments from this lama, if I had known what I know now, I would have kept looking for another teacher. I will of course continue to see the enlightened aspect in him, but it is very hard for me to cultivate the confidence and devotion that one should have to a fully-enlightened being. If I were to persist in cultivating that devotion, it would be a mental fabrication.

I still have extremely strong faith in the Dharma. Indeed as I've been spending less time involved in the sangha, I've spent more time reading the sutras, and that has strengthened my confidence in the Dharma. I also don't have any complex emotional or social entanglements with this sangha - in other words, though it would be a shame to part company with it, I'm not going to go into a deep depression or see other areas of my life collapse.

I'm coming therefore to the conclusion that I need to look for other teachers, but find a way to preserve my samaya with this teacher. But how to do that? And is this in fact the correct decision?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am sure that I am not the only person struggling with this kind of question.

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