Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by Huifeng » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:32 am

Nice thread, my friends. Thank you! :heart:

Posts: 4345
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by muni » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:40 pm

[quote="Luke"] By "merge" I mean realizing that the essence of his mind and my mind are the same in their ultimate nature.

Too many people these days rush after very high teachings... Without great faith in a guru, little can be accomplished.


:thumbsup: Also, we often look for famous known teachers, high teachers which name is sounding good in ears, and so it can happen we are falling over the feet of present wisdom-compassion, ready in humility (= selfless) to offer us teaching still we don't recognize at that moment. There are great teachers whether famous or not, it is up to us to recognize them when time is ready.

Nature isn't famous.
Buddha said all is empty like my brain.
Let’s make a selfie!
Having meditated on love and compassion, I forgot the difference between myself and others. Yogi Milarepa.

Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by Jnana » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:43 pm

Hi all,

It's also helpful to keep in mind that "guru" is dynamic, and if we are open and present, then every experience is a learning opportunity. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche:
  • When speaking of spiritual masters, there are four types of teachers that we should follow, all of whom are indispensable and can bring us great benefit. The first of these four categories is the "living lineage teacher," an actual physically embodied master who belongs to a lineage.

    The second type is the "teacher who is the scriptures of awakened beings," which includes the words of the Buddha and statements made by accomplished and learned masters of the past.

    The third type of teacher is called the "symbolic teacher of experience," our personal experiences gained from living in this world. To fully grasp the Buddhist teaching which states that samsaric existence should be discarded, we need to comprehend what the nature of samsaric existence is. By understanding the characteristics of our own daily life experiences we come to realize that samsaric existence is futile and unreliable, not something in which to put our trust. In this way, ordinary life becomes our teacher. It instructs us in futility and impermanence. That is what is meant by the symbolic teacher of experience.

    We need to meet, follow and take guidance from these three types of teachers.

    Ultimately, however, there’s only one true teacher. This is our enlightened essence, the self-existing wakefulness within ourselves, also called the "ultimate teacher of the innate nature." All sentient beings within the six classes of living creatures possess this enlightened essence.
All the best,


User avatar
Former staff member
Posts: 5757
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by kirtu » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:09 pm

Luke wrote: I no longer hunger for the fancy details of advanced techniques. I just want to merge my mind with Guru Rinpoche's mind and with a living Nyingma lama's mind.

Merging your mind with GR is the highest Nyingma teaching. Direct Guru Yoga is the ultimate Vajrayana approach.

Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:22 pm

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by Zenda » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:20 pm

This might be helpful in terms of this discussion...

phpBB [video]

User avatar
Mr. G
Posts: 4047
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by Mr. G » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:29 am

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche is brilliant. I believe this came from the extras of "Words of My Perfect Teacher".

Thank you for this Zenda :smile:
  • How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

User avatar
Posts: 453
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:55 am

Re: Guru Yoga: the heart of Vajrayana?

Post by mudra » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:47 pm

A bit late in the game but anyway:

In Gelug, the Lam Rim always starts with Guru Devotion. The Guru is described as the "root of the path". Most Lam Rim's, with the exception of a couple (for example the Southern Lineage), are in fact oriented to preparation for Tantra and their six preliminaries contain very obvious tantric elements.
The core of these preliminary practices is the interaction with the lineage, at the heart of which our Lama is one in nature with the central figure as well as being represented as he (or she) is in this life.

So in fact from the word go, long before the disciple receives HYT initiation which invariably includes Six Session Guru Yoga, the Lama is at the heart of the practice.

In fact once we establish the relationship with the guru (carefully, at least being aware of guidelines established in various texts like 50 stanzas of Guru Devotion) our 'devotion" in fact is the aspiration to take on the Guru's qualities, to understand that all we experience is in fact the manifestation of the Guru's Superior Wisdom, etc. Although in fact it shouldn't be a personality cult and a relationship of mindless dependence ("guru, guru what should i do, should i wear red should I wear blue") there are bound to be moments of overwhelming emotion when one realizes the kindness and compassion of the Gurus.

As Kirtu pointed out, most Lamas give their lives to teaching and helping their disciples. For example HHDL continues to travel at a pace that burns out far younger people. Dagpo Lama Rinpoche is even older, 80, and travels extensively to Asia, and around Europe to teach. And last month in India I saw Khyong-la Rato Rinpoche who at 90 is still travelling regularly to India and is currently giving an annual series of transmissions, about 2 months or so each, to the monks of Rato which will take 3 years to complete! There are many other examples in various lineages.

Even great yogis who prefer solitude are full of bodhicitta, there is no "cynical omnipotence". This would be the farthest thing from, for example the late Geshe Yeshe Thobden's mind. Though a hermit, he was always welcoming of visitors and radiated bodhicitta. I have no idea where that idea of omnipotence came from, it isn't even a Buddhist aspiration. Omniscience is.

When a disciple becomes aware of how such Lamas, through the power of their concentration, compassion and wisdom devote themselves selflessly to sentient beings, yes it does arouse strong emotions. But ultimately it should give rise to strong aspiration to emulate and be "as one" with the Lama's mind (developing the same qualities if you like).

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Josef, shaunc, Varis, Yahoo [Bot] and 68 guests