“The root of all spiritual attainments is relying purely upon the Spiritual Guide…”
~ Request to the Lord of all Lineages
This course presents a rare opportunity to explore the essential Buddhist practice of Guru Yoga, or reliance upon a spiritual guide. Through this practice of pure view we are able to receive very quickly the special blessings of all Buddha’s and therefore quickly realize our full potential.
10 -11:30am – Teaching One
12:15 – 1:30 – Teaching Two
2:30 – 3 – Question & Answer Session
3:30 – 4:30 – The Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa with guided meditation
Below is some additional information you may find helpful:
How does this course relate to my life?
“Most people usually seek happiness from external material things, but these can never bring true happiness. From beginningless time, we have all tried to find happiness by improving material things and external conditions, but instead of making people happy, improving external conditions has only increased the suffering, dissatisfaction, fear, and danger in the world. We can see this very clearly. From our side, therefore, we need to seek happiness from a different source.
The determination to extract the meaning of our human life by engaging in a spiritual path must come from within, and will arise when we realize that following the ordinary paths of a worldly life will never bring true happiness but always suffering and dissatisfaction. When we understand that by following the spiritual path we can attain a deep and lasting happiness, we will make the decision, ‘I must make my human life meaningful by following the spiritual path.’ Having decided to follow the spiritual path our thoughts will naturally turn to relying upon a qualified Spiritual Teacher who can guide us on this path. Guru yoga is relying with strong faith on such a Spiritual Guide. “
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
What is a guru?
‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word meaning spiritual guide. A spiritual guide is any spiritual teacher who sincerely leads us into correct spiritual paths by giving correct instructions and by showing a good example.
What is Guru Yoga?
Guru Yoga is a special way of relating to our own spiritual teacher where we regard them as an enlightened being. Guru yoga is a special and powerful method that enables us to receive the blessings of all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and holy beings.
What if I don’t have a spiritual guide?
That’s ok. By coming to the course you will gain a deeper understanding of an important subject and be creating the cause to meet a qualified Spiritual Guide in the future. Geshe-la says:
“Our mind is like a field, our Spiritual Guides instructions are like seeds sown in that field, and our faith in our Spiritual Guide is like water that germinates these seeds. If these three come together we will quickly and easily harvest a rich crop of Dharma realizations. If we do not have these conditions at the moment we should pray that we will find them in the future.”
What are blessings?
A blessing is a transformation of our mind from a negative state to a positive state, from an unhappy state to a happy state, or from a state of weakness to a state of strength through the inspiration of holy beings such as our spiritual guide, Buddhas, and bodhisattvas. Geshe-la says:
“From our own side it is difficult to cultivate and maintain a peaceful and positive mind. We know this from our own experience; although no-one wants to have negative minds, they arise without choice. In reality, the only way to develop a positive, peaceful, and calm mind is to receive blessings from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Of course, Buddhas do not bless only the minds of Buddhists, but the minds of everyone - non-Buddhists, religious people, non-religious people, even animals. For example, through receiving blessings even animals can sometimes develop positive and peaceful minds, and at that time experience some happiness.
Our friends and relatives cannot help us to develop a peaceful and calm mind, and can sometimes even act as a cause for us to develop negative minds. However, if we check carefully within our own experience we can see that sometimes, for no particular reason, we naturally develop a calm and peaceful mind. Where does this experience come from? I can say that it is definitely the result of receiving Buddha's blessings at that time. In this way we can understand that our happiness depends upon a positive mind, and this depends upon receiving Buddha’s blessings. There is no other source from which we can develop a positive mind.
Therefore receiving blessings is important both for those who seek Dharma realizations and for those who seek ordinary happiness. Without receiving blessings it is difficult to develop even a temporary peaceful mind, and even if occasionally we do develop a calm mind through our own effort, this will last for only a minute or two before it changes. Developing a calm and peaceful mind for any length of time totally depends upon receiving blessings from Buddhas. “