Words of My Perfect Teacher
~ Karma Sichoe, MA TTIP from Nepal
The problem with our generation, including myself, is that we look for the next grandiose thing. Our brain is wired to accumulate ever more. Whether it be wealth, power, prestige or even knowledge, we hoard just to quench various desirous needs. We look forward to enquire about more sophisticated topics such as Buddha nature, emptiness, Rangtong and Shentong. However, we only take intellectual interest in these topics, but still conform our behaviour to how we were before. We find readings on Vajrayana practices more appealing than understanding the nuances of the four noble truth.
Being a student at RYI, I always tend towards innovative ideas, optimism, hope and intellectual stimulus. But after sometime, I began to realize that no matter how much knowledge we gather, unless our basic Buddhist values are strong, we are condemned to feel unsatisfied. It is for sure that we will not see any spiritual growth.
That is the reason, I think, in the book “words of my perfect teacher,” emphasis is given on reflecting upon
1) precious human life
3) law of causation
4) defects of samsara
four thought transformations, in great detail. These four reflections are known as general preliminaries. Once the ardent practitioner thoroughly analyses these four key points, the practitioner is supposed to move forward to special preliminaries. The special preliminaries include generating Bodhicitta, taking Bodhisattva vows, purifying the non-virtues deeds accumulated over countless rebirth, and finally Guru yoga practice. Here in this student blog essay, I do not intend to reproduce what is being written in the book. But one thing that I would like to mention is that as students, we should always carry a gradualist mindset rather than aiming directly to the short cuts for swift realization. And, the gradualist mindset is possible only when we perfect the basic concepts and truly reflect upon them.