Lamrim: the Gradual Path to Enlightenment

4.A. How to Rely on a Spiritual Mentor as the Root for Developing the Path

  1. What is to be done during the meditation session
    1. 6 preparatory practices.
      1. Clean the room, set up the shrine [Teachings]
      2. Obtain offerings properly and arrange them nicely [Teachings]
      3. Sitting in the 8-point posture, in positive frame of mind, take refuge and generate bodhicitta [Teachings]
      4. Visualize field of positive potential [Teachings]
      5. Purifying and accumulating positive potential: 7 limbs and mandala offering [Teachings]
      6. Requesting inspiration
    2. How to cultivate proper reliance on our teachers during the session [Expanded Outline] [Teachings]
    3. How to conclude the session

  2. What is to be done between sessions [4 min]:Download
    [Transcript in PDF format] (See also Practicing Dharma in Daily Life)

4.A.1.b. How to cultivate proper reliance on our teachers during the session [Teachings]

  1. Advantages of relying on a teacher [Teachings]
    1. We become closer to enlightenment
    2. We please all the Buddhas
    3. Harmful forces and misleading friends can't affect us
    4. Our disturbing attitudes and faulty behavior decrease
    5. We gain meditative experiences and stable realizations
    6. We won't lack spiritual teachers in future lives
    7. We won't take a lower rebirth
    8. All our temporary and ultimate goals will be realized

  2. Disadvantages of improper reliance or abandoning the teacher [Teachings]
    1. It's like showing contempt for all the Buddhas
    2. We will be reborn in lower realms for same number of eons as number of moments we were angry with our teacher
    3. Although we try to practice tantra, we won't attain enlightenment
    4. Although we may put great effort into tantric practice, it will amount to actualizing hellish rebirth
    5. We won't develop any new qualities or siddhis and what we have developed will decline
    6. Many unwished for things, like sickness and calamities, will befall us in this life.
    7. In future lives we will roam endlessly in lower realms
    8. We will lack spiritual teachers in future lives.

  3. How to rely on our teachers with our thoughts
    1. Developing confidence that our teachers are Buddhas [Teachings]
      1. Why it is necessary to regard our teachers as Buddha
      2. Why it is possible to regard our teachers as Buddha
      3. What to think to do this
        1. Vajradhara asserted high teachers are Buddhas
        2. Our teachers are the media for conveying the Buddhas' enlightening influence to us
        3. In this degenerate age, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas still work for the benefit of beings
        4. Our opinions aren't always reliable
    2. Developing loving respect for our teachers by remembering their kindness [Teachings]
      1. Their kindness exceeds that of the Buddha
      2. Their kindness in teaching us the Dharma
      3. Their kindness in inspiring us
      4. Their kindness in including us in their circle of students and providing for us materially

  4. How to rely on our teacher through our actions [Teachings]

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