Who is Serving Whom?
Finding your teacher
The most common question that I was asked at the last few talks given by Lama Marut was “How do I go about finding a teacher?” No surprise considering that the major focus of our recent series of talks was a commentary on selections from De Lam, “The Path to Bliss” by His Holiness the First Pachen Lama, Lobsang Chukyi Gyeltsen (1570-1662), translated by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally. This is one of several of the holiest of Buddhist treatises collectively known as the Lam Rim (“Stages on the Path”) teachings and the first step on this path is on “How to take a Teacher.”
Now that I’ve dispensed with the necessary formalities on this immense body of work, I will proceed by giving you what, at first glance, might seem like a completely illogical answer to the question of “How do I go about finding a teacher?”
The answer is: It’s by serving those who serve a teacher.
I know…I know you all wanted me to tell you to go to Lama-R-Us.com and order up a perfect teacher who will tell you how to be awakened in twelve easy lessons all for just $19.95. Well it doesn’t work that way kids, as that’s just another form of “grasping” or “desire” for the ‘in thing’ of having a guru.
“Did you see Chuck? He seems so happy”…oh I heard he has a teacher…really? I’ve got to get one of those Lama dudes quick (can also be a dudette!) So cool, all my problems will be solved”.
So, here is how it actually works or at least how it was for me. Three years ago, or so, I stumbled into my first spiritual talk – it was Lama Marut. Like most, this introductory two hour rap didn’t convince me that I was suffering, so I went to his retreat a few months later to see what it was all about. Wow – serious spiritual rookie mistake – straight into the deep end of the pool with the “Diamond Cutter Sutra”. Anyway, my wife and I, (Angie), were so moved by our first retreat with Lama Marut that we approached the organisers, ACI to see if they needed volunteers. Well, one thing led to another, and within six months we were running the next retreat. We have now been lucky enough to have worked with the whole ACI team on a couple of retreats and numerous talks, so we now get to see Lama Marut three times a year instead of just once. Angie and I are just a couple of luck saps that blindly ‘let it go around’ first, but when it came around we hit the jackpot…the best teacher any student could ever hope for.
In loving gratitude and loyal service to our teacher and teachers.
(and the ACI Singapore team)
A Final Thought
“In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”
― Phil Collins (Musician, actor)
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