The benefits of relying on a spiritual mentor
21 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice
Part of a series of teachings given during a retreat based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice given at Sravasti Abbey.
- Review of the qualities of a qualified disciple
- The benefits of relying on a spiritual mentor
- Disadvantages of not relying on, or relying improperly on a spiritual mentor
- Cultivating trust by seeing their qualities
- Questions and answers
The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 21: The benefits of relying on a spiritual mentor (download)
- Review the qualities of a qualified student. Where do these qualities come from (what are the causes and conditions)? Better understanding how you contribute to having these qualities, what can you do to train your mind in them?
- Imagine your spiritual mentors appearing in the space in front of you and looking at you with kindness. Contemplate each advantage of properly relying on a spiritual mentor. Contemplate the disadvantages of not relying on a spiritual mentor or of improperly relying on one. Conclude with a determination to rely on a spiritual mentor with a pure heart and to follow his or her instructions in a systematic way.
- What is the role of faith (trust, confidence) in relying on a spiritual mentor? Why is intelligence an important factor in having faith?
- Consider the mind that constantly finds fault with our teachers (nit-picky mind). What is the danger of this mind? What excuses do we use to justify our objections? How does it hinder our spiritual growth?
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.