Jan 20

Kalu Rinpoche | Connection Between Guru and Student

A: Most important is that you follow the basic principle of the Lord Buddha’s teaching, and then you study, you practice, long as you don’t get into the drama of “Oh, he has to be my guru. She has to be my guru.” Long as you don’t touch that, everything is fine.

You receive some teachings here and there. Yeah, of course you go ahead. Receive many teaching as possible. But don’t try to go into the drama of “Oh, yeah, he has to be my guru. She has to be my guru.” Don’t do that. When it is your guru, it becomes naturally, based upon your quality of mind.

When you have a good quality in your mind, you don’t need approval from your guru, that you are a good student. You don’t need approval. Many people they think that they need some kind of approval to be a student, to have a guru. It doesn’t work like that. You practice genuinely, and genuinely guru will see the genuine student by itself. If you try to pretend, the more guru will dislike you. And of course, the guru will not appreciate. The more you don’t pretend, you will be criticized by the Sangha, but you will be appreciated by the guru. That’s the reality.

You cannot get approval from the Sangha and the guru at the same time. That doesn’t happen. If it happens both, that’s good. You may have spent your whole life already. So, most important is that you don’t need approval from the Sangha. You don’t need approval from the guru. What you need is to receive the teaching, practice it, and continue. Practice it, receive teaching, practice it, that’s it. You don’t need approval.

Once you have some form of quality by following the instruction of your teacher, and then naturally, there is a connection that you don’t need to create. If you think that student and teacher is some form of connection that you can artificially make by your tricky mentality, then you’re wrong. That is your own arrogance, and ignorance. So therefore, receive many teachings from many different traditions as possible, practice it, experience it, do retreat. But don’t go into the seeking approval that “Oh, I’m your student. Oh, he’s my guru. She’s my guru”, and all that. Don’t do that. Just receive the teachings.

If that is a genuine master, that master will always give you teaching, not for any cost, not for any praise, not for any recognition, but simply will give you a teaching to help you, no matter what. And if that is a false master, then the false master will say, “Oh, you need to praise me in public. I need your money. I need your house. I need your fame.” And then ask many things from you.

The most important is that you don’t need approval from the guru. You’re not in the university. Okay? If you’re in a university, you need approval from your principal to do whatever the project you may have. You’re not in a university. You’re in life. You are in life! You are not in Buddhism. You’re in life. Being a human being, seeking the truth, wanting to discover the nature of the mind. You are in life. You are not in Buddhism. You are not in religion. You are not in some kind of a special group. You are in life, as who you are, as a human being, as a practitioner, who is willing to discover the inner nature of mind, based on the teachings of the Lord Buddha, that you are willing to practice, and that’s it. And once you have a quality, such recognition from the master will come. Such praise, recognition, more closeness connection will come by itself. But if you pretend, and then if you pretend to be a great practitioner, it will never happen. Even if you may be able to lie to some people or some public, ultimately you are lying to yourself. So that is a terrible price that you pay.

So, don’t seek approval from the master. Simply listen to the teachings, practice it. Once you have the qualities in your mind with a sense of awakening, your teacher becomes a guru naturally. Your teacher becomes a Living Buddha naturally. You don’t have to go ahead and say, “Oh, where is my Living Buddha? I need to find the perfect condition.” Just doesn’t work like that. So don’t look for approval, practice it. And once you have a quality in your mind as a practitioner, other people can see that. Your teacher can see that. When you have a genuine quality, you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to show. Other people can see that, your teacher can see that, based on your character, based on your attitude, based on your principle, and your commitment that you uphold. It’s very simple. And then, at that time, the loving kindness to all the sentient beings and the pure devotion to the guru, it will exist by itself. But not prior to that, not without some form of practice. So, that’s that.


Kalu Rinpoche
Facebook livestream – 11 October 2020