Living in the Path OnlineRealizing the Lamrim, Guru Devotion: Guru is Buddha
Living in the Path is an online program taught exclusively by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual director of the FPMT. Many of the modules are extracted from Rinpoche’s explanations of the topics of the lamrim – the teachings on the stages of the path to enlightenment according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa (Gelug). Other modules cover specific practices intended to help us purify our negative karma and create the merit necessary to actualize the lamrim topics.
Living in the Path is ideal for anyone who wishes to deepen their personal practice and develop the realizations of the path to enlightenment by relying on Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s heart advice and teachings. However, as Rinpoche’s teachings often assume familiarity with the topics of the lamrim, it is advisable to have done some prior study of the lamrim, such as by having completed some or all of the modules of Discovering Buddhism.
In this module of Living in the Path, Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives teachings on the subject of guru devotion or, as Rinpoche often says, correctly following the virtuous friend.
What is the root of the path? What makes one successful on the path, from precious human rebirth and the graduated path of the lower capable being all the way up to enlightenment? It depends on the realization of guru devotion. You have to look at the guru as a buddha, using quotations and reasoning, and, on top of that, your own experience. Then, through that effort, you see the guru as a buddha. (Lama Zopa Rinpoche)
Guru devotion is the first subject taught in the lam-rim texts composed by Lama Tsongkhapa and many other authors, coming right after the preliminaries and before precious human rebirth. Often referred to as “the heart of the path” and “the foundation of all good qualities,” the essence of guru devotion is to see the guru as a buddha. In these teachings Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how to do just that, whereby we arrive at the conclusion "The guru is a buddha."
The course materials consist of 65 pages of lightly edited transcripts accompanied by eleven short video excerpts (5-20 minutes) of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings drawn from the Light of the Path Retreats 2009 and 2010 held in North Carolina, USA. This module is introduced in a short video featuring Ven. René Feusi.
1. Guru Devotion Changes the Mind2. The Guru is More Special than Numberless Buddhas3. Guru Devotion is the Most Urgent Need4. Training in Seeing the Guru as a Buddha5. Developing Respect By Remembering the Guru’s Kindness6. Devoting to the Guru with Actions7. Meditating on the Requesting Prayer to the Lineage Gurus
Video 1: “Why Practice Guru Devotion?”Video 2: “The Mistakes of an Impure Mind”Video 3: “The Buddha is Right There”Video 4: “Devotion Depends on the Disciple”Video 5: “Guru Devotion is the Happiest Life”Video 6: “All the Buddhas Are Guiding Me”Video 7: “Buddha Manifests in Ordinary Aspects”Video 8: “Guru Devotion is the Most Important Thing to Know”Video 9: “Pleasing the Guru is the Most Powerful Practice”Video 10: “We Need Dharma Wisdom”Video 11: “The Way to Achieve Enlightenment Quickly”
To help you deepen your personal understanding and experience of the teachings, they are supplemented with:
A “Certificate of Achievement” is granted upon the successful completion of all the course requirements.