Dear friends near and far,

As always, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. On this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to send an important reminder for all Dharma students. These days, there is a lot of talk of checking the guru, and what types of qualities an authentic guru should have. It is true that finding the right teacher is extremely important. However, we also need to check whether we have the qualities of a good student. Therefore, this Guru Rinpoche day, I particularly wish for all Dharma students, myself included, to remind ourselves of the qualities we should all nurture and develop, as taught by our Maha Guru Padmasambhava:

To be wise, compassionate, and diligent, applying joyful effort to the practice. To keep pure samayas and be content. To have an open mind and be of few words. To have great patience and refrain from judgement or criticism. To have sharp understanding and be trustworthy.

As summarized in this quote, the essential qualities of a Dharma student are, first, to understand the teachings correctly and have genuine altruism and compassion. Second, we need to be diligent, taking joy in applying effort to the practice, and to meditation in particular. Then, we should keep our samayas as pure as possible. It is also important to have contentment, with few desires both on the worldly and the Dharmic level. Our minds should be open and spacious, and we should avoid ever being narrow-minded. We shouldn’t talk too much, nor get angered easily, but cultivate great patience. We need to refrain from criticizing or judging others. We should be quick to understand, and strive to be trustworthy.

Thus, my wish on this Guru Rinpoche day is that all of us keep these qualities in mind and honestly check within ourselves which of these qualities need our attention the most.

With all my love and prayers,

Sarva Mangalam.

Phakchok Rinpoche


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