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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Do Not be Fooled by My or any Other Ordination

From across the restaurant

she flagged me down.

“I can tell from the way you’re dressed

that you’re a Buddhist monk.”

she explained.

“How can I find a legitimate

meditation teacher?

For if anyone one finds any fault with a monk

then they are not worthy to teach me!”

she confided.

“It is not your fault

that your criteria

for selecting a lama

fails to align with the Buddha’s teachings

for they are infrequently taught

and practiced even less.

It is not your fault

that you seek to measure

a lama’s qualifications

based upon his or her

beauty, popularity, prestige

wealth, or age.

Nor is it your fault

that you were taught

that either your intellect or intuition

are valid means of measuring a lama.

Also, it is not your fault

that you were taught to evaluate a lama

in terms of convention’s standards

of: resume, credentials,

and letters of recommendation

as if you were interviewing

to hire a personal assistant.

Nope, none of these things are your fault

because until this moment

you did not know

that in the Buddha’s

discourse of the Kalama’s Dilemma,

as well as his Pa-ri-nib-ba-na Sut-ta

he actually taught the opposite.

But tonight you are learning

that the Buddha explained

that the ONLY valid test of a teacher

is the efficacy of his teachings.

No, it doesn’t matter

that I’ve received the four sets of vows

in the tradition of Karma Chagme Rinpoche,

nor does it matter that I’ve received teachings

of every lineage: Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantrayana;

as well as some Hindu, and Taoist as well.

It does not matter that I’ve sat for eight,

three-year retreats,

nor that popular teachers

have publically named and lauded me.

It does not matter

that I dress in the manner

of Tibet’s wild mountain yogi’s

nor that I have been teaching

for more than twenty years;

for according to the Buddha

the only test of a teacher

is the efficacy

of his teachings.

But how could you know,

how could you really know,

deep down,

in your viscera,

or shpilkes if you prefer Yiddish,

how effective

my teachings

could be?

Simple! Attend one of my livestreams,

eagerly, and enthusiastically.

Listen to my explanation of the Buddha’s teachings,

and practice his techniques along with me in real time.

When confusion arises,

as it inevitably will,

exercise the courage to ask me questions

in the chat window or comment area

and receive answers

in real time,

or, if you’re watching a replay,

type your questions in the comment area

that you might receive the answers you seek

in the next livestream.

Practice with me on YouTube

live, or through replay,

every morning and every evening

for seven consecutive days.

At their conclusion

engage your judgement

and evaluate the results you’ve experienced

in body and mind.

After a week of practice with me

have you grown more anxious, angry, or blue?

If so, then clearly I’m a dreadful teacher

and you simply must continue your search

for a worthy lama.

However, if after seven consecutive days

of livestream practice

you experience an improvement

in peace, love, and resourcefulness

then perhaps it could be in your best interest

to continue learning from me

and practicing with me.

By the way,

in the Jeweled Rosary of Gampopa

we read that we are not

to ransom the Dharma.

For although the Buddha

did accept donations

he charged NO fees

excluding no being

from the teachings;

and neither do I.”

Her eyes were wide

and her hand had come to rest

upon her wine glass:

nearly empty and lipstick smudged.

Her momentary peace

was shattered as an inebriated fellow

at a neighboring table

shouted something quite rude

regarding the cut of my robes

and my worthiness

to perform a sexual favor

upon his person.

Smirking, she turned back

to her dining companion

and quipped,

“Someone does not approve of him,

so I’ll have to find a better teacher!”

Was she really seeking a teacher

or was she seeking a self-righteous excuse

to avoid the teachings

with our undermining the illusion

of her spirituality?

Few people know

that there is no way

to answer a pointed question…

without giving away

far too much

of one’s personal power.

And as such they persist

in demanding credentials

and recommendations

treating many they encounter

as if they were unfortunates

vying for the privilege

of being their underling.

Come, let us exercise the courage

to learn from our errors,

and practice the two Bodhichittas

of love and letting go

that we might tread this earth

in peace and with gentleness.

Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action

In the Tibetan tradition Lamas are supported

not by monasteries but by students

as such the production of these livestreams,

blogs, and class materials is supported

by the generosity of viewers, and listeners, and readers

just like you.

Join our nightly livestream.

Download FREE practice materials.

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