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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Real or Fraud?

A month doesn’t go by without someone asking if thus or so is a fraud. Why? Are you seeking to police the Dharma: controlling who can say what and who can call themselves what? OR are you seriously seeking a teacher?

Although we ought to be: flexible, loving, laid-back, egalitarian, cooperative, and kind; many have been taught, instead, to be rigid, fearful, controlling, elitist, competitive, and cruel. I was deeply alarmed to hear a local Zen teacher rejoice in the apparent suicide of a fellow teacher of whom he did not approve.

Life is short and our energy is limited. Come, let us invest what time and vitality we have left simply mastering Buddha’s path (if we are YET to be enlightened) or teaching it (if we already are).

But what if we are seeking a teacher. How are we to know whether or not old thus and such is worthy of our trust? Neither fame, nor wealth, nor popularity are reliable metrics; not even convention (one’s resume, credentials, or recommendations).

There is only one test, and it’s terribly inconvenient. FIRST receive a teaching, SECOND apply the technique once every twelve hours, for seven consecutive days, and then notice your results.

IF the results are bad that tells you something about the teacher. IF the results are good that also tells you something about the teacher. BUT if you can’t be bothered to put his teaching to the test, then that could tell you something about yourself (if there is such a thing.)

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