Lamrim Year

By Lama Thubten Yeshe, By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Our latest book, Lamrim Year, is an essential guide for meditators who want to develop their mind in the graduated path to enlightenment (lamrim). This unique study program provides a 365-day outline of the graduated path in a clear, practical format that is suitable for both individual and group practice. The daily quotes and text have been selected from four decades of teachings by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and offer a taste of their teaching style and scope.

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Lama Yeshe, Manjushri Institute, England,1982.
Day 7: The Qualities of the Guru (Lama Yeshe)

There is the need for an organic, living kind of force to come in touch with our heart
—Lama Yeshe

The main reason that religion in both the East and the West has degenerated so much nowadays is the rarity of meeting good spiritual examples. If people never meet highly realized beings they have no way of knowing the limitless possibilities of their own human consciousness. It is not enough that there are texts recording the deeds and accomplishments of past masters. By themselves, such stories cannot inspire us very much. In fact, they may only increase our feeling of remoteness: “Buddha and Jesus lived such a long time ago,” we may think, “and their purity belongs to another age. It is impossible for someone like myself living in this degenerate twenty-first century to attain anything resembling their level of purity.”

The only way we can lay to rest these feelings of doubt, incapability and cynicism is by coming face to face with someone who has activated their highest potential. Only then do we have an example of purity and spiritual evolution we can actually see and relate to ourselves. Thus the outer guru is of utmost importance. We need the example of someone who, while human like ourselves, has developed beyond the bounds of what we presently think possible.

When we see someone who has reached beyond selfishness, who has transcended the petty concerns of this world while still living in the world, who speaks and acts from intuitive wisdom and who is truly dedicated to the welfare of others, then we can have faith and conviction that these attainments are possible for ourselves as well.

  • Religion has degenerated because of the rarity of meeting highly realized beings
  • We need the example of someone who has developed beyond what we think is possible
  • Seeing the great qualities of others gives us faith that we can have the same attainments

Guru devotion
1 Devoting to the guru
1.2 The qualities of the guru