Be Your Own Teacher
…but don’t make up a teaching.
The following is taken from Rainbow Painting by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:
“The great teacher, Atisha, explained four aims:
“ Aim your mind at the Dharma.
Aim your Dharma practice at simple living
Aim at simple living for your entire life.
Aim your death at solitude.”
“He also said, ‘Keep a low seat,’ and ‘Be your own teacher’:
Be your own teacher.
‘Be your own guard.
Do not remain in a situation where you must always take orders from others.
Live in a way that allows you to rely on yourself.
If you live like this, you have the possibility of being a pure practitioner.’
“The great master Atisha himself lived by these principles and achieved great accomplishments. We should try our best to apply as much as we can to his advice.
“Once you decide to practise the Dharma, carry it through to the end, otherwise it as Patrul Rinpoche said, ‘When young we are controlled by others and cannot practise. Usually, until people are about 17 or 18 years of age, they must take orders from their parents or remain stuck in school or at home. They cannot just walk off and practise. In adulthood, we chase after objects of pleasure and cannot practise. When we are old, we lose our physical strength and cannot practise. Alas, alas, what do we do now?’
“So if we want to practise, we should make up our minds how to do so. It is best if we can be perfectly pure, wholehearted practitioners. If not, at least try to embody part of what has just been mentioned, or at the very least, take to heart a single piece of this advice.
“The result of meditation training is that disturbing emotions such as aggression, attachment and dullness steadily decrease. This is a real sign of meditation practice.”