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The Guru in Dzogchen

Fourth Mind Training


The essence of this mind training is that the only way you will be able to grasp the true Dharma is by serving a teacher, the root of the path.


The qualities of the Guru:

  1. Guru’s mind should be thoroughly tamed by three higher trainings.

  2. Guru should be experienced and should have studied widely and without any partiality.

  3. Should have the quality of special superiority.

  4. Be aware of the underlying intent of the scriptures and present them in ways that disciples find pleasing, thereby leading them to the ultimate path.

  5. Unconcerned with wealth and honor.

  6. Should be loving and compassionate toward those who are less fortunate.

  7. Should not get tired of having to explain things repeatedly.

  8. Have the strength of character to tolerate ingratitude.

  9. Skilled in cutting through misconceptions.


The qualities of the student:


  1. Follow the guru’s instructions.

  2. See good qualities, instead of only examining faults.

  3. Diligent.

  4. Patient.

  5. Respectful.

  6. No attachment.

  7. Concentration and an undistracted mind.

  8. Avoid treating the teacher as equal to the student.

  9. From the student’s perspective, the guru is superior even to the Buddha, since he or she is the one who has actually taught the student the instructions.

The behavior between the guru and the student:


  1. Do not walk in front of the guru.

  2. Do not walk behind the guru.

  3. Do not walk to the right of the guru.

  4. Do not step on the shadow of the guru’s head.

  5. Do not step on the guru’s pillow or seat.

  6. Do not measure the guru’s height.

  7. Do not take a higher place than the guru.

  8. If you have any food, first offer it to your guru.

  9. Stand up when your guru arises.

  10. Do not speak behind the back of the guru.

The teaching should be avoided to give to anyone who lacks any of the qualities mentioned earlier.

How to meet a guru?


Contemplate on it. Mediate. Truly want to find a guru. Purify your karma by only doing virtuous things.

Sometimes it is our own inferior karma and circumstances that prevent us from meeting experienced teachers and becoming a fit vessel to receive their teachings, just as the sun doesn’t shine on a north-facing cave.


To have obtained a human existence and met with an enlightened teacher is extremely fortunate.

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