Q: My question is about the role of a spiritual teacher in spiritual development. I’ve been studying with a teacher for a few years and benefiting from the practice and study of Tibetan Buddhism. Then there was a breakup of the sangha because of the misconduct of the teacher, and I lost motivation. Now I’m looking for new hope and maybe a new path. Do you think it’s important to have a teacher for spiritual development?
John: Don’t neglect the baby just because the parent has disappointed you. If you know a teacher that is able to reach right into what you really are and bring that right up into your self, then you need that teacher because you know. You know real help. If you don’t have that, if you don’t know or have such a one, you don’t need one.
Q: I did feel that it was beneficial for me, and my life changed for the better. But how do you know if the teacher is helping you do that?
John: Your core honesty within has a sense – directly knows a little bit of it. Your sincerity in that is your way. If you use anything else, you lose your way.
What really matters in your relationship with a teacher is your core honesty within, because without that you won’t know the truth. And then what matters is your core sincerity, because without that you won’t respond to the truth within that you know.
Core honesty knows, and core sincerity moves in what it knows.