Lessons on a Perfect Teacher

31 August 2010 - 6:38am Comments Off

For a change at Manjushri Class, there was a screening of the documentary, Words of My Perfect Teacher, which is about Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, the Tibetan lama who also wrote and directed the movie about monks and football, The Cup. Words of My Perfect Teacher illustrates the relationship between a Lama and his Western students, many of whom are at a loss at how to cope with their teacher’s seemingly eccentric behaviour which outwardly appears strange but, in fact, are all Dharma teachings.

There are many parallels between His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche – for example, they are both modern teachers, flawlessly traversing between secular life and monastic life.

The documentary juxtaposes Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in Germany at a football match and in Bhutan, where he is revered by thousands. The football game is an excellent example of how some of the football hooligans who supposedly love the game can become aggressive, contrasting with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s love for the game, which has no attachment.

The documentary is also a study of the Guru-student relationship, and an example of how the Guru is a mirror to our own delusions. There are poignant moments, where Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche says, “Sometimes I hate my job… Sometimes I wish I could just have a normal life.”

Our own Guru, Tsem Rinpoche has always yearned for a life of meditation and retreat, which was why he left America to go to Gaden in India. However, due to his Guru devotion, he followed the advice of his Guru, His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, who had asked him to come to Malaysia to teach.

As these great teachers do all that is necessary out of their Bodhisattva motivation to benefit others, the least we can do is to repay their compassion by keeping our own Guru devotion. We do this by listening to our Guru, following his advice and simply doing what we promise.

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