Discovering Buddhism

The Spiritual Teacher


“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” –Japanese Proverb

“Whoever makes your mind become Dharma, that is the Tsaway lama, the root guru.” –Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The best way to learn anything is to rely on a skilled and experienced teacher. In Tibetan Buddhism, the guru-disciple (teacher-student) relationship is considered essential for making spiritual progress. Yet for many people, this most important relationship can seem mysterious or even challenging. What are the benefits of having a teacher, and how does one identify a suitable one?

In this five-session course, we will discuss such topics as:

  • The need for a teacher
  • The challenges we face when thinking of entering into a teacher-student relationship, and learning how to overcome these skillfully
  • The qualities of a teacher, and the qualities of a student
  • How to relate to a teacher to derive the greatest benefit in one’s spiritual life

This is the fourth of 14 modules in the Discovering Buddhism series. Students may join at any point in the cycle. Discovering Buddhism was designed for students interested in deepening their understanding of fundamental Buddhist concepts, and provides an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Each module includes teachings, meditations, readings, discussions, and a short retreat. For more information on the Discovering Buddhism program, please click here.