Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche told us last night that the Buddha appears to us in the form of our teacher. That the most important relationship we will have in our lives is to our teacher – but that doesn’t mean the biggest one or the most famous; it means the one that is close and helps us walk the path everyday.

This teacher can be anyone, they can come from anywhere. We must know that when we find them, we must have great devotion for this teacher. As the lineage holders of old that placed boundless unbreakable trust in their teachers and were greatly rewarded for it, so must we.

He spoke about his own devotion – summed up in one thing – the 16th Karmapa. He told us about his growing up and every time he saw a photo of 16th Karmapa he would become intensely touched and emotional. When he was asked how he could possibly have such understanding and wisdom for such a young man he said it was the teachings of Karmapa that had given him lifetimes of experience, memories, and wisdom. The words of the Buddha, transformed through the words of Karmapa. Devotion bearing the fruit of realization and compassion. Even as he spoke you could clearly see how emotional he had become, so deep were his feelings for Karmapa. A man he never even met.

While he walked by the lake this afternoon, gazing off across the water into the setting sun, I felt deep in my heart that he must have been thinking of him once again.

— by Tokpa Korlo