It’s probably safe to say that there can’t be a proper guru-student communication if the guru never steps down from the throne, unless the guru is a completely enlightened omniscient being who can communicate through telepathy, light, or supermagical powers. The guru is supposed to act like a doctor, and the disciple is the patient. How can a doctor treat the patient if he doesn’t know what’s wrong? He has to know some of the symptoms in order to diagnose the disease. If there is no communication, or if the communication is staged, formal, or rehearsed, then invariably, it creates a distance between the doctor and the patient, making the chances of a proper diagnosis slim—unless the guru is an omniscient being or his stethoscope is fifty feet long. So when you are looking for a guru, it’s good to consider how approachable he or she is, how much communication will be possible.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?
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Further quotes from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?:
- Check how the guru handles criticism
- Cultivating trust in simplicity
- Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice
- Gurus Don’t Fish for Devotion
- Advice on selecting a guru
- Humble Gurus
- Skillful Guru
- Going beyond Rational and Irrational Devotion
- Why can’t the Guru be perfect?
- The authentic guru lineage is indispensable
- Peeling of our patches of samsara
- Experience is like a mist in the morning
- Modern Buddhadharma
- Sooner or later, you will have to check
- Never opt for the easy way out
- Guru devotion and pure perception
- Hearing the Dharma
- Teachings don’t just rain down