In order to purify the defilements, the teachings and blessings have to penetrate. The most accessible way for the blessings to penetrate is through hearing, so ordinary people are encouraged to listen to teachings. To this end, a guru who can provide accurate practical information is very important, even if he or she isn’t your root guru or tantric master. So, at least in the beginning, a guru with knowledge of the Dharma who is from a traditional, institutionalized path is a safe bet. Through hearing penetration, you acquire a tool to be penetrated by contemplation. And then gradually you develop the capacity to be penetrated by meditation.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?
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