Look beyond titles and hats ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Though essentially unnecessary, the rank of a lama does serve a purpose. Institutions and titles can provide a measure of safety. Just like it might be safer to go to a popular restaurant because it has been written up in guidebooks, popular lamas come with many personal endorsements.

Then again, the system is not foolproof; reputations can be bought. You can always go to a restaurant and check for yourself, but in the spiritual world, it’s much more difficult to come to a conclusion.

This is all just to say that those who are seeking a guru should not look in only one direction; they should look beyond titles and hats. They should also look beyond their romantic ideal of a guru, whether it be an ascetic or a crazy wise man.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book The Guru Drinks Bourbon?

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