When we pray to the lama, we imagine his body, his face, his familiar expression facing us, and we think it’s him. But truly, neither his body nor the expression of his face are quite the lama. The lama is his mind and its own specific qualities. When the lama dies, some people may experience great sadness. The thought of not seeing his physical form any more creates in their mind a painful feeling of separation. In fact, when the lama lets go of hisphysical form it is because he has finished transmitting what he wished to transmit to us. If we have developed the understanding that our mind is not different from his, there is no more separation. There is no more sadness even if the lama is no longer physically present. That is true devotion.
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