DB4: The Spiritual Master

Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28

This is module #4 of the Discovering Buddhism program. It’s fine to jump in at the beginning of any of these courses.

As for this topic, Lama Zopa Rinpoche says in The Heart of the Path:

Why do we need a guru? We might think, “Achieving liberation and enlightenment is fine, but why do I need a guru to do it? As long as books on the subject are available, I can read them, then practice. Why do I need a guru?”

You might think that to generate the path to enlightenment, it’s enough to read Dharma books and study by yourself. However, generally speaking, you can’t clearly understand the meaning of Dharma teachings, especially the hidden meanings that need clarification through commentary, without the explanations of a guru. There is a big difference between learning something from a teacher and just reading about it in a book. Listening to a teacher has a much greater effect on your mind. Being able to parrot the words written in books doesn’t mean that you really understand a subject.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with two senior Dharma students who have been offering service for years, publishing Dharma books and running Dharma centers.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • what it means to be a qualified student
  • what are the qualifications of a guru
  • how to take someone as one of your gurus
  • Buddhist protocol for relating to one’s spiritual teachers
  • what to do when things go wrong with the guru-disciple relationship


Materials will be posted on the DB Homework page of this website. The password will be given in class.

DB Homework Page

See more about the whole Discovering Buddhism program at Land of Medicine Buddha, here.

About Our Teachers 


Drop in on the first class to see if it suits you. Online registration below gives various options for donating to support this program. The Dharma center depends on your contributions to make classes like this possible. However, we don’t want anyone to feel that there is an obstacle if they are unable to donate. All are welcome.

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Date(s): Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28
Times: 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Instructor/Leader: Venerable Drimay
Type of event: Discovering Buddhism
Number of sessions: 4
Level: Introductory
Participation: Best to start at with the first class of this course.
Location: Main Gompa
iCal Link: iCal
Add to Google Calendar: 0

Click here for help with registering for classes and retreats offered by Land of Medicine Buddha (opens in new window). ♦ See Refund Policy (opens in new window). ♦ Scholar Membership (and higher) includes donations for regular classes. See definition of Member and Benefits of Membership (opens in new window). ♦ If you choose to pay with PayPal, you will still be able to pay with a credit card. You don't need to have a PayPal account. ♦ Also note: The 'Pay With' field toggles between 'PayPal / Credit Card' and 'Pay Offline' - use arrow.

Registration and Donations for DB4: The Spiritual Master

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