Interview With Gelek Rimpoche: Guru-Student Relationship

LUC: I was talking about the relationship between a student and his guru, in a religious context. You say the form; the namaste, etc, is not so important. That what is important that you have a love connection.

GELEK RIMPOCHE: Absolutely true. Earlier, in the Hindu-Buddhist tradition, they do emphasize the importance of the guru. I have a good relationship between the late Allen Ginsburg and myself, as well as Philip Glass, the composer. Our relationship is slightly different than the traditional thing. I don’t like people getting folded hands, and bowing down. For me, personally, it doesn’t really do any good, neither to the person who is doing, nor the person who is receiving that.

After really looking at it, it is really a mental connection. The mind connection. The affection to the guru, as well as to the disciple. And that should work. The physical gestures and physical things, well, I have no objection to those people who are doing it, but I do not encourage.

LUC: What should a relationship between a guru, or a teacher and student bring? You said, “It should work.” What did you mean there?

RIMPOCHE: Ah! Well, there are a lot of levels, a lot of different layers on this. Level one, the superficial level, it is the learning part of it. Level two, a little bit of meditative level, and getting deeper inside. The guru is supposed to be leading the individual thru the path. So the layers goes a little deeper. Finally, from the Buddhist point of view, when you become a Buddha, the way and how you lead to the Buddha level, is thru the mind of guru.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, Luc Scala Interview, May 17, 2001


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