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An open-minded guru

“A guru should be open to accepting cultural and habitual differences. For example, if the guru is Tibetan, he or she should be able to value a sincere hippie Australian student’s offering of a treasured seashell as wholeheartedly as a Chinese student’s offering of a kilo of pure gold.

An open-minded guru should be able to work with an American whose strong habit is to believe in a soul and who might be confusing that soul with buddha nature. An open-minded guru should be able to recognize that the habit of Dharma bums with their antiestablishment barter society is not necessarily practicing renunciation. An open-minded guru should understand why his lesbian students are having a hard time visualizing a male consort. An open-minded guru should be able to understand why Jewish people might have trouble accepting the concept that everything is a product of past causes and conditions and therefore there is no such thing as good and evil.

An open-minded guru should know that his Chinese students’ habit of saving face is not necessarily a fear of wrongdoing. An open-minded guru should understand why a Swiss student may not appreciate a wish-fulfilling cow.”

~Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
(The Guru Drinks Bourbon?)

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