Lama Zopa Rinpoche with one of his teachers, Rato Rinpoche, Sera Je Monastery, India, January 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

In FPMT centers, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the practice of guru devotion. Advice Regarding Gurus, a short booklet available through the FPMT Foundation Store, introduces new students to the concept of guru devotion and explains why such importance is placed on establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with a qualified spiritual teacher. 

“Although you can learn a lot from books,” long-time student Ven. René Feusi explains, “if you want to become excellent in any field of knowledge, you have the best chance of success if you have a qualified teacher. This is true if you aim to become a ballet dancer, a pianist, a pilot, a craftsman, a scientist, etc. Likewise, if you aspire for spiritual development, your progress will be safer and faster if you are under the guidance of a qualified guru.”

Many other resources are available to those wishing to delve deeper into the practice of guru devotion:

  • The Heart of the Path: Drawing from nearly fifty teachings, this is a lengthy collection of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings on guru devotion. 
  • Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s “Advice on Guru Devotion”: In this short and poetic composition, Lama Zopa Rinpoche outlines the essence of guru devotion and includes a beautiful dedication.
  • Discovering Buddhism, Module 4: “The Spiritual Teacher”: This module from FPMT Education Services’ online Discovering Buddhism course is an excellent place for students new to the Dharma to begin their studies of guru devotion.
  • Living in the Path: “Guru is Buddha”: This module from FPMT Education Services’ online Living in the Path course offers an experiential taste of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings on guru devotion.

Through comprehensive study programspractice materialstraining seminars, and scholarships, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.