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The Nechung Oracle Program Thought for the Moment...

    There is a tradition of reciting prayers of request to the spiritual
teachers of the lineage at the beginning of each study session, starting with
the Buddha Shakyamuni and ending with our own personal teachers.  What do we
request?  As we chant each verse, we take to mind the inspiring qualities of
the great masters mentioned in it and ask them to bless us to develop
compassion, wisdom and power similar to their own.  Blessings are experienced
in the form of a transformation which affects our body, speech and mind.  Our
mind becomes more serviceable and flexible, our way of speaking and acting
more constructive.  We become more open to the message of how to bring about
inner transformation that has been handed down through this long line of
spiritual teachers.
    Our teachers pass on the instructions they have received from their own
teachers, the knowledge they have culled from their reading and everything
they have understood and experienced as a result of their personal practice,
without holding anything back.  They are motivated by compassion and their
deep wish to help us.  To communicate it to us they choose whatever means are
most effective--sometimes stern, sometimes gentle.  This process must take
place in an atmosphere of mutual trust, something very rare in relationships
today.  In the past the relationship between students and teachers was even
closer and more trusting than that between siblings--and in Tibet brothers and
sisters generally enjoyed a close and loving bond.  Today this is a dying
tradition, yet a good relationship between student and teacher is vital even
for the communication of secular knowledge, let alone where spiritual wisdom
is concerned.
  -- Geshe Sonam Rinchen, in "Atisha's Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment: An
     Oral Teaching", translated and edited by Ruth Sonam, published by Snow
     Lion Publications

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