The Great Collaboration

March 23, 2012 in Awakening Journal, Buddha Nature, Dharma Posts, Guru Yoga by Cindy

On Siddha Songs we have posted many video and audio excerpts based on a traditional Tibetan Buddhist or yogic understanding of the deep practice of “Guru Yoga.”

So in the current issue of > Awakening Journal I have tried to understand the process from a more modern-day perspective, bringing the practice into the realm of our everyday life.

We have all participated in Guru Yoga – devotion – in some form or another with our families, friends, bosses and so on. So making our relationship with our spiritual teacher foreign, “fake Asian” (as the great Noah Levine likes to call it!) and a novelty always keeps the practice at arms-length when it is supposed to be doing the exact opposite – striking us at the heart and instigating real change.

This one goes out to all the artists! Keep seeking, making and reveling in the Greatest Show on Earth.


The Inspiration

Our motivation for entering into any meditation retreat, whether it’s a weekend, a month or several years, is crucial. When meditating seems indisputably like the most boring activity on the planet, what is going to inspire us to do it?

One of our most powerful inspirations to get back on the cushion is supposed to be our Teacher. If they are just some fixed, distant, dictatorial figure, the initial inspiration will soon pass. More significantly, if they represent to us some foreign concept that has no counterparts in our own culture, they merely serve as some “trophy religion” that we take out of the display case on the weekends and polish up to show off to others.

It is therefore important to understand “Guru Yoga” or “Lama Devotion” within the context of our own lives so that the practice can smash through the glass case and actually change us.

Because of my creative life in video and filmmaking, I relate “Lama and Disciple” to the metaphor of “Director and Director’s Assistant.”

Instead of thinking of my Teacher as a foreign word-I’ve-never-used-before such as “Lama.” What if I considered him or her as the Director of the “greatest show on earth?”