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15. October 2010 at 16:26
These remarks raise the poignant issue of buddhist devotion, an essential component of spiritual development. Are we “worshiping” (as it is used in this context) the guru or an icon when we feel a sense of connection to that person? Probably. Very likely. But that’s not the whole story, it’s just the beginning of a process. One needs to deepen those feelings with correct understanding.
When we see such a charismatic figure and have our reaction, we are actually recognizing something attractive and essential in ourselves. That is the basis of the connection. We are joining with our own basic nature. In this case “worship” becomes a bridge. It is like returning home after being gone for a long time. We begin with a primitive understanding and develop from there. I imagine Punlop Rinpoche would concur.
I just wanted to add this point of clarification because it is a frequent misapprehension and can be an obstacle. There are many subtle philosophical distinctions similar to this that arise when East meets West. Without accurate understanding sectarian conflicts multiply and divide people with good intentions and good hearts so these seemingly small points need clarification. May there be benefit.
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