THE FOUR RELIANCES



In Buddhism we establish whether a teacher is authentic by whether or not
the guidance he or she is giving accords with the teachings of the
Buddha. It cannot be stressed too often that it is truth of the teaching
which is all-important, and never the personality of the teacher. This is
why Buddha reminded us in the "Four reliances":

Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;
Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;
Rely on the real meaning, not just the provisional one;
rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordianry, judgmental mind.

So it is important to remember that the true teacher, as we shall see, is
the spokesman of the truth: its compassionate "wisdom display." All the
buddhas, masters, and prophets, in fact are the emanation of this truth,
appearing in countless skillful, compassionate guises in order to guide
us through their teachin, back to our true nature. At first then, more
impor tant than finding the teacher is through making a connection with
the truth of the teaching, for it is through making a connection with the
truth of the teaching that you will discover your living connection with
a master.

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