While teaching about the practice of Guru Yoga His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, among other things, emphasised the importance of humility: “We always have to have a state of mind where we feel we are still learning – a humble mind.”
He also talked about the essence of this practice: “The main thing about Guru Yoga is to develop their (i.e. the gurus’) qualities – their wisdom, their compassion – even though we have no way of knowing the scope of their compassion and wisdom.”
Before commencing the twelve-hour session of the Guru Yoga of the 16th Karmapa His Holiness the 17th Karmapa gave an introductory teaching about the meaning and benefit of this practice: “Through this practice of Guru Yoga, may we receive the blessing of the unbroken lineage of truly realised masters, from Tilopa until now, and not just in order to gain benefit for this life... Just to receive benefits for this life, there are countless ways which most of us already know – we don’t have to practice Guru Yoga just for that.
But when we look at the practice of Guru Yoga we must know that it’s a practice that benefits not only for this life but throughout all of our lives, and also not just to attain some moments of happiness or certain states of happiness, but true understanding: the understanding that in the heart or the essence of all sentient beings there is compassion, there is wisdom, that these are always there… not in terms of being eternally there, but in terms of being timelessly there, in a way that it is unborn, that doesn’t require a cause. So by the practice of Guru Yoga we are able to focus on that, we are able to see that more clearly, and seeing that nature of mind gives great peace, which is then translated as happiness or joy, but not in terms of joy or happiness that one gains through causes or through conditions, meaning through our five senses or even through our dualistic mind but beyond that: seeing that all state of nature is unborn. Knowing that gives us great relief, gives us a relaxed approach to everything.
Everything is then known as spontaneous, or in Tibetan as “lhundrup”… So this is the result that we can gain through the practice of Guru Yoga – seeing that we have the greatest fortune: not only have we been born as a human being but we also have the fortune of merit – the great fortune to have access to dharma through one’s teacher…”
His Holiness then joined the gathering of about five thousand devotees in an all-day session of Guru Yoga.