To make progress on the Buddhist path it is essential to find a qualified Buddhist teacher (lama).
Our ego will find in dharma the things that are not a danger to it …. and if we try and teach ourself we will definitely find a way to underpin, justify and even increase our self clinging rather than challenge it.
So we need wise helpers, we need good friends, skilled teachers, who themselves having travelled some way along the path, and being learned in the variety of teachings can guide us in the teachings that are appropriate to us.
The Buddhist Teacher or Lama
A Buddhist teacher (guru or lama) is someone who shows us the way to obtain enlightenment for ourselves. This way includes the initial vows, teachings, and reading transmissions.
Qualified Buddhist teachers are highly accomplished in the advanced teachings and vajrayana meditation practices. A teacher must have been given permission by his own master to give vajrayana initiations and instructions to his own students.
Since the time of the Buddha, 2,500 years ago, all the Buddhist masters have attained awakening by relying on the guidance of their teachers. They received teachings directly from qualified Buddhist teachers, clarified the meaning of the teachings and meditated on them.
Lama Jampa Thaye
In Dechen the main Buddhist teacher is Lama Jampa Thaye, a qualified scholar and meditation master of Tibetan Buddhism. As a westerner, Lama Jampa is uniquely placed to guide other westerners in Buddhist meditation.
Lama Jampa is authorized as a Buddhist master by the heads of both the Sakya and the Karma-Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He is qualified to teach all levels of Buddhism, including the highest teachings of the Vajrayana.
Lama Jampa has received many teachings from his principal teachers His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Karma Thinley Rinpoche.