The Importance of the Buddhist Lama
To progress on the Buddhist path it is essential to find a qualified Buddhist lama. Buddhist teachers or lamas are extensively accomplished in the advanced textual teachings and vajrayana meditation practices required to make progress on the spiritual path.
For 2,500 years Buddhist masters have attained realisation through receiving the teachings. These were acquired directly from qualified Buddhist teachers, who then clarified their meaning and meditated on them. If we follow their example and practice diligently under the guidance of qualified teachers, we can attain the same states of wisdom and compassion.
It is through the relationship with skilled teachers that we receive the teachings that are appropriate for us now and in the future. This is why we put a greater stress in traditional Buddhism on receiving the teachings from qualified Buddhist lamas rather than self administering them. It is not that the teacher is some kind of saviour or god. He or she is like a skilled craftsman who can give you the tools for this work of following the path to enlightenment. They will then train you in how to use them.
Lama Jampa Thaye
In Dechen our main teacher is Lama Jampa Thaye. He is a recognised scholar and meditation master of the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
He received and practiced innumerable teachings from his lamas, including his principal teachers. These include His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Karma Thinley Rinpoche. They authorised him to teach all levels of Buddhism, including the highest teachings of the Vajrayana.
As a westerner, Lama Jampa is uniquely placed to guide other westerners in the Buddhist systems of meditation and contemplation practiced in the past by Tibetan and Indian masters.
For a full biography of Lama Jampa go to lamajampa.org
You spread the dharma, the medicine that pacifies sin and suffering,
Taught by Shakyamuni, protector of beings as limitless as space,
By explanation, debate and composition,
Supreme scholar, Lama Jampa, may you live long.
Extract from the Long Life Prayer for Lama Jampa Thaye composed by Karma Thinley Rinpoche