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Becoming An “Empty” Vase

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Becoming An “Empty” Vase
Given the present situation in the Tibetan Buddhist community concerning the many scandals and controversies, particularly those regarding the teacher-student relationship, I cannot hold myself from reflecting upon the flaws of what I see going on. The student-teacher relationship is not meant to be an easy endeavor. Nevertheless, I still fully trust the possibility of a healthy, well-grounded and well-directed student-teacher relationship; and I believe that in order for that to happen, much self-reflection is needed both from the teacher and the student alike. With this in mind, I wish to share a reflection about a commonly recited request that many Buddhist teachers make: Please become a perfect recipient for the teachings.
Becoming a perfect recipient is expressed through the metaphor of becoming like an upward-facing, non-leaking, clean pot. Patrul Rinpoche clearly defines what it means to be such a pot. Being “upward-facing” is described as listening to wh…