The purpose of this meditation is to develop strong faith in our Spiritual Guide and then to meditate on this faith in the light of renunciation – the wish to be free from suffering.

I began the meditation by clearing my mind and doing some breathing meditation. After a while I had established a very pleasant, calm and centred feeling. From there I began the meditation on reliance upon the Spiritual Guide.

I thought about how I had almost come into contact with Geshe-la repeatedly throughout my life. When I was at school we went on not one but two school visits to Manjushri Centre. Later my parents rented a caravan in the Lake District in Arnside, which is across Morecambe Bay from Ulverston – close geographically but rather far by car. Looking back it seemed like my path and my Spiritual Guide’s path were almost crossing, but not quite – the karma was not quite complete. Then, years later, I attend a meditation class in a small unremarkable town, only to find that it is provided by the same group – the New Kadampa Tradition. Finally, I remember clearly driving along the narrow road towards Manjushri Cenre and realising that it is indeed the same place I visited as a school boy in the 80s, and entering the temple to listen to the words of my own Spiritual Guide.

I thought about how, now that I have fully committed to my Spiritual Guide, I can rely upon his teachings completely. At every step I have found that my instinctive approach to problems has been wrong, whereas his approaches have been correct. Over time I have come to realise that I don’t want to rely on my old attitudes and beliefs because they only ever made my situation worse. I want to replace those old views with what my Spiritual Guide thinks. I want to cut and paste his mind into my mind, and use his faultless wisdom to make my life meaningful.

If I want to be happy in this life, he can make that happen. If I want to be free from suffering, he can make that happen too. If I want all living beings to be free from suffering, he can show me how to make that happen as well. Whatever attainments I desire, my Spiritual Guide can provide everything I need to achieve them.

How fortunate I am to have found such a Guide!

I thought about how fortunate I am, and how my Guide can lead me along the path to enlightenment, and I developed a very focused and happy feeling. I felt like my life had great purpose and meaning because of Geshe-la. I stayed with that feeling for a while.

After a while I decided to see what this feeling of reliance meant in the light of renunciation. Renunciation is the wish to be personally free from the sufferings of samsara. It seemed to me that my reliance upon my Spiritual Guide was the root of this wish to be free. Without my Spiritual Guide I would not even know there was a chance to be free, let alone understand how to enter the path to freedom, follow it and ultimately complete it. Without my Spiritual Guide, Liberation from samsara is impossible. Knowing this, I returned my mind to the feeling of relying completely on Geshe Kelsang – my inspiration, my friend and my Guide.


May all living beings find their Spiritual Guide who can show them their path, and through their inspiration, teachings, pure example and blessings, may they enter, progress along and complete their journey to great enlightenment, so that all living beings may be happy and free from suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep my mind of reliance alive throughout the day, and feel as if I am in the living presence of my Spiritual Guide, receiving his blessings constantly.

Meditation 6/21