This book is an extensive teaching on guru yoga by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, a contemporary exemplar of the practice. Rinpoche explains the importance of guru devotion, the proper way to develop a student-teacher bond and offers commentary on each traditional guru devotion sub-topic found in Tsongkhapa’s lam-rim. The text also provides a textual outline to help guide your reading through the topics.
From a review in BuddhaDharma magazine: The Heart of the Path is a lengthy teaching on guru yoga by a contemporary exemplar of the practice, Lama Thubten Zopa. A close disciple of Lama Thubten Yeshe for more than three decades, Lama Zopa has taught by word and example the importance and power of properly following a guru. The book is based on several decades of dharma talks organized by editor Ailsa Cameron into twenty-four chapters, beginning with the question of why one needs a teacher to progress along the path. The remaining chapters discuss in considerable detail how to cultivate and practice devotion, and generate the view of one’s own teacher as the Buddha. It concludes with several short guru yoga visualization practices. Throughout the book Lama Zopa offers personal reflections and stories to illustrate his message that guru yoga truly is the heart of the path to liberation.
From a review in Tricycle magazine: For those interested in stepping beyond the realm of ideas into the world of practice, the latest book from Tibetan master Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a helpful guide to one important aspect of the spiritual path. The Heart of the Path explains the importance of guru devotion and Zopa's view of the proper way to develop a student-teacher bond. Lama Zopa has had many teachers, but his unwavering devotion to Lama Thubten Yeshe shines through on every page. Drawing on this experience and the Buddha's teachings, Zopa effectively conveys the value of relationships based on Buddhist ideals.
From a review in Mandala magazine: Although guru devotion is a foundational concept within Tibetan Buddhist thought, for many it remains a bewildering and impenetrable topic. Fortunately for contemporary practitioners, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has spoken extensively on guru devotion, giving teachings and advice about what it really means to have devotion to one’s spiritual friend. Drawing from nearly fifty teachings, this treasure is the result of seven years of painstaking editing by Ven. Ailsa Cameron. Not only does it include teachings on the traditional sub-topics that fall under guru devotion found in Tsongkhapa’s lam-rim, but also a useful outline to guide your reading, several supplementary prayers and teachings from other renowned Tibetan masters, and inspiring images of Lama Zopa, Lama Yeshe and other amazing teachers peppered throughout. A perusal of this masterful work by Lama Zopa Rinpoche will assuage any doubts about the utility or possibility of “seeing the guru as Buddha.”
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About the Author
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and meditator who for 30 years has overseen the spiritual activities of the worldwide network of 160-plus centers, projects and social services that form the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) which he founded with Lama Thubten Yeshe. Born in the Mount Everest region of Thami in 1946, Rinpoche was recognized soon afterwards by His Holiness Tulshig Rinpoche and five other lamas as the reincarnation of the great yogi Kunsang Yeshe. Rinpoche was taken under the care of FPMT’s founder Lama Thubten Yeshe, soon after leaving Tibet, in Buxa Duar, India, in the early 1960′s. Rinpoche was with Lama Yeshe until 1984 when Lama Yeshe passed away and Lama Zopa Rinpoche took over as spiritual guide of FPMT.