** If you see your Guru as a Buddha, you will recieve the blessings of a Buddha ** If you see your Guru as a Boddhisatva, you will recieve the blessings of a Boddhisatva ** If you see your Guru as a friend, you will only receive the blessings of a friend **

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Three kinds of practitioners

The Three Kinds of Practitioners 

As for the stages of engaging in the path, 

there are three kinds of practitioners: bypassers, simultaneists, and gradualists. 

The simultaneist has devotion to the guru, 

an immense store of previously accumulated merit, and limited obscurations.

By virtue of supplicating the guru, listening to the dharma, or the showing of signs, 

the moment such a practitioner meditates, the practices of the three lower yogas 

are instantly realized without having gradually practiced them,

and upon realizing the higher level, the meditative experiences and realizations of the lower levels simultaneously dawn.

Such an individual is as rare as a daytime star.

As for the bypasser, by virtue of their superior degree of previous training,

accumulated merit, and level of intelligence,

sometimes the meditative experience and realization of śamatha may not arise, 

but the meditative experience and realization of vipaśyanā will occur.

Other times, śamatha alone will dawn. 

Or else, sometimes neither arise.

The gradualist is a qualified recipient of the teachings,

but their previous accumulation of merit and the strength of their training are inferior.

When first setting out on the stages of the path, the gradualist should train in śamatha.

Then in the middle, they should strive to meditate on vipaśyanā.

Finally, they should make effort at the path of the union of śamatha and vipaśyanā,

and meditative experiences and realizations will gradually dawn.

Most individuals should practice in this way,

and since this approach is very stable, one should be introduced to this method.

By Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, December 14, 2020