Perhaps the most moving and accurate account of the true

nature of the master I have ever heard comes from my master

Jamyang Khyentse. He said that although our true nature is

buddha, it has been obscured from beginningless time by a

dark cloud of ignorance and confusion. This true nature, however,

our buddha nature, has never completely surrendered to

the tyranny of ignorance; somewhere it is always rebelling

against its domination.

Our buddha nature, then, has an active aspect, which is our

"inner teacher." From the very moment we became obscured,

this inner teacher has been working tirelessly for us, tirelessly

trying to bring us back to the radiance and spaciousness of our

true being. Not for one second, Jamyang Khyentse said, has

the inner teacher given up on us. In its infinite compassion,

one with the infinite compassion of all the buddhas and all

the enlightened beings, it has been ceaselessly working for our

evolution—not only in this life but in all our past lives also—

using all kinds of skillful means and all types of situations to

teach and awaken us, and to guide us back to the truth.

When we have prayed and aspired and hungered for the

truth for a long time, for many, many lives, and when our

karma has become sufficiently purified, a kind of miracle takes

place. And this miracle, if we can understand and use it, can

lead to the ending of ignorance forever: The inner teacher, who

has been with us always, manifests in the form of the "outer

teacher," whom, almost as if by magic, we actually encounter.

This encounter is the most important of any lifetime.

Who is this outer teacher? None other than the embodiment

and voice and representative of our inner teacher. The

master whose human shape and human voice and wisdom

we come to love with a love deeper than any other in our

lives is none other than the external manifestation of the mystery

of our own inner truth. What else could explain why we

feel so strongly connected to him or her?

At the deepest and highest level, the master and the disciple

are not and cannot ever be in any way separate; for the

master's task is to teach us to receive, without any obscuration

of any kind, the clear message of our own inner teacher, and

to bring us to realize the continual presence of this ultimate

teacher within us. I pray that all of you may taste, in this life,

the joy of this most perfect kind of friendship.

Not only is the master the direct spokesperson of your own

inner teacher, he or she is also the bearer, channel, and transmitter

of all the blessings of all the enlightened beings. That is

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