A living Dharma for the West

Yeshe2“Intellectual Dharma has already reached the West. In many cases, Western professors know the subject better than you do. But words are not Dharma; we need something behind the words. We need the kind of energy force that can be developed organically only through living purely in the Dharma. That is truly the root of the Dharma and its spread to the West. I have great expectations that you are the people to do it; please, think about.
The Dharma we are trying to bring to the West is not simply intellectual Dharma. Intellectual Dharma is already there, in universities all over the world. I want you to understand. What we need is for the living experience of Dharma to touch the human heart organically and to eradicate people’s dissatisfaction. This is the Western world’s greatest need. Without your living in the Dharma, without your having a certain degree of experience, you cannot give Dharma to others. It is not possible. That is why, when you live in the Sangha community, the abbot or gekö should be involved in deciding who goes where to teach. If you just do your own trip, you’re in danger of turning Dharma into Coca-Cola.
Of course, you need to be well educated so that when you go to different places to teach you will have at least an intellectually clean-clear comprehension of the subjects your are talking about. Otherwise, you might start spreading misconceptions, and then, instead of benefitting the Dharma, you will damage it.”

from Advice for Monks and Nuns by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche

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