Filed in Vajrayana, Devotion

It Takes a Saint

What will it take to establish a truly Western dharma?

Tai Situpa Rinpoche as told to Helen Tworkov

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Photograph by Felicia Megginson
What can establish dharma in the West forever? Forever is a long time, but that’s how I understand this question. It’s a big question, and a big answer will just confuse everyone. So I’ll make it simple: One Western person must attain full enlightenment in the same way as Marpa, Milarepa, or Guru Rinpoche [Padmasambhava, Indian founder of Tibetan Buddhism]. If one Westerner—man or woman, doesn’t matter—attains that level of realization, then pure dharma will be established in Western culture, Western language, and environment, and so forth. Until that time, dharma can be taught in the West, which is already happening; it can be practiced in the West, which is already happening; and it can be recited in Western languages. But it’s not yet one hundred percent complete.

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