Not only is there no difference between being close to the guru or far away, the guru’s blessings are stronger when you are far away. For example, Milarepa stayed with Marpa in order to receive all the oral instructions, then went off to practice in the mountains of Lachi. Once, when Milarepa supplicated Marpa with great longing and devotion, Marpa appeared to him in the midst of a cloud, riding a lion, even though he was very far away…
I say this because some people think that when they are a student of a particular guru, they need to stay with the guru all the time. This is not the case. There is actually no difference between staying near the guru or staying far from the guru. If you have very strong faith, although you may actually be living far from the guru, the guru will be right there. But if you have no faith, you may always be in the presence of the guru but still be far away.
Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche
translated by Elizabeth Callahan
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