According to the Preliminary Practice of Longchen Nyingtik
95 pp., ISBN 1-55939-121-9 #GUYO $10.95
Why is the practice guru yoga, (union with the nature of the guru) so important? Because, with the help of the outer teacher, the inner teacher (the true nature of our own mind) is discovered. Until that point is reached, it is risky to be overconfident and rely solely on one's own methods for self-transformation. Although the path can be trodden only by individual effort, the advice of an experienced guide is invaluable. Since the guru is a living person, he or she is able to deal directly with the student's ego. Whether this is achieved wrathfully or gently doesn't matter, but in the end this is what the guru is there to do, and this is why guru devotion is so important. In the end, the guru who we have seen as the Buddha is known to be the same as one's own mind.
This particular guru yoga is called The Wish-fulfilling Jewel and is the outer practice of the guru from the Longchen Nyingtik revelation of the visionary master Rigdzin Jikme Lingpa. It was during a summer retreat in France in 1984 that Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche gave teachings on this text at the request of Sogyal Rinpoche (author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying).
Poet, scholar, philosopher, and master of Mahayana, Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) led a life of profound dedication to spiritual enlightenment and teaching. He was one of the principal holders of the Nyingma Lineage, but he was also a dedicated exponent of the non-sectarian movement and was highly respected by thousands of students in Tibet and throughout the world.
During the final fourteen years of his life his personal assistant was Matthieu Ricard, who has been a Buddhist monk for eighteen years. He has translated and edited numerous books on Tibetan Buddhism and is highly regarded for his scholarship and knowledge of Tibetan religion and culture.