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Masters and Guru Yoga


The essence of Open Heart, are the living blessings of spiritual masters (skt. mahasiddhas). As in all tantric traditions, we emphasize a living connection between a practitioner and a master (skt. guru). This is traditionally called guru yoga. Discussion of gurus might sound strange or religious, and that is understandable. However, guru yoga is the bedrock of tantric yoga and has a very important part in the whole picture. It can be approached reasonably and pragmatically without religious beliefs and ideas. From the perspective of spiritual maturation, guru yoga is immensely beneficial. 

In Open Heart, we practice guru yoga mainly with Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal, who together have a very special role in tantric buddhism. Even though they both are closely related to lands and cultures of India and Tibet, in Open Heart, we don't give much attention to historical myths and legends. What matters most is the direct contact and benefit derived from that. We receive blessings from many other masters as well, so that through experiencing their presence, we can come to understand the common ground of all beings and are able to see beyond the superficial differences between religions and philosophies. While having a clear view about our practice and its goal, we look at dharma and spirituality universally, rather than in sectarian manner.   

Guru Yoga

Guru Yoga is done by chanting the guru mantra and then feeling the presence of the master in one's own body and mind. Visualisations and hand gestures can also be used. Guru Yoga is done briefly at the beginning of each Open Heart Yoga session when  blessings of the master are asked for oneself and all sentient beings.