The author has done the world of Vajrayana Buddhism a true service by writing this book. I knew early on in the book that I was going to enjoy it immensely. The kind, respectful, gentle way the author speaks about his teachers, and how they in turn speak of their teachers, was really inspiring. To me, that type of relationship with one's teacher(s) is the distilled essence of the Vajrayana Path.
About his teachers, he says, "...the debt I owe them for the entire content and quality of the life I now lead. This is a debt which, in the nature of Vajrayana, cannot be less than total. It will always remain beyond the possibility of repayment. This is a typical Tantric paradox--a debt that buoys me up rather than weighing me down."
The author speaks of the Dalai Lama of Tibet telling us we can take up to 13 years to decide if a certain teacher is right for us. Rigdzin Dorje says a Teacher-Student relationship is not something to be entered into lightly. Once you do accept a teacher, the commitment should be complete.
When the activities of the teacher are inconsistent with your particular viewpoint, Dorje states, "However incomprehensibly the teacher may behave, always maintain pure perception, and recognize his way of doing things as skillful means. Pure vision means viewing the vajra master as continuously acting for the benefit of beings, and regarding all of his or her behavior as manifestations of unceasing enlightened activity. The vajra master represents the completion of the path in person."
Whether you are a long-time Varayana practitioner, or someone who is seriously thinking of choosing a teacher, or even someone who interested in this particular path, I highly recommend this book.
This is a good read. It is written well but it is based on alot of idealization and romanticization of the human all too human Guru. True Guru's do act as mirrors and provide the necessary guidance, but like another reviewer pointed out, the authors fail to deal with the imperfections or problems that we know only too well. Adi Da, Rajneesh, Chetananda, and even the brilliant Chogyam Trungpa. Trungpa was true alcoholic! As I said the book is a good read. It is written in a sort of maverick style full of metaphors that are over the top in terms of totally idealizing the Guru in a hot rod mean machine style. In fact the Guru is likened to the fuel you need to get your Harley on the road! In it's best sense the Guru does propel you to reality but how many out there are there who really can deliver in the sense that the Vajra Master is portrayed here?
I can think of on good example: Lee Lozowick. he is a conservative crazy wisdom master who's been at it for over 30 years and he still hasn't screwed up anyone or abused them or had orgies with booze and drugs. In his presence, the mirror is potently evident. However, he is very low profile and few want to acknowledge his authenticity because he never fits most peoples conceptions of a Master. But having sat at his feet off on over the years, I happen to know that he has truly grown into the Guru function and has more integrity than many teachers out there. No this is not an advertisment for him, just an example that there are true dangerous friends, but most of the time the topic and possibility of the dangerous friend is dangerous in the worst way!