Due to recurring occasions I have been witnessing I would like to spend few words on the role of spiritual brothers and sisters within the community.
Often I come to blunder into situations during which students try to teach each other, taking on the role of the lama for their counterpart.
Exchange between siblings in the dharma is important – be connected, stay in contact, help each other in your daily family lives, supporting each other, but do not put yourself – knowingly or unknowingly- into the position of the spiritual teacher of the other person. It does not make any difference “how long” someone has been practicing the Buddhadharma because we are not joining clubs, being handed out bronze, silver or golden membership cards after a given amount of time, having been with a center or a lama.
The number of years just doesn’t say anything about the inner spiritual development of your heart!
To consult with one another in this way is comparable to two alcoholics discussing effect and therapy strategies of a detoxification. I guarantee you that you will fall into the problems of the other person and hence mix them with your own problems. Instead of helping the other to find out, suddenly two people are drowning in the stream of emotions and bewilderments: not only the own ones but also those of the other person which makes it even more difficult to escape the maelstorm that is about to drag you down!
Therefore I am requesting you: do not try to play that role for each other but do entrust yourselves to your teacher in spiritual matters.