We should seek and value good role models to follow. It has been more than 2,500 years since The Buddha into parinirvana, yet the transmission of his teachings remains embodied and upheld in today’s modern world. It is because these teachings are timeless and straight forward, independent of time and social conditions.
In my case, my role models were strong influences and disciplined guides. These teachers were extraordinarily kindhearted, generous, caring, and patient, and were outstanding meditators. They were amazing people. So you likewise need to find this kind of role model, someone with truly excellent qualities to look up to and try to emulate. For us Buddhists, our shared role model is of course The Buddha himself.
By relying on such role models, we will be able to mold and transform our character and behavior into something much more positive, and as a result we will encounter fewer difficulties. Our mission is not to “be” our role models but to observe how they encounter and deal with daily life then find our own path to produce similar outcomes in our sprit and motivations.
This is particularly important for dharma practitioners, since as practitioners we need to unravel the true intent and meaning of Buddha’s teaching: the innate, natural state. We need to understand this and know how to train in it. Taking a genuine dharma teacher as your example and following their teachings will boost and enhance your understanding and practice of the natural state.
Peace and Love, Jim