Central to Buddhism and many esoteric traditions is the practice of empowerment. A student or adept must learn to give up their own power, their concepts, ideas and positions in order to be empowered by the lineage. The power of the Dharma is transmitted by the lineage holder – the teacher.
This is a very important practice. When a student instead empowers themselves they are empowering the ego. This empowers greed, anger and ignorance In fact, it embraces and supports a kind of weakness that is harmful to oneself and others. Students, and even teachers who have not been forged by this process manifest this weakness. They diminish the Dharma.
The true empowerment of the lineage is transcendent. It allows individuals to do what they could not do before for themselves and others. Having left home a long time ago, the adept now truly comes home.
Giving up one’s self power to be empowered by the lineage happens at many steps along the way. It is very important. Because this is so important to me as a person entrusted to hold the lineage, when I empower my students it will not be based on what they say. It will be based on what they do which demonstrates what they really value, what effort and sincerity and commitment they bring to the practice: in short who they really are.
photo credit: h.koppdelaney