At Summer Festival one of the questions I heard that people were contemplating was the relationship between believing in karma and relying on a Spiritual Guide. The New Heart of Wisdom, which Geshe-la is going to formally introduce at next year's International Fall Festival in Portugal, briefly addresses this question:
"... the effectiveness of our Guru yoga practice depends on the strength of our belief in karma. If it is weak we will neglect to engage in practices for accumulating merit, purifying our negativities and receiving Buddha's blessings, and then our Guru yoga practice will be just empty words."
It hadn't occurred to me that they were related, so I have more thinking to do.
We were also encouraged to think deeply about the many levels in Geshe-la's books, particularly Modern Buddhism, and that imagining we're reading his books in the company of Guru Tsongkhapa will help us discover the deeper meanings.
In Eight Steps to Happiness Geshe-la says "'Self' and 'other' are relative terms, rather like 'this mountain' and 'that mountain ... 'This' and 'that' therefore depend upon our point of reference. This is also true of self and other. By climbing down the mountain of self, it is possible to ascend the mountain of other, and thereby cherish others as much as we presently cherish ourself."