by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Having realizations of the lamrim (the gradual path to enlightenment) is more valuable than seeing the Buddha. We may even known people who have had visions of the Buddha, but that does not mean they have even one lamrim realization. A spiritual mentor who can teach us the Four Noble Truths is more precious than one who has the five clairvoyant powers. Even if we spend our whole lives purifying and accumulating positive potential, it is not as valuable as lamrim meditation. If you do not do lamrim meditation, you will not be able to control your mind or deal with your negative emotions. You will continue to create negative karma, so that you have to do even more purification. Lamrim is like the trunk of a tree, while purification and accumulation of positive potential are the branches. Therefore, lamrim meditation is essential.
Attaining enlightenment is a matter of skill, knowing the important points and putting them into practice. That is, we must listen, think, and meditate on compassion and emptiness and use our understandings of them in even the smallest actions we do.