Troublemakers

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Troublemakers

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:56 am



Your thoughts please :popcorn:
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby catmoon » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:09 am

I do not think I want to study with the teacher she was talking about.
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby justsit » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:53 pm

Brilliant!

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Re: Troublemakers

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:23 pm

When I told my Tibetan teacher I was going to grad school to study Buddhism he said to me that I would go there and become arrogant and egotistical.

It really upset me at the time. I thought, "Maybe some words of encouragement might be better?"

But in hindsight it was actually good advice.

The white ivory towers are filled with fragile egos and childish arrogance.

If it wasn't for that comment of his, which really upset me at the time, going to grad school would have gotten to my already big head. :oops:
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:50 pm

Huseng wrote:When I told my Tibetan teacher I was going to grad school to study Buddhism he said to me that I would go there and become arrogant and egotistical.

It really upset me at the time. I thought, "Maybe some words of encouragement might be better?"

But in hindsight it was actually good advice.

The white ivory towers are filled with fragile egos and childish arrogance.

If it wasn't for that comment of his, which really upset me at the time, going to grad school would have gotten to my already big head. :oops:


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Re: Troublemakers

Postby shel » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:48 am

plwk wrote:Your thoughts please :popcorn:


Loved how the story ended. The troublemaker was paid to be there. How very disturbing that so few are willing to pay this modest price.
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby purplelotus10 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:29 am

There was a case in the UK last week when a 64 year old man who had learning difficulties collapsed and died after having been tormented by youths at his home for many years. Last year a woman set her car on light with her disabled daughter after having suffered the same thing. These are extreme cases but I think reflect the fact that society is becoming ever more tribal - and I include Dharma Centres in this. Although you need to be shown those areas where you need work should you allow yourself to be debased and bullied? At what point do you say enough or do you not? There never seems to be very much support for those who are bullied.

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Re: Troublemakers

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:33 pm

Pema Chodron is only pointing out one of the functions of the lama. Dzongsar Khentyse has said the same thing, Apparently Trungpa Rinpoche acted in this way quite a bit. After all, the ego and negativities need to be slain and we are frequently blind to those issues that nonetheless arise. This can take many different forms and Pema Chodron is not saying that the lama will become a harsh, relentless enemy out to harm students.

The story about Gurdjieff is well-known. If we don't deal with whatever these difficulties are for us on the spiritual path they will definitely arise for us in other and possibly more painful ways. Thus the teacher can arise for us as a lancet (and again this can take different forms and doesn't mean that the teacher goes all Tilopa on us).

Bullying: bullying is unacceptable in any context. Many people are very fragile and need lots of help and protection. I agree that the US is generally becoming more tribal and I'm dismayed to hear of this in the UK. It may be a western phenomena following the reassertion of regionalism or it may be a global phenomena that is reasserting itself (or just becoming more noticed) after the end of the go-political struggles of the 20th century.

Fundamentally we are one tribe as the Black Eyed Peas remind us.

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Re: Troublemakers

Postby Luke » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:31 pm

Huseng wrote:When I told my Tibetan teacher I was going to grad school to study Buddhism he said to me that I would go there and become arrogant and egotistical.


I have seen that myself. When I asked a group of students from the local Buddhist University if they practice Vajrayana, their response was, "We study about all kinds of Buddhism, so we don't need to practice anything."
Umm...okay...

However, I should mention that a few of the Buddhist Univerisity students are very dedicated to their practices as well.
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby Indrajala » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:21 am

Luke wrote:
Huseng wrote:When I told my Tibetan teacher I was going to grad school to study Buddhism he said to me that I would go there and become arrogant and egotistical.


I have seen that myself. When I asked a group of students from the local Buddhist University if they practice Vajrayana, their response was, "We study about all kinds of Buddhism, so we don't need to practice anything."
Umm...okay...

However, I should mention that a few of the Buddhist Univerisity students are very dedicated to their practices as well.


What happens is that with academic title often comes pride. They always say, "You should be proud of your accomplishments."

A lot of scholars end up with huge egos and if refuted or challenged in public they suddenly despise their opponent until the day they die. They have an image to uphold and can't afford to be wrong. Their career is on the line. The pressure is on.

It is all really childish. You sometimes need to tip toe around people who demand to be addressed as "doctor" because they don't want to be called by their first name by "some twenty something year old who still lives in his Mom's basement."

Just reading the Chronicle of Higher Education's forum you can see that attitude.
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby plwk » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:56 am

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Re: Troublemakers

Postby Luke » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:41 am

Huseng wrote:What happens is that with academic title often comes pride. They always say, "You should be proud of your accomplishments."


I think there should be requirements in Buddhist programs which would be an antidote against pride. First of all, I think that daily meditation or chanting should be mandatory, and secondly, I think that some type of unglamorous, menial work such as cleaning toilets, washing dishes, or weeding gardens should also be mandatory.

Such a system wouldn't be perfect, but it could be a partial cure.

A brilliant mind doesn't mean much to Buddhist unless it can benefit other beings.
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby Indrajala » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:50 am

Luke wrote:
Huseng wrote:What happens is that with academic title often comes pride. They always say, "You should be proud of your accomplishments."


I think there should be requirements in Buddhist programs which would be an antidote against pride. First of all, I think that daily meditation or chanting should be mandatory, and secondly, I think that some type of unglamorous, menial work such as cleaning toilets, washing dishes, or weeding gardens should also be mandatory.

Such a system wouldn't be perfect, but it could be a partial cure.

A brilliant mind doesn't mean much to Buddhist unless it can benefit other beings.


Buddhism is mostly researched in secular institutions where such humble activities are not a prerequisite for graduation.

Most of the leading scholars in Buddhism right now are not ordained. They arn't necessarily Buddhist either. A lot of them are Buddhist (or were at some point).
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby shel » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:15 pm

What if the story were changed slightly, a different Buddhist tradition and a "troublemaker" exploiting the "blind spots," as Pema Chodron refers to them, of a teacher and senior students? For a specific example, say a Zen priest and senior Zen students. What if a troublemaker were to publicly point out minor mistakes that they've made, making them appear a bit less like authorities, and this person was consequently banished from the group for this activity. What would that mean, if anything, about the Zen priest and senior students?

Maybe the story/lesson is inapplicable to the Zen tradition?
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Re: Troublemakers

Postby plwk » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:06 am

Thus Have I Read ...Once...
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Thus ... nd_Stories
PARABLE 090: DREAMS, ILLUSIONS, BUBBLES, SHADOWS
An elderly Zen Master, feeling that his time would soon come, hit upon an expedient to help his chief disciple achieve a Great Awakening. He decided to drive the younger monk out of his complacency through an elaborate plan to "frame" him as a thief in disguise.

In the middle of the night, the Zen master would hide one of his valuable Buddha images and then cry "Thief, thief." The younger monks would all rush in, but there was no thief to be seen. Finally, after the third time, as the chief disciple ran into his room, the old master grabbed him and threw him on the floor, "This is the thief. At last I have caught you red-handed!" The chief disciple was then denounced to one and all throughout the land.

The accused monk, once the teacher of a huge congregation, now completely disgraced and with nowhere to turn, his ego totally shattered, mulled over this flagrant injustice and at times even contemplated suicide. After several weeks of utter desperation, he suddenly experienced a Great Awakening: life is a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow. This is the very teaching he had been trying to impart to the novices for so many years! He then rushed to the Master, who upon seeing him, stood up, greeted him warmly and conferred the succession upon him.

On a lighter note...
Two Zen monks were walking down the road.
First monk says: "These pine trees are magnificent."
The second monk slaps him across the face.
First monk: "Why did you do that?"
"I'm a Zen monk so I can get away with all kinds of weird stuff like that."
http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/resources ... ories.html
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