Finding and leaving the teacher ...

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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby ground » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:19 pm

Jikan wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Well however you want to put it then: -what Mahayana tradition is there that instructs one to leave a teacher as soon as one finds some benefit? :?:

There are Mahayana traditions that advocate the path to liberation from obscurations. Now the question is: Where may obscurations be lurking?


I think this question presupposes an answer: specifically, it presupposes that one's teacher or more specifically one's commitment to learning from one's teacher is a form of obscuration.

It is really a question, not a categorical assertion. A question may be taken as cause for investigation. A question may be considered from several perspectives and in different contexts. The answer to a question is not necessarily permanently valid, i.e. valid from all impermanent perspectives and in all impermanent contexts.

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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:32 pm

A question may be dealt with in many ways, but your motivation is unstated.

What is your intent?

Are you intent on proving the Vajrayana defective, frustrated and angry at your experiences with the Vajrayana, just arguing for the sake of it, or some other intent?
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Astus » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:43 pm

Yeshe wrote:Would that be the equivalent of 'Sensei' in Japan ?

'Sensei' was translated to me as 'one who has gone before' and is then in a position to help us.


That is a rather literal translation of 先生 (Chinese: xiansheng; Japanese: sensei) which is made up of 先 - first, former, previous and 生 - life, birth. One who is born before me is older, therefore more experienced, more knowledgeable, and of course an elder is to be respected. 法師 (Chinese: fashi; Japanese: houshi) is 法 - law (i.e. Dharma) and 師 - teacher. The difference is that in Chinese fashi is used for monks only while in Japanese sensei is used for any kind of teacher. I think the Chinese equivalent of sensei is shifu (師傅/師父) as a general form of addressing a master (of something) while in Japanese it is oshou(-sama) (和尚; Chinese: heshang) that is a respectful form of calling a monk. However, my knowledge is limited and uncertain, others may point out some errors here.

My point is that it is a limited view to think that a Buddhist teacher is an enlightened master to whom one is loyal until liberation. I'd rather say it is not much different from a school teacher, or a teacher of some sort of art. One may study the Lankavatara Sutra from one teacher and then do meditation with another. It is like a university where students learn different things from a group of teachers and then specialise in a single subject under one professor. However, it is not compulsory to specialise in one thing. A solid understanding of the basics should be perfectly enough to serve as the foundation of one's training. When reading some history of Buddhism we learn about extraordinary people who for some reason remained important for the later generations. But those are only a couple of people. And there were tens and hundreds of thousands who didn't make it to the collections of outstanding masters, which doesn't mean they were lazy good-for-nothing men (and women - who are hardly ever mentioned anyway). And besides all those monastic people there were many times more lay people, just like us on this forum, who are again non-existent in Buddhist histories except a few kings and such.

Finding a teacher, leaving a teacher, really, that sounds to me like a secondary or tertiary issue. There is this myth that teachers are magical beings bestowing blessings that make everyone enlightened, like Jesus healing the crippled. But Jesus is not coming. On the other hand, there are so many teachers doing their best to make the Dharma available to everyone who wants to learn. Teachings are given in communities, video records of the teachings are obtainable for those who couldn't be there or just want to listen to it again, there are also so many books that it's impossible to read them all. It's like in a restaurant, one only has to choose from the menu and eat. How pointless it is to complain that the chef doesn't come to your table and spoon feed you? And then this idea of finding and leaving a teacher, well, doesn't make sense to me.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
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Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:07 pm

Astus wrote:
Yeshe wrote:Would that be the equivalent of 'Sensei' in Japan ?

'Sensei' was translated to me as 'one who has gone before' and is then in a position to help us.


That is a rather literal translation of 先生 (Chinese: xiansheng; Japanese: sensei) which is made up of 先 - first, former, previous and 生 - life, birth. One who is born before me is older, therefore more experienced, more knowledgeable, and of course an elder is to be respected. 法師 (Chinese: fashi; Japanese: houshi) is 法 - law (i.e. Dharma) and 師 - teacher. The difference is that in Chinese fashi is used for monks only while in Japanese sensei is used for any kind of teacher. I think the Chinese equivalent of sensei is shifu (師傅/師父) as a general form of addressing a master (of something) while in Japanese it is oshou(-sama) (和尚; Chinese: heshang) that is a respectful form of calling a monk. However, my knowledge is limited and uncertain, others may point out some errors here.

My point is that it is a limited view to think that a Buddhist teacher is an enlightened master to whom one is loyal until liberation. I'd rather say it is not much different from a school teacher, or a teacher of some sort of art. One may study the Lankavatara Sutra from one teacher and then do meditation with another. It is like a university where students learn different things from a group of teachers and then specialise in a single subject under one professor. However, it is not compulsory to specialise in one thing. A solid understanding of the basics should be perfectly enough to serve as the foundation of one's training. When reading some history of Buddhism we learn about extraordinary people who for some reason remained important for the later generations. But those are only a couple of people. And there were tens and hundreds of thousands who didn't make it to the collections of outstanding masters, which doesn't mean they were lazy good-for-nothing men (and women - who are hardly ever mentioned anyway). And besides all those monastic people there were many times more lay people, just like us on this forum, who are again non-existent in Buddhist histories except a few kings and such.

Finding a teacher, leaving a teacher, really, that sounds to me like a secondary or tertiary issue. There is this myth that teachers are magical beings bestowing blessings that make everyone enlightened, like Jesus healing the crippled. But Jesus is not coming. On the other hand, there are so many teachers doing their best to make the Dharma available to everyone who wants to learn. Teachings are given in communities, video records of the teachings are obtainable for those who couldn't be there or just want to listen to it again, there are also so many books that it's impossible to read them all. It's like in a restaurant, one only has to choose from the menu and eat. How pointless it is to complain that the chef doesn't come to your table and spoon feed you? And then this idea of finding and leaving a teacher, well, doesn't make sense to me.



Thank you. :)

Personally, if I find a teacher brings about a positive change, a benefit, I tend to build trust and seek more from them.

Whilst there are many teachers, a Bodhisattva bestows blessings and leads a disciple to enlightenment. I do not hold the view that such teachers do not exist, as to do so would be to deny the existence of the Bodhisattva, other than as a myth. Of course one must allow for the mundane majority, but this does not preclude the extraordinary and blessed Guru.
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Caz » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:02 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Caz wrote:
So when one says to immediately leave a teacher or a spiritual guide when we have received benifit from them this is incorrect as previously said even when we accomplish enlightenment we should still demonstrate the manner of reliance. :namaste:


Exhibiting reliance on a teacher, for the benefit of others as a skillful means and actually relying on one are very different things.. just to clarify that what I was saying is not in contradiction to your statements. A Buddha or Bodhisattva may also appear as a dog, or a pig -as a skillful nirmanakaya display in order to benefit beings, this does not make them actually dogs or pigs.
And with Avaloketishvara, Amitabha on his crown represents the Dharmakaya aspect, he is not separate from. Similarly, it is said Amitabha = Dharmakaya, Avaloketishvara = Samboghakaya, and Padmasambhava = Nirmanakaya emanation. But in nature they are inseparable.


What you say is true friend, It does also represent this. Of course there is no contridiction the appearance of such has many profound meanings from showing the demonstration of reliance to iludicating the inseperability of the appearance of holy beings. :good:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby truthwithin » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:59 am

we all need to find a teacher, guide, master, guru, yogi or whatever you like to call their title, so we can learn the teachings of true self awareness, once we have got to a certain level of understanding, then we can leave the teacher and become the teacher ourself....its like we are born dependent, on our parents, if our parents have the correct guidance then they can guide the child in an honest way, or vice versa, then one day we grow up leave the family home and become independent, meet a future husband/wife and start a family, and then we become the parents, and the cycle learning starts again...so when we find a teacher, we become the student, when the student passes the tests and trials they may choose to leave or they may choose to continue study and become the teacher themselves......like the saying that goes " When the student is ready the master will appear" what this quote means is : that when the student is READY, the student will become the MASTER..

thanks,

all the answers to life are in us, we just have to know where to look and how to ask...
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby ground » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:02 am

Yeshe wrote:A question may be dealt with in many ways, but your motivation is unstated.

What is your intent?

Are you intent on proving the Vajrayana defective, frustrated and angry at your experiences with the Vajrayana, just arguing for the sake of it, or some other intent?

My posts in this thread are not intended to refer to vajrayana. They are intended to refer to the role of "teacher" in the context of liberation which may enable one to be of help for others to get liberated.

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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Adamantine » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:45 am

TMingyur wrote:
Yeshe wrote:A question may be dealt with in many ways, but your motivation is unstated.

What is your intent?

Are you intent on proving the Vajrayana defective, frustrated and angry at your experiences with the Vajrayana, just arguing for the sake of it, or some other intent?

My posts in this thread are not intended to refer to vajrayana. They are intended to refer to the role of "teacher" in the context of liberation which may enable one to be of help for others to get liberated.

Kind regards


I was referring precisely to this intended meaning of yours in my post made on Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:19 pm, yet you never replied to it. Any reason?
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby ground » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:52 am

Adamantine wrote:I was referring precisely to this intended meaning of yours in my post made on Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:19 pm, yet you never replied to it. Any reason?


Huh?

This one is "Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:45 am "
The post before is "Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:22 pm"

There is no "Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:19 pm"

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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby mutation » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:59 am

"In order to receive benefit, one has to find its source. Once benefit has been received the source of benefit should be left.

As soon as you have received benefit from a teacher, immediately leave him.

Never settle down."

A Dharma teacher's job is to teach you to rid yourself of ignorance, aversion, and attachment to cyclic suffering. If that's not good enough for you, then I guess you should go somewhere else for teachings.
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Adamantine » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:01 am

TMingyur wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I was referring precisely to this intended meaning of yours in my post made on Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:19 pm, yet you never replied to it. Any reason?


Huh?

This one is "Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:45 am "
The post before is "Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:22 pm"

There is no "Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:19 pm"

Kind regards


Hmmmn I guess the time code isn't a good way to reference posts-- there is a different time listed for me, I suppose because we are in different time zones.. Anyway, I was referring to the second post of mine on page three, out of the three posts I made on page three of this thread.
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby ground » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:01 am

Adamantine wrote:Anyway, I was referring to the second post of mine on page three, out of the three posts I made on page three of this thread.



Adamantine wrote:
TMingyur wrote:As soon as you have received benefit from a teacher, immediately leave him.


It seems that you enjoy being as vague as possible in your posts, but I'll just try something more specific with this one:

If by 'benefit', you mean 'full enlightenement' and by 'immediately leaving' you mean 'there is no longer any need of', then I would agree.

It just appears to you as if 'full enlightenement' were "more specific".
So I just prefer not to provoke this merely habitual arising of "specificity" by choosing the words I choose and leave "the box" open for investigation.


Adamantine wrote:Let's try it again all together:

As soon as you have attained full enlightenment, there is no longer any need to look to the teacher(or in the same place add 'to the Buddha', or 'to the Guru').


However, the way your statement reads, it is much more easy to interpret it this way
As soon as you develop any type of insight through the kindness of the teachers instructions, no matter how minor, impermanent, or limited in comparison to the scope of full realization -- then immediately leave the teacher, and avoid receiving any further insight they may have to offer, no matter how much more profound, clarifying, illuminating, or limitless it may be.

You are quoting who's words? Neither the first nor the second quote are my words.

Adamantine wrote:I mean, are you starting to see why you are getting the type of reactions you are? It is not because people are clinging to Vajrayana tenets, it is because your statement simply reads as grossly irrational. If your intent is to make irrational statements to stir up a response, or to purposefully obscure your true intent- then the label 'troll' surely fits. I hope this is not the case.

I am purposefully putting forth a hypothesis to initiate investigation.
Again:
My posts in this thread are not intended to refer to vajrayana. They are intended to refer to the role of "teacher" in the context of liberation which may enable one to be of help for others to get liberated.


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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:26 am

Adamantine wrote:Hmmmn I guess the time code isn't a good way to reference posts-- there is a different time listed for me, I suppose because we are in different time zones.. Anyway, I was referring to the second post of mine on page three, out of the three posts I made on page three of this thread.

Go to your post, right click on the top left hand title (in blue) "re: finding and leaving the teacher", choose the copy shortcut action and then paste it inot your new post. It provides a link directly to your post.
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:28 am

truthwithin wrote:like the saying that goes " When the student is ready the master will appear" what this quote means is : that when the student is READY, the student will become the MASTER..
Your source for this interpretation?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:36 am

TMingyur wrote:In order to receive benefit, one has to find its source. Once benefit has been received the source of benefit should be left.

As soon as you have received benefit from a teacher, immediately leave him.
This is much more than a hypothesis, it also puts across a distinct view. I mean you could have stated it thus:
"In order to receive benefit, one has to find its source. Once benefit has been received the source of benefit should NOT be left.

As soon as you have received benefit from a teacher, STAY WITH THEM."
See? Now do we have a different hypothesis or a different distinct view? It will (you can be sure) illicit a different response.

So it's no use pretending (after four pages of arguments where you defend your view) that your opening statement (hypothesis my posterior) is not actually the view you hold. You see now it looks as if you are trying to be deceptive.
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby ground » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:54 am

gregkavarnos wrote:...after four pages of arguments where you defend your view...


Nothing has been defended. However through contacting words and manifestation of "contact -> feeling -> perception/fabrication" it may appear as if there were something worthwhile to be defended and so there may arise attack in order to defend. Why is this? It is due to "clinging aggregates". So actually it is only the clinging that can be lost and attacking defense only safeguards the clinging.

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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby muni » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:21 am

Some cannot/don't "stay" by one master. Still this means not those aren't genuine practicioners, those want very honestly to not any longer be a slave of ones own misunderstanding, or fictitious being in ones' own fabrications. Then very possible such are meeting more teachers and cannot remain by him-her, holding hands. Still no separation is.
Of course the importance of a teacher, monastic or not!

Dharma meaning is beyond our ideas about, not conditioned by institution.
We have to go beyond theories no matter how sacred they might seem.
Theories can create an illusory distance between us and enlightenment.
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:10 am

TMingyur wrote:Nothing has been defended. However through contacting words and manifestation of "contact -> feeling -> perception/fabrication" it may appear as if there were something worthwhile to be defended and so there may arise attack in order to defend. Why is this? It is due to "clinging aggregates". So actually it is only the clinging that can be lost and attacking defense only safeguards the clinging.
Yes, I know this, you spend a lot of time spelling it out (mainly when you do not have something intelligent to say in response to a post) but (it seems) very little time realising it! And you see, your projections do not even allow you to see what others are saying. I, for example, have left teachers after realising that I could not benefit from my contact with them anymore. My decisions have sometimes been based on emotion and sometimes based on reason but ALWAYS on ego. Funnily enough, and I think that goes for everybody on this site, I have not overcome my sense of self, so it always manages to wheedle itself into everything I say and do. BUT at least I know that I have not overcome my sense of self. Others here give the feeling that they believe themselves to be omniscient, when it is quite obvious that they are not.

Yes, I am talking about you my friend. This is the third time I am asking you to let go of your delusions of grandeur so we can have an intelligent discussion.

Happy Amitabha Buddha Day!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby ground » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:25 am

:offtopic:
gregkavarnos wrote:Yes, I ...
And you see, ...
I, for example, have ...
My decisions have ...
I think that goes for everybody on this site, ...
I have not overcome ...
Others here give the feeling that they believe ...
Yes, I am talking about you my friend. ...


Bias. Identifying. Comparing. Conditioning confusion. This is not the right (middle) way to go about it.

The right (middle) way?

In this way, in regard to phenomena he abides phenomena both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising in phenomena, or he abides contemplating the nature of passing away in phenomena or he abides contemplating the nature of both arising and passing away in phenomena.

Mindfulness that “there are phenomena” is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness.

And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

That is how in regard to phenomena he abides contemplating phenomena
in terms of the five hindrances ...
in terms of the five aggregates of clinging …
in terms of the six internal and external sense spheres …
in terms of the seven awakening factors …
in terms of the four noble truths.


:focus:

What is the role of "teacher" in the context of liberation which may enable one to be of help for others to get liberated?
When does "teacher" become bondage?
Does "benefit" have to have a certain quality before "leaving" is undertaken?
Can "benefit" arise when "leaving" is rejected?

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Re: Finding and leaving the teacher ...

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:38 am

What is the role of "teacher" in the context of liberation which may enable one to be of help for others to get liberated?
When does "teacher" become bondage?
Does "benefit" have to have a certain quality before "leaving" is undertaken?
Can "benefit" arise when "leaving" is rejected?
That's more like it! :twothumbsup: Now you are not positing a view but seeking answers to questions that concern you!
It took some time but we finally got there. :woohoo:
As for this:
Bias. Identifying. Comparing. Conditioning confusion. This is not the right (middle) way to go about it.
I was merely outlining my thoughts, feeling and experiences. Right and wrong do not play a role and you are not in the position to judge my experiences as right or wrong. Actually I don't think I asked yo to judge my experiences as right or wrong. I think you will find, if you read what I wrote sans your projections, that the point I was making was that even I am in no position to judge my experiences as right or wrong because even I am functioning from a position of extreme ignorance and ego-clinging. And that is the problem that arises in regard to "your" issue.
If the teacher is a "real" teacher, and the Tibetan texts say you have to judge this over a long period of time (approximately twelve years), ie has high levels of realisation and is motivated by compassion, how will I (steeped in ignorance and with no realisations) be able to judge that the relationship is one of bondage, what is to my benefit, and when I should leave?

The important point here is that we are talking about a compassionate and realised teacher that we have assessed over a long period of time and according to specific criteria, otherwise, and we can pretty much take it for granted, our decision will be based in ignorance and thus, according to the Buddha himself, will just lead us back into the endles cycle of birth, death and suffering.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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