Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system?

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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby Yudron » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:27 pm

rob h wrote:
Matt J wrote:The problem with doing it yourself is that we are the problem to begin with--- long standing habits and ways of doing things. It can be exceedingly difficult to see our own problems. The basic ideas of Buddhism are easy to understand, but the application of practice requires a lot of adjustment and feedback.

One issue I see with people who don't want teachers is that people want to do it yourself--- they want to pick and choose which parts to follow and which to reject. They want to mix and match based on personal preference. Yet the personal preferences create the problems to begin with.


Agreed with this too, have had enough problems with it over the last decade, so can definitely say that can be an obstacle! But eventually if you clear your perception enough you start to notice these things, and after a certain amount of time, if you're meditating properly enough too, you can be better able to deal with them. I'm not saying it's easy though, clearly, because at first those things might not even be conscious for quite a while. A good teacher will be able to spot those things quickly I'd guess and help. So yeah, not saying having a teacher is a bad thing at all, just that I think there can be an alternative for people if they really want to go down that route, and that it'd help if it wasn't frowned upon so much.


Well, there is the model of the Pratyekabuddha who reach nirvana without a teacher, but this is not present in the Mahayana and Vajrayana. So, given that you are posting on a Mahayana and Vajrayana forum, you can expect that your POV will not be accepted.

I'm curious why you don't feel comfortable/interested practicing with guidance from a good teacher? There are a lot of obstacles that can be there for a given individual.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby LastLegend » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:36 pm

rob h wrote:
edit 2 : To finish for now I'd say that my first post could have been written and explained better, but every now and then it bugs me and I'm also tired at the moment. If I make another thread in the future will make sure to cool off and take my time, because being wound up is just adding a taint of anger and that's clearly not helping. Hopefully in the near future I'll either go out and get a teacher or feel confident enough with what I do to knock back any criticism. I did actually want to write a book in the future if I could help people with meditation too, and even though it'll be more of a general help book than specialized on a certain school, it doesn't feel right that I should have to overly question myself because I'm supposed to have learnt my meditation from a specific real life teacher/single school, etc. It's just disappointing that that's the case, but yeah, if I genuinely think the meditation I'm doing and the advice I can give can help others I'm not going to let that cloud everything. I still think it's more of a Human problem that's down to conditioning, false views, habit energy, and so on in most cases.


I hold a conservative view on who is qualified to teach. Coming from East Asian Buddhism, trained monks are the ones who teach Dharma. They have been trained many years before they can teach.

I have nothing against people who want to teach meditation for therapy or combating stress. But they are really missing the point of Buddhadharma which is liberation from suffering.

I hope everything will work out for you.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:05 pm

Yudron wrote:I'm curious why you don't feel comfortable/interested practicing with guidance from a good teacher? There are a lot of obstacles that can be there for a given individual.


Have never felt fully settled with one school. I could maybe try Zen in the near future if I had to and I think there's a class nearby that has a teacher with them every so often, so could do that if I wanted to. But as I've gradually let go of a lot of delusion from meditating over the years the whole way I meditate has changed so much, so I do feel like many of the obstacles (clearly not all.) have been dealt with already.

LastLegend : That's kind of what I'm getting at, I think some people can write about meditation and give advice on more than just therapy or combating some of the every day stress. That plenty of people can teach others how to work with intuition, insight, avoiding delusion, having greater awareness, how to meditate on a different level that can lead people closer to waking up, and so on. It's the idea again that if you haven't been trained with a real life Buddhist teacher it can't be valid, etc.

But if I'm fighting a losing battle with this thread, fair enough! Always worth a try. Sometimes I feel like just absolutely refusing to have a teacher and meditating as well as I can for as long as possible just to try to prove that something decent can be done without a teacher. That's how much this bugs me. Not so much about a personal quest, but more that if I can do it, others can too, and then I can write, talk about it, do whatever I can to help others who don't want/won't have teachers. Why should people feel drained of self confidence if they have the ability to learn themselves? This is the key issue that bugs me.

Maybe I'm a charlatan in the making! A future fraud. Or maybe I'll just get a teacher and shut up. Either way I'll not start giving more than general advice on Buddhism unless I really think I'm getting somewhere and maybe talk to a few teachers too. Maybe that's the point that I'll actually get a teacher myself!

OK, I'm done. Just had to try to explain this a bit again so I've covered about as much as I can for now. Hopefully it'll save plenty of other questions on why I've made this thread and my own situation, etc. If it starts getting overly about me though I'm out of here, the main focus should be the questioning of why we're all told we need teachers, and that not having a teacher is some type of freak-occurance. To be honest I just think it feeds that cultural mindset of having to be led around like sheep sometimes.

Hopefully if I get a Zen teacher he/she will just slap me across the face and tell me to go off and meditate for 6 months and have faith in my original mind or something. Now that could be cool. :yinyang:
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby Yudron » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:13 pm

Well, the kind of meditation we practice is so subtle that I just cant imagine understanding how to practice it properly without a real life teacher to tell me the finer points again and again. I have, at times, gone far astray from reading books and especially "experts" on Buddhist forums. My teachers put me back on track.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:34 pm

Yudron wrote:Well, the kind of meditation we practice is so subtle that I just cant imagine understanding how to practice it properly without a real life teacher to tell me the finer points again and again. I have, at times, gone far astray from reading books and especially "experts" on Buddhist forums. My teachers put me back on track.


Yeah I know it can get really subtle, that's why I feel so weird bringing this up, and accept how hard it is. That just a single thought you cling to half consciously can lead to a perception that blocks you in a big way from insight, or that a blind spot in your awareness can cause big problems over time, and so on. I know it can get really complicated, or at least seem that way, but if your foundation, or your mindset, is working well enough and you keep consistently meditating in the right ways, I think a lot of those things can be noticed.

Anyway, will maybe post back later, need sleep soon.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:41 pm

Something I wrote a while back for another site. If any of this is wrong, please feel free to point out where you can see problems. These are some of the themes I'd focus on if I was writing about this in the future :




This is an attempt to give some advice for those that either don't have a teacher, don't want a teacher, or those who will maybe look for a teacher in the future but don't want one at the moment.

For this to work several things are needed. Patience and discipline are two of the most important. With meditation that doesn't have a teacher, extra emphasis needs to be placed on this. If you don't have patience, you won't carry on until you see the benefits. If you're not disciplined, you'll not meditate consistently enough.

Another important part, especially seeing as there's no teacher, is that the meditator has confidence in his/her ability to gain insight into the nature of the mind, and the nature of what we think of as reality. Without confidence, all of the positive aspects that are hoped to be gained will be tainted with doubt. Doubt is a hindrance, and there should be an awareness of this.

The meditator also needs the awareness to know whether or not s/he is progressing. This isn't easy and delusion can and probably will be an obstacle at several stages. Without the awareness to see this, which should be developed as meditation is done over time, the meditator will be lost. A teacher usually acts as the awareness of how the student is progressing or not, then directs the student towards understanding that so that s/he can continue progressing, or correct the errors that are stalling the progression. So without a teacher awareness is one of the keys. If the meditator can't develop enough awareness then maybe it's best to seek a teacher for guidance instead.

Skill is also needed. Skill here meaning the act of refining the ability to do the types of meditations that are chosen, and also finding the right types of meditation that are best. Also gaining the right insights from the meditations.

A set of qualities should be emerging as the meditator progresses. Some of these qualities are an increase in = awareness, concentration, unattachment, equanimity, egolessness, serenity, and metta (kindness). Others are what was mentioned above, like skill, patience, and discipline.

The root of the problem being aimed at, or the understanding of why the meditator has the goal of awakening is that most of us are in a way, asleep. We don't properly understand how what we think of as "reality" works, and how to live in it properly without being free from things like stress, delusion, anger and greed. We don't understand balance in the way we should, or what the Buddha would call "The Middle Way." The aim is to try and wake up and understand what these things mean, and in a sense, be those things. The balance, the middle way, the understanding, the realisation, and so on, as we live our lives. Free from delusion, anger, greed, stress, and all the variations of those negative aspects.

For those familiar with the concept of karma : maybe experiment with reducing karma from time to time, by not creating events or adding to certain events. Clearly if someone needs help with something that isn't causing others any problems, then try to help, but experiment with other situations. Karma is action, and the more actions we take part in the more we become attached to the world. To learn meditation properly it's often said that there has to be some type of withdrawal from the world, even if temporarily. So experiment with it in the right situations. Say for example you're going to do something because you're bored : try not doing it and see what happens. See how it makes you feel, think, perceive, and so on.

Remember that even reacting to something as small as a thought, feeling, or perception can be classed as an event. To react is to add to an event, to take an action, which is karma. The reaction could also be seen as creating a new event in response. It can be hard to describe, but so many things are linked together. Try just noticing what's happening instead. You could even say noticing is an event, but to think like this could go on infinitely! Remember that you're just trying to reduce karma, reduce action, by not creating or adding to some events, and then noticing the way you are as a result of that over time.

By doing this properly you could increase the chances of being unattached to your surroundings, habits, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and other things, and become better at meditating. Equanimity helps with this. If you're not sure what that is, maybe try researching into it.

This whole process isn't supposed to be easy, especially not without a teacher. If it can be done though, or even if a meditator can progress and learn before eventually finding a teacher or the right school, it's worth trying.

Another thing is research. Research the types of meditation that are chosen. Research how they're done via several different sources, their history, and also the school or tradition they come from if possible, to get a better understanding of the meditations and their origins.

This obviously isn't a perfect description of how to meditate, but hopefully it can be of help to those without a teacher in some ways.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:43 pm

So now you are a teacher? You want to control me? :tongue:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:10 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:So now you are a teacher? You want to control me? :tongue:


Hahah! Nope, no way a teacher, but just wanted to try and see if I could help with some of the very basics a while back so wrote that. At the end of the day if I can also help others after learning meditation to some degree that'd probably be one of the best things I could do. Maybe trying to help others with what we know is just a natural part of the path I suppose. I just haven't got that far yet apart from maybe some total basics, obviously.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:43 pm

The reason this is bothering you is that you don't have a teacher!!!!
:rolling:
...just kidding. This is a valid question, but I think you are going off in different directions with it.
Yes, you can become enlightened without a teacher. You can also find gold if you just grab a shovel and start digging. I guarantee it. Eventually. Some day. Maybe not in this lifetime.

You are right, your intuition is a very good teacher,
and ultimately, you are your own teacher anyway.
But there are teachers who have experience, knowledge and wisdom
and teachers who don't.
You don't have to look anywhere else to find a teacher who has no
experience, knowledge or wisdom.
That teacher is already within you!
The fee is small,
But usually the cost is higher in the long run.

Also, you can study all of the sutras, meditate 10 hours a day, and still get it all wrong,
because you haven't been there and come back,
which is what a good teacher has done.
So, you end up in the middle of the desert
and think you have found the ocean
because it is just as big and vast as you expected it to be.

What seems like a lot of silly rituals might have a purpose,
otherwise, all these people, monks, nuns and various buddhist who practice them
must have a lot of free time to waste, and no TV set.

Asking questions is not the same as disrespecting the sangha.
I bother my teachers constantly
when I am not careful, I may be disrespectful, because by nature I am what people call a "smart-ass".
I have a good heart, but a pretty evil mind.
So I have to try very hard, or else, as you say,
I will create a lot of hell for others and myself.

"...a control system in place to stop people just learning their own ways."
Well...
You are free do whatever you want.
Most of the people in the world, in fact, have nothing to do with Buddhism whatsoever
and they all seem perfectly happy!!!!!
.
.
.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby conebeckham » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Buddhism, in all it's forms, is a living tradition that requires transmission. It needs to be passed on from one human being to another. It can't be completely transmitted in books, IMO. So, it's fine to "practice meditation without a teacher," and even to mix a variety of things together.....one can do whatever one wishes, really. But it's my opinion that your description of your practice is not really Buddhism as I'd qualifiy it. It doesn't matter--and it's not a value judgement. But your practice doesn't conform to the tradition, frankly speaking.

No facepalm required.

Now, is tradition a control system? That's a valid question. You seem to implicitly believe that's a bad thing. Perhaps that's worth examining.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby anjali » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi rob h,

You are at a very interesting place in your practice.

One question. Are there any teachers in the modern era, say in the last 150 years, whom you would consider exemplary, and, if they were living (maybe they still are), you wouldn't have any problems studying with them?

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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:28 pm

rob h wrote:And ridiculing is probably generating bad karma! (and you should use Picard far facepalming!) Why not try to prove how mixing methods from different schools has to be wrong?
The facepalm was not an attempt at ridicule, nor was I insinuating that what you were doing is "wrong" (well, maybe a little wrong :tongue: ), it just struck me that (judging from your practice, especially the Vajrayogini practices!) you are desperately in need of a teacher and yet you are claiming the complete opposite. Anyway, the Buddha studied extensively under two teachers (Alara Kalama (Skr. Ārāḍa Kālāma) and Udaka Ramaputta (Skr. Udraka Rāmaputra), both of which asked him to become their succesors) and then followed Kaundinya in ascetic practices that almost cost him his life (a total of six years of following teachers) before attaining enlightenment. And these are just the teachers he had in his last lifetime. How many he had in previous lifetimes... :shrug: Are you really, like the Buddha, at the point yet where you have exhausted all that you can learn from teachers?
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:25 pm

Ok, back again, and I've hardly been able to sleep so feeling even more tired than when I made the thread! But will try and keep things as to the point as possible...

PadmaVonSamba : I don't have the ego to state I don't think I need a teacher, I just regularly question the need, and when I meditate consistently I just feel like things are ok. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a Buddhist, who knows? Maybe I'm one of those that just previously, or even in this lifetime, has stumbled upon the teachings for the first time and am still basically clueless with a lot of bad karma blocking my way. I really have no idea, so yeah, I might need a teacher, I just seem to regularly learn new things that make meditation better though so not too sure at the moment.

conebeckham : you're saying that Buddhism requires transmission, and that's basically what I question quite a lot. I know I could be wrong, but haven't people awakened without transmission in the past? Some upon hearing a few words, or just spontaneous awakening? Kind of like Zen I guess, but yeah, I know that's maybe a really rare thing. What I'm not sure about is whether or not it's rare to get to a decent level of understanding alone, and if that's possible, maybe I'm just content with that. If not maybe I'll have to get a teacher.

anjali : If I decide I want a teacher there's plenty of them all around the world I'd guess. Plenty that I've learnt from by reading over the years anyway, but I'll just have to settle with someone close as I'm in the north of England and there's only a few places. (for Zen there's a Soto group locally which I've already decided I'll go to if I go down that route. Serene Reflection Meditation group.)

gregkavarnos : The issue I still have is that I think people should be able to learn a lot from the sutras. Yes you need intuition to understand and can't just use words/books alone, but I think it can be done to an extent. As for the Buddha nearly killing himself, that was obviously because he didn't understand the middle way yet, and we luckily don't have to go to those lengths!


Anyway, I'm giving this 6 months. If I don't feel any further along (significantly further.) or that things aren't working, I'll go to the Soto Zen group and put my problems aside to see what it's like. Like I said I'm 33 now, I can't carry on doing this forever if it doesn't work, but I'm still not sure that I can't get to an acceptable place going it alone, so will see how things go.

I've said this for years but this time I'll just get on with it if I'm stuck, but to be honest, being tired like this isn't helping me remember where I am properly and will need to have a decent think. The only bonus is that even if I do end up with a teacher I can look back and have respect for people who've chosen not to have one, because I've been able to see both sides of things, and there's got to be people a lot better at going it alone than I am, so maybe a few of them are doing pretty well. I just think you can do well without a teacher, with the right karma and intuition, and I doubt that view will change much with a teacher, even if I do learn a decent bit. Maybe I'm just stubborn and egotistical, I get that, but I'm really not sure that's the case. Meditation and more insight should help clear things up if I keep meditating regularly.

Thanks anyway, it's been a help I guess, even if kind of opposite than what I expected. Am now talking about maybe doing the opposite of what I started the thread for!

"Teachers are a control system?"

*Few posts later*

"OK, I'll maybe get one in six months."

lol, maybe the facepalm was right. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:35 pm

The other thing is : what if I do have a decent level of understanding already? (A teacher would have to judge that I guess.) But I just come across as a clown on forums and aren't that good at explaining things? I'm no way suggesting that is the case! I'm just saying that if that were true, how many other people are like this? Maybe there's a lot of people who go to teachers that don't really need them so much.

I'm still not sure, but this as I've been reading recently, is a problem caused by doubt, (I even explained that in my meditation tips post too, so I'm aware of it.) and if I can't maintain confidence enough to get a decent level of meditation sustained, then yeah, I admit that in that case I do probably need a teacher.

If I drop the doubt though and keep confidence in what I'm doing, who knows. Will try to get back to you in 6 months and let you know how things are going.

Thanks anyway, it's definitely been interesting and great for getting refocused on what I'm doing, or trying to do.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:58 pm

I know this is basically a Mahayana board, but i think what Thanissaro Bhikkhu says here may be relevant:
Because the Dhamma consists primarily of qualities of the mind, any written account of the Dhamma is only a pale shadow of the real thing. Thus, to gain a sense of the Dhamma's full dimensions, you must find people who embody the Dhamma in their thoughts, words, and deeds, and associate with them in a way that enables you to absorb as much of the Dhamma as possible.

from his introduction to "Handful of Leaves", Volume I, p.5.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:05 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:I know this is basically a Mahayana board, but i think what Thanissaro Bhikkhu says here may be relevant:
Because the Dhamma consists primarily of qualities of the mind, any written account of the Dhamma is only a pale shadow of the real thing. Thus, to gain a sense of the Dhamma's full dimensions, you must find people who embody the Dhamma in their thoughts, words, and deeds, and associate with them in a way that enables you to absorb as much of the Dhamma as possible.

from his introduction to "Handful of Leaves", Volume I, p.5.


That's strange, when asked about what teachers I'd consider having over recent times, Thanissaro Bhikkhu was one of the few names that came into my head. Have often read his writings, think he genuinely has a great understanding, and most of the Theravada I've learnt over the years has been from his writings/translations. Thanks for the quote too.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby anjali » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:46 pm

rob h wrote:anjali : If I decide I want a teacher there's plenty of them all around the world I'd guess. Plenty that I've learnt from by reading over the years anyway, but I'll just have to settle with someone close as I'm in the north of England and there's only a few places. (for Zen there's a Soto group locally which I've already decided I'll go to if I go down that route. Serene Reflection Meditation group.)


rob, thanks for your response! The thing about spiritual teachers is that we can approach them as sources of information to get questions answered. More like a academic instructor or perhaps a music teacher helping us develop skills in various aspects of the Path. Nothing wrong with that at all. Often times, I notice that people who try to go it on their own focus almost exclusively on techniques and teachings. Again, nothing work with this at all--but it is not the end of the story. There is an element of devotion.

Depending on the kind of connection between student and teacher, there is a whole other level of non-dual wisdom being awakened. As one makes that deeper level of connection with a real teacher, an immense gratitude and devotion arise. Even if one lives in the most remote places of the world, it is possible to make a sacred connection with someone we consider a true master--even if they are not currently in the body. Just by having a respected teacher's photo on one's alter, and spending some devotional time with that image, is very powerful.

So, I guess the follow-up question is, are there any modern era teachers (living or dead), who you have a personal intuitive sense that this teacher is a true master, and I would be honored to study (have studied) with that master?

anjali
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:20 am

anjali wrote:
rob h wrote:anjali : If I decide I want a teacher there's plenty of them all around the world I'd guess. Plenty that I've learnt from by reading over the years anyway, but I'll just have to settle with someone close as I'm in the north of England and there's only a few places. (for Zen there's a Soto group locally which I've already decided I'll go to if I go down that route. Serene Reflection Meditation group.)


rob, thanks for your response! The thing about spiritual teachers is that we can approach them as sources of information to get questions answered. More like a academic instructor or perhaps a music teacher helping us develop skills in various aspects of the Path. Nothing wrong with that at all. Often times, I notice that people who try to go it on their own focus almost exclusively on techniques and teachings. Again, nothing work with this at all--but it is not the end of the story. There is an element of devotion.

Depending on the kind of connection between student and teacher, there is a whole other level of non-dual wisdom being awakened. As one makes that deeper level of connection with a real teacher, an immense gratitude and devotion arise. Even if one lives in the most remote places of the world, it is possible to make a sacred connection with someone we consider a true master--even if they are not currently in the body. Just by having a respected teacher's photo on one's alter, and spending some devotional time with that image, is very powerful.

So, I guess the follow-up question is, are there any modern era teachers (living or dead), who you have a personal intuitive sense that this teacher is a true master, and I would be honored to study (have studied) with that master?

anjali


Thanks, that's also a help in trying to understand why a teacher would be worth trying in the future. As for teachers to study with, I don't really know of many, but like I said in the last post, Thanissaro Bhikkhu seems to really know what he's talking about and the only other I can think of is Thich Nhat Hanh. He just has an aura about him from the couple of times I've seen him speaking for short moments. There'd probably be plenty more if I spent more time reading books and other teachings, but I kind of just concentrate on sutras/commentaries and going back over researching concepts, etc, then trying to intuit when meditating.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby rob h » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:23 am

conebeckham wrote:Now, is tradition a control system? That's a valid question. You seem to implicitly believe that's a bad thing. Perhaps that's worth examining.


Thanks again for this, it's stuck in my head and will think about it more.
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Re: Is the idea of "needing" a teacher just a control system

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:24 am

rob h wrote: Maybe there's a lot of people who go to teachers that don't really need them so much.


My original teacher (root lama), now I think, in his 80's, has studied and learned and taught more about dharma than I will ever be able to absorb. I began with him over 25 years ago. He is such a good teacher, that all of his students really learn a lot. I have run out of questions to ask him. Because of what he gave me, any question that I come up with, if I work on it, I know the answer, because somehow, somewhere, he already taught me the answer. So, I might think, maybe I don't need him so much now.
But that is foolish, because the reason I think I don't need him
isn't because I now know everything he knows,
but that my understanding is still so shallow
that I cannot even think of what to ask.
But whenever I see him, I still try to throw hard questions at him,
and he still throws harder answers back at me.
You just can't get that without a teacher.
So, don't deprive yourself of that opportunity, should it arise.
.
.
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