PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.
Please name one.
It is sufficient to call the Buddha your teacher and leave it at that.
Well....therein lies a problem--if you're speaking of Sakyamuni Buddha. One must then decide what part of the canon represents the Buddha, and what part may not, as there's precious little chance of actually meeting Sakyamuni in the flesh.
As noted by others, Sakyamuni had gurus--depending on which version of Buddhist myth one subscribes to, in fact, he was enlightened before he was born!
GreenTara, Marpa certainly had teachers--I can assure you. Maitripa and Naropa (though I know there's some dispute about that), and the Phamting Brothers, and many others- after all, Marpa went to India for a reason!
I also want to echo Buddhasoup's words--this is a valuable conversation, and has largely been a thoughtful one. But I am positive that Huseng values meditation, and likely has done more of it than those who are exhorting him to stare at a wall. Sara, I'm talking to you. Your assumption that Huseng is merely an "Intellectual Buddhist" is misplaced, I think.
It would seem to me that if one believes a teacher is necessary, then "transmission" is also a given. That is what any teacher does, right? Transmits something to the student? Now, of course the student must be an active participant, and the mode of transmission, not to mention the material being transmitted, can differ in description pretty radically--from the Theras, to the Vajrayana lineages, to the Zen Transmission, to monastic vows, etc., etc.
Perhaps we need to define what exactly this transmission Huseng takes issue with is? As I said earlier, I believe in transmission--it is a viable and living part of my tradition. But I also take issue with a "transmission of authority" over institutions, etc.--or, at least, I see the potential pitfalls and abuses of such a vesting, if wisdom is not a determining factor in such vesting of authority.
That, to me, is the main issue.
As an aside, I think there is some truth to the "Study/Practice" generalizations that are made regarding the Tibetan lineages--historically, and institutionally, we can't deny that the Gelukpas traditionally require long study prior to engaging in Tantra. These days it's different, but that was the tradition in Tibet, for sure. Contrast that with the Ngakpa model of Nyingmapas. But these are generalizations---study is essential in Kagyu and Nyingma, and meditation practice is equally essential, even to those starting with the Lam Rim.