Frequency of teacher interview?

Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby duckfiasco » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:30 am

I'm at a point in my practice where I feel I would benefit greatly from a teacher.
The center I've been going to a little while has several senior students, and many, many other attendees.
The lama is booked six months out with interviews. The senior students are booked two months out with interviews.

Is it unrealistic to hope for a teacher interview once every two weeks?
I just know if I were trying to learn to play an instrument, seeing my teacher once every two months wouldn't fly.
With something as pressing as practicing the dharma before I fall over dead, it seems even more important.
But maybe some people only see their teachers once a year?

Thanks for your input on this. It may help determine which sangha I go to.
:cheers:
Namu Amida Butsu
"When people of the Pure Land school chant Namu amida butsu, they are doing zazen with their mouths, and when we do zazen, we are performing Namu amida butsu with our whole body." - Kosho Uchiyama (Opening the Hand of Thought)
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby supermaxv » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:37 am

A Q: do you really need a full on interview? Are the senior students or lamas available to answer a query or two over e-mail / text / phone?
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby duckfiasco » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:47 am

I have many a tiny query that DW has helped with :) I suppose what I'm hoping for is (semi)regular guidance from a teacher, since the importance of having such a relationship is stressed so much in just about every tradition.

Maybe if other people shared their personal views of the teacher-student relationship, it would help me get a better idea?
Namu Amida Butsu
"When people of the Pure Land school chant Namu amida butsu, they are doing zazen with their mouths, and when we do zazen, we are performing Namu amida butsu with our whole body." - Kosho Uchiyama (Opening the Hand of Thought)
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:03 pm

Face to face private Rinpoche interview? Maybe once a year for 10 minutes. :jawdrop:

But we live 3000 miles apart.
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby pemachophel » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:00 pm

Duckfiasco,

I think your desire to have frequent direct contact with a Teacher is both a healthy and intelligent one. I feel very skeptical about the way Vajrayana Buddhism is currently being taught to and practiced by most Western practitioners. IME, regular, as in weekly or biweekly, interviews with the Teacher are extremely important for answering practice-realted questions, getting feedback about one's meditation, whittling down one's ego, and making sure the student keeps moving forward (by both carrot and stick). Again IME, the more face-time you have with the Teacher, the better as long as one is able to maintain their samaya/pure perception. (Of course, no easy feat when one is with the Teacher closely and frequently.) Personally, I see far too many practitioners stuck in a rut for years and years, even decades, due to not be under the direct guidance of a Teacher. So, if you can find a situation where you can have frequent direct access to the Teacher, that's a great thing. It may not always be comfortable or easy, but it is the surest way to catalyze real progress on the path.

Just my experience and on-going concern.

Also, if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.

:namaste:
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby Ayu » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:34 am

I see my teacher twice a week in meditation. ;)
In reality he is very buzy. There I meet him for an interview every two years. Many people never spoke to him personally... Some often meet him to ask wordly questions like "Should I leave my job because it makes me sick?" and such things. I count up in my mind: if everybody would ask him such questions he would be 10 times more buzy than he is now...
So my ambition is to get by without such questions.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby Punya » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:16 pm

Ayu wrote:I see my teacher twice a week in meditation. ;)
In reality he is very buzy. There I meet him for an interview every two years. Many people never spoke to him personally... Some often meet him to ask wordly questions like "Should I leave my job because it makes me sick?" and such things. I count up in my mind: if everybody would ask him such questions he would be 10 times more buzy than he is now...
So my ambition is to get by without such questions.


Yes, this seems to be a common problem. It's my ambition too. Rinpoche has said that advising on personal problems is not his forte and can we please write our questions down so we can get to the point quickly. :smile:

I consider myself fortunate that I have actually had a conversation with him. Many have not. On the other hand, there is always the opportunity to ask questions at teachings.

Personal interview with main teacher: No. I just haven't felt the need yet.
10 minute interview with one of his students: twice a year
Email questions to several of his students: as required.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby ngodrup » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:49 pm

pemachophel wrote:Duckfiasco,

I think your desire to have frequent direct contact with a Teacher is both a healthy and intelligent one. I feel very skeptical about the way Vajrayana Buddhism is currently being taught to and practiced by most Western practitioners. IME, regular, as in weekly or biweekly, interviews with the Teacher are extremely important for answering practice-realted questions, getting feedback about one's meditation, whittling down one's ego, and making sure the student keeps moving forward (by both carrot and stick). Again IME, the more face-time you have with the Teacher, the better as long as one is able to maintain their samaya/pure perception. (Of course, no easy feat when one is with the Teacher closely and frequently.) Personally, I see far too many practitioners stuck in a rut for years and years, even decades, due to not be under the direct guidance of a Teacher. So, if you can find a situation where you can have frequent direct access to the Teacher, that's a great thing. It may not always be comfortable or easy, but it is the surest way to catalyze real progress on the path.

Just my experience and on-going concern.

Also, if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.

:namaste:


Agree completely. This would be best. In a 3 yr retreat for example, one will see the Lama maybe daily. But few experience that, so maybe weekly or
2x a month is excellent. Such a case would be at ongoing teachings or at tsogs where you could chat briefly. Otherwise, if your teacher lives more
than say 50 or 100 miles from you, it may be necessary to use the rare opportunity well. I had the good fortune of being the host of one of my teachers,
so I was sitting at his table a almost every meal. Sometimes I was actually staying in the room next to his when he was traveling. In those cases,
there's not much need for interviews-- it's just a brief chat in the car or while walking to or from.
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby Ayu » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:21 pm

Maybe interesting, here are some articles about "The Spiritual Student-Teacher Relationship":

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav ... 01887.html
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Frequency of teacher interview?

Postby pemachophel » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Personally, I would rather be the student of a lesser known Teacher if that meant that I could be in close and constant contact with Him/Her. Of course, He or She would need to have the qualifications of a true Teacher. In any case, that's my experience. I know of a number of such Teachers in the U.S. However, one would probably have to be willing to relocate.

:namaste:
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