seeker242 wrote:And how can this be done without having a hierarchy of people maintaining control over other people, telling them what to do? Who is going to be in charge of "the system"?
By recognising the qualities of others, their experience, knowledge, kindness and wisdom, there are people who one considers good friends from whom one can learn. Usually lay people learn from monastics, and in the monastery there is a seniority system. Buddhism doesn't work like the Catholic Church, there is no strict hierarchy, no Magisterium
. Whatever one teacher says is not compulsory for anyone else to accept it. The Zen tradition itself is diverse. And there is no need for any control over others. By "system" I mean the way people are taught about the Dharma. And either one accepts the idea that people are capable of comprehending and practising the teaching (one of the meanings of universal buddha-nature), or doesn't accept it.
"While teachers of the middle way, mind only, transcendent wisdom, mantra, and other schools may have their own assertions, the fulfillment of those intentions is the same. There is not a single thing that is not contained within mind."
(Gampopa to Düsum Khyenpa, in "The First Karmapa", KTD Pub, p254)
“If you recognize the world of appearance and existence as the mind, realize the mind itself as empty, and have no grasping at the superiority of your realizations — this is the ultimate view."
(Chegom Dzongpa, in "The Book of Kadam", Wisdom Pub, p609)