Your teacher(s)?

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Your teacher(s)?

Postby Dragon » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:45 pm

Since I am without a teacher, I'd like to know who are your teachers? There are so many that I feel overwhelmed trying to find one to take refuge with.

Also, is it wrong I seek out a teacher, or should one seek me out? I've heard that it's best to let the teacher find you first, and not the other way around. But that seems rather counterproductive, no?
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby heart » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:14 pm

Dragon wrote:Since I am without a teacher, I'd like to know who are your teachers? There are so many that I feel overwhelmed trying to find one to take refuge with.

Also, is it wrong I seek out a teacher, or should one seek me out? I've heard that it's best to let the teacher find you first, and not the other way around. But that seems rather counterproductive, no?


Eventually the teacher will find you, but for that to happen you have to go and see many most probably.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby ngodrup » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:50 am

You may take refuge with any Lama who is convenient .
Even in another tradition, because refuge is not
specific to Tibet, Tibetan orders or Vajrayana lineages.
You could even visit your local Thai Wat or Zendo
and become Buddhist, just like any baptism is accepted
as good among almost all Christians.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby tomamundsen » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:55 am

ngodrup wrote:You may take refuge with any Lama who is convenient .
Even in another tradition, because refuge is not
specific to Tibet, Tibetan orders or Vajrayana lineages.
You could even visit your local Thai Wat or Zendo
and become Buddhist, just like any baptism is accepted
as good among almost all Christians.

Refuge, sure. But samaya is different.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby lobster » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:51 am

Eventually the teacher will find you, but for that to happen you have to go and see many most probably.

:twothumbsup:
There is a great deal of merit in visiting. It will enable and empower your discernment. Make a list. Go learn.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Dragon » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:49 pm

lobster wrote:
Eventually the teacher will find you, but for that to happen you have to go and see many most probably.

:twothumbsup:
There is a great deal of merit in visiting. It will enable and empower your discernment. Make a list. Go learn.


I live in The United States. I cannot see myself traveling too far or abroad at the moment, even though I would like to. Does anyone know of a directory of sorts that would list (reputable) teachers in this country?
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby justsit » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:12 pm

No, there is no directory AFAIK.

The US is a big place. In order to offer you relevant suggestions, it would help to know where you are located (just in general, doesn't have to be too specific, maybe which state). It would also help to know if there is a particular type of Buddhism (Zen? Mahayana? Theravadan? etc.) or lineage you are considering. We are very fortunate that there is a wide variety of teachers available in the US, some resident, some visiting, so overseas travel is usually not necessary.

Here is a list of groups/individuals to be avoided. NB: not everyone here will agree with this list.

Buddhism in America is not like Christianity or other mainstream religions; there is rarely going to be a temple or sangha conveniently located right in your neighborhood. Pursuing the path will likely require effort.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Punya » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:04 am

Dragon wrote:
lobster wrote:
Eventually the teacher will find you, but for that to happen you have to go and see many most probably.

:twothumbsup:
There is a great deal of merit in visiting. It will enable and empower your discernment. Make a list. Go learn.


I live in The United States. I cannot see myself traveling too far or abroad at the moment, even though I would like to. Does anyone know of a directory of sorts that would list (reputable) teachers in this country?


Try this http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Dragon » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:03 pm

justsit wrote:Here is a list of groups/individuals to be avoided. NB: not everyone here will agree with this list.


Thank you. I've seen this list before, actually. What I'm afraid of is that there are many that should be on the list but fight to stay off of it. :thinking: But a good basic warning nonetheless.

Punya wrote:Try this http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/


Yes, I've used this before, too. Most places are not that bad of a drive. But I become wary when they only have a PO Box as an address or do not have a website to check out first. Most of the places around me are very Western-ized, and I was looking for something a lot more traditional. Good resource though. Thank you.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:19 pm

Dragon wrote:
justsit wrote:Here is a list of groups/individuals to be avoided. NB: not everyone here will agree with this list.


Thank you. I've seen this list before, actually. What I'm afraid of is that there are many that should be on the list but fight to stay off of it. :thinking: But a good basic warning nonetheless.

Punya wrote:Try this http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/


Yes, I've used this before, too. Most places are not that bad of a drive. But I become wary when they only have a PO Box as an address or do not have a website to check out first. Most of the places around me are very Western-ized, and I was looking for something a lot more traditional. Good resource though. Thank you.


Unless you are not a westerner, you might be best off at a place that is "Western-ized" in one sense or another. Even Tibetan Buddhism, which is seen as more exotic and certainly has more overt exotic trappings, is usually taught here in a way geared towards Westerners, which again makes sense, that is skillful teaching. If you find a more "traditional" temple that serves as a kind of anchor for the local Asian community etc., it may be nice to go there, but it's unlikely that the services or teaching will be set up for you, and quite possibly there will not be an english portion.

Mind, i'm not saying go "Bob's Enlightenment Zendo Party House" or something, authentic teachers are always important, but don't expect necessarily that the quality of the place will be connected to how exotic it looks to you.

The list has lots of people on it from traditional lineages, as far as I know, it's a comprehensive list, and it's what I used to find a Sangha in my area.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby ngodrup » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:14 pm

Maybe its easier if you tell us what area you're in. Say you're in the great lakes region for example,
or Indiana, then we can point you toward stuff in your area.

Its an interesting phenomenon that some Lama attract an Asian sangha mainly
or a Western sangha predominately, even if they don't specifically "Amercanisze"
the practice or presentation. But then, if there's a significant Tibetan community
nearby, if the Lama is very traditional and does everything in Tibetan, sometimes
there's a mixed sangha.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:57 pm

Mixed is the best:) I hope more and more sangha go in this direction.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Punya » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:41 pm

Dragon wrote:Since I am without a teacher, I'd like to know who are your teachers? There are so many that I feel overwhelmed trying to find one to take refuge with.

Also, is it wrong I seek out a teacher, or should one seek me out? I've heard that it's best to let the teacher find you first, and not the other way around. But that seems rather counterproductive, no?


It's not essential to take formal refuge straight away. The opportunity didn't arise for me for a number years and I eventually found my teacher and took refuge with him. So special!

I'm sorry the buddhanet list isn't helping. I guess it depends on the quality and detail of the local list. My early approach was to visit different centres and attend teachings from different visiting teachers. My main teacher is someone who's online teachings I was attracted to early and I eventually made the 1000 km trip see him teach. A local centre is a great place to start though.

I've thought a lot about the push-pull of actively seeking something out or waiting for it to come to you. For me, it seems to be that a bit of both works well. Some merit making in the meantime is a good idea too.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:47 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Unless you are not a westerner, you might be best off at a place that is "Western-ized" in one sense or another. Even Tibetan Buddhism, which is seen as more exotic and certainly has more overt exotic trappings, is usually taught here in a way geared towards Westerners, which again makes sense, that is skillful teaching. If you find a more "traditional" temple that serves as a kind of anchor for the local Asian community etc., it may be nice to go there, but it's unlikely that the services or teaching will be set up for you, and quite possibly there will not be an english portion.

Mind, i'm not saying go "Bob's Enlightenment Zendo Party House" or something, authentic teachers are always important, but don't expect necessarily that the quality of the place will be connected to how exotic it looks to you.

The list has lots of people on it from traditional lineages, as far as I know, it's a comprehensive list, and it's what I used to find a Sangha in my area.
I agree with the general idea but, just because a temple is Asian doesn't mean it's the local community center.

At one temple I go to, everyone is Chinese except for a couple old White hippies, and its a community center. Another temple I go to has the same demographics, but is practice oriented.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a quick and easy way to judge a temple until you go.

By the way, as you said: the first temple is a proper temple, the second is a converted house.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:27 pm

Dragon, previously you asked me for a teacher suggestion on another thread and I did not respond because I did not want to distract from the topic. You also wrote about some people you have been associating with so I know some background information.

My suggestion is that firstly:
you cut off ties completely to that shady group of people which you've associated with in the past
you contact several respectable lamas, tell them you have associated with that group, ask for protection from the ghost and it's cult, and then follow that lama's instructions.
I suggest you contact Gaden Shartse Monastery's Abbot Khen Rinpoche Jangchub Choeden directly to ask for protection and that you speak to CNNR's through his students at http://tsegyalgar.org/ because they know how to handle this situation. It would be good to reach out to others also, this is not an unusual problem and lamas will be sympathetic and understanding.

Following this first set of suggestions will separate you from the malignant influence of the cult.

Secondly, I suggest:
that you take vows and empowerments only from lineage heads like His Holiness the Dalai Lama
that you take as a teaching authority only the sutras, tantras, and valid commentaries

Following this second set of suggestions will spare you from falling deep into a cult like the one you have previously associated with.
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Re: Your teacher(s)?

Postby heart » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:06 pm

Ramon1920 wrote:Dragon, previously you asked me for a teacher suggestion on another thread and I did not respond because I did not want to distract from the topic.


It wasn't dragon asking, it was me. The question still stands.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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