What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:02 pm

Astus wrote:Huseng,

So it is. But that connection is a lot more complex than a single line of male monks.

Right. Which is exactly how it is presented with each and every teacher that has received shiho. There is a long list of names with a line going through each one, starting from the Buddha (not sure if it goes six buddhas before Shakyamuni or not) all the way down to the teacher himself. I've seen a few of these, and every teacher that had one definitely believed it to be true.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:04 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
Astus wrote:Huseng,

So it is. But that connection is a lot more complex than a single line of male monks.

Right. Which is exactly how it is presented with each and every teacher that has received shiho. There is a long list of names with a line going through each one, starting from the Buddha (not sure if it goes six buddhas before Shakyamuni or not) all the way down to the teacher himself. I've seen a few of these (Kechimyaku, I believe is the term), and every teacher that had one definitely believed it to be true.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:57 pm

There's a more pragmatic reason for seeking a teacher and a group of other committed students to learn from and work with:

Never underestimate the power of the mind to delude itself! If you are on your own, and you are a beginner, then you are in the position of having a deluded person for a leader. Going in circles.

If you really want to learn, it's best to put yourself in a situation where learning happens.
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4319
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Astus » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:14 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
Astus wrote:Huseng,
So it is. But that connection is a lot more complex than a single line of male monks.

Right. Which is exactly how it is presented with each and every teacher that has received shiho. There is a long list of names with a line going through each one, starting from the Buddha (not sure if it goes six buddhas before Shakyamuni or not) all the way down to the teacher himself. I've seen a few of these (Kechimyaku, I believe is the term), and every teacher that had one definitely believed it to be true.


I think you mean this:

Image

It is exactly a single line of male monks.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:15 am

Astus wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Astus wrote:Huseng,
So it is. But that connection is a lot more complex than a single line of male monks.

Right. Which is exactly how it is presented with each and every teacher that has received shiho. There is a long list of names with a line going through each one, starting from the Buddha (not sure if it goes six buddhas before Shakyamuni or not) all the way down to the teacher himself. I've seen a few of these (Kechimyaku, I believe is the term), and every teacher that had one definitely believed it to be true.


I think you mean this:

Image

It is exactly a single line of male monks.

Yup. My bad on the misunderstanding. Instead of saying "which is exactly how" I meant to say something like "But that is exactly how".
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby James418 » Mon May 02, 2011 11:33 pm

Training is available from / via the Buddhist Society in the UK. They have teachers of Rinzai, Therevada and Tibetan, and they have put together some possibilities for training including various Buddhist courses from introductory to advanced. They jointly run retreats with visiting teachers from Therevadan (I think it is Ajahn Sumedho), Tibetan and Rinzai Zen - and they also run a joint Buddhist summer school / week long course. Tell them you are interested in Zen and they will put you in contact with the right people.
James418
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu May 19, 2011 10:32 pm

:tongue:
I hear this all the time.
I have to find a "teacher" to guide me! If I don't have a good teacher I will lose my way! I need help!
In my opinion you don't NEED a teacher.
You may WANT one. It may make things easier for you. It may give you the confidence to go further on and explore new areas that without the prop of a "teacher" you wouldn't think of venturing into.
All those things are true, I admit that.
But my slightly irreverent answer is this.
If your bladder is full will a "teacher" p_ss for you?
If you are hungry will feeding your teacher make you full?
No, it won't. And I think you probably already know that.
Don't you have two eyes yourself...why try seeing with someone else's eyes?
Don't you have two ears yourself....why would you think you would hear better with someone else's ears than your own?
And most importantly....don't you have a head you already use to think...so why would you even think you need another head to put on your shoulders to guide you around?
You are like the hungry man who lights a candle and goes looking for fire to cook his food...because you don't realise the true nature of what you carry about with you in your own hands.
Yes, you wll make mistakes.... but they will not be permanent. If you find yourself going in the wrong direction, and you realise that, just turn around and go another way. That is the way it's always been, and most likely always will be.
If you simply learn to see every day that you get to live as a new lesson...and learn to examine and try to undersand the lessons that you get on that new day... then you have a "teacher".
That teacher is YOU.
That is all a teacher can really teach you anyhow.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby fragrant herbs » Fri May 20, 2011 12:13 pm

Personally, I don't think anyone should be discouraged from learning on their own. There are groups where the they teach you meditation and that is it. You are on your own as far as reading goes. Some teachers don't have time and so their students answer questions. How many people get to ask Thich Nhat Hanh questions? Even a monk friend of mine said that he could not get to talk with him, but you could talk with one of his disciples. Heck, you can find a teacher to talk with online or find a forum with teachers and ask them. If you are unsure of meditation practice you can find a teacher to explain it to you, whether online or drive to see them.

I never found a meditation group to be much support, at least not in Vedanta, not even in other groups of Hinduism. Most meditation groups have people who are not very social. If you can get 5 minutes a month with your guru you can consider yourself in luck. Even the Buddhist groups that I attended were not that social, but the people were much more kinder. What I learned I got from books, meditation I learned from a student of the teacher. If you can find a teacher that will spend time with you, answering questions, whether on line or at a sangha, you have found a jewel. A rare find. I don't live near a sangha, but I have a teacher that is a rare find. If I want to socialize with a sangha one is an hour away but it isn't of my own tradition.
User avatar
fragrant herbs
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:22 am

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Jinzang » Sat May 21, 2011 12:42 am

The reason a teacher is important is that the teacher has gone some distance on the path already and can guide you. Practicing without a teacher is stumbling around in the dark.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
Jinzang
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:11 am

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Astus » Sat May 21, 2011 9:27 am

Jinzang wrote:Practicing without a teacher is stumbling around in the dark.


What is it specifically that only a living teacher can tell but not scriptures? Also, what makes a teacher? Suppose my friend's brother learnt sitting meditation in an Austrian zendo and then from him my friend learnt it from him and from my friend I. Is my friend a Zen teacher then? And what if I just watched a video on meditation? Would I be stumbling in the dark?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby LastLegend » Sat May 21, 2011 9:32 am

Astus wrote:
Jinzang wrote:Practicing without a teacher is stumbling around in the dark.


What is it specifically that only a living teacher can tell but not scriptures? Also, what makes a teacher? Suppose my friend's brother learnt sitting meditation in an Austrian zendo and then from him my friend learnt it from him and from my friend I. Is my friend a Zen teacher then? And what if I just watched a video on meditation? Would I be stumbling in the dark?


In advanced levels of meditation, one can easily become possessed with no guidance from a teacher.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Astus » Sat May 21, 2011 9:39 am

LastLegend wrote:In advanced levels of meditation, one can easily become possessed with no guidance from a teacher.


Possessed? Like, possessed by demons? And what kind of advanced levels are there in Zen that you are referring to here?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby LastLegend » Sat May 21, 2011 9:51 am

I know not much about this for I am not a practitioner of Chan. But there are stages that you go through. And sometimes when images appear in your meditation, you have to know how to deal with them. Things can harm you when you don't recognize what they are. Having a teacher is to guide you through meditation.

If you are still thinking about sudden enlightenment, then I am sure there are no stages or levels. I mean if you practice, of course you will make progress. So I am talking about progress.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Astus » Sat May 21, 2011 10:47 am

LastLegend wrote:I know not much about this for I am not a practitioner of Chan. But there are stages that you go through. And sometimes when images appear in your meditation, you have to know how to deal with them. Things can harm you when you don't recognize what they are. Having a teacher is to guide you through meditation.

If you are still thinking about sudden enlightenment, then I am sure there are no stages or levels. I mean if you practice, of course you will make progress. So I am talking about progress.


Yes, there can be progress and there are hindrances occurring in meditation. That's why from the sutras through abhidharma texts up to meditation manuals they are discussed. A teacher who is familiar with them both in theory and practice is of course a great help. Problem is, among Western Zen teachers you hardly find anyone who actually has such in depth knowledge. And if one is not too lazy to occasionally grab a book all the necessary information is available. Even if one is still confused about something after looking through the teachings he may come to this forum and ask. At the same time it is very good to be part of a community and talk to good friends. A community can give the right milieu for personally knowing each other and a forum like this one with hundreds of members can be a wonderful source of information.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Jnana » Sat May 21, 2011 1:09 pm

Astus wrote:Problem is, among Western Zen teachers you hardly find anyone who actually has such in depth knowledge. And if one is not too lazy to occasionally grab a book all the necessary information is available.

Indeed.

All the best,

Geoff
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby LastLegend » Sat May 21, 2011 3:10 pm

I guess I am thinking ahead of myself then...oh well good luck to those folks
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby LastLegend » Sat May 21, 2011 6:22 pm

Here this is worth investigating . Advanced practitioners should definitely read this.
Demonic States
http://www.longbeachmonastery.org/Shura ... Part_8.pdf
Shurangama Sutra
Chapter 8
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Jinzang » Sun May 22, 2011 12:25 am

What is it specifically that only a living teacher can tell but not scriptures? What is it specifically that only a living teacher can tell but not scriptures?


If you misunderstand what a living teacher says, the teacher will correct you. If you misunderstand what the scripture says, the
scripture will not complain.

Also, what makes a teacher? Suppose my friend's brother learnt sitting meditation in an Austrian zendo and then from him my friend learnt it from him and from my friend I. Is my friend a Zen teacher then?


There are lists of the qualities a teacher should have. At the minimum the teacher should be teaching out of kindness rather than teaching for gain, should be learned and know how to explain the dharma properly, and at least some small recognition of the nature of mind. Your friend's brother might help you, but is likely not a teacher.

And what if I just watched a video on meditation? Would I be stumbling in the dark?


As long as you do not have a teacher and take what they tell you to heart (not just pass in one ear and out the other), you are stumbling in the dark.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
Jinzang
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:11 am

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby Astus » Sun May 22, 2011 10:31 am

Jinzang,

If what you said were true about teachers making sure everyone got it right there couldn't exist any schools within Buddhism as all would agree. But there are not just many traditions generally but within Zen you find quite a lot of disagreements between groups and teachers. If it is a matter of making sure somebody properly understands the teaching there should be exams, tests and diplomas, but that is only a modern phenomenon in East Asian Buddhism that people study at universities. Also, if understanding can be measured one could even take online tests. Then again a personal instructor would not be necessary.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: What should you do when you don't have a Zen teacher yet?

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 22, 2011 10:43 am

Might as well go to Asia then to find a teacher. Just a suggestion.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

PreviousNext

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests

>