Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Shutoku » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:45 pm

Mr. G wrote:
Shutoku wrote:If you are interested in Zen, you could look into http://www.treeleaf.org
It is an online Soto sangha. They have a discussion board, and meditation sessions via webcam, and one on one's with the Roshi, a fellow called "Jundo".


This is the priest who doesn't believe in rebirth and thinks the Buddha was just some ordinary person right?


I am not a follower of Treeleaf (although I am a member of the message board, I don't really participate)
I was only providing the OP with an option that might help. I don't feel it is my place to pass judgment on them, the OP or anyone else choosing to look into it can decide that for themselves.
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:14 pm

Shutoku wrote:I don't feel it is my place to pass judgment on them, the OP or anyone else choosing to look into it can decide that for themselves.


I think there is nothing wrong with offering an opinion to a person seeking advice, whether it be critical or not.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby skittish » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:41 am

Angelic Fruit,
I'm aspy too, and I'd be highly cautious about centers and especially these forums as you search for a teacher. Spiritual correctness is rampant in Buddhism, and just watch the response even that statement gets here. Don't open up too much in either place or you'll end up shredded.
One has to interact with the Sangha if one wants to experience the Teacher, and if the lineage is authentic, that fact won't vary by tradition. Unfortunately, we're not "correct", and being too naive about our ability to comply is dangerous. A cynical approach is a must.

PM/email me if you like.

P.S. I ate your cake!
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Adamantine » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:51 am

Angelic, - what almost seems like the most obvious answer to me is for you to take advantage of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's open webcasts: he teaches in live stream, and gives Dzogchen introduction and transmission all in the comfort of your own home. If you want to research what he teaches in advance, certainly check out his books first. If you do make that connection with him via webcast, and you have questions, he responds to students emails. Maybe eventually, if given the right circumstances, you may feel more comfortable joining him in person for a retreat if there is one you can get to. But for now, modern technology and ChNN's openess make it quite easy to be connected without trekking to a center or far-away retreat.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:13 am

skittish wrote:I'm aspy too, and I'd be highly cautious about centers and especially these forums as you search for a teacher.
Falling over is an integral part of learning to walk. Aspergers or not, we all get hurt by social encounters that have derailed.
Don't open up too much in either place or you'll end up shredded.
This is kindda extreme advice. If you don't open up then of course you may avoid being hurt by an encounter but you will also avoid being healed by an encounter. It's a double edged knife. It cuts both ways.
Unfortunately, we're not "correct", and being too naive about our ability to comply is dangerous.
Who is "we" and what is "correct"?
A cynical approach is a must.
An intelligent and non-naive approach is a must. Cynicism is unecessary as it may construed as adverserial. Cynicism may promote defensiveness, which in turn may lead to agression.

We are all suffering here.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby TenzinDorje » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:02 pm

There is neither a good/bad or correct/incorrect dichotomy when it comes to a teacher. I followed one teacher to hell and learned enough from that experience that when I met my root guru, I recognized him within a half hour. There is no one way to a teacher or one way to "follow."

It really comes down to how fast you want to accomplish your practice. If you want very fast, then a teacher is a must... If you want very slow, then...
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:50 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Falling over is an integral part of learning to walk. Aspergers or not, we all get hurt by social encounters that have derailed.

If you don't open up then of course you may avoid being hurt by an encounter but you will also avoid being healed by an encounter. It's a double edged knife. It cuts both ways.

An intelligent and non-naive approach is a must. Cynicism is unecessary as it may construed as adverserial. Cynicism may promote defensiveness, which in turn may lead to agression.

We are all suffering here.

Very well said.
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby skittish » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:14 pm

Angelic Fruit,
Staunch party line responses, with little recognition or tolerance for variation or consideration of unique circumstances such as AS, and you can see how the troops fall in line.

If you feel a connection with a teacher for whatever reason, then trust your heart's intuition. But it is perfectly legitimate for you to alter your approach based on what you can tolerate until you develop more confidence. There's no need to live in fear of Dharma centers, hide behind a computer, and deny yourself the joy of meeting with a true spiritual friend! Just apply an approach in keeping with your abilities, don't push yourself into practices, projects, or social aspects that press the limits of your capacities too much and you should be fine. If you are under the care of a doctor, it's good to obtain their thoughts on this as well. You must know in advance what you can reasonably tolerate and stick to your guns, despite prodding from others, and there will be prodding.

Cynicism is only extreme if you take it to an extreme. I think Trungpa Rinpoche identified this as a paranoid state where even when thirsty, one views offers of water as suspicious. I did not suggest paranoia. In fact, cynicism is a form of protection of one's wisdom, and the precious opportunity of this life, which should be guarded.

Don't be fooled by the responses here, WE ASPIES (apologies to those who reject OE) do in fact require an approach that does not jeopardize our entire opportunity, and meeting with and interacting with a Teacher and Sangha must be done with utmost care if we don't want to lose them both. You and I know the sorts of unintended conflicts and misunderstandings our particular deficiencies can cause, so it's perfectly fine to use a more rigorous approach, even if others see it as a contrivance, apprehension, or fear. A true Spiritual Friend will know and see that your approach is not employed in the defense of your ego, but is instead a support for the continuity of your engagement with Dharma, the prevention of conflict, and the protection of wisdom.
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Mr. G » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:17 pm

skittish wrote:Don't be fooled by the responses here, WE ASPIES (apologies to those who reject OE) do in fact require an approach that does not jeopardize our entire opportunity, and meeting with and interacting with a Teacher and Sangha must be done with utmost care if we don't want to lose them both.


This is your second post making snide comments about this forum. For what purpose? Members here also advocate investigating teachers thoroughly regardless of the lineage they would like to follow. What is there to be "fooled" about here?
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:32 pm

Mr. G wrote:
skittish wrote:Don't be fooled by the responses here, WE ASPIES (apologies to those who reject OE) do in fact require an approach that does not jeopardize our entire opportunity, and meeting with and interacting with a Teacher and Sangha must be done with utmost care if we don't want to lose them both.


This is your second post making snide comments about this forum. For what purpose? Members here also advocate investigating teachers thoroughly regardless of the lineage they would like to follow. What is there to be "fooled" about here?


Being fooled implies an intention to fool on the part of others.

I see none of that here, just a member throwing up straw men and playing with matches.
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:23 pm

skittish wrote:Staunch party line response s, with little recognition or tolerance for variation or consideration of unique circumstances such as AS, and you can see how the troops fall in line.
And which party might that be?
If you feel a connection with a teacher for whatever reason, then trust your heart's intuition. But it is perfectly legitimate for you to alter your approach based on what you can tolerate until you develop more confidence. There's no need to live in fear of Dharma centers, hide behind a computer, and deny yourself the joy of meeting with a true spiritual friend! Just apply an approach in keeping with your abilities, don't push yourself into practices, projects, or social aspects that press the limits of your capacities too much and you should be fine. If you are under the care of a doctor, it's good to obtain their thoughts on this as well. You must know in advance what you can reasonably tolerate and stick to your guns, despite prodding from others, and there will be prodding.
Nobody said anything to the contrary. But you seem to be trying to pathologise a personality trait. That is an unfortunate habit of mainstream psychology.
First you say this:
Cynicism is only extreme if you take it to an extreme. I think Trungpa Rinpoche identified this as a paranoid state where even when thirsty, one views offers of water as suspicious. I did not suggest paranoia...
And then you say this:
Don't be fooled by the responses here...
Fooled? Like somebody here was trying to fool somebody? Where exactly did this happen? Why exactly would I want to fool you? I mean what would I gain by fooling you? Money? Sex? Power? What? :shrug:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby skittish » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:29 am

Who said or even implied that members were intentionally trying to fool or trick anyone? Being fooled does not imply such an intention on the part of others. One can easily fool one's self into thinking almost anything, that's delusion right? Aspies often fool ourselves as a result of positive feedback, success in related tasks, or careless encouragement from those who have no understanding at all of our limitations.

But the focus isn't really on aspergers-specific advice here, is it? Sorry if it offends you to hear it called the "party line", but we hear this same sort of advice regurgitated to us over and over. For those lacking the ability to interpret social cues, situations and interactions, however, it's really not very instructive at all.

"Playing with fire"? That's really the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to advising without serious caution, people who (many of us at least) will have doctors/psychologists involved in rest of their lives. I advised only caution and serious skepticism regarding forums, and for special cases such as these, this is not inappropriate to the best of my knowledge.

I won't comment further.
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:29 am

It seems to me that you are using your apparent condition as an excuse to justify your personal view. You say "we" when you are talking to Angelic Fruitcake, as if your personalities are similar as an outcome of Aspergers, yet Angelic Fruitcake does not display any of the social characterisitcs of your personality.

While it is true that caution is required when dealing with forums and public gatherings in general, regardless of whether somebody has a "disorder" or not, scepticism may be useful, but your cynicism (ie in the manner in which you display it), is bordering on paranoia. Nobody here is out to get all the "Aspies". Relax.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Mr. G » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:19 am

skittish wrote:Sorry if it offends you to hear it called the "party line", but we hear this same sort of advice regurgitated to us over and over.


And please tell us what the "party lines" are that we parrot. This is a ridiculous accusation. If by "party line", do forum members here expose charlatans like Ziguang Shang Shi and Genpo Roshi? Yes, and people who are looking to study authentic Buddhism are lucky to be warned of such con men.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Adamantine » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:40 am

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:Thank you for your words of encouragement. I have no intent of diving into complicated sutras about tantra and such. I'm solely focused on the eightfold path and mindfulness meditation. I will keep reading and see if any particular lineage appeals to me enough that I will go look for a teacher.

:namaste:


OH, I had another idea for you: what about (time permitting) doing one of the goenka 10-day Vipassana retreats? I don't know your location, but they have centers all over the US and all over the world. The cool thing about them which would be nice for you is there is really a minimum of interaction with anyone involved: the 10 days of sitting are in total silence, and the instruction is mainly limited to an hour or so of pre-recorded video a day of Goenka himself, and some recorded audio during parts of the daily meditations. If you have a specific question or issue you can break silence during a pre-designated time to meet with one of the resident "assistant" teachers, but otherwise, there is almost no direct human interaction. Just an idea! Here is a link: http://www.dhamma.org/ I know it is not Mahayana, but it is a good foundation in Shamatha and Vipassana meditation from the Theravada tradition.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Lhasa » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:42 pm

You may want to try searching on youtube for videos of different teachers. You can kind of 'grok' whether or not a teacher is someone you would welcome into your inner space, see if you feel any kind of connection...watch your inner sky and see if anything changes. Then you can check out their website, look for teachings there, listen to any audio files. More than intellectual knowledge, or tradition, you're looking for a connection, a mirror. Would you open the front door and let this teacher into your personal space?
Don't worry about sangha, look for a connection, what you feel in your heart. You can do this safely from your computer without activating the aspie issues.
Aspies are already nondual, I suggest you start there. A nondual teacher will see that in you, and will see that as an asset, not a problem.
Namkhai Norbu and Tenzin Wangyal Rimpoche both have live webcasts, so you can tune into them in real time.

If you find someone you resonate with, then email them and tell them exactly how you perceive the world, describe the connection you feel and ask them if they can 'grok' you. :smile:
It's called 'Calling the Lama through the computer', it works, I know. :smile:
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby skittish » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Mr. G wrote:And please tell us what the "party lines" are that we parrot. This is a ridiculous accusation.


The "party line" is the presumption against other-emptiness, which is in fact prevalent, and thus, my statement is not ridiculous. The line goes something like: Everything's empty, including ALL kleshas and perceived limitations. Therefore, relinquish acceptance and rejection and don't be cynical, bring it all on.
This is careless, rubbish advice for an aspy, especially one just entering the Dharma, regardless of the yana.

Comments about me are mostly irrelevant to Angelic's question. True clinical paranoia is very uncommon for an aspy to my knowledge though, as it requires interpreting how we're perceived, which we're awful at (or inventing a perception, which veers into schizophrenia). Many do suffer from the not knowing, but it's uncommon in my experience that we feel people are "out to get us". I've never heard that expressed.

Enough.
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:19 am

skittish wrote:I won't comment further.
Just couldn't help yourself could you? :smile:
Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός), in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society. Many of these thoughts were later absorbed into Stoicism.
Hmmmm... That dosn't sound too bad (I have to admit that Diogenes of Sinope is my favorite Ancient Greek philosopher). But what you are displaying is not Cynicism, you say that one must be cynical:
cynical (adj.)
1. distrustful or contemptuous of virtue, esp selflessness in others; believing the worst of others, esp that all acts are selfish
2. sarcastic; mocking
3. showing contempt for accepted standards of behaviour, esp of honesty or morality: the politician betrayed his promises in a cynical way
Well, I am afraid to say that I cannot see the value in this.
The line goes something like: Everything's empty, including ALL kleshas and perceived limitations. Therefore, relinquish acceptance and rejection and don't be cynical, bring it all on.
So point out to me where exactly somebody said this. Quote a statement of this nature given as advice to Angelic Fruitcake.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby skittish » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
skittish wrote:I won't comment further.
Just couldn't help yourself could you? :smile:

Thank you for showing your teeth!
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Re: Finding a teacher when you dislike interaction

Postby skittish » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:56 pm

Angelic, you should be able to see the danger here. The notion that your limitation is only a "perceived" limitation and is actually empty is fine doctrine, but not practical and typically not safe depending on where we are on the spectrum. I'm sure your doctor will confirm this. You won't see Dharma practitioners violating the limitations they "perceive" they have, such as not walking straight through traffic, teaching Dharma to their cats, or leaving their infant children home alone all day. Neither should you. Until you are well able to get past the limitations of AS, don't be afraid of centers, but remain cynical about this sort of prodding and this sort of prodder:

gregkavarnos wrote:Falling over is an integral part of learning to walk. Aspergers or not, we all get hurt by social encounters that have derailed.

In other words, you can, should, and will participate in Dharma according to convention. All kleshas are equivalent, so no avoiding anything. It's all empty - no excuses!

gregkavarnos wrote: If you don't open up then of course you may avoid being hurt by an encounter but you will also avoid being healed by an encounter. It's a double edged knife. It cuts both ways.

Assuming you heal at all, which is often unlikely with aspies. We tend to move on, which is a shame if we lose connection with a teacher, especially our Root Teacher.

gregkavarnos wrote:Who is "we" and what is "correct"?

Do we really lead with emptiness, and to a person facing these challenges? What tradition endorses that? Yikes.


Wishing you find your own, Angelic Fruitcake version of "correct".
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