Author Topic: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching  (Read 2510 times)

Offline Chaz

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2019, 10:54:15 am »
Very good, but .....

from my perspective my conclusions are appropriate in the context of dharma practice.

On what do you base the veracity of your conclusions?

Offline stevie

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2019, 11:09:34 am »
Very good, but .....

from my perspective my conclusions are appropriate in the context of dharma practice.

On what do you base the veracity of your conclusions?

Decisive is 'from my perspective' which implies that there is no general claim involved. Actually my conclusions might be valid only in my sphere of experience. Writing them down here is just for potential inspiration for others.

 :anjali:

Offline MarasAndBuddhas

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2019, 07:55:47 am »
All I have to say about this is that ever since the ancient times of the buddha and jesus, people have flocked to anyone who seemed to know what they were talking about, and unfortunately those same people reward "the great sages" with a religious authority.

Then, those same fools later ignore the sage because they are found out to be human!

Offline Gibbon

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2019, 02:40:51 pm »

 

I think one of the main problems is that we tend to refuse these teachers any sort of basic human qualities and raise them up on pedestals, far above the rest of us.  We want to seem them as perfect in the face of our own imperfection.  We want to see, in them, what we aspire to be and not what the genuinely are.  We impose this on them.  WE even have scripture to reinforce this imposition.

Then when we discover some glaring example of ordinary humanity, like addiction, or sexual activity, we are offended.  We are offended by people for their not living up to our own expectations and ideals and not any unique shortcoming they may have. 

As long as we perceive they are living up to our expectations, their teachings are genuine.  The second they fall from grace their teachings become shit.  I have to ask, what has changed in the teachings?  How can a teacher's drinking problem, somehow, miraculously, transform teachings once held dear into something smelly stuck to the sole of your shoe?

Who is the fool here?


Take Trungpa, yet, again.  It was mentioned earlier that he claimed his sexual exploits were an excercise in skillful means.  The mention included a tone that cast shade on that assertion.  First of all, I don't know if Trungpa actually said that or not.  Next, who am I to pass judgement on such a statement, even with the backing of scripture?  In my practice lineage, one of the founders was struck violently by his Guru.  That's something most of us would object to.  Not very skillfull, right?   It's also said that in that instant, he attained enlightenment.  Ok, riddle me that.

But to circle back, oftentimes are judgment is based on what we expect and not on reality.

The traditional way to see teacher is as a complete and perfect Buddha and to ascribe any imperfections you see to the impurities in one's own mind or to skillful means.  The goal is to preserve and grow the attitude of faith from which spiritual progress becomes possible.  On the other hand, one is not glued to a teacher, it is always possible to leave and find another.  But the key is to always respect the first one.

Why do it?  So as to grow one's own innate wisdom, the actual inner guru.  Once doubt about the outer, human, teacher arises, the inner guru becomes blocked.  Then, no attainment.

This is why the Vinaya, the code of conduct of the Buddha, is so important (and a shame that it is only slowly getting a foothold in the West). 

I know a man who spent years doing physical labor for an unqualified lama with an impressive-looking pedigree.  No teachings were taking place, but the poor man fancied himself as Milarepa.  Nothing good ensued until he eventually woke up and left that place.

Also, the teacher does not exist in isolation but is connected to a lineage.  The strength of the lineage is what carries the teachings.


TL:DR  Always view all your teachers as Buddha, but don't be a doormat. 
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 03:18:07 pm by Gibbon »

Offline Chaz

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2019, 08:17:25 am »

The traditional way to see teacher is as a complete and perfect Buddha and to ascribe any imperfections you see to the impurities in one's own mind or to skillful means.  The goal is to preserve and grow the attitude of faith from which spiritual progress becomes possible.  On the other hand, one is not glued to a teacher, it is always possible to leave and find another.  But the key is to always respect the first one.

Why do it?  So as to grow one's own innate wisdom, the actual inner guru.  Once doubt about the outer, human, teacher arises, the inner guru becomes blocked.  Then, no attainment.

This is why the Vinaya, the code of conduct of the Buddha, is so important (and a shame that it is only slowly getting a foothold in the West). 

I know a man who spent years doing physical labor for an unqualified lama with an impressive-looking pedigree.  No teachings were taking place, but the poor man fancied himself as Milarepa.  Nothing good ensued until he eventually woke up and left that place.

Also, the teacher does not exist in isolation but is connected to a lineage.  The strength of the lineage is what carries the teachings.


TL:DR  Always view all your teachers as Buddha, but don't be a doormat.

Very well said about a key aspect of the the student / teacher relationship in the Mahayana.  It's also something many don't (can't?) appreciate or understand.  Even with their imperfections, both gross and subtle, teachers are viewed having realisations nearing enlightenment if not enlightened Buddhas to begin with.    This present the students with a paradox - how can someone so flawed, still be enlightened?  What does enlightenment mean?  Resolution of such paradoxes are the stuff of wisdom.  This is why somes students remain faithfull to their guru though peaks and valleys.

In the west we tend to place or spiritual leaders on a pedastal that requires they maintain a level of purity that  in fact, is often undeserved, unwanted and nearly impossible to maintain.  When they fall, as they invariably do, everything falls with them.  It's tragic, really.  It's like when a flashlight battery running out and then throwing out the whole flashlight.

Offline stevie

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2019, 02:10:20 am »

The traditional way to see teacher is as a complete and perfect Buddha and to ascribe any imperfections you see to the impurities in one's own mind or to skillful means.  The goal is to preserve and grow the attitude of faith from which spiritual progress becomes possible.  On the other hand, one is not glued to a teacher, it is always possible to leave and find another.  But the key is to always respect the first one.

Why do it?  So as to grow one's own innate wisdom, the actual inner guru.  Once doubt about the outer, human, teacher arises, the inner guru becomes blocked.  Then, no attainment.

This is why the Vinaya, the code of conduct of the Buddha, is so important (and a shame that it is only slowly getting a foothold in the West). 

I know a man who spent years doing physical labor for an unqualified lama with an impressive-looking pedigree.  No teachings were taking place, but the poor man fancied himself as Milarepa.  Nothing good ensued until he eventually woke up and left that place.

Also, the teacher does not exist in isolation but is connected to a lineage.  The strength of the lineage is what carries the teachings.


TL:DR  Always view all your teachers as Buddha, but don't be a doormat.

Very well said about a key aspect of the the student / teacher relationship in the Mahayana.
Maybe it is more appropriate to say "in the Vajrayana"? "Mahayana" is not wrong since Vajrayana belongs to Mahayana. However Mahayana is not necessarily Vajrayana.

It's also something many don't (can't?) appreciate or understand. 
And it is not necessary outside of Vajrayana.

 :anjali:

Offline Chaz

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2019, 05:14:12 pm »

The traditional way to see teacher is as a complete and perfect Buddha and to ascribe any imperfections you see to the impurities in one's own mind or to skillful means.  The goal is to preserve and grow the attitude of faith from which spiritual progress becomes possible.  On the other hand, one is not glued to a teacher, it is always possible to leave and find another.  But the key is to always respect the first one.

Why do it?  So as to grow one's own innate wisdom, the actual inner guru.  Once doubt about the outer, human, teacher arises, the inner guru becomes blocked.  Then, no attainment.

This is why the Vinaya, the code of conduct of the Buddha, is so important (and a shame that it is only slowly getting a foothold in the West). 

I know a man who spent years doing physical labor for an unqualified lama with an impressive-looking pedigree.  No teachings were taking place, but the poor man fancied himself as Milarepa.  Nothing good ensued until he eventually woke up and left that place.

Also, the teacher does not exist in isolation but is connected to a lineage.  The strength of the lineage is what carries the teachings.


TL:DR  Always view all your teachers as Buddha, but don't be a doormat.

Very well said about a key aspect of the the student / teacher relationship in the Mahayana.
Maybe it is more appropriate to say "in the Vajrayana"? "Mahayana" is not wrong since Vajrayana belongs to Mahayana. However Mahayana is not necessarily Vajrayana.

It's also something many don't (can't?) appreciate or understand. 
And it is not necessary outside of Vajrayana.

No, but the lack of understanding doesn't stop people from putting it down <sigh>

Offline stevie

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2019, 07:26:49 am »
No, but the lack of understanding doesn't stop people from putting it down <sigh>
Putting down what? The vajrayana attitude towards their guru/teacher? Well that's normal worldly behaviour and a manifestation of lack of progress on the path.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2020, 01:36:42 pm »
Is it inherently wrong for Buddhist teachers to have consensual sexual relationships with their students, if they don't live promiscuously? I think hypocrisy is a bigger problem if they pretend to be celibate but really aren't.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Disgraced Teacher, Disgraced Teaching
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2020, 09:02:42 am »
Is it inherently wrong for Buddhist teachers to have consensual sexual relationships with their students, if they don't live promiscuously? I think hypocrisy is a bigger problem if they pretend to be celibate but really aren't.

I agree.  I don't think there's anything wrong with a teacher having a consensual relationship with a student.  I think they should be out in the open.  There are problems with hiding.  That's where the scandals come from.

 


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