Author Topic: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?  (Read 15881 times)

Offline nirmal

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2010, 11:00:05 am »
Om Mani Padme Hom

Yes Gregkavarnos,

You're right. It's a leak. But I had to somehow show that we could use ancient gurus for the benefit of the others who were looking around for gurus.I think that the Chinese emperors had done enough in keeping the teachings and the benefits of this school a secret just confined to the courts for a long time.


Om Mani Padme Hom

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2010, 04:39:45 am »
...I also believe that actively choosing to practice without a teacher (most probably motivated by ego) when there are qualified teachers available is foolish.....

We don't know that such people are motivated by ego, and we don't know what choices are actually being made.  Maybe there aren't any qualified teachers available locally, maybe there are misgivings about the local groups that are available, maybe these people have personal problems which make it difficult, etc etc.
In any case I wouldn't use the word "foolish" about anyone who is trying to practice Dharma.

Spiny

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2010, 10:01:58 am »
We don't know that such people are motivated by ego, and we don't know what choices are actually being made.
So what would be  the motivation to ignore available qualified teachers and strike out on your own?  This is the third time where I state clearly that an indivdual CHOOSES to not follow a qualified teacher when they are AVAILABLE.

Quote
Maybe there are misgivings about the local groups that are available, maybe these people have personal problems which make it difficult, etc etc.
All of these justifications are based on ego:  misgivings, personal problems, etc. etc.

If you are uncomfortable with the term "foolish" then we can use the synonym "unwise", but now we are just splitting spines.
 :namaste:
"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline heart

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2010, 09:26:28 pm »

In any case I wouldn't use the word "foolish" about anyone who is trying to practice Dharma.


Anyone might give it a try after reading a book, right? Well then you take a book as your teacher. So what is this "without a teacher" actually? The questions is always if we choose to be more or less informed in what we do. Nothing compares to a teacher in the flesh if you want to be fully informed about what you are trying to do. This is not only true for meditation but just about everything.

/magnus

Offline Caz

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2010, 01:31:07 am »
Self-guidence on the Dharma ? Isnt that sort of like asking the village idiot for directions  :teehee:
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2010, 01:55:41 am »
So what would be  the motivation to ignore available qualified teachers and strike out on your own? 

I don't think I've met anyone like that.  I have met people who base their practice on Dharma books though.

Spiny

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2010, 01:56:46 am »
Self-guidence on the Dharma ? Isnt that sort of like asking the village idiot for directions  :teehee:

It isn't always obvious who the village idiot is though. :wink1:

Spiny

Offline Caz

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2010, 02:00:05 am »
Self-guidence on the Dharma ? Isnt that sort of like asking the village idiot for directions  :teehee:

It isn't always obvious who the village idiot is though. :wink1:

Spiny

In this case there are many profoundities on the path of Dharma, Having been taking Samsaric Rebirth over and over mind covered with Ignorance how can we do it alone ?  :gawrsh:
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2010, 02:06:40 am »
In this case there are many profoundities on the path of Dharma...

Essentially Dharma is very simple, and so is practice.  Just meditate, be mindful and keep the precepts.

Spiny

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2010, 02:18:39 am »
In this case there are many profoundities on the path of Dharma...

Essentially Dharma is very simple, and so is practice.  Just meditate, be mindful and keep the precepts.

Spiny
Yeah right!  Dharma/Dhamma is simple?  You must be joking!!!

Some of the strongest and most unexplainable experiences I had were doing plain, old, boring anapanasati!  Without a teachers guidance insanity was a very viable option.

As for the precepts there is a matter of debate regarding the exact nature of what is contained within the precepts, one requires clarificationa and explanation.  And what if a "Why?" question arises?  How many books would you have to read to find the answer that a real and qualified teacher will give you within seconds?
:namaste:
"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline heybai

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2010, 02:29:13 am »
Thank you all for returning the thread to topic.  (I am not complaining, though, and do like it when a conversation grows organically to touch on tangential issues -- which often then return to the original query).

I think studying on one's own is better than nothing.  Critical reading of a text is of course engaging with the mind of another, albeit in a unique and limited way.

Discussing questions online, as we do here and at other forums, is also valid.

The village idiot by definition does not know he is an idiot.  The etymology of "idiot" (from Greek) suggest a person who is so mentally stunted that he is incapable of thinking reasonably.  I don't think that applies to anyone at this forum.  

But of course we have other problems.  Ignorance is not idiocy.  It is blindness.  One first has to become aware of one's own ignorance and understand that it is as limitless as the stars.  

A teacher, a trusted mentor, can be a great source of help and inspiration.  I believe a teacher is probably essential for most of us at some stage.

I think we can also teach one another, in our limited way, as we grow and learn.


An additional  :twocents:
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 02:31:07 am by heybai »

Offline heybai

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2010, 02:32:58 am »
Hi Greg.

What is anapanasati?

(See, now Greg is my teacher.)
 :)

heybai

Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2010, 02:45:08 am »
 Without a teachers guidance insanity was a very viable option.

Yep! I was going to introduce the aspect of danger to this thread.

Practices can be dangerous - the further you go the more potential for danger and the more difficult it could be to get out by yourself.

Possibly, if you restricted yourself to reading traditional 'hearer' texts, you would never get close enough to the Dharma  to encounter a danger zone, but anyone meditating and/or trying to do anything Vajrayana-ish would be foolish (and I make no apologies for using that word) to try to do it solo.

A teacher is one who knows the territory, she can catch you, guide you back on to the path.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 02:48:48 am by Bodhicandra »
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2010, 02:50:51 am »
Hi Greg.

What is anapanasati?

(See, now Greg is my teacher.)
 :)

heybai

Bow at my lotus feet lowly one and prepare to receive my knowledge which will fall upon your head like a rain of flaming vajras!  Uuuuummmmmm.... where was I?  Oh yeah, anapanasati, mindfullness of breathing:   now I inhale, now I exhale, now I inhale, now I exhale, now I inhale, now I exhale, ad nauseum...
Can't get more basic than that one!  The Buddha reccomended the practice to all practitoners regardless of their mental proclivities.
:namaste:
"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Is a Teacher Really Necessary?
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2010, 02:51:57 am »
Self-guidence on the Dharma ? Isnt that sort of like asking the village idiot for directions  :teehee:

It isn't always obvious who the village idiot is though. :wink1:

Spiny

Yes it is: he's right there with you - he's your ego  :D
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

 


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