Developing a student-teacher relationship

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Vakkali
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Developing a student-teacher relationship

Postby Vakkali » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:19 am

Hey everybody,

I'm a layperson, but I'm very serious about my practice, and want it to grow as much as possible. This year I started going to a little vihara in my area, financed by Sri Lankan lay families and inhabited by, I think, three or four monks (After more than a month of going there, I only just met a third monk this week!) The monks are shy, but they're all very, very friendly; they host open meditation sessions for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike once a week, and we've been encouraged to come by whenever we have questions. The abbot even gave me some brand-new robe cloth to give back as dāna at this year's Kathina ceremony, free of charge. They also provide literature and stuff for shrine rooms for absolutely nothing. A friend of mine is already very close to the abbot, and he's actually offered to teach both of us Pāḷi!

This seems like an ideal opportunity to pursue a student-teacher relationship with the abbot, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I suppose I could just ask him questions, but I'm so new to the practice that I'm not sure I necessarily know what to ask about, if that makes any sense. A semi-formal "curriculum" would be nice. I was thinking of asking him to help me study the Sutta-piṭaka, maybe one sutta at a time, or maybe meditation...but there are so many things I could try to address with him, and I have no idea where to start or how to go about it. i know this is a complicated request, but could anyone give me some advice on how to proceed? I'd really appreciate it!

Añjali,
Vakkali

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Ben
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Re: Developing a student-teacher relationship

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:37 am

Why not just take things in a casual and relaxed manner, one day at a time?
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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PsychedelicSunSet
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Re: Developing a student-teacher relationship

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:55 am

Ben wrote:Why not just take things in a casual and relaxed manner, one day at a time?
kind regards,

Ben


:goodpost:

No need to be so worried! Just tell him that you want to learn more about the Dhamma, and that you value his opinion on your practice. He's a monk, he will most likely love nothing more than to talk to you about the Buddha and his teachings. :lol



:namaste:

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appicchato
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Re: Developing a student-teacher relationship

Postby appicchato » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:59 am

This seems like an ideal opportunity to pursue a student-teacher relationship with the abbot, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I suppose I could just ask him questions, but I'm so new to the practice that I'm not sure I necessarily know what to ask about, if that makes any sense. A semi-formal "curriculum" would be nice. I was thinking of asking him to help me study the Sutta-piṭaka, maybe one sutta at a time, or maybe meditation...but there are so many things I could try to address with him, and I have no idea where to start or how to go about it. i know this is a complicated request...


Why not just say to him what you've said here...


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