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Teachers? - Dhamma Wheel

Teachers?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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nrose619
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Teachers?

Postby nrose619 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:57 am

Did any of you look for a teacher of some sort? and is it required to have a teacher? can I practice without one? because I don't know of any Theravadan teachers around where I live.
"A silver bird
flies over the autumn lake.
When it has passed,
the lake's surface does not try
to hold on to the image of the bird."

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marc108
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Re: Teachers?

Postby marc108 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:27 am

I did look for and find a teacher. I don't think a teacher is necessary at all times but I think we all get to a point eventually, specifically with our mediation, where it opens up and we need some individualized instruction. The nice thing about Theravada Dhamma is there is SO much teaching out there... Books, audio, video... That we can kind of have a teacher without having a teacher. There also are some teachers who are accessible via phone and email which makes having a teacher possible for those who aren't located near one.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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retrofuturist
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Re: Teachers?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:21 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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tiltbillings
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Re: Teachers?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:08 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: Teachers?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:50 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Alobha
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Re: Teachers?

Postby Alobha » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:48 pm


Righteous path
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Re: Teachers?

Postby Righteous path » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:53 am

I see

what are some good books and audio/cd that we as newbies can read and listen to that will be our (surrogate) teacher so to speak?

alan...
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Re: Teachers?

Postby alan... » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:39 am

i have looked and looked and looked. there are none around me. i have made great progress alone using the suttas as my base, modern authors and some ancient ones as outposts and my intellect to tell which ones are appropriate and match up with the suttas.

i imagine having a teacher would be nice. with a really good teacher you would be fine. but with a bad one you might be lead astray. if for example your teacher is deluded and tells you to only practice mindfulness of air on mondays and do no other practices whatsoever and you believe them and do this then you will make zero progress. this is a silly example made to be extreme to make it clear what i'm talking about. in reality if a teacher is deluded it would be much harder to tell if they were leading you in the right direction. there is less risk of this as long as one does not become lazy. once a teacher is found one should still read the suttas and study the dhamma, that way one can do the same as someone working alone and always have a base to compare to. if the teacher is teaching in a way that will hinder progress or is downright wrong, you will know.

alone it has been a long and extremely difficult road. i have had to piece things together through a great deal of effort, constantly refining, reducing, combining, until i made a cohesive practice.

this is because the pali canon is arranged by length, not topic or order of practice. so to find out a progression and proper practices and not do redundant stuff takes a lot of work! looking to the visuddhimagga and other commentary traditions helped. however i don't agree with a lot of commentary stuff but there is a ton of great stuff to be found within it as long as you know the canon well enough and can decide what fits in with it and what does not.

if you want i could recommend some books.

also have you checked online? usually there is a temple somewhere nearby. has a temple locator thing.
Last edited by alan... on Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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marc108
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Re: Teachers?

Postby marc108 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:12 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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mikenz66
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Re: Teachers?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:45 am


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manas
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Re: Teachers?

Postby manas » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:04 am

Studying and practising on one's own, and/or with the assistance of kalyanamittas, one could make progress, but imo, from time to time we might need to check our understanding, in a face-to-face situation, with a highly advanced teacher whom we trust; because there can be little things we are blind to about ourselves, that the teacher will not be afraid to point out, whether we like to hear it or not. The suttas were compiled thousands of years ago; even if we claim to be relying just on the suttas alone, unless we are accomplished pali scholars, what we are actually relying upon are the translations of those suttas, for guidance.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

alan...
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Re: Teachers?

Postby alan... » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:20 am



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