Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

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Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Wed May 18, 2011 10:43 pm

Hi All,

I thought it would be useful to put together a collection of the Buddha's (and his disciple's) teachings on teaching the dhamma and dhamma teachers so that those who feel inspired to show the way/path to others will do so, with the appropriate guidance. If you find any good sutta or other quotes on teaching please feel free to add to the pile :smile:

It might be useful for those of us who are here to learn as well, the qualities of a good teacher (which is not to say we cannot learn from practically everyone, atleast one thing), as that will be helpful in identifying true kalyanamittas.

"It's not easy to teach the Dhamma to others, Ananda. The Dhamma should be taught to others only when five qualities are established within the person teaching. Which five?

"[1] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak step-by-step.'

"[2] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak explaining the sequence [of cause & effect].'

"[3] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak out of compassion.'

"[4] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak not for the purpose of material reward.'

"[5] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak without hurting myself or others.'[1]

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Ben » Wed May 18, 2011 10:59 pm

Great thread, Matheesha!
I congratulate you on your noble efforts!

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Thu May 19, 2011 10:35 am

Thanks Ben,

I think this is an important area of inquiry and considering the weight the Buddha placed on spiritual friends (kalyanamittas) it is not a bad idea to do it in an informed manner. We are benefiting from the dhamma today because someone decided to do an act of dhamma dana (a gift of the teaching). It is only appropriate that we return the favour, especially if inclined to teach. I don't say it is for everyone, but I have come across individuals who seemed naturally inclined to share what they have gained from, with others.

Incidentally, I think the above 5 points should be the bedrock of anyone who wants to teach. I'm clarification..
Point 1)refers to the structure or lists, Theravada is famous for. These allow people to categorise and store the teaching (er..remember!) in an easy to recall way. This makes it easier to have a handle on different elements of the dhamma. It helps retention.

2) refers to clarifying the connection between the lists elements (this probably requires more personal experience). This maybe some of the detail which got lost when Ven Ananda had to condense what he heard from the Buddha over 45 years, into a few days worth of recitation. I don't think thus refers to pure cause and effect, as suggested in what I posted above, because that is a specific dhamma point, rather than a teaching about a teaching.

3)-4) are straightforward I think

5) I think this should also mean not 'demeaning oneself and other's'. To demean others would be harmful as well to oneself in terms of bad karma).

Please feel free to comment as that will draw out issues/meanings more.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Fri May 20, 2011 4:07 pm

This sutta shows the attitude a dhamma teacher/kalyanamitta must have in relation to 'students'. It does not matter to him whether they stay, go or even ordain under him. That is, he is not attached to the resut of his teaching. He is like a flower open to the sun, bees come and bees go. He keeps doing his thing. If they do listen to him and they develop as a result there is satisfaction. Also it is a reminder not to be attached to numbers of students-'success' is not measured by how many disciples you managed to collect. In fact, you could say, it is not measured at all. But if there is an ear willing to listen, the teacher is ready to teach. How many ears are required? Even 1 is enough. There can be no limits on 'minimum numbers for me to teach', which is an expression of conceit- a big problem amongst/for dhamma teachers.

"'There are three frames of reference that a noble one cultivates, cultivating which he is a teacher fit to instruct a group': thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said?

"There is the case where the Teacher — out of sympathy, seeking their well-being — teaches the Dhamma to his disciples: 'This is for your well-being, this is for your happiness.' His disciples do not listen or lend ear or apply their minds to gnosis. Turning aside, they stray from the Teacher's message. In this case the Tathagata is not satisfied nor is he sensitive to satisfaction, yet he remains untroubled, mindful, & alert. This is the first frame of reference that a noble one cultivates, cultivating which he is a teacher fit to instruct a group.

"Furthermore, there is the case where the Teacher — out of sympathy, seeking their well-being — teaches the Dhamma to his disciples: 'This is for your well-being, this is for your happiness.' Some of his disciples do not listen or lend ear or apply their minds to gnosis. Turning aside, they stray from the Teacher's message. But some of his disciples listen, lend ear, & apply their minds to gnosis. They do not turn aside or stray from the Teacher's message. In this case the Tathagata is not satisfied nor is he sensitive to satisfaction; at the same time he is not dissatisfied nor is he sensitive to dissatisfaction. Free from both satisfaction & dissatisfaction, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert. This is the second frame of reference...

"Furthermore, there is the case where the Teacher — out of sympathy, seeking their well-being — teaches the Dhamma to his disciples: 'This is for your well-being, this is for your happiness.' His disciples listen, lend ear, & apply their minds to gnosis. They do not turn aside or stray from the Teacher's message. In this case the Tathagata is satisfied and is sensitive to satisfaction, yet he remains untroubled, mindful, & alert. This is the third frame of reference that a noble one cultivates, cultivating which he is a teacher fit to instruct a group.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#teacher

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sat May 21, 2011 4:35 am

Do your practice first. Even then, don't try to teach those who wont listen.

"Lohicca, there are these three sorts of teacher who are worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes these sorts of teachers, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy. Which three?

"There is the case where a certain teacher has not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. He, not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, teaches his disciples, 'This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.' His disciples don't listen, don't lend ear, don't put forth an intent for gnosis. They practice in a way deviating from the teacher's instructions. He should be criticized, saying, 'You, venerable sir, have not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. Not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, you teach your disciples, "This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness." Your disciples don't listen, don't lend ear, don't put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way deviating from the teacher's instructions. It's just as if a man were to pursue [a woman] who pulls away, or to embrace one who turns her back. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?' This is the first teacher who is worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes this sort of teacher, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy.

"Then there is the case where a certain teacher has not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. He, not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, teaches his disciples, 'This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.' His disciples listen, lend ear, put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way not deviating from the teacher's instructions. He should be criticized, saying, 'You, venerable sir, have not attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. Not having attained that goal of the contemplative life, you teach your disciples, "This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness." Your disciples listen, lend ear, put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way not deviating from the teacher's instructions. It's just as if a man, neglecting his own field, were to imagine that another's field should be weeded. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?' This is the second teacher who is worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes this sort of teacher, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy.

"Then there is the case where a certain teacher has attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. He, having attained that goal of the contemplative life, teaches his disciples, 'This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness.' His disciples don't listen, don't lend ear, don't put forth an intent for gnosis. They practice in a way deviating from the teacher's instructions. He should be criticized, saying, 'You, venerable sir, have attained the goal of the contemplative life for which one goes forth from the home life into homelessness. Having attained that goal of the contemplative life, you teach your disciples, "This is for your welfare. This is for your happiness." Your disciples don't listen, don't lend ear, don't put forth an intent for gnosis, and practice in a way deviating from the teacher's instructions. It's just as if, having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond. I say that such a thing is an evil, greedy deed, for what can one person do for another?' This is the third teacher who is worthy of criticism in the world, and when anyone criticizes this sort of teacher, the criticism is true, factual, righteous, & unblameworthy."


There is another sutta which I cant seem to find right now which says that the only one who can help to pull a massive elephant stuck in the mud is another elephant who is not stuck in the mud -another way of saying 'get yourself out first'.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 23, 2011 7:20 am

Spiritual friends are the 'whole of the holy life'. All of our dhamma originates in the mind of another- we would have no dhamma today if the Buddha had decided to enjoy his enlightenment on his own! He is considered the ultimate kalyanamitta- he says so himself.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."[1]

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.

"And how does a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, develop & pursue the noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops right resolve ... right speech ... right action ... right livelihood ... right effort ... right mindfulness ... right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. This is how a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, develops & pursues the noble eightfold path.

"And through this line of reasoning one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life: It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to aging have gained release from aging, that beings subject to death have gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The decision to teach requires courage, commitment and a strong personal practice. There are pitfalls- but as in all things worthwhile, they must be overcome to carry out what might be called a 'sacred duty' the Buddha has called upon you to carry out. This decision requires the person teaching to know the dhamma, else they might teach 'a-dhamma' - that which is NOT dhamma. In such situations, not only will the teacher be confused he will give ruse from his words a group of people who are confused as to the true dhamma. We must be careful that what we teach is grounded in the Pali sutta cannon and other sources which are in agreement with the suttas. this is not to say that our knowledge has to be perfect - even an arahanth may not have that degree of ability- but very good. If we, as grow in our own personal practice and understanding, find that we may have made a mistake (perfectly natural), then it gives an opportunity to be humble, and admit to that mistake and move forward with the true-dhamma (saddhamma). Asking for forgiveness, admitting that you do not know etc is all good practice for conquering your ego-conceit.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Wed May 25, 2011 9:36 pm

§ 17. {Iti 1.17; Iti 10}   
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "With regard to external factors, I don't envision any other single factor like admirable friendship[1] as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who is a friend with admirable people abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful."


We should not underestimate the importance of developing (as teachers) and belonging to (as students) a group of kalyanamittas- those who have you true well being at heart. As dhamma teachers, we need to bear in mind that 'students' will often listen to each other as much as they will listen to you - this is a natural quality of 'westernised' adult learning. This is advantageous (often) as it takes the pressure off you to 'perform/produce' for students. You can always ask other to share with the group what they have learnt. In associating with such people they provide the beginners with role models of practice, broaden horizons re possible intensities/depth of practice and create some positive peer pressure to measure up to the standards of the group (a wholesome pressure). The Buddha often praised specific individuals for developing certain qualities to amazing degrees - this seems to be to motivate others to be like them (and sometimes to jealousy!). As practice deepens the practitioners circle of friends will naturally change - to those who are more in line with the dhamma. Having a group of peers around already, helps in this process. At the very least joining a group of meditators will motivate you to practice yourself. It is good to keep in mind that teachers often can learn from 'students' as much as the opposite. Keeping in mind that you can learn at least one good thing from everyone in the room, which you don't already possess, is helpful. It is also helpful to keep in mind that whatever quality you pride yourself with (wisdom, jhana, morality, etc) there will be atleast one person out there who has developed it more than you have! This helps us to keep our conceit in check. :)

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 29, 2011 11:54 pm

"Sir, those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — their Dhamma is well-taught. That's how it strikes me."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"


Also he said that he only teaches suffering and the ending of suffering. I think these are all good pointers on the content of the teachings.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Reductor » Mon May 30, 2011 4:24 am

Hey Matheesha,

Thanks for putting these up. Very good things to keep in mind when talking dhamma to others.

Keep 'em coming, if you don't mind.
:anjali:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 30, 2011 5:14 am

Hi thereductor

Thank you. I hope to. If you find any material on teaching in the suttas, feel free to post- maybe we can discuss.

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(from a PM)

In terms of priorities personal practice must come first. If teaching others mean that you are forgetting your practice or that your practice is deteriorating as a result - don't do it. All this requires honesty with yourself,and mindfulness. This is not to say it will not have any negative effect- that understandably is unrealistic. But the 'damage' must be manageable, and within reason. Equally, that must be weighed against what others gain from you (sometimes hard to quantify). In any case, there is nothing like giving it a try and seeing how it affects you - and if it does, how best to remove those defilements with Right Effort, and methods mentioned in the vitakkasanatana sutta. I also found the Sappurisa sutta also good practice. In any case problems with receiving attention is common- we must be very concerned that our motivation to teach, even though it might start with this defilement as the cause, gets converted to a wholesome motivation. I think it is wrong to 'strike someone off' just because of this (and they are otherwise 'qualified' for the role). The intention to teach is rare, may need dusting off, but should never be discarded .

The role of the teacher must be bigger than your Self. It is a privilege, and something rather sacred, a place of responsibility- an honour handed to you by the Buddha - and it is that what is respected/venerated by people- not You,as a person. That is a helpful model to keep in mind- it also keeps the teacher sane!

It is important to review ever so often, your teaching. How it has changed you, whether that is wholesome or not; are you upto date- are you developing as a practitioner ..and so on. Review (and learning, changing accordingly) is always important. Hope that's helpful.


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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:12 am

Then he instructed, urged, roused, and encouraged Anathapindika the householder with a talk on Dhamma. When Anathapindika the householder had been instructed, urged, roused and encouraged by the Blessed One with a talk on Dhamma, he got up from his seat and, having bowed down to the Blessed One, left, keeping the Blessed One on his right side.


What things do we set out to do when we give a dhamma talk? Is it a dry drone of imparting facts? No it is much more than that. Not only are we imparting our knowledge of the dhamma but we can/must project our enthusiasm for the dhamma and it's practice. We can project a sense of peace or emptiness as well. We must encourage and get the practitioners to feel good and confident in their abilities to overcome obstacles in their practice, to motivate them to take that extra step/commitment to the practice. Being a little charismatic is not a bad thing as long as it is used to promote the practice, rather than the teacher! :jumping: (incidentally this refrain is often used to describe dhamma talks, not only by the Buddha, but by his disciples as well).

Teachers have no right to demand respect, like what is shown by Anathapindika in this quote. But there are seemingly some injunctions against trying to teach it in situations which would bring it (the dhamma) disrespect (according to the customs of ancient India). I guess if the audience has no respect for the dhamma, but rather has disrespect for it, then you are not doing much good for them or yourself by teaching it, in that situation.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby bodom » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:02 pm

I just read a sutta in the Samyutta Nikaya this morning in which a disciple approaches the Buddha and asks "Who is a speaker of the Dhamma?" The Buddha replies that " One who speaks for the revulsion and fading away of form, feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness is one who is a speaker of the Dhamma."

It can be found on pg 967 of Bodhi's translation.

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:09 pm

Hi bosom,

Thanks for that! Here it is:

SN 12.16PTS: S ii 18CDB i 545
Dhammakathiko Sutta: The Teacher of the Dhamma
translated from the Pali by
Maurice O'Connell Walshe
© 2007–2011
The Pali title of this sutta is based on the PTS (Feer) edition.
[A monk said:] "'Dhamma-teacher, Dhamma-teacher' they say, Lord."

"If, monk, anyone teaches a doctrine of disenchantment[1] with decay-and-death, of dispassion[2] [leading to] its cessation, that suffices for him to be called a monk who teaches Dhamma.[3]

"If anyone has trained himself in this disenchantment with decay-and-death, in dispassion[4] [leading to] its cessation, that suffices for him to be called a monk who is trained in what is in conformity with Dhamma.[5]

"If anyone, through disenchantment with decay-and-death, through dispassion [leading to] its cessation, is liberated from grasping, that suffices for him to be called one who has attained Nibbaana in this life."[6]

[The same three distinctions are made in respect of birth... ignorance]

Notes

1.
Nibbidaa: sometimes rendered "revulsion," but this suffers from the defect of suggesting too strong an emotional reaction. "Disenchantment" covers it better.
2.
Viraaga is quite literally "dis-passion." The syntax of this sentence is rather curious, but the meaning is clear enough.
3.
This gives a clear indication of the minimum standard required for anyone (today, in the West, often a lay person) setting up as a teacher of Buddhism. It denotes a "worldling" (puthujjana, i.e., one who has not "entered the stream") who has the basic intellectual knowledge mentioned here.
4.
This one is a sekha "trainee," i.e., one who has at least "entered the stream" (and thus knows in part from experience), but is not an Arahant.
5.
His training is proceeding along the right path.
6.
He is an asekha ("non-trainee," i.e., one who has finished his training), an Arahant.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:04 pm

Answering questions:

"There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, that]. There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms]. There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question. There are questions that should be put aside. These are the four ways of answering questions."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


The criteria for deciding what is worth saying
[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

— MN 58

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:42 pm

Then Bahiya, hurriedly leaving Jeta's Grove and entering Savatthi, saw the Blessed One going for alms in Savatthi — calm, calming, his senses at peace, his mind at peace, tranquil and poised in the ultimate sense, accomplished, trained, guarded, his senses restrained, a Great One (naga). Seeing him, he approached the Blessed One and, on reaching him, threw himself down, with his head at the Blessed One's feet, and said, "Teach me the Dhamma, O Blessed One! Teach me the Dhamma, O One-Well-Gone, that will be for my long-term welfare and bliss."

When this was said, the Blessed One said to him: "This is not the time, Bahiya. We have entered the town for alms."


What is the right time for teaching the dhamma? It is when the student is ready to hear, if not listen. It is when we can give full attention to the student, to understand fully where (s)he is coming from. It is when we are in a state of metta, and well able to recall the dhamma.

It is useful to note the Buddha said 'The Buddhas only show the way' as in you can only take the horse to the water, but can't make it drink however much you try, if it doesn't want to.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:08 am

How do we know how good or developed in their practice, our students are. The answer is- it is very difficult to know (see below):

AN 4.192 PTS: A ii 187
Thana Sutta: Traits
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997–2011
"Monks, these four traits may be known by means of four [other] traits. Which four?

"It's through living together that a person's virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

"It's through dealing with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

"It's through adversity that a person's endurance may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

"It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


However, this does not mean we give up all hope! But rather it is a good opportunity to give the responsibility of the practice to the student- let them know themselves. Let them be honest- with themselves, if not you.. and work towards improving themselves. Often, the important thing is to keep them engaged with a group of kalyanamittas (spiritual friends). This way, with good positive influences all around them, over the years, they will start changing. Your task then, is to create an atmosphere of work, of effort, of right understanding, of honesty, of handing responsibility of practice back to the student.

with metta

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:29 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Point 1)refers to the structure or lists, Theravada is famous for. These allow people to categorise and store the teaching (er..remember!) in an easy to recall way. This makes it easier to have a handle on different elements of the dhamma. It helps retention.



I wonder if it also means taking things slowly at a measured pace, so that people can really understand? And allowing plenty of time for discussion.

Spiny

PS useful thread, thanks
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:10 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Point 1)refers to the structure or lists, Theravada is famous for. These allow people to categorise and store the teaching (er..remember!) in an easy to recall way. This makes it easier to have a handle on different elements of the dhamma. It helps retention.



I wonder if it also means taking things slowly at a measured pace, so that people can really understand? And allowing plenty of time for discussion.

Spiny

PS useful thread, thanks


Hi Spiny

Hmm.. that makes sense too. I think the steps (most lists are in some kind of a meaningful order) do help to understand it better- or at least they should be used that way, rather than as a random list to memorize (not that simply memorizing is entirely a bad thing..). I think it is helpful to consider other meanings of things simply because the Buddha is not around to clarify what he really meant.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:36 pm

If he recites many teachings, but
— heedless man —
doesn't do what they say,
like a cowherd counting the cattle of
others,
he has no share in the contemplative life.

If he recites next to nothing
but follows the Dhamma
in line with the Dhamma;
abandoning passion,
aversion, delusion;
alert,
his mind well-released,
not clinging
either here or hereafter:
he has his share in the contemplative life.


:) , lifted off another thread- just fortunate..

Yes, no point teaching, if you aren't practicing; even more so when your teaching is having a detrimental effect (ego, craving, getting into arguments ..general suffering) on your practice. But what if you teach something which is beyond your current state of practice - and someone further along the path than you, benefits? :shrug: I think it is up to all of us to get the teachings from where we can. ..and share it when we can - it doesn't mean we have to be enlightened to teach or that we must have practiced everything that we teach.. it is ok to repeat another's teaching in hopes that it helps someone...I think. That includes facilitating sessions, organizing sessions, reading out the suttas etc.

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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:57 am

rowyourboat wrote:But what if you teach something which is beyond your current state of practice - and someone further along the path than you, benefits? :shrug:


Good point. I'm sometimes surprised by the connections that people make. Though trying to communicate Dharma both accurately and at an appropriate level can sometimes feel like a real challenge. :juggling: :smile:

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