Bowing to lay teachers

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pilgrim
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Bowing to lay teachers

Post by pilgrim »

Two parts to this question:
Is it OK to bow ( I mean on your knees, head to floor prostration) to lay Dhamma teachers and is it OK for lay teachers to accept , and therefore encourage, such action?
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Spiny O'Norman »

pilgrim wrote:Two parts to this question:
Is it OK to bow ( I mean on your knees, head to floor prostration) to lay Dhamma teachers and is it OK for lay teachers to accept , and therefore encourage, such action?
I suspect that for most lay teachers a simple "thank-you" would be appropriate.

Spiny
David2
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by David2 »

pilgrim wrote:Two parts to this question:
Is it OK to bow ( I mean on your knees, head to floor prostration) to lay Dhamma teachers and is it OK for lay teachers to accept , and therefore encourage, such action?
If a disciple wants to express his gratitude towards the teacher, it is perfectly ok.
But it shouldn't become a ritual.
If one does not feel gratitude one should not bow.
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Cittasanto
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Cittasanto »

Some people don't like it!
some may appreciate it!

Bowing is a beautiful gesture, one of humility, humbling oneself to the dhamma (not the person) is always a positive move, even if one doesn't want to.
I have found forcing myself to bow toward someone I really didn't want to at the time quite lightening, almost a putting down the grudge/burden so to speak.

but some may find it inappropriate, others may not.
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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 …
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santa100
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by santa100 »

Closely observe the teacher first. If we bow to someone who doesn't seems to have transcended pride or arrogance, the act could only be a further hindrance to his/her progress, and thus, a big disservice to the teacher..
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Cittasanto
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Cittasanto »

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... it=Arahant" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
please read this thread.

outward appearance can be deceptive, if one bows it should be for oneself, and if pride... does spring up in the teacher it may just be as helpful as it allows the teacher to see the presence of such states.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill
santa100
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by santa100 »

"and if pride... does spring up in the teacher it may just be as helpful as it allows the teacher to see the presence of such states."

While we certainly wish that to be the case, we need to consider the other possibilities. One's bowing should be for oneself, but if it could benefit others, that's even better. So imho, closely observe the teacher first..
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Goofaholix
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Goofaholix »

pilgrim wrote:Two parts to this question:
Is it OK to bow ( I mean on your knees, head to floor prostration) to lay Dhamma teachers and is it OK for lay teachers to accept , and therefore encourage, such action?
I've never seen or heard of anyone bowing to lay teachers.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah
David2
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by David2 »

Goofaholix wrote: I've never seen or heard of anyone bowing to lay teachers.
For instance, in the Goenka tradition many students do that.
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Goofaholix
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Goofaholix »

David2 wrote:
Goofaholix wrote: I've never seen or heard of anyone bowing to lay teachers.
For instance, in the Goenka tradition many students do that.
Are you talking about where Goenka is present in person rather than on DVD? If not then I'm not sure bowing towards the front of the room at the end of a meditation session is what we are talking about. Also is a single lower back stretch really the same in the same league as the 5 pointed triple theravadin bow that we do to monks and alters.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah
hermitwin
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by hermitwin »

I would like to quote Godwin samararatne, a well known meditation teacher.
'Dont call me teacher, consider me a peer who is also learning the dhamma
together with you'
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pilgrim
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by pilgrim »

Does Goenka's students bow to him ?
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Ben
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Ben »

pilgrim wrote:Does Goenka's students bow to him ?
Yes, to express gratitude and respect.
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.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..
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pilgrim
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by pilgrim »

Ben wrote:
pilgrim wrote:Does Goenka's students bow to him ?
Yes, to express gratitude and respect.
kind regards,

Ben
I guess it is uncommon but can understand for someone of Goenka;s stature.
To be clear, I'm referring to on your knees, head to floor bow ( aka the 5 point prostration). The reason I'm asking is that I know of a lay teacher who "is being bowed to" and just want to know if there is a precedent. So I guess it is not inappropriate.
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Ben
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Re: Bowing to lay teachers

Post by Ben »

pilgrim wrote:
Ben wrote:
pilgrim wrote:Does Goenka's students bow to him ?
Yes, to express gratitude and respect.
kind regards,

Ben
I guess it is uncommon but can understand for someone of Goenka;s stature.
To be clear, I'm referring to on your knees, head to floor bow ( aka the 5 point prostration). The reason I'm asking is that I know of a lay teacher who "is being bowed to" and just want to know if there is a precedent. So I guess it is not inappropriate.
Where I have seen that is in Myanmar with a room of 100+ Burmese people who were doing the five-point bow. In India and Aus/NZ his students just bow from sitting position which ever sitting posture they're in.
I've also seen Burmese people bowing to a picture of Sayagi U Ba Khin at a shrine at IMC Yangon. Sayagi's teacher was Saya (U Po) Thet. And I imagine that his Burmese students bowed to him. But apparently he gave his Dhamma talks from behind a screen.
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.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..
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