Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
befriend
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by befriend » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:31 am

practicing buddhism without a teacher, is like trying to build a mansion by teaching yourself carpentry. its fine to read books in the beginning to get ageneral understanding of it, and meditate some to develop some saddha. but i went a few years without a teacher, i got a teacher and learned more in a few months than i did spending a few years reading the same old books from Borders. there are so many ways to confuse yourself. i used to worry about being reborn as an animal then my teacher said dont do that. teachers are very wise, even if your not interested in buddhism its good to have a buddhist teacher. hahahaa.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by NEMP » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:07 am

It has been good to read the above comments as I am new to both Theravada and this forum as well as not having a teacher. As a guide does the meaning of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha mean that a community ( with teacher) is important even for lay practice ?
David Sharp

danieLion
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by danieLion » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:But since you do not read Pali, you must rely on imperfect translations.... Books have their limitations....
Pali's is itself imperfect and limited--ultimately unreliable.
Daniel :heart:

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:12 am

danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:But since you do not read Pali, you must rely on imperfect translations.... Books have their limitations....
Pali's is itself imperfect and limited--ultimately unreliable.
Daniel :heart:
Unreliable? For what? It is the perfect language for the Pali suttas.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

danieLion
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by danieLion » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:14 am

Did the Buddha mandate a teacher requirement for practice, and if so, in what Canonical document or documents did he do so? If he did not, I do not not see any way to reasonably justify a "yes" response to the OP's question.

I also feel this thread could use a good working definition of "teacher."

DL :heart:

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by danieLion » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:But since you do not read Pali, you must rely on imperfect translations.... Books have their limitations....
Pali's is itself imperfect and limited--ultimately unreliable.
Daniel :heart:
Unreliable? For what? It is the perfect language for the Pali suttas.
It's imperfect for the same reason any language is imperfect.
DL

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:20 am

danieLion wrote:It's imperfect for the same reason any language is imperfect.
DL
Well, if you want to have the Pali Canon, then you need Pali, which makes it a perfect fit.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:58 am

danieLion wrote:Did the Buddha mandate a teacher requirement for practice, and if so, in what Canonical document or documents did he do so? If he did not, I do not not see any way to reasonably justify a "yes" response to the OP's question.

I also feel this thread could use a good working definition of "teacher."

DL :heart:
As I mentioned above:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 40#p153284" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
there are many suttas that describe monks taking instruction from other monks.

Moreover, most suttas seem to be personalized instructions from the Buddha or one of his assistants to a particular person/audience. That seems to be how it worked back then, therefore it seems reasonable to do the same today.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by PeterB » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:41 am

danieLion wrote:Did the Buddha mandate a teacher requirement for practice, and if so, in what Canonical document or documents did he do so? If he did not, I do not not see any way to reasonably justify a "yes" response to the OP's question.

I also feel this thread could use a good working definition of "teacher."

DL :heart:
2500 years of experiential processes are the mandate.

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by chownah » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:36 pm

danieLion wrote:Did the Buddha mandate a teacher requirement for practice, and if so, in what Canonical document or documents did he do so? If he did not, I do not not see any way to reasonably justify a "yes" response to the OP's question.

I also feel this thread could use a good working definition of "teacher."

DL :heart:
This is not exactly a definition but perhaps is worth thinking about:
1. You can see a form and think "teacher".
2. You can hear a sound and think "teacher".
3. You can smell an odor and think "teacher".
4. You can taste a flavor and think "teacher".
5. You can feel a bodily sensation and think "teacher".
6. You can experience a thought and think "teacher".
What else can there be to a teacher?
chownah

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by PeterB » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:57 pm

You can even find one and avail yourself of her/his teachings. There's a radical thought.

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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by danieLion » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:59 am

:anjali:
chownah wrote:
This is not exactly a definition but perhaps is worth thinking about:
1. You can see a form and think "teacher".
2. You can hear a sound and think "teacher".
3. You can smell an odor and think "teacher".
4. You can taste a flavor and think "teacher".
5. You can feel a bodily sensation and think "teacher".
6. You can experience a thought and think "teacher".
What else can there be to a teacher?
chownah
:anjali:
Some of my best teachers are my "enemies," people who annoy me, pain, anger, & the breath....
DL :heart:

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Ben
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by Ben » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:02 am

Hi Daniel
You might like to have a read of Ven Analayo's "Satipatthana: the direct path to realization" where he talks about contemplating the hindrances.
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

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danieLion
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by danieLion » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:05 am

Ben wrote:Hi Daniel
You might like to have a read of Ven Analayo's "Satipatthana: the direct path to realization" where he talks about contemplating the hindrances.
kind regards,

Ben
I just read that.
Which pages specifically do you have in mind?
Daniel :heart:
Edit: p. 190. Turning obstacles into meditation objects. Thanks Ben.
Last edited by danieLion on Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ben
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Re: Is a Teacher required to practice meditation?

Post by Ben » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:08 am

Hi Daniel,
I don;t have my copy with me currently. I do remember Venerable writing about reviewing the hindrances. It could be in the Investigation of Dhammas section. I'm sorry I can't be more specific.
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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