christopher::: wrote:Well, yes of course, Sangha is essential. And from Sangha we find teachers, without which we are not going to be able to learn key methods, get ourselves going properly. Like learning to drive a car, or tune and play a guitar. We need guidance, an advanced practitioner observing, guiding, right by our side...
Yes, because it's so easy to be deluded about what one is doing...
I agree 100% about the social support of a Sangha, how crucial that is. It's just a question of how much one-to-one hands on guidance may be needed, and for how long. I do wonder sometimes about a kind of dependency relationship some people get into, with a sense of pride developing for being a student of so-and-so, belonging to the so-and-so school, etc... On the fast track! An elite system, special... There's a danger there...
This is a bit of a straw man argument, isn't it? Do you actually know people in real life who have this problem? Do you think it would something that would happen to you?
But also a great potential benefit, if one's teacher is really gifted, does teach a method that works, is truly guiding students skillfully- as the Buddha did- so that they learn how to apply the wisdom. Doesnt it really depend on the person, the teacher, motivation, karma, life situations?
I think you are veering to an extreme here. A teacher doesn't have to be gifted, or famous, or whatever. They just have to be reasonably good. The couple of primary long-term monastic teachers that I have had are not famous, and I suspect that there are thousands of others out there of similar skill level. I've done short workshops or retreats with more famous monks, which is nice, and stimulating, but I don't have any particular urge to seek out the "best teacher in the world". A good, local, accessible teacher is, for me, more useful than a "superstar" because they know me, and can challenge me more specifically.