The next consideration is what they call an "acariya (teacher, master)".But in truth, even in the old training systems, they did not talk much about "acariya." They called such a person a "good friend (kalyana-mitta)." To say "friend" - an advisor who can help us with certain things - is correct.We should not forget, however, principle that no one can help someone else directly. Yet nowadays, everyone wants to have a teacher to supervise them! A good friend is someone who has extensive personal experience and knowledge about the meditation practice or whatever else it is that we are striving to do. Although he is able to answer questions and explain some difficulties, it is not necessary for him to sit over us and supervise every breath. A good friend who will answer questions and help us work through certain obstacles is more than enough. To have such a kalyana-mitta is one more thing to arrange.
On your own only if you are willing to not hang onto anything that arises from one's practice. It is all too easy to get bamboozled by meditative experiences. A good teacher is a good idea, but even that is not a guarantee against bamboozlement.Lazy_eye wrote:I would think breath meditation, metta and, to some degree, vipassana could be learned on one's own. Maybe not jhana.
JeffR wrote:It seems to me a teacher is no more necessary to learn the way of the Buddha than a teacher is necessary to learn the intricate details of quantum mechanics.
It could be done; but getting onto the wrong path or getting stuck is more likely.
Lazy_eye wrote:Again, my question has to do with the necessity of a teacher. I think most of us would agree that having a teacher is a good thing. But it seems to me that in certain Mahayana traditions, personal contact with the teacher is an absolute prerequisite, almost to the point that it becomes more about the teacher than the teachings.
David N. Snyder wrote:More reason to rely on the texts first, imo.
"Whatever Dhamma and Vinaya I have pointed out and formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone." - DN 16
David N. Snyder wrote:I think it is one of the strengths of the Theravada that a teacher is not an absolute necessity; beneficial in some aspects, yes, but not an absolute requirement. Teachers are human and subject to human error. The Pali Canon is a much better guide, in my opinion.
Additionaly, there have been some (not all) Zen and Vajrayana teachers exploiting their power relationship over their students and getting into all kinds of scandals. More reason to rely on the texts first, imo.
David N. Snyder wrote:Teachers are human and subject to human error.
More reason to rely on the texts first, imo.
5heaps wrote:David N. Snyder wrote:More reason to rely on the texts first, imo.
why? spoken words are the same as written ones and are subject to the same critical thinking
...has anyone actually done this (no modern books, teachers, recordings, ...)?