Teacher or no Teacher?

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Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby cesar4enlightenment » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:56 am

Is it possible to be a practicing Buddhist without a teacher?
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby NDat » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:44 am

I think we can practice without a teacher if we understand properly what we should do, and why we are doing what we are doing. I have learnt the Dharma by myself without any teacher so far. I do not want to be influenced by only a teacher. With the Internet, I can learn from several teachers at the same time. This is just my personal view. However, for the practice it always be better if we could find a good teacher, and have the means to meet him/her. Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby Nicro » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:10 am

Of course. You have the ultimate teacher: The Buddha.

A physical teacher with whom you can somehow communicate simply makes a lot of things easier.
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby santa100 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:27 am

Although having a teacher who could teach you face to face would be greatly beneficial, it doesn't mean you cannot practice Buddhism in the absence of one. Many great teachers give free online lectures over the internet. For example, Bhikkhu Bodhi's series on the Majjhima Nikaya is totally awesome. Check it out if you have some times:

http://bodhimonastery.net/bm/about-budd ... ikaya.html

Also, Bhikkhu Thanissaro and other teachers' translation of the Nikayas are invaluable resources for your study and practice:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

Enjoy and Good luck..
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:43 am

Greetings,

Not to diminish the benefit from a living teacher...

The Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "It may be, Ananda, that to some among you the thought will come: 'Ended is the word of the Master; we have a Master no longer.' But it should not, Ananda, be so considered. For that which I have proclaimed and made known as the Dhamma and the Discipline, that shall be your Master when I am gone.

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

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby PeterB » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:25 am

Learning to meditate by following the instructions of an experienced Buddhist meditation teacher is the gold standard wherever possible. Its well worth both the effort and any cost.

:anjali:
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby cooran » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:48 am

Hello all,

A previous thread ''Role of the teacher in Theravada '' may be of interest:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5549

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby Epistemes » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:59 pm

I have almost always been attracted to Buddhism because I was under the impression that a teacher wasn't necessary. I am not sure where I picked up this impression, but it wasn't from a non-Buddhist source, I'm sure.

One of the things about Mahayana that is the most unattractive for me is the insistence upon learning from a master - especially for the Vajrayana. There is just something about relying upon a master that makes me uncomfortable right now. Something about it stinks of "religion."

While I understand the benefit of having a master to help improve one's practice, I don't think someone should seek out a master unless that person is ready to take that step.

I think technology has greatly changed the face of dhamma transmission that has not been available before. The internet is literally flooded with information about the dhamma, and more and more bhikkhus seem to be embracing the internet as a medium to convey the essential information to help with any problems of interpretation or practice. Perhaps the impersonal nature of dhamma talks via live internet streams is better since it leads to non-attachment and lack of preference for a particular (or available) master.
The wind spins without end,
one moment southward,
the next moment northward.
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby cesar4enlightenment » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:01 pm

thanks all, the reason for my question is because i live where it hard to find any centers where Buddhism is taught, even so i will continue to follow the footsteps of the Buddha and use my resources to continue on the path.
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Re: Teacher or no Teacher?

Postby nameless » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:32 am

PeterB wrote:Learning to meditate by following the instructions of an experienced Buddhist meditation teacher is the gold standard wherever possible. Its well worth both the effort and any cost.

:anjali:


Agreed, though, if the 'cost' involves a fee to the teacher that is not a donation, you might want to be careful.
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