Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

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rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:00 pm

With Metta

Karuna
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:39 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:06 pm

With Metta

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:53 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:52 pm

I heard Ven Premasiri (one of Sri Lankas senior forest monks) saying that standards have slipped because they meditated only 10 hours a day, at the local Mahasi centre. :) which leads me to talk about role models/learning by observing the teacher. I guess the teacher by guiding meditations or discussing (or showing) how he would approach things, guides the students to learn by modelling themselves after the teacher. Ven Dhammajiva used to say if you were a half baked potato your students would be as well :broke: .

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daverupa
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:30 am


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:00 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:45 am

Hi Spiny,

With beginners, as you say, keep it simple! Considering we should teach them step by step, showing the connections, I introduce the Sila, Samadhi, Panna 'pyramid', showing how each one serves as a foundation for the latter -panna being at the top of the pyramid. This is a nice simple format, but detailed enough not to leave key bits out (vs 'just be mindful, that is) but not too complex for a beginner. Once they are well on their way to practicing those components (except perhaps vipassana, but generally doing samatha), I introduce the Noble Eightfold Path. This would include them going away and reading up on the N8FP if not the Maha catarisaka sutta (the latter tells you how to 'convert' any other path into the N8FP). So I would have them looking and evaluating their world view against mundane or supramundane right view. Leading on from that, what kind of intentions that gives rise to- intentions about how they keep their precepts, becoming a better person, becoming mindful, developing concentration, insight and release.

That in itself should keep them busy for most of their lives! I make it a point to encourage them to explore the suttas, review their own practice, be honest with themselves about their morality, mindfulness, concentration etc in comparison to the suttas (and with me, when they discuss their 'achievements'!). It's important not to let anyone feel they are lagging behind -I tend to remind them that it is not a competition (except perhaps, with themselves)and we all start where we start (you will develop your own style of doing this, I think). I even get them to read up a topic/sutta at home, ask them to ponder over it, have a think about how they can put it into practice and having done so, feedback to the class how they found the particular sutta/topic useful for their practice. Sri Lankan students have a tendency to faithfully listen to their teachers (without even asking a single question sometimes!) and then forget about it all once they leave the building :). So I have been emphasizing the need to not just listen to dhamma talks (that is, not just use them for 'spiritual entertainment'!) but rather listen to them as someone giving instructions for practice - that is actively ponder while listening to the talk how this can be 'converted' unto something that can be practiced. I cant say I have had perfect 'results' but at the end of the day everyone comes with their mixed bag of implements and people are more/less capable in different areas of practice. In any case what we need to do is to make sure they have 1) the right attitude towards the practice 2) the right intentions 3) adequate instruction on the practice techniques 4) some method/format to review their own practice 5) provide the theoretical framework, so that they are following a clear plan of practice (nyayapatipanno)/other helpful bits of dhamma knowledge 6) be available when they need one to one time.

This is how I run the classes that I do - oh and be responsive to the needs of the group - so you may vary what you teach.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:55 am


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Aloka
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Aloka » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:41 pm


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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:58 pm

Perhaps he was navel-gazing but got waylaid.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:33 pm

With Metta

Karuna
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& Upekkha

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Aloka
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Aloka » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:17 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:00 pm

Hi Aloka

No problem. Sanghamitta can be quite funny at times.

:focus:

with metta

Matheesha
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:23 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:11 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:07 pm

The Buddha was not averse to stating what was painful to hear. He was asked if he ever used harsh speech - he said he did- if it meant that kusala (the wholesome) would arise in the person he addressed in that manner, as a result. This is of course sometimes required, with difficult students. Once again though, we must be careful of the motives behind this type of speech- it might be based on craving or ego, rather than metta or equanimity (easier with the latter).

Interestingly, one of the harshest punishments you could get as a monk was what was called 'brahmadanda' : other monks were asked not to speak with the offending monk! This happened to Ven Channa who was too conceited to listen to any instruction he was given. I suppose harshest punishment was to be thrown out of the monkhood.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:31 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:50 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Teachin the dhamma, and teachers

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:38 am



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