Teaching the Dhamma: five important things to consider

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Teaching the Dhamma: five important things to consider

Postby manas » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:31 pm

Greetings, fellow members and guests,

I think we would do well to remember and take to heart, the following instructions about how the Dhamma should be taught, as given in this sutta:

Udayi Sutta: About Udayin

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi, in Ghosita's Park. Now at that time Ven. Udayin was sitting surrounded by a large assembly of householders, teaching the Dhamma. Ven. Ananda saw Ven. Udayin sitting surrounded by a large assembly of householders, teaching the Dhamma, and on seeing him went to the Blessed One. On arrival, he bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Ven. Udayin, lord, is sitting surrounded by a large assembly of householders, teaching the Dhamma."

"It's not easy to teach the Dhamma to others, Ananda. The Dhamma should be taught to others only when five qualities are established within the person teaching. Which five?

"[1] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak step-by-step.'

"[2] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak explaining the sequence [of cause & effect].'

"[3] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak out of compassion.'

"[4] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak not for the purpose of material reward.'

"[5] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak without hurting myself or others.'

"It's not easy to teach the Dhamma to others, Ananda. The Dhamma should be taught to others only when these five qualities are established within the person teaching."

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


Some food for thought and reflection there. We might not be Dhamma teachers in any official capacity; but even so, if we are asked to explain it by someone, then for that person, in that moment, we temporarily become a teacher of sorts; and so the above could help to guide us, in that situation.

metta,
manas.
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Re: Teaching the Dhamma: five important things to consider

Postby Mkoll » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:10 pm

Dear manas,

Thank you for this post. Those five things are worth memorizing. Also worth remembering:

"Monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you:

timely or untimely,
true or false,
affectionate or harsh,
beneficial or unbeneficial,
with a mind of good-will or with inner hate.

Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.
-MN 21

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: Teaching the Dhamma: five important things to consider

Postby chownah » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:08 am

Another point to keep in mind is that people only learn what they want to learn.
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Re: Teaching the Dhamma: five important things to consider

Postby manas » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:56 am

chownah wrote:Another point to keep in mind is that people only learn what they want to learn.
chownah


Like I said, 'when asked...'

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