For several years now I have been attending courses and retreats on a regular basis with a lay teacher who is a follower mainly of Thanissaro Bhikkhu. For some time I have been bothered by some of his interpretations of the Dhamma (such as describing metta as an unconditioned heart quality and an insistence on anapanasati to the detriment of all other meditative techniques just to name a few). There are several other things about his teachings/lifestyle that make me believe that I will not benefit much more from further serious involvement but I do owe an immeasurable debt to this teacher. He has been and still is the most serious and conservative lay teacher in my area and he introduced me to the kamatthana tradition and a whole world of practice and study to which I was oblivious. It is for all of these reasons that I feel somewhat like a traitor but I see now that the direction the group is going is too much at variance with the actual teachings in the suttas and, dare I say, of the Buddha, for me to feel comfortable closely associating with the group. The community has been my spiritual home for almost 5 years and it is a scary thought to be without it but I really don't think I have a choice. Fortunately one friend of mine that I've made in my time with the group feels the same and has agreed to undertake weekly meditation and sutta study. So, at least I'm not totally going it alone. Anyway, has anyone else dealt with these issues before? If so, how did it turn out? Did you find your practice strengthened? If anyone needs further details for my decision I'd be happy to discuss them via PM because the last thing I would want to do is tarnish the reputation of a teacher who has done so much good for me and continues to do so for others. Metta.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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