Teacher dependency

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Nobodyisspecial
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 1:43 am

Teacher dependency

Post by Nobodyisspecial »

Hi friends.

What is your understanding of "teacher veneration?"

Does teacher veneration lead to dependency and immaturity of the practioner? Samsaric beings are teachers that can't teach being superlative. You must realize it yourself because people must be free from interdependency to be enlightened. If they are charging money and causing dependency they are just using people for sustenance rather than knowing the way free from interdependence. Is enlightenment the full maturity to be beyond the dependency of the mundane?

I mean to suggest liberation is only for those free and beyond the attachment of a teacher. Which Thai Forest monk practices teacher veneration that is clearly at the end of the path? None!!!

Meditation teachers, can they teach you more than books or anything different from books? Why pay for lessons for meditation when it enslaved you to money management and devotions to labor rather than dwelling in leisure, Reflections and spiritual exercises?
SarathW
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Teacher dependency

Post by SarathW »

What do you mean by teacher veneration?
Is that you pray for the teacher for your liberation?
We worship Buddha as the teacher for his Buddha's characteristics.
Veneration your parents, adults and your teacher is an old Indian and Asian tradition.
It is not such a bad thing to respect your teacher.
Specially in the case of Buddhism this help you to eliminate your ego.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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mikenz66
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Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Teacher dependency

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Nobodyisspecial,
Nobodyisspecial wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:55 am What is your understanding of "teacher veneration?" ...
Your post seems to mix up several different issues: veneration, dependency, and money.

Personally, I've never had instruction where there was a charge for the teaching. For most retreats outside of monasteries there is usually an up-front charge that covers the facilities. Anything that the teachers receive is by dana. Monasteries don't generally need to do that, since it's their lay supporters who feed the retreatants (along with the monastics). If I do a retreat in a monastery I donate to the monastery. If I do a retreat with lay teachers, I donate to them.

As for veneration and dependency, the teachers I've had have come and gone (to different countries, or passed away). I agree it could be a problem to talk oneself into the idea that there is only this one special teacher in the world. That could lead to all kinds of difficulties.
Meditation teachers, can they teach you more than books or anything different from books?
You could ask the same question about any kind of learning. In principle, you could educate yourself in any advanced topic without attending a University. In practice, it is very rare for someone to study to an advanced level on their own. Without the teachers, the laboratories, and other support it is extremely difficult.

When it comes to Dhamma, we are blessed in this time that we can access a lot of good generic advice relatively easily via books and recordings. And it is possible to get personalised advice via online meetings, without the need to spend money on travel and accommodation. I recently did an online retreat at home that was surprisingly good. Different from being away somewhere - we were disappointed that we couldn't do our trip to the countryside - but in most ways not worse and in some ways better.

A teacher (or an experienced friend) can be very helpful in providing a role model and sufficient inspiration to keep at it. But for me, the most important function is providing advice when the student gets stuck. An experienced teacher who knows the student well can be invaluable. Suttas, information, and instructions I can read, or listen to on recordings. Sorting out subtle issues is not so easy without some one-on-one interaction. You can often see that playing out in the suttas, though I'm not optimistic about meeting a teacher as talented as the Buddha...

:heart:
Mike
DiamondNgXZ
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:40 am

Re: Teacher dependency

Post by DiamondNgXZ »

Yup as mike said.

The whole of the holy life is spiritual friendship. The teacher is the best spiritual friend.

Paraphase Ajahn Brahm: The aim of the teacher is to get rid of the student, so that they get independent, can do the practise on their own.
Nobodyisspecial
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 1:43 am

Re: Teacher dependency

Post by Nobodyisspecial »

Look I know the Pali Canon says the holy life is friendship.

Is the holy life a battle with the effluents as a medicant or having a party with friends?

Is the holy life crossing the stream independently of cultural influence or going with the flow of society with friends?

Is the holy life about relationships with others or being free from attachments?

Have a nice day :sage:
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mikenz66
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Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Teacher dependency

Post by mikenz66 »

Nobodyisspecial wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:46 am Is the holy life about relationships with others or being free from attachments?
The aim of the Path is to be free from attachments. However the training on the Path obviously involves relationships (right speech, action, and livelihood).

A good teacher or friend can assist with removing attachments, and encouraging independence. As DiamondNgXZ said:
DiamondNgXZ wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:43 am The aim of the teacher is to get rid of the student, so that they get independent, can do the practise on their own.
That's the aim of any worthwhile education...

:heart:
Mike
Nobodyisspecial
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 1:43 am

Re: Teacher dependency

Post by Nobodyisspecial »

Who memorized the Canon during the first Buddhist council? It was Ananda! Does the whole of the holy life sound like his memory or the teaching of Buddha? Meaning does Buddha teach dependent arising to end suffering by ending hunger or to just be friends?
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