Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Finding a teacher

BunksBunks Australia Veteran
Once you have identified someone who you wish to be your buddhist teacher, is it tradition to formally ask them if they will be your teacher?


  • howhow Veteran
    What tradition or school does this teacher come from?
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    Theravadan (Thai Forest)
  • Yes.

    The Theravadin Thai tradition offer teaching as part of their remit. An ordinary monk might not feel qualified and will seek advice from their teacher. A teacher might suggest another monk if the teacher is very busy or feels this would be beneficial but normally they are more than happy.

    How wonderful.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    Bunks said:

    .....is it tradition to formally ask them if they will be your teacher?

    It's at least polite ;) .

    I had a friend, who said that a certain lama was his teacher. He became sick and was actively dying, and I was asked to contact this lama to ask if she would come and visit her student and counsel him in his last hours.

    So I called.

    She said she was aware of no such relationship. She knew the person, and liked him, but according to her there was no formal setting for the relationship we thought was in place. He had studied with her, attending public teachings and practices she was leading, but no formal teacher/student relationship.

    It was a bit embarrassing.

    You don't have to have a formal relationship with a teacher to recieve teachings from him or her. You just attend the teaching.

    There may be something more you want from this teacher and that's where a formal setting is important.

    I'm from a Tibetan background and the guru/student relationship is very important - essential in some respects. You do not simply assume that a teacher is your guru. It's something the two of you must arrive at together.

    That said, I don't know how such things work in the Forest Tradition. It would probably be best if you requested an interview with the teacher to talk about it.
Sign In or Register to comment.