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Uniqueness and becoming a buddha

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

We can see that people are all different on the outside, it stands to reason that we are also all different and unique on the inside. So does that not mean that teachings and spiritual goals should also be different and unique? Perhaps what works for one person as a path will not work for another.

You could say that this is the individual’s responsibility, but what does it mean for the student-teacher relationship? How can a teacher guide you when your experience could be very different from his own? More so, why has no-one tried to survey inner uniqueness and it’s effects on teaching (spiritual or normal education).

KundopersonlobsterShoshin

Comments

  • SE25WallSE25Wall London Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    We can see that people are all different on the outside, it stands to reason that we are also all different and unique on the inside. So does that not mean that teachings and spiritual goals should also be different and unique? Perhaps what works for one person as a path will not work for another.

    You could say that this is the individual’s responsibility, but what does it mean for the student-teacher relationship? How can a teacher guide you when your experience could be very different from his own? More so, why has no-one tried to survey inner uniqueness and it’s effects on teaching (spiritual or normal education).

    this is why i like Zen so much. just watch and see what unfolds naturally. i like the idea of human flourishing, unobstructed by grand ideas of self and must/should like impulses of the will.

  • SE25WallSE25Wall London Explorer
    edited January 8

    i have only just started to realise how the word "must" permeates so much of my thinking, often accompanied by a dull aching knot in the stomach. i think if a teacher laid a lot of other "musts" on me, that dull aching feeling would grow.

  • herbieherbie Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    We can see that people are all different on the outside, it stands to reason that we are also all different and unique on the inside. So does that not mean that teachings and spiritual goals should also be different and unique? Perhaps what works for one person as a path will not work for another.

    You could say that this is the individual’s responsibility, but what does it mean for the student-teacher relationship? How can a teacher guide you when your experience could be very different from his own? More so, why has no-one tried to survey inner uniqueness and it’s effects on teaching (spiritual or normal education).

    Hi @Kerome,

    From my perspective:

    Appearances are deceitful. What appears to be different is not truly different but relatively different depending on the context of assessment.
    But based on that relative individual difference teachings and spiritual goals are in fact relatively different, too. That is why a certain teaching resonates with one individual but not with another.

    What applies to teachings and spiritual goals does apply to teachers, too, in two ways:
    1. One teacher may resonate with a student while another teacher may not.
    2. The teaching one teacher gives may be understood by different individuals in different but equally helpful ways.

    The most advanced form of teacher-student resonance may manifest as what I call 'mind-to-mind transmission' which can happen through very different media of communication: rational language, metaphoric language, language that uses similes, non-linguistic symbols, shouts, gestures and what have you.

    ShoshinJeffreylobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited January 8

    I guess that's why they say when the student is ready the teacher appears.

    @Kerome said:
    We can see that people are all different on the outside, it stands to reason that we are also all different and unique on the inside. So does that not mean that teachings and spiritual goals should also be different and unique? Perhaps what works for one person as a path will not work for another.

    You could say that this is the individual’s responsibility, but what does it mean for the student-teacher relationship? How can a teacher guide you when your experience could be very different from his own? More so, why has no-one tried to survey inner uniqueness and it’s effects on teaching (spiritual or normal education).

    I think a good teacher will be able to teach us how to figure it out rather than just tell us how it is.

    The suttas are usually geared to a specific mindset and often named after the student they were given to. Some seem to contradict others but when leaning to one extreme or the other, we would be brought to center.

    That's why it's good to read the introduction to the teaching before the teaching so we can see which way it will go. What one student needs to know could hinder another ones progress. Somebody with very little regard for themself won't need the same teaching as somebody incredibly vain.

    Everybody sees things a bit differently and if there's a point, that could be it.

    I always think of the contrast between Thich Nhat Hanh and The Dalai Lama. Their presentations are different but their message seems to be the same.

    personlobsterShoshinJeffrey
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited January 8

    @Kerome said:
    How can a teacher guide you when your experience could be very different from his own?

    How can a teacher guide you if they were the same? If they were the same, then why would you even need them?

    personShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I think a good teacher will be able to teach us how to figure it out rather than just tell us how it is

    I want one of those please ...

    The most advanced form of teacher-student resonance may manifest as what I call 'mind-to-mind transmission' which can happen through very different media of communication: rational language, metaphoric language, language that uses similes, non-linguistic symbols, shouts, gestures and what have you.

    and any of those going spare ...

    In a mixed dharma crowd, peoples are at different stages of unfoldment. They will be repulsed or attracted, indifferent or unattentive to what is of benefit. Ideally they will find a teaching in the situation because like me, they wish to learn and possibly end up wise if they are not too careful ...

    The secret of a good teacher is being able to impart their knowledge in a constructive and productive means of communication. They have to be able to convey the information in a way that holds the attention; they need to be a good orator, and transfix the pupil.

    I want that one! I will learn good!

    person
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran
    edited January 14

    In my ignorance, I will add the the narrative:

    I was often told, "Do not seek Buddha - you are already Buddha." which means that we (you, I us, them) already have the latent state of Buddha within. There is nothing special about becoming a Buddha. There is something remarkable about becoming a Buddha. Becoming a Buddha is awakening that Buddha nature, the Ninth consciousness and drawing it our from behind the wall of Karma Storage, overcoming our inate ignorance, our fundamental darkness. That priceless jewel (Buddha - Enlightened State) is hidden the tattered coat of our own lives which we so grudgingly wear.

    Time to polish my mirror.
    Peace to all

    lobster
  • In some buddhist teachings there is even a teaching about 'five families of Buddhas' or in other words different people more specialize at certain types of energy than others.

    Some information from wikipedia is here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Tathagatas

    And no the Corleone family isn't listed here haha :)

    lobsterVastmindLionduck
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