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Having the world as a teacher

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran
edited January 15 in Buddhism Today

It occurred to me that it might be worth exploring the buddha’s last words, be a light unto yourself, in a bit more detail. I think this is advanced practice, beyond what most people find with gurus or spiritual friends. The question is really how you can let the entire world be your teacher?

You can learn from a cloud, a tree, a cat, an aboriginal man, a banker... all things and all people have things to teach. But how best to learn what they teach us? And can they teach you things about your mind and your no-mind?

howBunksShoshinlobster

Comments

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    To the degree I can get myself out of the way, seems to be the same degree that teachers of the Dharma manifest everywhere.
    The only obfuscation of the Dharma turned out to be my ego/identity and a habituated maintenance of its dreamworld.

    BunksShoshinlobster
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    Listen more, talk less.

    federicahowFoibleFullShoshin
  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Bunks said:
    Listen more, talk less.

    Ditto.

    FoibleFullShoshin
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran Canada Veteran
    edited January 16

    WE are our own teacher. The Teacher only gives us the tools to use the dharma. By observing ourselves as we move through life/the world, we learn. Mindfulness developed through sitting meditation gradually becomes mindfulness while we move through our day, and that is what we learn from.

    Those things that bother us, especially, are our kindest of teachers because they show us where we are "stuck", attached, aversive, etc.

    BunksShoshinKerome
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran Veteran

    every thing and every one we encounter is a teacher, if we allow it. too often we get hung up on "finding a teacher" or "finding the right teacher" that we are blind to the reality, that we are blind to the true teachers we saunter past every minute of every day. We ask, "Where is my teacher? as a butterfly passes before our eyes or we pass a dandelion audaciously blossoming among the "real" flowers or the mother quietly comforting her child.
    When we open our eyes, we discover our teachers have always been with us, subtly sharing their beads of knowledge and (mundane) wisdom. It is what they share, not what they "are".

    Peac to all

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    Those things that bother us, especially, are our kindest of teachers because they show us where we are "stuck", attached, aversive, etc.

    Anything that evokes a strong reaction or emotion can be a teacher if you look deeply at where it comes from. That is the kind of teaching which tells you about yourself. But there are also elements of the real world which teach you aspects of that.

    Shoshinperson
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    One thing I've learned is as others have said is that everything and anything can be your teacher, including the blandishments of the illusion of the abiding ego entity. Look with the right kind of eyes and you will see the teacher eveywhere, the whole world proclaims the Dharma body of the Buddha. I'm so pig headed that the fruit of my karma was truly extreme to teach me, drug addiction, insanity, homelessness and an NDE to name but a few but evrntually I truly saw and began to find true peace. As they say in Zen when the student is ready the teacher will appear in whatever form is necessary in the beginning it's not always obvious what the teacher is and what it's teaching though. Peace out. :).

    BunksKeromelobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    One thing that nature teaches us is that all things contain the patterns of their existence. If you look at the acorn of an oak tree, all of the behaviour that makes up the next generation of that oak tree already exists within.

    Another thing that nature teaches is that the path of least resistance is often the right one. Look at the way weeds or grass grows, or the way water flows. Things follow their nature, and within that follow the easy paths.

    Generally only when there is a surplus do animals expend their energy on the non-essential. Look at when bears play together, or when dolphins exhibit playfulness. Man often has a surplus, but then he doesn’t always play, and when he plays, it is not always for fun.

    Jeffrey
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    Sometimes it's very real and intense pain! to paraphrase that wily old Zen fox Jundo Cohen when I was studying with him sometimes it's a bucket of blood, sh*t and offal in the face if that's what you need to learn! It's not all blissed out smiles and rains of pretty lotus flowers under the Bodhi tree, but as AJahn Chah said sometimes the layman sees it before the monk becuse he truly lives in the world of Dukkha.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    So when a Buddhist looks deeply at the world he sees the dharma? Does that mean that the dharma is all that there is to be seen?

  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The Dhamma is all there is. Everything is applicable to the Dhamma. The Dhammapada is evidence of this.

    Zenshinlobster
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited January 18

    @Kerome, the whole world is tainted by the 3 marks of existence, if that doesn't state the teachings what does? :).

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    So when a Buddhist looks deeply at the world he sees the dharma? Does that mean that the dharma is all that there is to be seen?

    Most of us dharma queens think the world is not-Christ, our guru is goddy two shoes, the world has nothing to teach us, Allah does not know best ... or similar ignorance ...

    Then we get kicked in the goulash by the understanding that:

    • We can learn from a tree, trump or stump
    • We are Sangha, Buddha and Dharma + the crown jewels
    • Nibbana is a peeled banana

    Hope that is helpless

    Zenshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Having the world as a teacher

    Really finding genuine insights in peoples questions and answers of late ...

    For example this is the whole of the path:

    WE are our own teacher. The Teacher only gives us the tools to use the dharma. By observing ourselves as we move through life/the world, we learn. Mindfulness developed through sitting meditation gradually becomes mindfulness while we move through our day, and that is what we learn from.

    and this is the advanced advancement according to my experience:

    Those things that bother us, especially, are our kindest of teachers because they show us where we are "stuck", attached, aversive, etc.

    Well done us. We are stream entering ... yay!
    💗💗💗 We are doing good. 💗💗💗

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