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How does one locate a teacher?

I am collecting a book of questions as I continue to read various texts. I end up going to the net to read up on history between china. Tibet and India in hopes of getting perspective .

I do not want to stray to far and was wondering if I could find a tech to help direct me? Appreciate thoughts/ insights.

Comments

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Trying to find perspective between such different cultures is a very complex question.

    You can always post your questions and people in the forum might provide you with answers.

    I don't know if you want to compare the Buddhism in those different cultures, in which case, maybe these links could help you tackle some basics:

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/schools.htm

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/schools2.htm

    http://www.buddhanet.net/

    http://viewonbuddhism.org/

    bookworm33_3
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

    Serendipity might catch you when you least expect it.

    karasti
  • I tend to sit on my teacher (Mr Cushion), have you tried asking for somone to help/advise you at the Zen centre you attend?

    You already have teachers in the three jewels.
    https://thebuddhistcentre.com/text/three-jewels

    Hope that is helpful.

    Nerima
  • @lobster said:

    I tend to sit on my teacher (Mr Cushion), have you tried asking for somone to help/advise you at the Zen centre you attend?

    You already have teachers in the three jewels.
    https://thebuddhistcentre.com/text/three-jewels

    Hope that is helpful.

    I have yet to attend the Zen Center as I thought it was mediation based. I have a back injury and cannot sit on the floor as pictured, is this an issue? I am confused as which Buddisit route I should go? If I follow the Dali Lama what am I adhering to?
    Thanks for the help

  • @DhammaDragon said:
    Trying to find perspective between such different cultures is a very complex question.

    You can always post your questions and people in the forum might provide you with answers.

    I don't know if you want to compare the Buddhism in those different cultures, in which case, maybe these links could help you tackle some basics:

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/schools.htm

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/schools2.htm

    http://www.buddhanet.net/

    http://viewonbuddhism.org/

    The links are very helpful. I am swimming in information. Can I be a Buddhist without saying I am a certain school of Buddhism? I appreciate all who are teaching me. I wish I lived in a bigger area for a face to face from a teacher.

  • RhodianRhodian Loser Veteran
    edited December 2014
    Actually I was looking real hard for a teacher or temple or a course. Then all of a sudden I realised I do not need for I already have what I need. You to have the diamonds in yourself just have to meditate and polish them. Teacher might come later you can always save money and get ticket to a place with a temple.

    As for not sitting on the ground but in a chair I sometimes take a chair due my rheumatism but that is okay chairs are good to! Your legs won't become enlightened anyway though in chair you are limited by always needing s chair whilst cushions are easier to move around with. Also might be harder to keep a straight back but there is advice for that I believed you have to lift the back legs. But not sure never tried it.

    Good luck
    33_3Nerima
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    @33_3: Yes, you may call yourself a Buddhist without needing to belong to a school in particular.
    I am in a Tibetan Dzogchen sangha, but read and love Theravada suttas and Chan and Zen books.

    Second, you can practise meditation sitting on a chair if you please.
    Elderly people in my group do.
    Main thing is study, learn and put everything into practice.
    No high-brow cocktail talk here.
    A lot of walking the walk instead..
    Rhodiansova
  • @33_3 said:
    I have a back injury and cannot sit on the floor as pictured, is this an issue?

    No. Not an issue at all.

    You might not be ready or intend to meditate

    just in case . . .

    I am confused as which Buddisit route I should go? If I follow the Dali Lama what am I adhering to?

    As your primary connection is through your brothers death, this might be a good path. The Dalai Lama follows the Tantric form of Buddhism, which is heavily influenced by ideas of rebirth and a multitude of practices (Sadhana).

    The Dalai Lama is a corporeal form, or symbolic embodiment of compassion in his Tantric Lama (teacher) capacity. The open to everyone practice associated with connecting to the Dalai Lama is the sadhana of Chenresig. It sounds very trite that a visualisation or mantra can link us to an abstract attribute. However the important thing is to start feeling and noticing benefits as quickly as possible. This will enhance, purify and subtly focus your intentions.

    http://www.kagyu-richmond.org/chenrezig.html

    Hope that is practical :)

    Buddhadragon33_3Bunks
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    My teacher appeared to me on a poster in a grocery store. You never know when you find them when you stop looking :)

    lobsterChaz33_3
  • RhodianRhodian Loser Veteran

    @karasti said:
    My teacher appeared to me on a poster in a grocery store. You never know when you find them when you stop looking :)

    Thanks a lot, it's very cold in winter time and now I feel like I should walk/cycle trough every city and check every grocery store! :'(

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @33_3 said:
    I have yet to attend the Zen Center as I thought it was mediation based. I have a back injury and cannot sit on the floor as pictured, is this an issue?

    As others have said, no. You can sit in a chair. I use a low footstool at home and alternate between what's called a Gomden and a chair at group practices.

    I am confused as which Buddisit route I should go?

    Well, whichever way you want.

    If I follow the Dali Lama what am I adhering to?

    Nothing you don't want to.

    The DL is part of the Gelug lineage; one of the 4 main traditions in what's commonly called "Tibetan Buddhism". This means he'll offer a particular slant on Buddhist teaching and a certain group of practices, but that's nothing you really need to be very concerned with. If you like the DL's teaching, stick with it for a while. If you find you don't move on until you find one you can stick with.

    You should check out that Zen Center, especially for the opportunity to get meditation instruction. Finding a balance between study and practice is important. You can probably get dharma teaching as well. Just because they emphasize practice doesn't mean they ignore study.

    It may not be the last stop you make on the path, but not bad as a first.

    33_3
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @33_3 said:The links are very helpful. I am swimming in information.

    >

    Providing you don't start drowning and struggling. The worst thing to do is wade in so far, that you suddenly find yourself out of your depth.
    Remember, the whole point of the Raft, is to merely use it to get to the other side.
    Not jump off it, into the deep end, to test the depth with both feet.

    Can I be a Buddhist without saying I am a certain school of Buddhism?

    >

    Certainly.

    I appreciate all who are teaching me. I wish I lived in a bigger area for a face to face from a teacher.

    >

    I have never had a personal, face-to-face, one-on-one teacher, in all the 20+ years I have been following Buddhism.
    I, much like @DhammaDragon‌ can find much within diverse traditions, to sustain, educate, inform and inspire me. All I have to do (and this is the tricky bit) is IMPLEMENT what WORKS....

    silverVanilli
  • 33_333_3 Veteran
    edited December 2014

    I am reading each day as I have said before in another post. Funny thing, I have not read more than a magazine or from the web since college in 84. When I read or studied photography as an example it would not stick. Now there is a sense of emergency but not one of if I don't learn I am going to hell or become an outcast (Christian fears since 70's). I buy books at a used bookstore and read one at a time. I take it with me and read when waiting for example(this is HUGE step for me)
    @Lobster you are correct, I came this way via my brother. I am noticing many benefits now as well as positive feelings. I do not say negative things(made it through family Christmas without joining any past drama conversations. So much of what I hear now from people are just words with no substance. I am not negative, just not clogging my head with words. I am a major music freak from the late 60's and have an enormous library of music. I have been giving music away to reduce the bulk. I listen to Alice and John Coltrane, Miles, Pharaoh Sanders, Don Cherry, etc." Living in a Material World" even stronger now. I owe all my interest in spiritualism to Mr. Harrison. Thank everyone so much for the help.

    silversova
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @federica said:
    All I have to do (and this is the tricky bit) is IMPLEMENT what WORKS....

    I think this quotation says it all: IMPLEMENT what WORKS.

    Read a lot, choose what feels right for you, and above all, put it work.

    Like @karasti mentioned above, I also learnt about my present sangha from a poster in my local supermarket.
    It announced the coming of Dzogchen Rinpoche to Switzerland for a series of conferences.
    I attended one two of them, and there you are, I found myself a new sangha and learning yet another take on Buddhism.

    sova
  • @33_3 said:
    I am noticing many benefits now as well as positive feelings.

    Cool. Here is a teacher practice that is the main 'open to everyone' teacher practice of the Nyingma Tibetan school that I use on occasion.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20040223062458/http://pages.britishlibrary.net/lobster/buddha/rinpoche.htm

    33_3
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @Rhodian said:
    Actually I was looking real hard for a teacher or temple or a course. Then all of a sudden I realised I do not need for I already have what I need. You to have the diamonds in yourself just have to meditate and polish them. Teacher might come later you can always save money and get ticket to a place with a temple.

    And yet, I seem to find constant exhortations to find a teacher. From A Still Forest Pool by Ajahn Chah,

    As you grow in Dharma, you should have a teacher to instruct and advise you. The matter of concentrating the mind, of samadhi, is much misunderstood; phenomena occur in meditation that otherwise do not normally arise. When this happens, a teacher's guidance is crucial, especially in those areas in which you have wrong understanding. Often where he corrects you will be just where you thought you were right. In the complexity of your thinking, one view may obscure the other and you get fooled. Respect your teacher and follow the rules or system of practice. If the teacher says to do something, do it. If he says to desist, desist. This allows you to make an honest effort and leads to making knowledge and vision manifest in your mind. If you do as I am saying, you will see and know.

    True teachers speak only of the difficult practice of giving up or getting rid of the self. Whatever may happen, do not abandon the teacher. Let him guide you, because it is easy to forget the Path.

    I've found similar remarks in a number of other works. So how important is a teacher?

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 2015

    Well, I don't know.
    Perhaps it is sufficient to revise, go back to basics, read more, re-develop a taste for information, and determine to walk the talk.

    I think that's what would be good for me, because I have never been in a position to be able to have the "luxury" of a nearby, constant and available Teacher....

    Nerima
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @nakazcid said:
    I've found similar remarks in a number of other works. So how important is a teacher?

    How important is enlightenment?

    It's commonly taught that there has been noone who reached enlightenment who didn't have a teacher. Even the Buddha had teachers at various times and lives.

    A teacher can be and often is invaluable on the Path. For example, one of our members described picking up a book by Kalu Rinpoche that was probably biting off more than could be chewed. A teacher can save time and frustration though his/her guidance in the progress of both study and practice.

    The teacher acts as a "spiritual friend" and can advise on any number of topics. A lot of questions people ask in a forum like this one, are often met with a multitude answers - some valid and others not. This can be confisuing to just about anyone. Many of these questions are the sorts of things you pose to your teacher and he/she should be counted on to provide consistent advice.

    If you have any interest in Vajrayana, a teacher is imperative. In fact, even if your interest extends only to Kriya Yoga such as Avalokiteshvara, Tara or Medicine Buddha practice, a teacher is very helpful in learning to do the practice correctly.

    You certainly don't "need" a teacher, but they can be very important.

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • 33_333_3 Veteran

    @Chaz said: ...a teacher can save time and frustration through his/her guidance ...

    That is a question I was asking as I felt if I had some guidance I may not have gotten as concerned. The forum did help me however. I plan to look for a tchr in my area when possible.

    lobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited January 2015

    Even if one can't find a teacher I think it's very valuable to go to Buddhist meetings if possible, become part of a sangha. It's also inspiring to spend time with like-minded people.

    Personally I don't recommend trying to learn meditation off the internet or from a book, it really isn't enough. I would recommend face-to-face instruction and personal advice on meditation. I have known people waste a lot of time and energy because they don't get it, and haven't been introduced to effective techniques. Forums like this are helpful, but in my view there is really no substitute for face-to-face instruction and advice.

    lobsterChaz33_3
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @33_3 said:

    That is a question I was asking as I felt if I had some guidance I may not have gotten as concerned. The forum did help me however. I plan to look for a tchr in my area when possible.

    Well, that Zen center would have someone who would be good for a start. They probably have intro meditation classes all the time and it a good way to check out the sangha and learn to meditate.

  • I still on occasion go to beginner/intro meditation classes. Refreshers.

    The last time was at local Thai style temple near Wimbledon Tennis courts. We did walking up and down mindfully meditation. Very well taught.

    Always useful to get instruction.

    33_3
  • TalisTalis Explorer

    A great little book that I found usefull when stepping out on the path of Buddhism is "Buddhist Boot Camp" wrtiten by Hawkeye Timber. He gives clear & concise examples of the way to alter our thinking. Also as already mentioned your teacher will appear when ready. Not sure who said it initially but the "Dharma is not in a book, a temple but in you" . PS I'm also still waiting for a teacher :)

    Alex
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Darlin' I bin waitin' 20 years. Sit here with me, and while you're at it, put kettle on.....

    lobsterNerimastacey
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    There are plenty of teachers, finding one we really connect with is a different matter.
    My favourite these days is Ajahn Brahm, I love his sense of humour, he'd have been a stand-up comedian in another life.

  • 33_333_3 Veteran
    edited March 2015

    I attended a class on Buddhism taught by the local Zen Center's Resident Tchr. Zuiko was ordained in 92 in Japan. The class part of was a secular presentation. She was very helpful and taught us (my wife) so much. We met every Sat in Feb. I have so many questions now that revolve around Zen practice (meditation/on the cushion) am I being shown a tchr, is Zen a path for me?
    Zuiko (Rev) told me I would know the first time we spoke. Each class I got closer to her. The final class there was a Hindu, Islamic and a Baha'i representative who gave how Buddhism was or was not related to their religion. (During the panel Zuiko sat next to my wife). During the Hindu presentation I began to weep very softly and inside I was moved... I believe Buddhism and Hinduism are paths that I have been on and off since I was 14 years old. The emotions were uncontrollable. ( 3 months ago I would have freaked, but with the loss of my brother in Oct I have broke down quite frequently.

    I plan to attend a dharma talk at the center soon. There is a slight concern in that my wife does not want to sit or mediate being in touch with her body. Shouldn't we go together if we both want be with other like minded people? I am not worried as the path always shows itself if I just relax and am patient.

    Since I began here, I know much more as to the various sects or arms of practice... is Zen for me?

    We are moving to AZ. Which has me asking more questions of is a tchr now or later-Zen?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    You don't have to go together. My husband has more interest in cleaning the toilet than meditating. It doesn't cause us any problems. We have some shared friends, and some friends we don't "Share." We are quite like-minded in many ways. Just not all.

    This probably sounds lame, but I think most of the time when you find a teacher you really connect with and want to work with, you'll know.

    lobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @33-3

    My partner and I have both had extensive meditation experience in the same Zen Buddhist tradition but our like mindedness is based on the respect that we have for each other, not that we practice within the same tradition.

    Nurture your own practice.
    Allow your wife to nurture hers.
    and
    Remember that few folks compound each others delusions as much as like minded ones.

    lobster33_3
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited March 2015

    I will teach you something 33_3 for free...

    The greatest thing, you'l ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return.

    No need for a teacher... Unless you desire one

  • @33_3 said:
    I am collecting a book of questions as I continue to read various texts. I end up going to the net to read up on history between china. Tibet and India in hopes of getting perspective .

    I do not want to stray to far and was wondering if I could find a tech to help direct me? Appreciate thoughts/ insights.

    There is a lot to learn which means also, there are a lot of presuppositions you may have about Buddhism that need to be set aside. The subject is not easy. Most people who have been practicing for many years are still—believe it or not—beginners. A lot has to do with our karmic predispositions. For example, depending on your karma you may find these words of the Buddha resonating with you or not: "This is the deathless (_amata), namely, the liberation of mind (citta) through not clinging_" (M.ii.265). Many of us have karmic issues we have to work through before the Buddha's words resonate with us. In this regard a teacher can only do so much which is often very little. They can only point the way. They cannot bring the 'other shore' to you.

    lobster
  • 33_333_3 Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @Blondel said:A lot has to do with our karmic predispositions. For example, depending on your karma you may find these words of the Buddha resonating with you or not: "This is the deathless (amata), namely, the liberation of mind (citta) through not clinging" (M.ii.265). Many of us have karmic issues we have to work through before the Buddha's words resonate with us.

    It is the Buddha's "resonating" words, as you say, that seem so clear at times..like it was meant for me, many aha moments. Almost scary how it happens- often I get the sense he is telling me to not worry about all the details and apply what he is telling me to my everyday life... I like to interact with people (usually 1) about this phenomenon that has been happening to me since I was 10- Thick Nat Huhn (I think) said one should tell/discuss your suffering with people/tchr ...

    I am not really concerned too much with gaining some sort of enlightenment as much as I am being a source of wisdom/inspiration for others, mainly in my family. Most of my adult like I was drinking, etc. and gathering material things for me. My family saw this and as I ingested it I know I in turn harmed them.. hope I make a little sense...
    Thank You

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I hope you mean "Thich Nhat Hanh"...or TNH as he's affectionately known...

    Otherwise I can only imagine you're referring to that lesser known dunce, and Atilla's second cousin thrice removed....!

    33_3
  • 33_333_3 Veteran

    @federica said:
    I hope you mean "Thich Nhat Hanh"...or TNH as he's affectionately known...

    Otherwise I can only imagine you're referring to that lesser known dunce, and Atilla's second cousin thrice removed....!

    "Thich Nhat Hanh" a slight typo I am afraid

  • @33_3, Don't give up hope in coming to a realization of that quote! Buddhism at first seems difficult and in some discourses it seems almost incomprehensible. But bear with it. Have great faith in your own innate capacity to self-awaken.

    Jeffreysova
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @33_3 said:

    Don't worry, I can never spell his name either! TNH or Thay is easier. ;)

    33_3
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @33_3 said:> > I plan to attend a dharma talk at the center soon. There is a slight concern in that my wife does not want to sit or mediate being in touch with her body. Shouldn't we go together if we both want be with other like minded people? I am not worried as the path always shows itself if I just relax and am patient.

    I really wouldn't worry about that. Buddhist practice generally makes people nicer to be around anyway. ;)

    lobster33_3
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