Getting back on track after a failing teacher

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Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Vajrapine » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:02 pm

For some years I have followed a teacher in the Tibetan tradition, who simply put has failed.

It has been a very painful process to accept this, and in that process I have lost the drive to practice. It just dissipated. I don't mind practice in theory, but I seem to totally have lost the connection in practice.

I would be immensely grateful for any advice, especially from anyone who has been through a similar experience, on how to get back in the saddle.

VP
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:14 pm

Do you mean this teacher has failed in terms of participating in some ethical misconduct, or that you're not seeing results after following this teacher?
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby lobster » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:14 am

I have lost the drive to practice


I feel you have illustrated the profound effect a false teacher may have on our psyche. From your reading you are aware of the path. Do you feel there is anything that would rekindle practice? A retreat? Another tradition? Another teacher?

Did you just intend to play golf instead? :meditate:
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:42 am

Vajrapine wrote:For some years I have followed a teacher in the Tibetan tradition, who simply put has failed.

It has been a very painful process to accept this, and in that process I have lost the drive to practice. It just dissipated. I don't mind practice in theory, but I seem to totally have lost the connection in practice.

I would be immensely grateful for any advice, especially from anyone who has been through a similar experience, on how to get back in the saddle.

VP



Find a teacher you respect.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Lindama » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:26 am

Vajrapine wrote:For some years I have followed a teacher in the Tibetan tradition, who simply put has failed.

It has been a very painful process to accept this, and in that process I have lost the drive to practice. It just dissipated. I don't mind practice in theory, but I seem to totally have lost the connection in practice.

I would be immensely grateful for any advice, especially from anyone who has been through a similar experience, on how to get back in the saddle.

VP


My condolences, it is painful. Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.

First, be where you are.... you have said it's painful, you have lost the drive to practice. This is a process, don't manipulate, honor your feelings, else it will add more karma, just let it be. Be there fully, in a way it depends on maturity and strong practice prior to this event... you said you were involved for some years. (I'm not sure i was so strong or mature, but we live through it) Either way, find support of dharma friends if you need it. Personally, I didn't find it, against the wind. never mind.... I always had a sense that we do not call in more than we can handle.

The state of the union, so to speak, is that there is a great rift. Let it tell you, don't assume that you have to practice in the usual way. Perhaps that is the point to be seen at the end of the day.... I sure don't know, nobody does.

Be sure you are destined to get back in the saddle. It could happen that events will lead you in a different direction. First, suffer the loss, expect nothing.

Many Blessings
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:36 am

I think you will find that most of us have been there and done that. Just pick yourself up and move on. Move onto the next lesson. Anyway, I am sure the encounter was not a complete waste of time and effort, at least you learnt what to look out for next time!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Vajrapine » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:39 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Do you mean this teacher has failed in terms of participating in some ethical misconduct, or that you're not seeing results after following this teacher?


Ethical misconduct.

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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Vajrapine » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:50 am

Thank you all. Such great advice, I will reflect on them all.

Also tremendously supportive simply know that others have gone through similar process, and have come out on the other side.

In Vajrayana, there is so much emphasis on the guru, Samaya etc. So on top of that feeling of... betrayal I guess?... you have to wrestle with the fear of having initiated a Tantric process and relationship that might be toxic in some sense. Kind of feels like when you have dropped a trip, and suddenly start to get paranoid that the quality (and therefore the effects) was bad. On the ultimate level, surely everything is perfect. But on the relative level, which is where you are when you're not a great practitioner – it feels quite bad.

I understand, intellectually, that this is a truly remarkable teaching that cleanses some of my projections, unrealistic expectations etc. But not having digested it yet, it is still an intellectual concept.

In deep appreciation,

VP
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Vajrapine » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:55 am

Lindama wrote:First, be where you are.... you have said it's painful, you have lost the drive to practice. This is a process, don't manipulate, honor your feelings, else it will add more karma, just let it be. Be there fully, in a way it depends on maturity and strong practice prior to this event...


Thanks so much. Excellent, but difficult, point. Staying in the emotion/experience, allowing the kleshas to unfold without getting caught up in the, is great practice – but very very difficult. One moment you want to project your kleshas on the teacher, the next moment you want to beat up yourself. Senseless! When we all need compassion...

In gratitude,

VP
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Lindama » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:08 am

Vajrapine wrote:
Lindama wrote:First, be where you are.... you have said it's painful, you have lost the drive to practice. This is a process, don't manipulate, honor your feelings, else it will add more karma, just let it be. Be there fully, in a way it depends on maturity and strong practice prior to this event...


Thanks so much. Excellent, but difficult, point. Staying in the emotion/experience, allowing the kleshas to unfold without getting caught up in the, is great practice – but very very difficult. One moment you want to project your kleshas on the teacher, the next moment you want to beat up yourself. Senseless! When we all need compassion...

In gratitude,

VP

:namaste:
go easy dear one, honor every bit, get caught up if you must.... notice if you can, that's enough. Respect that it lives in the body also. For many months, I would wake out of a deep sleep, heart pounding, nearly screaming.... and to others, I always looked so grounded. :tongue: Whether that is your klesha or not, no matter.... just try to stay out of your own way. Sometimes we must go through the senseless ... Forget all the standards... you are going past... only then, genuine quanimity.
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:18 am

Vajrapine wrote:In Vajrayana, there is so much emphasis on the guru, Samaya etc.
You may also wish to check out this discussion.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Simon E. » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:34 am

My first teacher was highly controversial. When I discovered the full extent of his controversial actions I fell into an aversive and angry state that lasted quite some time.
Over time I realised that it was a conundrum that I could not solve with my rational mind.
There was no neat resolution.
And that he had been a great force for good in my life.
He was a source of great good and great harm. Both.
I learned to be at peace with that.
Would I do it all again?..in all honesty I don't know.
But its done and past now.
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:02 am

Vajrapine,

I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this. I wish I had more insight into this type of situation, but I'm fortunate to be able to say my lamas have always been on the up and up... But this last point is a reason for hope, because similar to myself, there are many practitioners on this forum who have long relationships with excellent teachers and can therefore likely be of great help to you in finding a new teacher whenever you're ready. I pray your heart finds solace and you find a way to make sense of and come to peace with your experience and come out the other end of this stronger for it.
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Dharmasagara » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Dear Vajrapine,
they always recount those stories of past giants each lineage has and their teacher-student relationships. That's how it should be, in a perfect world those things you describe wouldn't happen. Yet they happen. And we get hurt. But, notwithstanding the emotional pain such things produce, it helped me tremendously to sort out things:

Was the dharma my teacher taught pure? Then that is the thing to keep and be grateful for.
Was the teacher really up to the claims one puts on his/her teacher due to tradition (enlightened, a buddha etc.)? Maybe it would be wiser to distinguish between the enlightened basic mind that the teacher might have already touched more than us common sentient beings, and his/her everyday mind that might not be as enlightened as he/she thinks. Then we can still honor the moments when enlightenment might have shone thorough and we have been touched by that blessing. And at the same time generate compassion for that sentient being that is still caught up in worldly mind most of the time.

All that is not something I would suggest while still working with one's teacher, though. In my understanding all these advices (view him/her as enlightened, a true buddha etc.) are precisely formulated for keeping us in the practice while the behavior of our teacher is irritating us. Formulated differently that means: Keep a pure view and stick to practice!
But once the breakage has occurred and our teacher is not anymore somebody we can put trust onto, then aforementioned considerations really helped me to get on.

Wish you the best for your path!
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Simon E. » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:38 pm

A wise and balanced response in my view Dharmasagara.

:namaste:
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby conebeckham » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:59 pm

I second Simon's post, and thank Dharmasagara for an excellent response.

Also want to recommend Malcolm's advice--find another teacher, one who you respect.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby dude » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:52 pm

Vajrapine wrote:For some years I have followed a teacher in the Tibetan tradition, who simply put has failed.

It has been a very painful process to accept this, and in that process I have lost the drive to practice. It just dissipated. I don't mind practice in theory, but I seem to totally have lost the connection in practice.

I would be immensely grateful for any advice, especially from anyone who has been through a similar experience, on how to get back in the saddle.

VP


To put it bluntly, I'm not surprised. There are a lot of phonies around, and many "teachers" who are looked up to are hopelessly corrupt.
Buddhism is in a deplorable state, and the various teachers are at odds with each other.
I empathize with you, having experienced similar painful and discouraging things.
Let's move forward as "good friends," neither master nor disciple, but fellow practioners in mutual support to seek the correct path.

I might add, the appearance of phonies and "quarrels and disputes among adherents to my teaching" were predicted by the Buddha, so we shouldn't let that get in our way.
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:26 pm

Vajrapine wrote:In Vajrayana, there is so much emphasis on the guru, Samaya etc. So on top of that feeling of... betrayal I guess?... you have to wrestle with the fear of having initiated a Tantric process and relationship that might be toxic in some sense.



I don't care what traditional teachers might say. If you find you are in a relationship with an unqualified teacher, drop them like a hot potato, don't look back, and if you are still interested in Dharma, then find another teacher. There are many teachers out there, good ones.

If a teacher has broken his own samayas, then you must not stay with that teacher.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:27 pm

dude wrote:Let's move forward as "good friends," neither master nor disciple, but fellow practioners in mutual support to seek the correct path.



This attitude does not really work in Vajrayāna.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Getting back on track after a failing teacher

Postby dude » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:29 pm

Why not?
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