Yes, you need a teacher.

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
DGA
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by DGA » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:17 am

Yuren wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:51 am
Astus wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:11 pm
whether it is possible for someone to learn Buddhism only from books (also perhaps audio/video materials) and that way gain correct understanding.
And the answer is yes. If you think it's impossible, you have to contradict the Lotus Sutra.
Where does the Lotus Sutra claim that it is possible to learn Buddhism only from books and perhaps audio/and video materials and in that way gain correct understanding?
Yes, there's a high chance a person will misunderstand the Sutra without a teacher explaining it to him.
Yes. And as I was saying before, some of those persons will go on to present themselves as expounders of the sutra and attempt to popularize their own misunderstandings. This even happens at DW.
But it's not a priori impossible that someone would gain a total and correct understanding of Mahayana by simply reading a Sutra.
And by "reading" I mean really reading and understanding in depth: existentially, too, not just academically - with his body, heart and mind.
Would you mind elaborating a bit on what you mean by "total and correct understanding of Mahayana"?

DGA
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by DGA » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:21 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:16 pm
I hate being the party-pooper, but are we all venting our opinions on a topic without a specific person asking the question? "Need" is defined here by what you "need' to do. If you want to meditate, improve your life, burn some incense, eat tofu; NO you don't need a teacher. If you are wanting to become the Next Patriarch and require Authentic Dharma Transmission, YES, you will need a teacher. In between are lots of shades of grey, lots of cultural baggage, lots of circumstantial permutations. If the question is "do you want to receive Mind-to-Mind Transmission of the Dharma" YES you need a teacher. If you only want to become Enlightened, no you only need to do whats required, and have the will to do it. There's my 2 cents worth.
Exactly. And what is the point of having a routine of tofu-eating and incense-sniffing? Why would I trade whiskey-drinking and record collecting for that? When I started this thread, I did so with the assumption that here at a Mahayana Buddhist board, participants are with the program. If you're with the program, you need a teacher. But if you're just here for the tofu and the bells and smells... honestly, what a dumb and tacky way to waste time.

boda
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by boda » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:11 am

DGA wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:21 am
SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:16 pm
I hate being the party-pooper, but are we all venting our opinions on a topic without a specific person asking the question? "Need" is defined here by what you "need' to do. If you want to meditate, improve your life, burn some incense, eat tofu; NO you don't need a teacher. If you are wanting to become the Next Patriarch and require Authentic Dharma Transmission, YES, you will need a teacher. In between are lots of shades of grey, lots of cultural baggage, lots of circumstantial permutations. If the question is "do you want to receive Mind-to-Mind Transmission of the Dharma" YES you need a teacher. If you only want to become Enlightened, no you only need to do whats required, and have the will to do it. There's my 2 cents worth.
Exactly. And what is the point of having a routine of tofu-eating and incense-sniffing? Why would I trade whiskey-drinking and record collecting for that? When I started this thread, I did so with the assumption that here at a Mahayana Buddhist board, participants are with the program. If you're with the program, you need a teacher. But if you're just here for the tofu and the bells and smells... honestly, what a dumb and tacky way to waste time.
Transmission or tacky tofu? Don’t forget the many shades of grey. :smile:

SunWuKong
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by SunWuKong » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:34 am

DGA wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:21 am
SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:16 pm
I hate being the party-pooper, but are we all venting our opinions on a topic without a specific person asking the question? "Need" is defined here by what you "need' to do. If you want to meditate, improve your life, burn some incense, eat tofu; NO you don't need a teacher. If you are wanting to become the Next Patriarch and require Authentic Dharma Transmission, YES, you will need a teacher. In between are lots of shades of grey, lots of cultural baggage, lots of circumstantial permutations. If the question is "do you want to receive Mind-to-Mind Transmission of the Dharma" YES you need a teacher. If you only want to become Enlightened, no you only need to do whats required, and have the will to do it. There's my 2 cents worth.
Exactly. And what is the point of having a routine of tofu-eating and incense-sniffing? Why would I trade whiskey-drinking and record collecting for that? When I started this thread, I did so with the assumption that here at a Mahayana Buddhist board, participants are with the program. If you're with the program, you need a teacher. But if you're just here for the tofu and the bells and smells... honestly, what a dumb and tacky way to waste time.
Yes but you missed the distinction between what is required for transmission, and what is required for enlightenment. Suppose someones life depended on enlightenment and they didn't give a rats-hindquarters about transmission. I'd counsel them to save their lives and lay hold of enlightenment
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

jhanapeacock
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by jhanapeacock » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:33 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:40 pm
Astus wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:34 pm

Bodhisattvas learn from countless buddhas. But who was the teacher of Siddhartha Gautama?
All kinds of buddhas. Of course, one needs to understand that as a nirmanakāya, the Buddha's career here was merely play.

But in a real sense, in the last mahākalpa, when the Buddha was a young man named Generous Hand, he had a teacher named Virtuous Wisdom. Generous Hand attained buddhahood, and in this eon, it is out of his buddhahood that the three kāyas and the 1002 Buddhas of the Fortunate Eon emanate, including Buddha Śākyamuni, who is the fourth.
In the last mahakalpa? wasn´t Sakyamuni enlightned many asamkhyeya of asamkhyeya of narutas of asamkhyeya of kalpas ago?

pael
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by pael » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:04 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:21 pm
WontonCarter wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:16 pm
Astus wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:11 pm
Nevertheless, the bigger question at this point is whether it is possible for someone to learn Buddhism only from books (also perhaps audio/video materials) and that way gain correct understanding.
How I've done it so far is to not only read the works of many teachers of many traditions, but also work a lot with admirable friends, compare understandings, read the posts here and at DhammaWheel, as well as other forums, and listen to Dharma talks and lectures from highly-reputable teachers of both Mahayana and Theravada. I've also been in contact/have friendships with monks and nuns, exchanged letters, had conversations, etc. I spend a lot of time studying the Pali Canon and Mahayana sutras as well, and reading commentaries. Most importantly, I practice in line with these teachings and scriptures.
This is called training in the three wisdoms: hearing, reflection, and cultivation.
How about reciting sutras without lung? Any merit?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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Malcolm
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Re: Yes, you need a teacher.

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:26 pm

pael wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:04 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:21 pm
WontonCarter wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:16 pm


How I've done it so far is to not only read the works of many teachers of many traditions, but also work a lot with admirable friends, compare understandings, read the posts here and at DhammaWheel, as well as other forums, and listen to Dharma talks and lectures from highly-reputable teachers of both Mahayana and Theravada. I've also been in contact/have friendships with monks and nuns, exchanged letters, had conversations, etc. I spend a lot of time studying the Pali Canon and Mahayana sutras as well, and reading commentaries. Most importantly, I practice in line with these teachings and scriptures.
This is called training in the three wisdoms: hearing, reflection, and cultivation.
How about reciting sutras without lung? Any merit?
Yes, of course. Sūtras have lungs, but do not require them for recitation and so on.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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