Disagreeing with Guru

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MatthewAngby
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Disagreeing with Guru

Post by MatthewAngby » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:53 am

Is it ok to not agree with your gurus view of some things, and Can I try to tell and ask further on this? I’m really confused and sometimes fearful

kausalya
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by kausalya » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:33 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:53 am
Is it ok to not agree with your gurus view of some things, and Can I try to tell and ask further on this? I’m really confused and sometimes fearful
It's difficult to give you an answer without knowing more.

Short answer: yes, it's "okay" to disagree, but you should really take the time to examine this disagreement & find out the source of it. If, after reflecting on your own, you still have questions, please tell your guru about the conflict you're feeling and ask for clarification before getting your head in a spin.

In the words of my teacher, the guru is not the "boss" of you. They are there to help, and the more you engage with them the more they can help you, but you are never 100% obligated to take their advice for any reason; it's just that life will probably go better for you if you do, assuming they know you and care for you/are ethical. If the guru does have a reasonable request and you don't follow it, the karma you will experience is up to you... best to communicate as clearly as possible to resolve these things directly and move on.

The longer you practice, you may find that your relationship deepens, that you see the guru in a new light, and can follow his/her advice without internal conflict. In my experience, you have to reflect on the good qualities of your guru and the positive impact they have had on your life in order for this to happen, and it can't be fabricated, meaning it takes time to develop this confidence.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by clyde » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:46 am

Yes, gurus are not omniscient.
Yes, a guru should be open to sincere questions.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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Grigoris
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 am

Matthew, given you don't have a guru, I fail to see why you should be concerned.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

MiphamFan
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by MiphamFan » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:16 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 am
Matthew, given you don't have a guru, I fail to see why you should be concerned.
This made me lol

MatthewAngby
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by MatthewAngby » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:48 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 am
Matthew, given you don't have a guru, I fail to see why you should be concerned.
Um I think I do. I’ve been visiting a Karma Kagyu Lama and have received some transmissions from him. And when I do visit him, I considered him my guru. Unless you’re telling me This doesn’t constitute a vajrayana guru, in that case I really want to know how you get a vajrayana guru.

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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:28 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:48 am
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 am
Matthew, given you don't have a guru, I fail to see why you should be concerned.
Um I think I do. I’ve been visiting a Karma Kagyu Lama and have received some transmissions from him. And when I do visit him, I considered him my guru. Unless you’re telling me This doesn’t constitute a vajrayana guru, in that case I really want to know how you get a vajrayana guru.
No, you do not have a guru. A guru is a teacher that you have been practicing with and observing for 15 years (comparing their behaviour to a list of specific qualities) before you accept them as your main (to the point of exclusive) teacher. You have not done this. They are not your guru. They are your teacher (for now).
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

MatthewAngby
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by MatthewAngby » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:01 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:28 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:48 am
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 am
Matthew, given you don't have a guru, I fail to see why you should be concerned.
Um I think I do. I’ve been visiting a Karma Kagyu Lama and have received some transmissions from him. And when I do visit him, I considered him my guru. Unless you’re telling me This doesn’t constitute a vajrayana guru, in that case I really want to know how you get a vajrayana guru.
No, you do not have a guru. A guru is a teacher that you have been practicing with and observing for 15 years (comparing their behaviour to a list of specific qualities) before you accept them as your main (to the point of exclusive) teacher. You have not done this. They are not your guru. They are your teacher (for now).
So it would have seem I have actually mentally considered him a guru, and when I do go for consultations , I would think that he is my guru and I the disciple. So the question now stems that if due to this, although not having spent 15 years with him, he has become my guru. Or does simply mentally considering the thought that he is my guru and receiving teachings from him still not constitute a guru-disciple relationship?

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Grigoris
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:21 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:01 pm
So it would have seem I have actually mentally considered him a guru, and when I do go for consultations , I would think that he is my guru and I the disciple. So the question now stems that if due to this, although not having spent 15 years with him, he has become my guru. Or does simply mentally considering the thought that he is my guru and receiving teachings from him still not constitute a guru-disciple relationship?
You might believe you are a rainbow coloured unicorn, does that mean you are a rainbow-coloured unicorn?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

MatthewAngby
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by MatthewAngby » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:24 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:21 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:01 pm
So it would have seem I have actually mentally considered him a guru, and when I do go for consultations , I would think that he is my guru and I the disciple. So the question now stems that if due to this, although not having spent 15 years with him, he has become my guru. Or does simply mentally considering the thought that he is my guru and receiving teachings from him still not constitute a guru-disciple relationship?
You might believe you are a rainbow coloured unicorn, does that mean you are a rainbow-coloured unicorn?
Ok this is really confusing. So if I want someone to be my guru ( vajrayana ) , then I have to wait 15 years and ask him if he wants to be my guru? That’s it? Yes and I’m totally legitimate on my confusion.

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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:52 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:24 pm
Ok this is really confusing. So if I want someone to be my guru ( vajrayana ) , then I have to wait 15 years and ask him if he wants to be my guru? That’s it? Yes and I’m totally legitimate on my confusion.
It is very simple: You want a guru? Fine!

Find a qualified teacher from a recognised lineage and start to practice with them.

Start to compare their qualities, to those found here:
Source: Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha:
10 Qualities of the Guru according to the Fifty Verses on Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha

1) Stable means that he should have very subdued actions of body; he should abstain from non-virtuous actions of body, keep his bodily actions proper and moral; immutable.

2) Cultivated refers to his speech; he should abstain from non-virtuous actions of speech, keep proper morality of speech, not hurt others by means of speech, sharp words, etc.

3) Mentally, he should abstain from the three non-virtuous actions of mind as well as from pretentiousness; his mental attitude should be very pure. He should possess intelligence and discretion; if he doesn’t, he can’t lead us on the path to liberation.

4) He should possess the three types of forbearance, or patience:
· forbearance of harm received from others;
· the ability to endure hardship; and
· the ability to hear profound teachings without being terrified.

5) He should be true and unbiased, or impartial; not biased towards near relatives or repulsed by enemies; he should be even-minded towards all sentient beings.

6) He shouldn’t be pretentious or conceal his shortcomings. Pretentious means pretending to have supernatural knowledge that he doesn’t have and concealing his shortcomings means always trying to hide his faults from others, especially with the intention of getting offerings.

7) He should have the power to drive out interferences by means of mantras and tantric practice.

8) He should be able to practice medicine, which actually means to help and benefit others by means of his teachings; to really pacify them.

9) He should possess great compassion, the wish that all sentient beings’ suffering be alleviated.

10) He should have profound knowledge of the scriptures, especially the Tripitaka.

10 Qualities of a Guru according to the Guru Puja (Mentor Worship) by the First Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Galtsen

Sourse: Lama Zopa's Online Entry on Guru Devotion
And here.

Compare their teachings to those of other recognised and realised teachers.

Observe if their actions and words contradict each other.

Do this for fifteen years. If during this time they continue to fulfill all the above, then ask them to take you as a student.

If during the course of this period they do not fulfill the above criteria, graciously and without fuss leave them and go find another teacher. Start the procedure again.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Tenma
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Tenma » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:56 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:52 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:24 pm
Ok this is really confusing. So if I want someone to be my guru ( vajrayana ) , then I have to wait 15 years and ask him if he wants to be my guru? That’s it? Yes and I’m totally legitimate on my confusion.
It is very simple: You want a guru? Fine!

Find a qualified teacher from a recognised lineage and start to practice with them.

Start to compare their qualities, to those found here:
Source: Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha:
10 Qualities of the Guru according to the Fifty Verses on Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha

1) Stable means that he should have very subdued actions of body; he should abstain from non-virtuous actions of body, keep his bodily actions proper and moral; immutable.

2) Cultivated refers to his speech; he should abstain from non-virtuous actions of speech, keep proper morality of speech, not hurt others by means of speech, sharp words, etc.

3) Mentally, he should abstain from the three non-virtuous actions of mind as well as from pretentiousness; his mental attitude should be very pure. He should possess intelligence and discretion; if he doesn’t, he can’t lead us on the path to liberation.

4) He should possess the three types of forbearance, or patience:
· forbearance of harm received from others;
· the ability to endure hardship; and
· the ability to hear profound teachings without being terrified.

5) He should be true and unbiased, or impartial; not biased towards near relatives or repulsed by enemies; he should be even-minded towards all sentient beings.

6) He shouldn’t be pretentious or conceal his shortcomings. Pretentious means pretending to have supernatural knowledge that he doesn’t have and concealing his shortcomings means always trying to hide his faults from others, especially with the intention of getting offerings.

7) He should have the power to drive out interferences by means of mantras and tantric practice.

8) He should be able to practice medicine, which actually means to help and benefit others by means of his teachings; to really pacify them.

9) He should possess great compassion, the wish that all sentient beings’ suffering be alleviated.

10) He should have profound knowledge of the scriptures, especially the Tripitaka.

10 Qualities of a Guru according to the Guru Puja (Mentor Worship) by the First Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Galtsen

Sourse: Lama Zopa's Online Entry on Guru Devotion
And here.

Compare their teachings to those of other recognised and realised teachers.

Observe if their actions and words contradict each other.

Do this for fifteen years. If during this time they continue to fulfill all the above, then ask them to take you as a student.

If during the course of this period they do not fulfill the above criteria, graciously and without fuss leave them and go find another teacher. Start the procedure again.
How was your search for your guru and did you manage to do so?

PeterC
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by PeterC » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:16 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:01 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:28 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:48 am


Um I think I do. I’ve been visiting a Karma Kagyu Lama and have received some transmissions from him. And when I do visit him, I considered him my guru. Unless you’re telling me This doesn’t constitute a vajrayana guru, in that case I really want to know how you get a vajrayana guru.
No, you do not have a guru. A guru is a teacher that you have been practicing with and observing for 15 years (comparing their behaviour to a list of specific qualities) before you accept them as your main (to the point of exclusive) teacher. You have not done this. They are not your guru. They are your teacher (for now).
So it would have seem I have actually mentally considered him a guru, and when I do go for consultations , I would think that he is my guru and I the disciple. So the question now stems that if due to this, although not having spent 15 years with him, he has become my guru. Or does simply mentally considering the thought that he is my guru and receiving teachings from him still not constitute a guru-disciple relationship?
Grigoris gives good advice in the post above

You should also read through the thread on teachers and root gurus

Generally speaking if you have received an empowerment from someone you have samaya with them, and the requirements thereof are discussed extensively in many places. However it is completely impossible that you agree with everything you guru thinks and says, at least until you have been with them for a very long time. It is quite possible to have discussions about differences of opinion with your guru. It is made considerably easier by focussing your discussions with your guru on your Dharma practice, which is in any case what you should be using his or her limited time for. It is much easier to find disagreements with your guru if you seek their opinion on a broad range of mundane questions in which they have no particular interest, as some people choose to do.

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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by philji » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:34 am

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:28 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:48 am
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 am
Matthew, given you don't have a guru, I fail to see why you should be concerned.
Um I think I do. I’ve been visiting a Karma Kagyu Lama and have received some transmissions from him. And when I do visit him, I considered him my guru. Unless you’re telling me This doesn’t constitute a vajrayana guru, in that case I really want to know how you get a vajrayana guru.
No, you do not have a guru. A guru is a teacher that you have been practicing with and observing for 15 years (comparing their behaviour to a list of specific qualities) before you accept them as your main (to the point of exclusive) teacher. You have not done this. They are not your guru. They are your teacher (for now).
So all these people receiving nature of mind instructions and pointing out instructions from CNN, Mingyur Rinpoche and others do not have a guru unless they have been with the teacher for 15years..?????

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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Crazywisdom » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:43 am

I thought the 50 verses on guru devotion spoke of examining for five years.
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

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Grigoris
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:05 am

Tenma wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:56 am
How was your search for your guru and did you manage to do so?
Who said I have a guru?
Crazywisdom wrote:I thought the 50 verses on guru devotion spoke of examining for five years.
I remember 15 years.

I don't think 5 years is enough.

For example: I was following one teacher (my Refuge lama) for about 7 years. Then one day I asked if he could impart an empowerment (he is authorised to) and he started to say some stuff about not wanting to form those sorts of links with students, etc... Why would I want a teacher that is not willing to risk seriously devoting themselves to their students? I had to travel to the other side of Greece for almost a decade to take teachings from him, I invited him and put in up in my home, etc... Not only me, but other people in the group he was teaching to. So it seemed kind of weird to me that he was not willing to put in the effort...

So I started looking for another teacher.

I am with my current teacher 3 years now and am in no rush to take him as my guru yet, since I do not think it is long enough. I am willing to wait another 7+ years before completely devoting myself, I prefer this to rushing in and regretting the decision and then racking myself with guilt, or pointing fingers, as seems to be the fashion right now.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

haha
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by haha » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:11 pm

Sometimes it happens that if someone instructs and listener understands the meaning, he or she should be regarded very higher. Such relation cannot be changed. When one remembers such person, there is always high respect to the instructor. Remember the relation of Sariputra and Assaji.

For the case of vajrayana, if guru and disciple relation is established, then any disrespect may cause a lot of problems; even in the intermediate state, path would be clouded. Thus, it is important investigate before any vajra relation is established.

In this world hatred never ceases with hatred
With non hatred it ceases, this is the ancient lore.

Upakilesasuttaṃ

Crazywisdom
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Crazywisdom » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:16 pm

Oh sorry it’s not from 50 verses but from Pali sutra where Buddha is quoted to say that at least 5y for mentor and student to get acquainted. I’ll find source later.
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

Crazywisdom
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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Crazywisdom » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:24 pm

I also don’t agree with this Kagyu idea of a guru you have to marry for life. 50 verses and tantras explain a guru is someone qualified to give initiations, make mandalas, understands medicines etc. the idea is there is a lineage with blessings.
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

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Re: Disagreeing with Guru

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:39 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:24 pm
I also don’t agree with this Kagyu idea of a guru you have to marry for life. 50 verses and tantras explain a guru is someone qualified to give initiations, make mandalas, understands medicines etc. the idea is there is a lineage with blessings.
Dude, if you are capable of maintaining that level of devotion to more than one teacher: Go for it!

I don't really have the time and energy to do it.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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