Teacher Qualities

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LoveFromColorado
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:10 pm

Teacher Qualities

Post by LoveFromColorado » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:16 pm

Hey everyone,

I have a few basic questions that would help my understanding of Dzogchen a little bit. I have not yet received a transmission or pointing out instructions and my questions stem from my current situation:

1. How does one know that a teacher is indeed a realized Dzogchen teacher? For example, in my understanding ChNN is a little more traditional than some other teachers (I am not making a statement either way about "traditional" and am neutral on that point). However, he wrote in at least two books that his teacher, Changchub Dorje, was not a traditional teacher in the sense of being a scholar or having an understanding of the traditional means of empowerment (i.e. his humorous story about asking Changchub Dorje to perform traditional empowerment rituals for him). The reason I ask is that there is a teacher who is coming to my area this fall (Anam Thubten), and I have been told that he does not provide pointing out instructions in the traditional way but that his guided meditations are indeed his pointing out instructions. I am not doubting Anam Thubten here at all and am very excited to receive teachings from him, but I am curious as to other's opinions on this point.

2. How does one become a teacher? It seems that there may not be a formal recognition process but is rather an organic process of one's understanding of Dharma, wisdom, compassion, and realizations. I'm not trying to speak to myself here - I am of course by no means a teacher - but I was curious how this is typically viewed.

Thank you!!

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Spelare
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:38 am

Re: Teacher Qualities

Post by Spelare » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:46 pm

My understanding is that Anam Thubten teaches Vajrayāna to a certain subset of his students who express interest. His public teachings have more of a Prajñāpāramitā flavor, though presumably informed by his own practice of tantra and Dzogchen.

I would give him a try. Don't worry about whether you are getting introduced or not; just be open.
LoveFromColorado wrote:How does one become a teacher?
Typically, one is invited to teach by one's own teacher. Without that invitation, one is considered unauthorized.
It seems that there may not be a formal recognition process
There are formal recognition processes. You will see, for example, tulkus who are recognized as emanations of this or that lama from the past. Then they have to undergo training in order to fulfill the various functions of a lama.

Teachers of Vajrayāna in particular have to be empowered to transmit the various levels of practice by a qualified teacher. You can be qualified to practice it yourself, but you aren't necessarily qualified to teach others.
an organic process
This is what is most crucial. As you've seen indicated by realized masters, accumulating information is not the principal thing. It is discovering the natural state as your own abiding condition.

Seek out whatever teachers strike you as clear and direct. If you discern a karmic connection with them, so much the better. Hope everything goes well!
Neither person nor skandhas
but stainless wisdom is Buddha.
In recognition ever serene—
Refuge I take therein.

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Malcolm
Posts: 28702
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Teacher Qualities

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:08 pm

LoveFromColorado wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:16 pm
Hey everyone,

I have a few basic questions that would help my understanding of Dzogchen a little bit. I have not yet received a transmission or pointing out instructions and my questions stem from my current situation:

1. How does one know that a teacher is indeed a realized Dzogchen teacher?
You can't. So you should select your teacher based on their qualities of learning, practice, retreat, compassion, and kindness. When you take someone as a guru, you are to regard them as being the Buddha in person, even if they are not a realized person themselves.
2. How does one become a teacher?
Students ask you to teach.
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

LoveFromColorado
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:10 pm

Re: Teacher Qualities

Post by LoveFromColorado » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:27 pm

Thank you Spelare and Malcolm, that helps!

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