The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Dechen Norbu
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dechen Norbu » Tue May 30, 2017 10:25 pm

I had more than one teacher. Some I no longer visit, by one reason or another, usually because they live in another country or other usual things of life. I have deep feelings of gratitude towards them all. It's natural to have more than one teacher. I find very, very strange when teachers want exclusivity. Never met one like those. All the teachers I had never had any problem with their students learning from others.

smcj
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by smcj » Tue May 30, 2017 10:48 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:Is it possible to leave one Buddhist teacher for another or one tradition of Buddhism for another, without feeling guilt or bitter feelings about it afterward?
My closest teacher was Gelug. My practice is Kagyu. It never came up in conversation.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Dharma Flower
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue May 30, 2017 11:35 pm

smcj wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:Is it possible to leave one Buddhist teacher for another or one tradition of Buddhism for another, without feeling guilt or bitter feelings about it afterward?
My closest teacher was Gelug. My practice is Kagyu. It never came up in conversation.
What if you changed traditions entirely, like going from Tibetan Buddhism to Nichiren Buddhism, or something else that's different from Tibetan Buddhism?

Dharma Flower
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed May 31, 2017 1:10 am

Part of my hesitation about leaving Jodo Shinshu is their teaching that all other Buddhist paths are illegitimate for the latter age of the Dharma, and therefore we must rely exclusively on the Nembutsu and no other Buddhist practice.

While Jodo Shinshu is not a cult, this sense of exclusivity in regard to all other paths is typical of cults. It's hard to shake off that mindset once you've already been indoctrinated into it, and it can cause feelings of fear, guilt, or shame about possibly leaving the "one true path."

Anonymous X
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Anonymous X » Wed May 31, 2017 9:23 am

Malcolm wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:How concerned should we be over whether our teacher likes us or not? What if a teacher and a disciple don't like each other as people? Can it still be a beneficial relationship? Can a Dharma relationship transcend personal likes and dislikes? I appreciate your help. :thanks:
Your teacher is not your friend. He or she is someone in whom you've placed your trust to guide you in the Dharma.
I think it is very difficult to have a sustained teacher/disciple relationship with someone that you don't like.

smcj
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by smcj » Wed May 31, 2017 2:34 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
smcj wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:Is it possible to leave one Buddhist teacher for another or one tradition of Buddhism for another, without feeling guilt or bitter feelings about it afterward?
My closest teacher was Gelug. My practice is Kagyu. It never came up in conversation.
What if you changed traditions entirely, like going from Tibetan Buddhism to Nichiren Buddhism, or something else that's different from Tibetan Buddhism?
As I understood it, his basic position was that whatever you chose as your path was the appropriateness/perfection of the Dharma interacting with your own individuall karma. So it was entirely a matter of personal choice. But on the other hand I doubt he'd have encouraged someone to join Scientology. Fortunately that kind of issue never came up.
:shrug:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Dharma Flower
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed May 31, 2017 2:36 pm

smcj wrote: As I understood it, his basic position was that whatever you chose as your path was the appropriateness/perfection of the Dharma interacting with your own individuall karma.
Perhaps this is why it is said there are 84,000 paths to enlightenment.

Dharma Flower
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:57 am

I am now discussing this topic in the following thread instead:
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=25692

Thank you for your help and advice. :namaste: :thanks:

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tomschwarz
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by tomschwarz » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:55 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:Thank you for your response. I think we also need to question our likes and dislikes, as to whether they are motivated by our misconceptions of the other person or by our own insecurities.

For example, we might get the wrong message from something if we don't try to look at the bigger picture. If someone doesn't answer an email, for example, that doesn't mean they don't appreciate you. It depends on their situation.
That's right))) ...take it further.... what would happen if you always accepted the big picture? I would suggest that we would still have likes (kindness to children) and dislikes (cruelty to the innocent) but there would be no tension and our respective efforts would be more effective. No?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

Dharma Flower
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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:12 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:Thank you for your response. I think we also need to question our likes and dislikes, as to whether they are motivated by our misconceptions of the other person or by our own insecurities.

For example, we might get the wrong message from something if we don't try to look at the bigger picture. If someone doesn't answer an email, for example, that doesn't mean they don't appreciate you. It depends on their situation.
That's right))) ...take it further.... what would happen if you always accepted the big picture? I would suggest that we would still have likes (kindness to children) and dislikes (cruelty to the innocent) but there would be no tension and our respective efforts would be more effective. No?
I am now starting to realize that I never really disliked my previous teacher. What I really needed was to look for a different Buddhist tradition, but that doesn't reflect negatively on my previous teacher. Perhaps I just needed to move on.

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Re: The Teacher-Disciple Relationship

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:26 pm

In the future, I might return to the Jodo Shinshu temple. I needed to take a break from the temple because, in the near future, the Sensei will be moving back to Japan, and I needed to get over my attachment to him before he leaves. I needed to let go of my attachment, so that I can be at peace for when he leaves.

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