DGA wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:04 pm
I read Meido's posts to mean what I wrote quoted below. If I've misunderstood his meaning, or if he disagrees with me, I'd like to know.
That's basically it.
Astus wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:02 pm
That sounds to be the very opposite of one of the four reliances: "Rely on the teaching rather than the person."
What I specifically said was simply that at the beginning of the path one should not pursue practices, lineages, schools, environments, etc. that seem fascinating. Rather, one should seek out a teacher with whom one can enter fruitful relationship, without holding to such preferences and limitations.
Malcolm's caveat RE "qualified," though it should go without saying, does not always. So it was usefully said in the thread that spawned this one.
Of course one relies on the teachings. In order to have an experiential grasp of the essential point of the teachings to which all methods/lineages/schools/etc. point, to learn practices by which one may embody the teachings as realization, and to not fall into the many pitfalls that come with attempting to confirm one's own understanding of the teachings, one approaches a teacher. Is this controversial?
KeithA wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:43 pm
The student/teacher relationship is, in many ways, a two-way street, imho.
I'd agree. Words like "surrender" and "submit" connote situations of conflict, not fruitful relationship. I don't think them useful.
One at times negates one's own comfort, preferences, and so on in order to follow the instructions of a teacher in whom one has developed faith. "Faith" does not mean that one must think the teacher is without flaw. As a minimum, I think, it is simply a belief that the teacher's realization is sufficiently greater than one's own that he/she is a useful guide. There is no call to uncritically regard the teacher as perfect. But within the teacher's presence, and by means of the teacher's instructions, the arising of one's own experience will serve to affirm and deepen this faith. If not, one is free to move on.
If one stays, then one simply attends to the teacher's guidance with earnest, straightforward sincerity...the quality that might in Japanese be called majime.
That is one way of the two-way street.
The teacher, of course, should view him/herself as completely the servant of everyone, not the other way around...and a teacher should recognize that the primary duty of teachers is making themselves unnecessary; I would call that the other way of the two-way street.
Generally from the Zen standpoint:
Recognizing one's nature, however brought about, makes very clear what it is that is truly taken as one's refuge, teacher, guru, etc. In that case, to say "rely on the teachings, not the person" is unnecessary. Actualizing the experiential realization that everything encountered is precisely the original face of one's nature, there is no need for prescriptive statements like that.
But before recognition, one relies on a teacher. After recognition, one relies on a teacher's confirmation that one has indeed recognized, and subsequent instructions for actualizing it. Even in situations where one has been able to have the initial recognition without recourse to a teacher, the understanding in Zen is that self-confirmation is never accepted.
It may be different in other traditions, I have no idea.
But again, my main point was really just my initial one: one should seek relationship with a suitable person and community in order to receive the teachings...not chase after specific methods, traditions, environments, our own interpretations of teachings, etc., the fascination with which is likely to have arisen entwined with our deeply-rooted delusion.