“It may be obvious that planes fly and boats don’t sink, but who is to say whether a person is enlightened or not?”–Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
As a follow-up to my previous post, I wanted to explore a related topic re retreat practice, which emerged in the comments and is also currently being discussed within the context of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.
Posted by sharanam on September 28, 2010
I realize a lot of Buddhists, especially in the West, go it alone. I haven’t really tried to do that as a practitioner, so I can’t speak directly to the effectiveness of such an approach. The cliché (or adage) of course is that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. But I think that holds up in any kind of relationship, and it’s really a matter of do we want to learn or not? If so, then we should be ready for a relationship with a teacher of some sort, at any time. Ultimately, the teacher is our own mind, but since most of us do not live in complete solitude and it usually takes a while to be receptive enough to have this be sufficient, we can look to the interactions of our everyday lives, as well to the more intentional relationships with Dhamma teachers. I have been very lucky with all of the teachers I have had on this path, both formal and informal.* and I’d like to talk a little bit here about the different kinds of teachers available to us, about how to find a teacher and, how best to evaluate a teacher so we know we’re benefiting from the relationship.
Posted by sharanam on July 27, 2010