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Is Buddhist Teacher is someone of greater ego / emotional ?

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Is Buddhist Teacher is someone of greater ego / emotional ?

Postby CSEe on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:24 am

Dear sir , just be calm and explore within your mind , are you someone of greater ego and emotional now compared to before being accepted as Buddhist Teacher ?
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Re: Is Buddhist Teacher is someone of greater ego / emotiona

Postby Guo Gu on Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:26 am

dear csee,

excellent question! appreciate it very much.

so for your question, in general, no. but there are moments when self-referential thoughts arise, i repent immediately lest drops of water eventually fill an ocean! humility, diligence, and vigilance keeps my practice in check.

the truth is, we are all practitioners. the same question you raised can be asked of yourself. just because one is in the position to teach doesn't make one qualified to do so. teachers only exist because students need them. if there's no need, there would be no teachers. perceiving oneself as or aspiring to become a "teacher" is not necessary... that's just another narrative, construct, that need to be dropped. what's necessary is practice. and we are all practitioners. and as practitioners, we expose, accept, work through, and let go of self-attachment.

still, if no one teaches, no one transmits buddhadharma, it will sink into oblivion. as practitioners, out of gratitude and humility, we cannot let the three jewels, the beacon in samsara, become of this. thus there are teachers.

there's an extremely important element in practice: conceal one's virtue and understanding... ever ready to let go of the idea that one's a "teacher"...

there's a great passage in tiantai master zhiyi's mohe zhiguan (great calming and contemplation) involving ten modes of contemplation that i'll share here with you and others here. i read it to remind myself from time to time, since my own teacher of thirty years passed away 7 yrs ago:

[Taisho vol. 46.99] If one conceals the gem, hides the [precious] jade disk, puts a lid on one's understanding, shuns fame, and in secret diligently perseveres, then one will assuredly enter the grades [of disciplehood]. In some cases one will advance to a profound grade. One's determination and mental retention will be so firm, that no one can sway it or display skills that best it. Yet, if an awl is not kept [properly] in its leather sheath, it will be difficult to conceal and easily work its way out. One may encounter a lecturer whose [words] do not accord properly with the cardinal principle, or a practitioner who is off the track. Moved by compassion, one offers words of instruction, and is immediately surrounded [by followers]. They press one to give sermons or urge one to become leader of the congregation. Internally one itches and externally one flinches, and so utters a line or two on the Dharma... Take Heed! Take Heed! Take heed [to avoid teaching others].

If you get caught in the net of fame, bound by the wool rope of profit, and an entourage of followers gathers around [your] tree, so that the borer beetle of impediment gnaws into you internally and externally your leaves and branches are consumed, you must repel them as soon as possible. Neither pay the heed nor become attached to them. If you are unable to repel them, but instead find yourself trapped, you must conceal your meritorious virtues and show yourself to be flawed. Act crazy and conceal your true [character]. Hide your treasures, and do not let the thieves catch sight of them. If you are [still] unable to shake them off your trail, then immediately move a distance of ten thousand Ii to a remote region elsewhere, where people have no connection [to you] and you can happily cultivate the Way, as Guṇavarman [once did].

If fame, profit, and an entourage of followers come to attack [i.e., attract to] you externally, keep these three techniques in mind, grin your teeth, and forebear. Even if you were to receive a thousand or ten thousand invitations [to teach], you absolutely must uproot this difficulty.

Decline! Hide! Leave! Should afflictions, karmic [manifestations], states of meditative concentration, views, pride, and so forth, come to disrupt you internally, you also must recall three techniques, namely, [that they are] "in themselves identical to emptiness (kong), identical to provisional existence (jia), identical to the middle (zhong)."

this excerpt is from the ninth mode of contemplation on "patience endurance." the passage is much longer. but the above will suffice. the meaning is clear. unfortunately, the mohe zhiguan has not been fully translated into english.... someday. the above is a rough unpublished translation.

be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: Is Buddhist Teacher is someone of greater ego / emotiona

Postby Ryunin on Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:58 am

Thank you, Guo Gu.
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Re: Is Buddhist Teacher is someone of greater ego / emotiona

Postby Judy Roitman on Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:43 pm

Dear CSEe,

To answer your question a little differently: the other day a bunch of people visited and someone wrote to me later saying how wonderful it was to be in a room with three Zen masters and I thought — what? huh? I had been in a room with five other people, and she had been in a room with two other people + three Zen masters. Please don't make special. As Guo Gu says, we are all practitioners, and teachers are just a way to transmit the practice. I encourage you to practice hard, without expectation of results.


Judy Roitman (Zen Master Bon Hae), Kansas Zen Center, Kwan Um School of Zen
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