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Submission to teacher?

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Submission to teacher?

Postby zenci on Thu May 11, 2017 7:09 am

Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby TigerDuck on Thu May 11, 2017 7:47 am

If I can find a teacher who can walk through wall, I will do total surrender.

Otherwise, there is nothing wrong to still practice precaution with any teacher.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu May 11, 2017 1:35 pm

z.,

zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?

If you do, yes. If you don't, no.

I think it's better in any (every) case to be committed to the Dharma, and to "submit" to the Dharma, instead. In Zen Buddhist practice, the teacher is "just" Buddha's representative on earth, and is also, by the way, someone who has accomplished what you would like to accomplish: that is, the teacher is very experienced in our practices, and has had experience of their clarifying results, with the eventual (sudden... ) free arising of true Wisdom and true Compassion.

In Zen Buddhist practice, the teacher is not like the guru of some Hindu practice. In some forms of Hindu practice, the teacher can even do some of the student's work (meditation and yoga) for the student, and so the student in some of those Hindu situations does indeed "submit" to the teacher rather completely. But this is not the situation in Zen Buddhist practice.

In Zen Buddhist practice, the teacher will probably endeavor to create greater distance between the student and teacher if it should develop that the student is placing "too much" reliance on the teacher. Anyway, the purpose of Zen Buddhist practice is to enable us to live our everyday life more completely and thoroughly, and the teacher cannot do that for the student.

The Zen Buddhist tradition has always emphasized the importance and effectiveness of practicing together, so sangha is really as important as the teacher is. Sangha is one of the Three Treasures (as the teacher is, in the form of a stand-in for the Buddha). Of course, the third of the Three Treasures is the Dharma.

See what others say about this. Maybe also ask ...a teacher! And if you have a teacher, ask that teacher, too?

--Joe
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby macdougdoug on Thu May 11, 2017 4:59 pm

In all circumstances I try to understand what is being said - not always possible of course. Submission makes communication difficult for both parties. Accepting or rejecting what is being said, is the opposite of listening to or understanding whats being said (by zen teacher or anyone else)

Investing someone else with authority over your psychological freedom and self-knowledge, is all about role playing, not truth.
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby jundo on Fri May 12, 2017 2:32 am

Hi,

There were times in Zen history where one "submitted to a Teacher" much like Guru worship in Tibetan Buddhism, or a Samurai to his Lord in old Japan. There are, frankly, certain modern Zen and other Buddhist groups that have gone in that direction ... often with bad, cultish results (the Eido Shimano and Joshu Sawaki groups had such tendencies, which contributed to the sex and psychological abuse which happened there). Sure, it can have some great benefits in "giving up the personal ego", but you may often be left as a candidate for "deprogramming" too.

I recommend better to rely, consult, learn from, lien on, open to, accompany on the path, trust a good teacher as a "Good Friend on the Way". Like a good family doctor when you have pneumonia (which I have today, actually writing this in bed). Keep one eye open, don't buy it all if it seems off ... but trust and rely, take good advice. This is a modern approach perhaps, very western ... but a healthy and effective way to Practice.

Gassho, Jundo

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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby zenci on Fri May 12, 2017 7:35 am

Thank you Jundo.

Can you please clarify what you mean by deprogramming?
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby jundo on Fri May 12, 2017 1:16 pm

zenci wrote:Thank you Jundo.

Can you please clarify what you mean by deprogramming?


Hi Zenci,

I meant "cult deprogramming".

https://www.ted.com/talks/ex_moonie_dia ... ults_think

https://www.culteducation.com/deprogramming.html

But let me clarify what I wrote: Just because a traditional Buddhist or other religious group requires some high degree of submission to a Guru or Teacher, I would not call it a harmful cult unless harmful effects are manifested thereby. However, I believe that a high percentage of such groups have shown a tendency to head in a bad direction at some point in their history.

There have been some handful of Zen groups that have cult-like aspects in recent times in the West, and there have been harmful and inexcusable outcomes from that such as sexual and psychological abuse of members, HOWEVER, the vast VAST majority of Zen groups that I know have nothing like that. I have written about this in the past: Hundreds of Zen Teachers only mean to be helpful and to do no harm, and for that reason they get few headlines. A handful of cases "crash and burn" and they get all the attention for that reason (like news coverage of the rare air crash, with the hundreds of thousands of flights which land safely getting little notice, thus giving a misleading impression on air safety.)

http://treeleaf.podbean.com/e/sit-a-lon ... -landings/

In any case, it is good to come to trust and rely on a Teacher, but I would not "submit."

Gassho, J

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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 12, 2017 1:51 pm

an OT (perhaps) note:

Jundo,

jundo wrote:Like a good family doctor when you have pneumonia (which I have today, actually writing this in bed).

I hope you'll get well soon! Be well... .

Sorry you're bed-ridden for the while. Yet, your spirit of encouragement and clarity comes through undiluted. Thank you!

Whether viral or bacterial, I hope the pneumonia situation evaporates quickly.

My barber, "Jimmie", age 82, had pneumonia last Spring, and was away from work for 7 or 8 weeks. During the span while he was sick, I needed a haircut, but vowed I'd wait until Jimmie was well again, and then I'd go in for my "trim" and make him work really hard, cutting my, by then, much-longer-than-usual (7 or 8 weeks longer growth) hair. My long, growing hair was, I felt, my continuous "prayer" for him that he would become well and would return to barbering, and this "prayer" went on for weeks. Well, Jimmie got well, but by that time, I felt the hair had surpassed an "awkward" stage, and was by then starting to feel and look a little bit good, actually. But I had not had long hair since 35 years earlier, so it was almost "new" to me.

Our heat-season (read: 105-110 deg daily temperatures) is about to begin here, so I may go for a "trim" sometime soon, and finally have a chat with Jimmie again. "Lowering the ears" would certainly lower the comfort "temperature" a bit, and I note that I am long overdue (one full YEAR... ). So, yes, the hair reaches beyond the shoulders, and is progressing down the back. As an experimentalist, I may just let this continue. But I think the first stretch of triple-digit (Fahrenheit... ) temperatures may send me back into Jimmie's care with some alacrity. We'll see!

Jimmie has cut hair and told me stories about some famous Astronomers here (my profession... ), who are long deceased, and he once shook the hand of Joe Louis, the professional boxer, in Missouri, one time. Lots of stories, he tells... .

I raise my (tea-) cup to your good health!, Jundo.

Gassho,

--Joe
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri May 12, 2017 2:03 pm

zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?


One trusts the teacher. The tricky part is finding a teacher to trust. :)

Keith
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby organizational on Fri May 12, 2017 3:10 pm

yes, one trusts the teacher.

i think the teacher is like the engine of the vehicle.we are the components that support the vehicle.we each are in different brand and model version.what is important is do you support the vehicle.When all components are working in harmony we call this sangha.before begining a journey you have better check the fuel.as that will be the meditation practice you will need continuesly.so put the fuel, push the start and enjoy the journey! :PP:
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby fukasetsu on Sun May 28, 2017 10:56 am

Jok_Hae wrote:
zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?


One trusts the teacher. The tricky part is finding a teacher to trust. :)

Keith


If I remember right Seung Sahn said to have Faith in the teacher but to not depend on the teacher,
not sure about 'submission' that word is hardly ever used in my language, apart from certain sexual thingies.
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Guo Gu on Mon May 29, 2017 4:32 pm

zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?


zenci,
you're getting good advice here already. "submit" is an interesting choice of word--strong, and unidirectional and decontextualized.
i'm curious, why are you asking?
be well,
guo gu
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby zenci on Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:48 pm

Guo Gu wrote:
zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?


zenci,
you're getting good advice here already. "submit" is an interesting choice of word--strong, and unidirectional and decontextualized.
i'm curious, why are you asking?
be well,
guo gu


Sorry for the late response. I asked for two reasons. One, I have seen zen teachers whose tone is very "ordering", almost domineering. Second, I wanted to compare zen with other practices where one submits to the teacher/guru etc.
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:12 pm

zenci wrote: I have seen zen teachers whose tone is very "ordering", almost domineering.

Can you give an example?

Second, I wanted to compare zen with other practices where one submits to the teacher/guru etc.

Joe and I happened to have an off topic conversation about that yesterday I think,

Joe wrote:Yes, I'd say that it's good to be sure that one's devotion is to the Dharma, if you become a student (take a teacher), and not to the teacher. It's good (and necessary) to have faith and trust in the teacher, but, I'd say, devotion is to the Dharma (not to a person).

This to me seems different from some guru-student relationships I've heard about, and seen. That's a different system in principle and practice. It's good not to confuse them.

viewtopic.php?f=132&t=11908&start=40#p191305
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Guo Gu on Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:08 am

zenci wrote:
Guo Gu wrote:
zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?


zenci,
you're getting good advice here already. "submit" is an interesting choice of word--strong, and unidirectional and decontextualized.
i'm curious, why are you asking?
be well,
guo gu


Sorry for the late response. I asked for two reasons. One, I have seen zen teachers whose tone is very "ordering", almost domineering. Second, I wanted to compare zen with other practices where one submits to the teacher/guru etc.


i see.
well, the domineering tone may just be that particular zen teacher in question, or the context in which the teaching was given. you can't generalize about zen based on a few teachers (how many teacher have you witnessed that acted this way?).
it is human relationships that helps our spiritual path, so a healthy teacher-student relationship is important. it's a reciprocal process. a dominance and submission relationship is rarely helpful except under very rare (and occasional) circumstances.
be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.org/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Anders on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:39 am

guru dynamics is a tricky thing. I read elsewhere recently a nice zinger from Situ Rinpoche: "You are all responsible for your own decisions. Your lama tells you to do Dharma practice and you don't do it. But then when he asks you to have sex you think 'I must do what the lama says.' It doesn't work that way."
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Seeker242 on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:38 pm

Depends entirely on how you define "submit". But regardless, you're eventually going to have to kill them. :)
Kill a cat, with a dried shit stick, under a cypress tree in the courtyard, while eating three pounds of flax! Only a cow goes Moooo!
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:08 am

fukasetsu wrote:
Jok_Hae wrote:
zenci wrote:Would you say in Zen one submits to their teacher? Why? Why not?


One trusts the teacher. The tricky part is finding a teacher to trust. :)

Keith


If I remember right Seung Sahn said to have Faith in the teacher but to not depend on the teacher,
not sure about 'submission' that word is hardly ever used in my language, apart from certain sexual thingies.


ZMSS suggested that "Great Faith" was an ingredient necessary for solid Zen practice. I don't recall him suggesting this faith be applied to a teacher, but it's certainly possible. I trust Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. My teacher is part of that equation. In over 20 years of practicing with the Kwan Um folks, I have only been asked to to do one thing and one thing only: just try. We often practice with other teachers in our tradition, during retreats etc. And our teachers are authorized by committee, not a single person. Lessons have been learned and I am eternally grateful for the humble tradition ZMSS founded and marvel at how it has matured.

"Submit" is just not the right word, imho. Although, that could just be semantics. :peace:
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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:00 am

Semantics has everything to do with meaning.

And "submit" has nothing to do with the student-teacher relationship in Zen Buddhism, or its global, nationalistic variations (Ch'an, etc.).

Go confidently,

--Joe
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.

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Re: Submission to teacher?

Postby Larry on Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:51 am

Jok_Hae wrote: In over 20 years of practicing with the Kwan Um folks, I have only been asked to to do one thing and one thing only: just try.


"Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda :lol2: :heya:
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