The need for a teacher

What makes a 'good' teacher? If they are human, you can Dharma-battle with them to try to gauge their understanding and suitability... But is not all the whole of the Universe our 'good' teachers? This cat in a bowl... when my heart is honest and open, what does this cat in a bowl not teach me? Nothing to teach, nothing to learn, just a cat in a bowl and the Universe is complete. Now I think my cat heard something about cooking blackbird pie and is trying to get into the action! lol

What makes a ‘good’ teacher? If they are human, you can Dharma-battle with them to try to gauge their understanding and suitability… But is not all the whole of the Universe our ‘good’ teachers? This cat in a bowl… when my heart is honest and open, what does this cat in a bowl not teach me? Nothing to teach, nothing to learn, just a cat in a bowl and the Universe is complete. Now I think my cat heard something about cooking blackbird pie and is trying to get into the action! lol

The Buddha said to be your own guiding light. This was his last teaching as he died. So, where does having a spiritual teacher fit into this all then? I mean, on the one hand, if you listen to the Buddha, you may decide to have no teachers at all! Quickly, or not so quickly perhaps, one realizes that, well, if you took the Buddha’s advice, as your teacher, then well, you already failed! lol.. Hey, who said Zen came from Nepal to China via Bodhidharma! Buddha already was a Zen master! lol. Okay, now lets give the Buddha the benefit of the doubt, after all he is the ‘origin’ of Buddhism, so, well, if anyone has a say on what Buddhism is, he gets top authorization! lol. So, the importance of a good Zen teacher, or any Buddhist teacher, has been made clear over the centuries… It is said to be near impossible, sometimes it is said to be totally impossible, to realize your inherent true nature (ie. Enlightenment) without a proper teacher to guide you, to coach you, support and nurture you.  Well, one may quickly realize, or maybe not so quickly, that hey, the Buddha did it…. he didn’t have a teacher to help him!! Yes, he had teachers prior to his Enlightenment, but not ‘Buddhist’ teachers…He had to create Buddhism, or rather discover it. But, again, we may give him the benefit of doubt, so to speak, and say, well, ok, he is an exception… But if we do that, what does that mean? It means we already place the Buddha above us…. We already have failed then. We are all Buddhas already, just as much as Buddha was… we are too. That’s what is so wonderful and beautiful and powerful about Buddhism…

Anyhow, getting back to the importance of the right teacher…. I can not really say…. I never had a direct relationship with a Buddhist teacher, though I have some personal interactions with some Zen teachers. Maybe I need a really good teacher.. maybe not…. Either way, I feel, if one decides that a good teacher would help them, then that’s great! But be careful! A student must attack their teacher! Attack attack attack!! lol… Dharma attack that is…. test them, attack them, see if their wisdom, their clarity, shines directly into your heart… Do they help open your heart? Honestly? Not just opening your heart.. but opening up your honesty… That’s the crux of it all… when we are 100% honest with ourselves, truly, wholly, completely, totally honest, we are no different than the Buddha. Honesty is where it’s all at. Sometimes being honest with ourselves hurts. No one ever said Enlightenment is full of happy fluffy bunnies!!! lol….. well….. when we are fully honest, even if it hurts deeply to our core for whatever reason(s) (ie. past traumas, guilt, etc), we find liberation, relief and unbounded joy at this discovery of pure honesty. Perhaps ‘honesty’ isnt the best word… hmm…. but it really fits so well!!! lol. Well, I suppose one can become very attached to their own honesty, which would be a hinderance… but I do wonder if attachment can thrive, or even exist at all, when one is in complete honesty…. As in complete honesty is complete openness, and that openness is open to, well, attachment, and being open, attachment has nothing to attach to! lol.

I don’t know. Maybe I need a good teacher to read this and hit me with their keisaku!!  lol.

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3 thoughts on “The need for a teacher

  1. I found your blog name on Sue Deramwalkers comments.
    Any thing to do with training the mind intrests me.
    I am not a Buddhist but try to follow the Eight Fold Path.
    Buddha’s philoophy and some of Taoist ideas like the inexplisable nature of the Toa and Ying and Yang all make sence to me.
    I read where a ‘teacher will present himself when you are ready for him’.
    I have often found some information unfathomable months or years later some one explains the same message and it will often becomes clear.
    All I would advies is continue on your ethical path.
    I have found wisdom in Zen and its forerunner Chan.
    Kind regards Jack

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    • Yes, I have heard that a teacher will present themselves when one is ready as well…. That is interesting in and of itself!
      You mentioned Ch’an, which I probably am more akin to, but not many people have heard of it, whereas ‘Zen’ is a popular term. I have found much wisdom in these tradiations as well.

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      • A lot can be learned from web sites but as with books and teachers.Althow we need to make sure it is not missinformation.
        As you advise to question a teacher you are aware of this.
        Nice to have made contact with you. Kind regards Jack.

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