13

This is a tough and important question with no easy answers. If there were some guaranteed system for definitively determining whether some group or teacher is going to lead people to liberation that would make life a lot easier! One thing to look for in a group is, do the longtime members seem kind? Don't get distracted by whether they seem smart or ...


10

You can share with them DN 16's Four Great Referrals: “Here, monks, a monk might speak like this: ‘I have heard this directly from the Gracious One, friends, directly I learned it: “This is the Teaching, this is the Discipline, this is the Teacher’s Dispensation.”’ That monk’s speech, monks, is not to be rejoiced over, not to be scorned at. Without having ...


8

Is he considered a great leader? He isn't. Does he represents Buddhism? He doesn't. Are his books largely accepted as Buddhist books? They aren't. There's really not much more to say. Why would you even think Osho was considered a great leader by the Buddhist community? He wasn't even a Buddhist. He lived a luxurious lifestyle and wrote in an ...


7

Just in case you are more of a beginner: I would think that all of the sects that make up Buddhism consider their own teachings to be original and genuine, regardless of what others think. So if you don't yet have a working understanding of the various sects within Buddhism, that would be a great place to start to see if there is one that you are drawn to. ...


7

From the Mahaparinibbana Sutta: "And, Ananda, whereas now the bhikkhus (monks) address one another as 'friend,' let it not be so when I am gone. The senior bhikkhus, Ananda, may address the junior ones by their name, their family name, or as 'friend'; but the junior bhikkhus should address the senior ones as 'venerable sir' or 'your reverence.' ...


7

From Dogen's Shobogenzo: Some hear of Anuttara-Samyak-Sam-Bodhi from "good friend", and some hear of it from the sutras. What one hears first is, "Not doing wrong action." If one does not hear “not doing wrong action,” one is not hearing the Buddhas' true Dharma but demonic talk. Know that hearing “not doing wrong action” is hearing the Buddhas' true ...


6

Would an advanced practitioner ever stop meditating? If we take the Buddha & his disciples as an example, I would say, no. I would also not see a reason why. In the texts, the jhānas are referenced as pleasant abidings here-&-now and that is what the arahats do. "Bhikkhus, if wanderers of other sects ask you: 'In what dwelling, friends, did the ...


6

When meeting other practitioners or teachers, always ask yourself - do I want to become like them? Do I want to look and behave like them in 5 years' time? If they represent qualities you would like to master, stay with them. If you think you can trust them and learn something useful from them, stay with them until you feel you can't learn anything else. ...


6

(Disclaimer: Bear in mind that this answer is structured for the purpose of providing references. This structure is entirely my own way of putting the answer together. I'd emphasize taking the references on their -own terms- without giving too much importance to this structure.) To find a skillful teacher, one could approach the matter prudently by ...


6

someone might get caught up in the wrong side of the isle after reading some person's foolish efforts There will always be reviews coming from writers who are not comfortable with things like heavens and divine beings. People with materialistic views will be drawn to such articles naturally. If you get angry at them, you might be clinging to the Dhamma as ...


6

Because the question is supposed to "point directly at your mind" like the finger pointing at the moon. The answer could not do better. In fact, you learn more from trying to solve an apparent contradiction. If anything, you learn at least that you are frustrated over not getting it. What matters most is not the object (a koan, a hua tou) but how you hold it ...


6

At this point I venture to say that the school one picks is largely irrelevant. It's much more about the teacher's ability to connect the map of the teaching with the jungle of your immediate living experience. Once you see how the two relate, you can start making progress. As was said in Kalama Sutta: Come Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired ...


6

There is a good book about community building; Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities – by Amy Jo Kim. The most knowledgeable people are those who are able to answer almost any questions. They are extremely valuable but are also quite likely to retire from a community in part because they don't need the community ...


5

At least in the Theravada community in Sri Lanka many do not even know who he is. Anyway, he does not have any direct relevance to Buddhism. Also if you take his teaching, there is some element of "love" and material aspects like his use of Rolls Royces, Expensive Watches and Private Jets which is tied to Raga. This is one of the 5 Hindrances that prevent ...


5

Alan Watts appears to be a renaissance man that is not feeling constrained by any religion or philosophy. You can read general history and maybe get clues to who he was at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts here is an excerpt "Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an ...


5

Bhante is a contracted vocative form of the reverential "bhadanta", which is simply an appellative used to show respect. It is used in the suttas in a similar way as the word "Ajān" is used in Thailand. Strictly speaking, it should not be used when referring to a respected individual in the third person, e.g. "Bhante Bodhi", etc....


5

It is a part of their practice. Teaching the Dhamma helps one understand it better. The more one understands the Dhamma, the closer one gets to Nibbana. Besides, how do lay people find time for Dhamma while doing full time jobs? Monks don't do jobs. So they have plenty of time to both teach and meditate.


5

I would recommend you to pick the tradition closest to the original teachings of the Buddha and try to find a good teacher within that tradition. Trying many traditions would probably lead you to spiritual confusion than progress. You can discover a good Dhamma teacher by evaluating the following criteria Are his teachings sensible, skillful and praised ...


5

When I say, "find a teacher" I just mean, don't rely on your understanding of books alone. Go to an actual resident Buddhist master of any denomination, like a teaching Theravada bhikkhu or a Zen Master or a Tibetan Buddhism Master (Rinpoche). They usually reside at a temple (or a private residence turned into a temple) and have little sanghas formed around ...


5

Every "official" Chan/Zen master (that is, a master recognized and authorized by an older master) keeps a list of his ancestral teachers going back all the way to the Buddha Shakyamuni. I have such list for my Zen Master for example. Every Tibetan lineage keeps a list of teachers that goes to a Buddha (not necessarily Shakyamuni). Many Tibetan texts begin ...


4

According to the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi's book A Comprehensive manual of Abhidhamma, Chapter 3 Guide to §8 : The word bhavanga means “factor (anga) of existence (bhava),” that is, “the indispensable condition of existence.” Bhavanga is the function of consciousness by which the continuity of the individual is preserved through the duration of any ...


4

Take your time. Usually you can stay with a Buddhist group for a long time without any commitment: Go to the meditation and teaching sessions, see what kind of people there are and what they are doing, even for months and years, until you come to a conclusion. (That is what I did. I stayed with one group for about four months, then with another one for ...


4

Not only in Tibetan Buddhism, they also have gurus in Zen Buddhism but there they are addressed as masters (sifu, sensei, sabunim etc). What counts is not a name but the personal relationship of mentorship. I suppose "mentor" would be a better term than "teacher". Other options I like include "preceptor" and "benefactor". As was explained to me by one of my ...


4

The Udayi Sutta (AN 5.159) describes the five qualities in one qualified to teach the Dhamma: "It's not easy to teach the Dhamma to others, Ananda. The Dhamma should be taught to others only when five qualities are established within the person teaching. Which five? "(1) The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak step-by-step.' ...


4

It depends on the question. There are people who understand the canon better than I do and who can help me to read and understand it, so it makes sense to ask that sort of question. Also there are people who have experience of different teachers, doctrines, and/or practices, perhaps it makes sense to ask about that kind of experience too. So maybe you're ...


3

"The Words of My Perfect Teacher" by Patrul Rinpoche has a chapter (Ch. 6) on how to choose, test and follow a "spiritual friend" (teacher): pure, never having contravened any of the commitments or prohibitions (Pratimoksha, Bodhisattva's Vow, Secret Vows of Secret Mantrayana) unstained by negative emotions learned, not lacking in knowledge of sutras, ...


3

In the suttas, we see the Buddha regarding a wise person one who reflects that grasping and insisting firmly on a view would create clashes and disputes with those who hold a different view. "Where there is a dispute, quarreling. Where there is quarreling, annoyance. Where there is annoyance, frustration.' Envisioning for himself clash, dispute, quarreling, ...


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