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In addition to the quote from this answer I'm reminded of advice from another (non-Buddhist) tradition: "Don't just study the lesson -- study the teacher". I think that makes sense in any context -- if you really wanted to learn to practice Mathematics for example, you probably really need to study mathematicians and how they practice, and not ...


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It's true that DN 16 says rely on yourself but it doesn't mean you don't need a teacher, just as a student in university relies on his own effort to study for exams, do assignments, projects etc. but may need guidance from his lecturer or professor. The following sutta states that one who doesn't know what is to be known, should seek a teacher. The term for ...


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Relying upon a spiritual guide is a technique that helps one to develop faith in something other than your own troubled faculties. In my current understanding, this too can become troublesome. It can cause a fracture in the psyche, where the person always refers to an imagined entity for direction - which is another figment of the mind. It seems to be ...


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Is a teacher necessary for liberation and to what degree? A teacher is necessary insofar as you cannot attain it on your own. If you are so talented that you completely get it just from reading the Heart Sutra, or the Cuckoo's Song of Total Presence or the original suttas etc. then why would you need a guide. There are people like that, they are rare but ...


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Fire is a destructive force that will consume whatever we give it, yet in return, fire cooks our food, heats our homes, gives us light, and accompanies our reveries. Meditation is a kind of destructive force as well. Meditation helps us break the hold that our dramatic lives have on our emotions and thoughts. It also shows us the illusory nature of so much ...


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This question is a perfect example of why you need a teacher. Are we Mindful in Jhana? The Sutras are a great 10,000 foot guide to Buddhism, but they lack specificity. It's akin to someone directing you to San Francisco to NY. The suttas pretty much say "go east young man". At best, they might tell you to pass through Chicago and Denver on the ...


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