Questions for teachers

Greg Dietz, modified 10 Years ago at 8/24/11 12:02 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/24/11 11:54 AM

Questions for teachers

Posts: 10 Join Date: 6/5/10 Recent Posts
Hello everyone,

I'm looking for perhaps 4 or 5 key questions(or even 1 or 2) that you all think are crucial to asking a perspective meditation teacher. We have a few meditation teachers where I live (Boise), and while none of them are Theravada teachers (all Zen or Vajrayana) I'd like to see if any of them are qualified to guide students through the rough spots and the advanced stages.

Sites like this are a huge benefit along with remote teachers like Shinzen Young, but for me nothing fully takes the place of face to face interaction.

Anyway, I greatly appreciate any and all advice you all would like to offer.

Best... Greg
Florian, modified 10 Years ago at 9/6/11 5:25 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/6/11 5:25 AM

RE: Questions for teachers (Answer)

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Greg,

Well, you have two very good questions right there in your post:

  • what makes you qualified to guide students through the rough spots?
  • what makes you qualified to guide students through the advanced stages?

(Don't just ask the "are you ...?" questions, because they will get you "yes" as an answer, or perhaps an evasion)

More suggestions ("Why do you teach?" "How many students do you have?") can be found in More on the Mushroom Factor.

I particularly like the following paragraph (a telling preference, I know):

[indent]Beyond this, there are also good reasons to question the very concepts of “teacher” and “student” and the disturbing and often unquestioned rigidity with which they are sometimes applied. One person may have an understanding that they share with someone else and then turn around and ask them a question about something that the person who was a “student” just moments before is skilled in. I have come to the conclusion that some of the best teaching happens in conversations between friends and not in the context of very short, formal interviews with lineaged teachers who have just flown in for the week.[/indent]