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who doesn't have a formal teacher?

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who doesn't have a formal teacher?
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3/20/15 7:20 PM
Evening good people of DhO,

As my search for a willing insight teacher who is based full time in my city continues for face to face guidance, I am starting to wonder how many people have a teacher like this, and if it is even nessecary?

I guess everyone falls into one of these categories..

1. No teacher
2. Online / Email / Private messaging / skype teacher
3. Everyone is my teacher - posts messages on this forum and others for guidance
4. Face to face teacher. 

If you have any thoughts on which of the above works for you and why, or if you have tried all or several of these formats and found one works better for you, it would be interesting to hear about it ...

cheers, 

Bman

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/20/15 10:58 PM as a reply to b man.
I've spent time with a few generous local teachers and had some benifit.  But the relationships did not stick and I feel I've by far gotten more from people I met here on DhO that I have occasional conversations with.  I think I've reached the area of SE on the strength of MCTB and DhO.

Matt

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 3:30 AM as a reply to b man.
I have never had a flesh and blood teacher.  Technically I was part of a couple of different tibetan traditions and so had a 'teacher'.  I don't count these mass teachings as the same as having a dedicated, personally tailored experience which, I think goes more to the essence of your question.

I've also been to retreats etc. and while those are clearly teachers, again, it misses the mark in my opinion. I've never  done "online" teachings which could be closer to having a'teacher' in that sense.

tom

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 5:01 AM as a reply to b man.
I learn a lot from things people post here and my other fellow adventurers, but haven't had a formal teacher since my last retreat that was taught by someone, which was April, 2003.

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 10:51 AM as a reply to b man.
I'm looking for a decent teacher. So far no luck. Want someone with a good personality fit for me as well. Those I have met dont seem to have reached any higher on the personal development plane than I have. Pride, anger, jeaolosy, etc. Things I myself work to improve.
So I suppose I have the idea that its not just meditation that is to be taught. Its the package. And if they dont seem to improve on a personal level how can one really evaluate their meditation prowess.

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 11:41 AM as a reply to b man.
For me, it's number 2- meeting with a meditation coach via skype twice a month (all payments by donation) has been the thing that really helped accelerate my practice.  It has also been useful in terms of truly understanding the mechanics of insight cycles as well as the common patterns in terms of how people experience them, rather than having to seperate the wheat from the chaff on the forums and such.  

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 1:50 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:

1. No teacher
2. Online / Email / Private messaging / skype teacher
3. Everyone is my teacher - posts messages on this forum and others for guidance
4. Face to face teacher. 

If you have any thoughts on which of the above works for you and why, or if you have tried all or several of these formats and found one works better for you, it would be interesting to hear about it ...

It depends on what one's goals are - if you wanna attain SE in the insight way, or develop as a person, or both, etc

If right now the goal is just to get SE via insight, then DhO/online works well for a lot of people, or you can get a meditation teacher - a coach basically. Whatever problem you have, they are just gonna say either - "ok, that's what's supposed to happen, keep doing what you're doing...." OR "look into the nature of thing that seems to be noticing that/having a problem with that...." this is really valuable though. Also just to know that what you're going through is fine, that they've done it, is a powerful transmission. This is the kind of teacher where you don't necessarily wanna be like them, or think that there is anything at all special about them other than the fact they know how to use insight practice to recognise non-duality.

If you want to really effect massive personal change though (aka become as enlightened as poss), a face to face teacher who you believe to be actually free, supremely enlightened, etc is deffo the best way. So you should keep looking for one, though it may take a while to find one that suits you, don't give up...!

Personally I did
no teacher, no teachings apart from a vague sense that meditating was important - worked well until A&P
DhO / Online - worked well from A&P to SE / 2/3rd MCTB path, and still sometimes handy.
Dropped in a couple of different teachers causally - very helpful for support (not really teaching) for 3/4th mctb path
Working with face to face teacher in guru style - seems vital for me now.

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 8:24 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
1. No teacher
2. Online / Email / Private messaging / skype teacher
3. Everyone is my teacher - posts messages on this forum and others for guidance
4. Face to face teacher.
1st path - I had read "My Big Toe" and was following the breath (not very well) while listening to binaural beats
2nd path - MCTB and the Dho and a retreat
3rd path - The few scarce postings from the dho
3+ Talking to as many people I could about what it entails and finding very little practical "exercises" but a lot of information about what it isn't

Shoot me an message if you wanna skype sometime...I'm more of a cheerleader than a coach but sometimes I seem to point at something useful.
Good luck,
~D

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/21/15 9:21 PM as a reply to b man.
You need absolutely no teacher!  We don't need water wrings!  The amazing thing about traveling along the path is that it happens entirely on its own accord, the progress happens like a gravity, you are pulled along perfectly at all times by simply practicing.  The further I got along the less and less I even read dhamma books.  They are just for fun emoticon Practice trumps all

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/22/15 4:05 AM as a reply to b man.
I did a kriya yoga retreat 4 years ago, formally taught by a teacher. Since then, no teaching but books and forums  like DhO and talks with Dhamma friends. Still did not had SE. For the first time I'm having a coaching in two weeks, with Kenneth Folk. Don't know what to expect but at least some motivation.

I'm definitely interested for skype and talks with more advanced people though, as I don't have access to a lot of them in my surroundings.

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/22/15 2:39 PM as a reply to b man.
3. Everyone is my teacher (although some few far more so than others). 

It is true that some people have more experience and offer advice or practice suggestions that resonate more with me than others. I've never "hired" a teacher, nor have I gotten up high enough in any practice center to have any access to teachers that might be a fit for me.

I've made remarkably fast progress without a formal teacher-student relationship, all the while fretting that I couldn't find "my teacher." So I'm going to go on record here, at last, as personally rejecting the notion that one needs a personal teacher. One practical measure may be to seek out temporary help when "stuck" for a significant amount of practice time. For example, if you go more than a year between first and second paths, while practicing, then maybe consider some resource for advice and follow up.

I got the notion that I did need a relationship from my stint in Tibetan Buddhism, which had a heavy guru devotion practice component. I spent a great deal of time basically praying for my teacher to appear. This fixation can be a temporal sandtrap. Best not to hold your practice hostage, waiting for a savior.

I ended up leaving the center I attended and diving into books for DIY direction. This is when I started making fast progress--chiefly from some Thai Forest mediation manuals and MCTB. The latter's contribution was mainly knowledge of the insight stages and how to navigate them, as well as a refreshing modernity that dispensed with all the guru devotion complexities. After all, we have these things called "books" and the "Internet" these days. We can use them.

Interestingly, I'm about to take my first retreat, a Mahamudra retreat, with John Churchill in July. He follows students of the retreat after the retreat ends, so this may be the beginning of something like a formal relationship. If so, ironically it will start as soon as I had "given up" on the whole teacher fixation. We shall see. 

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/4/17 11:33 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
For me, it's number 2- meeting with a meditation coach via skype twice a month (all payments by donation) has been the thing that really helped accelerate my practice.  It has also been useful in terms of truly understanding the mechanics of insight cycles as well as the common patterns in terms of how people experience them, rather than having to seperate the wheat from the chaff on the forums and such.  


Care to PM me your teachers website if he has one?

RE: who doesn't have a formal teacher?
Answer
3/4/17 11:33 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
For me, it's number 2- meeting with a meditation coach via skype twice a month (all payments by donation) has been the thing that really helped accelerate my practice.  It has also been useful in terms of truly understanding the mechanics of insight cycles as well as the common patterns in terms of how people experience them, rather than having to seperate the wheat from the chaff on the forums and such.  

This has been the biggest change in my practice after beginning to work with a teacher. Having the cycles pointed out while meditating with my teacher on skype for the first time blew my mind. It confirmed that I was doing it so to speak, it confirmed that the stuff was unfolding before me.

Before I started working with him my practice consisted of sitting down and feeling like shit, getting up and feeling a bit better. Since then, my equanimity to all sensations and everything that happens in my life has skyrocketed. For example, sitting down and feeling like shit is to be expected because I can tell when I enter the dukkha nanas, and instead of feeling bad and guilty about it there is a sense of curioisity and wonder.