"favorite" teacher

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clyde
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"favorite" teacher

Post by clyde » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:15 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:39 pm
clyde wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:49 pm
p.s: If after reading the essay, you don’t understand why he’s one of my favorite living Zen teachers . . . I don’t know what to say.
There's a line that pops around from time to time, often after sesshin, when people may be talking a few days or weeks later: "The best teacher is the one you've just been with."

Indeed, best, or favorite: if we've just been through a lot with a teacher, and spent 7 or ten days together, well, there's a bonding, a binding, even if there was none at first.

A caution is also that if someone is a "favorite", it may be because that person is not a challenge to you at all (the general-"you"), but safely leaves you alone with your ego. No ground gets tilled, and one remains in one's comfort-zone, which is definitely not the liberation-zone. So, maybe not a good teacher for one after all, when one comes right on down to it.

Varied perspectives... .

_/\_ ,

--Joe
Joe; Yes, good points. I hope you don’t mind that I “split” it as its own topic.

I don’t have a Zen teacher. I have sat one-day retreats with Zoketsu Norman Fisher about a half-dozen times and listened to many of his Dharma talks. His age and background are similar, so he resonates with me. But I’ve had the good fortune to sit with many Zen teachers and listen/read to even more, and I have lots of favorites.

But I think your point is about a teacher’s effectiveness or skillfulness. And each of us must judge for ourselves. There is, as you noted, the danger of safety, something both the teacher and student need to guard against if it leads to complacency.

Larry wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:55 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:39 pm
A caution is also that if someone is a "favorite", it may be because that person is not a challenge to you at all (the general-"you"), but safely leaves you alone with your ego. No ground gets tilled, and one remains in one's comfort-zone, which is definitely not the liberation-zone.
Interesting point. You, yourself, can be quite challenging at times. But I always learn from it.

:bow2:
Me, too.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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fuki
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:58 pm

I like my teachers radical, bold and to the point without compromise and who doesn't "water down" anything (face to face) in public they all "water down" according to the enviroment/conditions. But ofcourse the outer teacher is merely a milestone, the true teacher does not appear or disappear nor can one join or depart from "it"
:107:
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:01 pm

fuki wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:58 pm
I like my teachers radical, bold and to the point without compromise and who doesn't "water down" anything (face to face) in public they all "water down" according to the enviroment/conditions. But ofcourse the outer teacher is merely a milestone, the true teacher does not appear or disappear nor can one join or depart from "it"
:107:
To all with opinions about Zen Buddhist teachers, I'd say sit about 10 or 12 seven-day retreats with each, and get back to us about how it's gone. Retreat/sesshin is where the rubber meets the road. The rest is, well, hot air, frankly. Too much appeal to something in the head area, if any. Our way is not about the head. Nor about a lot of other things.

rgds,

--Joe

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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:18 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:01 pm
To all with opinions about Zen Buddhist teachers, I'd say sit about 10 or 12 seven-day retreats with each, and get back to us about how it's gone. Retreat/sesshin is where the rubber meets the road. The rest is, well, hot air, frankly. Too much appeal to something in the head area, if any. Our way is not about the head. Nor about a lot of other things.

rgds,

--Joe
"Chocolate" is not an opinion.
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:24 pm

Marcel,
fuki wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:18 pm
"Chocolate" is not an opinion.
Do you mean "option"?

On 7-day sesshin, there is a breakfast mealtime gatha that we recited, with words that begin:

"Porridge is effective in ten ways to aid the student of Zen... ".

--Joe

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fuki
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:32 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:24 pm
Do you mean "option"?

On 7-day sesshin, there is a breakfast mealtime gatha that we recited, with words that begin:

"Porridge helps the student of Zen in ten ways... "

--Joe
That works Joe, breakfast is optional since I rarely eat breakfast :)
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:53 pm

If a teacher hasn't taken a stick to you yet (most compassionately... ), you may not have met a true teacher for yourself, yet. Or, not yet "met" him or her under the right circumstances, to date. Stand by... . ;) There may be hope.

:namaste: ,

--Joe

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lindama
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by lindama » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:00 pm

keep your sticks away from me Joe. There was a time when I invited it... and even learned how to administer it. For me, it means nothing about my relationship to anything. Others are welcome to have their own preferences, ofc.

likewise, I'm not impressed with radical... there are many many ways to walk a committed path. ofc, the theater is another thing....

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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:13 pm

lindama wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:00 pm
keep your sticks away from me Joe. There was a time when I invited it... and even learned how to administer it. For me, it means nothing about my relationship to anything. Others are welcome to have their own preferences, ofc.

likewise, I'm not impressed with radical... there are many many ways to walk a committed path. ofc, the theater is another thing....
Sure, Linda. Understood. I think.

Those who go on sesshin, or go on sesshin a lot... well, use of the stick is usually voluntary: you ask for it; and it's usually administered (applied) by a sangha member (Tanto officer), not the teacher. Not in my case, at first, with Sheng Yen, who took care of the sangha himself in earliest days (lucky me). You thought Ted Williams was a good hitter? Ha.

But the kyosaku (xiang-ban) is not the only stick (or object) one might be kindly struck with. Awakenings sometimes eventuate in these moments. Nothing to sneeze at, even if you conceive yourself constitutionally to be allergic to such compassion. Hail!, to dissolution of all ego-protectiveness.

Blessings,

--Joe

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lindama
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by lindama » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:26 pm

sure, thanks. that said, I appreciate Kyosaku... and the zen words inscribed on them, my woodworker friends who make them with attention and love .... and their presence on the altar and how they are used to open and close the day... walking the stick. yes, sticks are optional, so are back rubs. One inscription on Kyosaku that was often used: "the whole world is medicine".

Favorite? .... it's usually who I am hearing. Agree with Clyde... Norm Fischer is very very good. I sat with him for a few months back in the day ... he does a monthy seminar topic... the first one that attracted me was Dogen's Instructions for the Cook (duh). We studied Uji and others. That was back in the day when I had a reliable dharma mobile. It was a hike down there to Marin.

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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:03 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:53 pm
If a teacher hasn't taken a stick to you yet (most compassionately... ), you may not have met a true teacher for yourself, yet. Or, not yet "met" him or her under the right circumstances, to date. Stand by... . ;) There may be hope.

:namaste: ,

--Joe
Joe, I've trained my cat (on the right) to jump on my shoulder from the ground up, but she always decides to hang in my back flesh deep and then climb her way up, the daily knee "welcome home" scratch is about the same, if I'd showed you my knees you thought I would have contracted a disease :lol:

Image

And a unicorn appeared today, true story! :P

Image

No such thing as a true teacher, please. A qualified teacher sure.

And please don't talk to me about coming and going, meeting and departing, hope, ripeness, favourable conditions, effort and all such abstract silliness. :hatsoff:
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:19 am

lindama wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:00 pm
likewise, I'm not impressed with radical... there are many many ways to walk a committed path. ofc, the theater is another thing....
Radical is relative ofcourse, nothing to do with being impressed (for me) which is also relative according to what one is used to or has experienced. With "radical" I mean teachers like sri niz, lin chi.
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:49 pm

fuki wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:03 am
And please don't talk to me about coming and going, meeting and departing, hope, ripeness, favourable conditions, effort and all such abstract silliness. :hatsoff:
Right-y-oh. We'll defer such talk until it all becomes concrete for you. ;)

--Joe /(un-true teacher; come and gone; well-met and hale; "Helplessly Hoping" (by CSNY); ripened to a turn; favorably unconditioned; effortfully easy; and practically comedic [in all seriousness] )

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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:09 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:49 pm
fuki wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:03 am
And please don't talk to me about coming and going, meeting and departing, hope, ripeness, favourable conditions, effort and all such abstract silliness. :hatsoff:
Right-y-oh. We'll defer such talk until it all becomes concrete for you. ;)

--Joe /(un-true teacher; come and gone; well-met and hale; "Helplessly Hoping" (by CSNY); ripened to a turn; favorably unconditioned; effortfully easy; and practically comedic [in all seriousness] )
Joe, thanks, I just have no more need for such imaginations, however they can be functional words when the situation calls for it, which is not now or in this topic. It's the same when I would talk about football to you, it's just not a mutual interest of ours who won some cup 50 years ago or fantasies about the conditions of the pitch next week, when spring comes the grass grows by "itself".
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desert_woodworker
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:03 pm

fuki wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:09 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:49 pm
fuki wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:03 am
And please don't talk to me about coming and going, meeting and departing, hope, ripeness, favourable conditions, effort and all such abstract silliness. :hatsoff:
Right-y-oh. We'll defer such talk until it all becomes concrete for you. ;)

--Joe /(un-true teacher; come and gone; well-met and hale; "Helplessly Hoping" (by CSNY); ripened to a turn; favorably unconditioned; effortfully easy; and practically comedic [in all seriousness] )
Joe, thanks, I just have no more need for such imaginations, however they can be functional words when the situation calls for it, which is not now or in this topic. It's the same when I would talk about football to you, it's just not a mutual interest of ours who won some cup 50 years ago or fantasies about the conditions of the pitch next week, when spring comes the grass grows by "itself".
Nonetheless, we'll talk again after perhaps the first 5 or 6 seven-day sesshin that you attend (survive). Best!,

--Joe

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Anders
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by Anders » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:29 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:53 pm
If a teacher hasn't taken a stick to you yet (most compassionately... ), you may not have met a true teacher for yourself, yet.
Cross topicing here, but...

How do you reconcile a student accepting being beaten with a stick by his teacher and surrender not being part of the system of training?

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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by Anders » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:34 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:03 pm
Nonetheless, we'll talk again after perhaps the first 5 or 6 seven-day sesshin that you attend (survive)
Is this really the level of discourse we're at? Id feel embarrassed to here someone say this irl. The Internet is no excuse.

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fuki
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by fuki » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:47 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:34 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:03 pm
Nonetheless, we'll talk again after perhaps the first 5 or 6 seven-day sesshin that you attend (survive)
Is this really the level of discourse we're at? Id feel embarrassed to here someone say this irl. The Internet is no excuse.
Irl...I would strike someone's mouth, figuratively. On forum's it's just a habit to keep asserting one's "point" over and over even if someone has made known such a conversation isn't appreciated or functional. But I'm sure the habit is mine too. (I notice when it happens)
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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:53 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:29 pm
How do you reconcile a student accepting being beaten with a stick by his teacher and surrender not being part of the system of training?
(Awakening recognizes all true Compassion).

Let them both hash it out; this is called Training. I wasn't there (that time).

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "favorite" teacher

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:55 pm

fuki wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:47 pm
Anders wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:34 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:03 pm
Nonetheless, we'll talk again after perhaps the first 5 or 6 seven-day sesshin that you attend (survive)
Is this really the level of discourse we're at? Id feel embarrassed to here someone say this irl. The Internet is no excuse.
Irl...I would strike someone's mouth, figuratively. On forum's it's just a habit to keep asserting one's "point" over and over even if someone has made known such a conversation isn't appreciated or functional. But I'm sure the habit is mine too. (I notice when it happens)
OK, you're right. 10 or 12 sesshin. My misunderestimation.

--Joe

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