Right Teacher, Right Teaching, Right Support
Where do we start ?
Right Student – Right Teacher
How do we find the right teacher, the right teachings and the right dharma centre? It all depends on what we are looking for. Generally it seems that we meet someone or read something, and that starts us off. We’re interested because of our karma – our previous actions. And so, we are reconnecting to something we have forgotten. Having forgotten, we are confused.
We start from wherever we are. We read books, or a nice blog like this 😀 If we are fortunate, we find a dharma centre, where teachings are taught and clarified by authentic commentaries from an authentic teacher (‘authentic’ is someone who is selfless and only interested conveying the Buddha’s teachings for your spiritual welfare). We ask questions and try the practices.
How do we find the approach that suits us?
There are two problems with dharma centres:
one is that there are many traditions/systems/approaches and the other is the dynamics of the group. Dharma centres can seem a bit cultish. Some students go there for teachings and practices, and some go to soak up the atmosphere as it’s just good to be in the company of like-minded people.
We need to practise with them to see if it suits us. We will start to learn more from other students about other dharma centres, teachers and traditions. It’s an evolving process. Some teachers get to the point quickly, some and don’t. Some talk about the practices, whereas others talk about the point of the practices.
This blog is about the point of practice, and then hopefully when you go to a centre you will know what you are looking for. The point is pure awareness; everything else is just bells and whistles. Bells and whistle can wake you up, but you have to recognise that you have woken up, otherwise it’s just noise.
Dharma centres are organisations. Organisation are people, and people – as we know – are a problem because they like to organise! 😀 That means becoming dogmatic.
Dharma centres are catalysts for intense emotions. Dharma students can get right up your nose as they develop peculiar mannerisms 😀 but this is an excellent time to observe one’s own reactions 😀 We may even get up their nose… I know I do!
It doesn’t matter where we go, our real path is our confusion. It’s that which has to be dissolved – or better still, we realise that the confusion does not truly exist.
We need many teachers. We have many teachers; they are all around when we recognise the inner teacher. That is then the right teacher, and you are the right student.
If we cannot find a dharma centre, we ask questions on blogs, as they are more personal; we will receive slightly different answers, so we choose what suits us. Everything can be refined, giving rise to a change in our perception as we progress through the levels. Same words, refined understanding.