Author Topic: Love your teacher  (Read 8830 times)

negra orquida

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Love your teacher
« on: June 24, 2012, 05:54:45 PM »
A student confided in Suzuki Roshi that she had tremendous feelings of love for him, and that it confused her.
"Don't worry," he said. "You can let yourself have all the feelings you have for your teacher. That's good. I have enough discipline for both of us."


What do you think about this story? I suppose this kind of loving feeling from a student for a teacher is ok if it is affectionate love (like love for one's parents) arising from respect and gratitude.  But how does a teacher handle a student who has desirous love / strong attachment for him?

Galen

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 06:26:14 PM »
It takes two hands to clap. If a student has desirous love for the teacher, the teacher should discourage that. A teacher in any form will need to have a code of ethics which they abide to. A role of a teacher is to teach and therefore, if a student is in love with the teacher, the teacher should teach the student to analyze what kind of love would that be. The student may only have a crush which is temporary and at the spur of the moment, but when examine further, it could be due to something shallow like attraction the looks. Or it could be due to  deep respect to the teacher's knowledge. The role of the teacher is to clarify that.

If a student have strong attachment to the teacher. Then, the student needs to examine why that attachment. In Buddhist, we are to be free from attachment. So, this could be a real life practice for the student. The teacher should also support the student in losing that attachment.


Dolce Vita

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 07:10:47 PM »
I also love my guru, l love him for his compassion and his loving care,  all his good qualities and I wish to have the same attainment as him.

I guess a student who has desirous love / strong attachment for a guru, the guru will be able to use his very skilful ways to turn that attachment into something that benefits people. For example because of this attachment to the lama, this student will do anything that is told by the lama. The guru can give instructions to this student to benefit others such as performing pujas or clean the temple. As more merits are collected and more karmas are purified, the student will eventually change the wrong view into right view.

RedLantern

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 07:13:33 PM »
This is so very common..until we meet a teacher,most of us have never experience unconditional love from another person.Remember the teacher's love and kindness is part of the practice and give full time effort to love all and everyone.We all receive it, and we all only see it directed to us.Eventually,we gain more insight and stop thinking and start emulate that love for others that our teacher demonstrates for us.This is the start of our practice and through this one can really connect with the heart and soul of a teacher in a way that is forever inseparable and the true essence.

kurava

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 11:35:37 PM »
It is common for students to develop desirous attachment for the teacher. We see many such cases among teenagers in secondary schools or even up to universities.

Suzuki Roshi is a renown Zen master. I suppose he must have had handled many similar cases. With skilful means , the teacher can direct the desirous love his student feels for him into the more positive energy of respect and faith which shall be conducive for the student's spiritual training.

We have heard of scandals involving teacher and student. Therefore it is prudent for a teacher not to be alone with any student of the opposite sex. This is for the benefit of the individuals and the religious community.

bambi

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 05:28:19 AM »
I have read many great masters' teachings and I must admit that I am attracted to the many methods that they use. But to think that they are attracting us to something other than a Guru-Disciple relationship seems... umm.. illogical to me. I would think that because I have so much gratitude and respect for them, I love them as a Guru, father, brother and a friend. I would say that the same feelings are like my love and respect for my parents and siblings.
If the Guru holds His Vows and teach for the benefit of many, He should be able to do so and not confuse the students in any ways. But don't forget that we also have Mahasiddhas out there that do things we do not expect like for eg. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who had a wife and children but that doesn't mean that what He is doing is wrong. It is our wrong perception that makes us think that way.

Ensapa

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 07:04:23 AM »
In any context, I dont think that a normal person would develop romantic love for their spiritual guide unless it is under special circumstances, such as in the case of the lay lamas were their consorts are in reality dakinis who assist the lay lama in their tantric practice but appearing as normal people. It would be very similar to incest as a teacher/Guru is not too different from a spiritual father. How could anyone have any romantic feelings towards someone who is their mentor unless they have certain issues prior to that? After all, Buddhist practice, as I have discovered from my own experience, especially when it comes to applying Guru Devotion, uncovers a lot of mental issues and mental scars that happened throughout the years and then we have to face them. At this time as well, the teacher will assist the student in healing these scars so that they can become a better person. In this vulnerable time, it is perhaps that some people might mistake it for romantic love.

To me, it is a very obvious sign that this individual would need to really introspect themselves and find out what is wrong.

Big Uncle

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 07:56:05 AM »
I can understand this tremendous attachment to the spiritual guide and I think many teachers have to handle it with a lot of sensitivity. It is easier when the teacher is a lay person like Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche but he has the signs of an awakened Mahasiddha and is able to turn sexually charge situations into a spiritual one.

However, the same cannot be said of teachers who are monks and that's why monks refrain from being along or seen alone with female students. I have heard of homosexual relationships with the monastery, eg Kalu Rinpoche but they are not really a result of teacher-disciple relationship though. Whatever it is, romantic and sexual relationships are not proper manner in which one should regard our spiritual guide. It is often misguided and can result in an ugly situation in the end.

Hence, Gurus with a handsome appearance often choose to appear corpulent so students would stay focus on the teachings instead of his appearance. I heard that the Thais pray to an arhat they call Sangacaryanak. I hope I got the spelling and pronunciation right. He was said to have made himself so fat so that his students would not be physically attracted to him but on his teachings. Perhaps, that's why Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche was reputed to have been a really fat Lama and perhaps this might be one of his reasons he maintained that size.

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 09:09:09 AM »
There is no wrong in loving one's Guru, if that love is a love like how we love our parents. If the love is desirous and lustful, then one should really check him/herself of their motivation of being with the Guru.
 
I agree with Ensapa “unless it is under special circumstances, such as in the case of the lay lamas were their consorts are in reality Dakinis who assist the lay lama in their tantric practice but appearing as normal people. It would be very similar to incest as a teacher/Guru is not too different from a spiritual father.”

A sincere student should know and understand that the love for his/her Guru must be based on high respect and the good qualities that the Guru exudes, not to confuse and deludes oneself that the love is romantic. 

The Guru? If he/she is a true Guru, then there should be no problem at all.
 ;)
DORJE PAKMO

Carpenter

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 10:12:51 AM »
Quote
The more psychically awake you are, the more you'll tend to notice such feelings and be able to sense what they're all about. However, even people who are psychically asleep may have such experiences when the karmic bond involved is very strong or important to their destined life plans. I believe these feelings arise from an inner spiritual compass; they help us to recognize the members of our soul family from one lifetime to the next, and they compel us to interact with the people we need to resolve karma with in order to fulfill our destined plans for each particular lifetime.

Whenever we have feeling towards someone, it is not just from this lifetime, it comes from previous life's karmic bond, even between student and teacher also the same, a certain of love level is there, that's why this karmic bond will pull them together, but the only thing is maybe the student is confused with her own feeling, because that might not be the romantic love.

As a teacher, he has the way to direct her back to track, that's is why he is her spiritual lead.

pgdharma

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2012, 12:26:03 PM »
I think that if a student has desirous love/strong attachment to the teacher, the teacher has the ability to use skilful means to guide the student out of this attachment. If the student has this strong attachment it could be due to past karmic affinity that draws this bond between them. As a teacher, he/she will have the knowledge to help the student. On the other hand, the student must also examine his/her attachments as to whether that feeling of respect and gratitude towards the teacher is mistook as desirous love/strong attachment.

VivianChin

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 03:08:13 PM »
What I think from the words of Suzuki Roshi saying "I have enough discipline for both of us." means that he as a teacher, he will demonstrate the self-discipline on himself first, and from admiring or loving him, this student will start to learn from him. This is happening when someone is admiring the other person, he/she will observes and even imitates or follows the movement, attitude and speech of that person. Why Suzuki Roshi saying, "That's good." is probably because he knew that he can turn this love affection of her into a learning method for herself. Eventually if she have learn correctly, this desirous loving feeling will turn into a respect type of loving, towards a teacher. :)

biggyboy

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2012, 03:24:47 PM »
According to followers of Zen, the deep meanings of everyday life can be found through self-discipline, meditation, and instruction while the traditional Buddhism, however, stresses extreme moral discipline. In addition, Zen Buddhists believe enlightenment can be achieved on Earth. 

That explains why Suzuki Roshi has such strong and fixed mind that he has enough discipline to train his female student who seems to have tremendous feelings of love for him and who is confused. This could due to the regimented, rigid and formal training which is prevalent till now with Zen Buddhism resulting strong discipline instilled deeply in each individual followers.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 03:24:21 PM »
I see nothing wrong in loving your teacher.  He is the one who will mould us through our spiritual path; draw us back when we sway and show signs giving up; He will be there for us when we fail.  He will always be the hand to guide us; the mother, father, brother, sister, friend, mentor and more --- he is everything to us.  So we should love him -- but it should not be desirous love.

We should love him for the qualities that draw us to him in the first place, for these are the very qualities that we ourselves strive to accomplish.  When I chant my guru's mantra it is so that I may gain the qualities that He has, so that I may apply with wisdom to help others.

If you do not love someone who has given you so much and will continue to look after you, who else can you love?  Who else but Him deserves all that love.

Tenzin K

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Re: Love your teacher
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 06:11:17 AM »
Due to the compassion of the teacher that shows unconditional love and care that could make the student has a desirous love towards them. It’s unavoidable because of the pure attraction of the teacher that holds theirs vows so strongly and could be also from so many past lives. This attraction will attract the people to listen and get closer to the teacher. As mentioned by Suzuki Roshi that he have enough discipline for both of them have shown that the teacher know what he is doing and the teacher is very knowledgeable and skillful to bring the student to dharma.

Attachment to the Guru at the beginning stage is not surprise but eventually the student will be independent and the only attachment in them is the hunger to learn more dharma and benefit more people from what they have learned.