Author Topic: Chasing Two Rabbits  (Read 4666 times)

Jessie Fong

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Chasing Two Rabbits
« on: May 11, 2013, 03:13:17 PM »
A martial arts student approached his teacher with a question.

"I'd like to improve my knowledge of the martial arts. In addition to learning from you, I'd like to study with another teacher in order to learn another style. What do you think of this idea?"

"The hunter who chases two rabbits," answered the master, "catches neither one."

I came across the above story and find that it is also the same as the saying : Jack of all trades, master of none.

In our eagerness to learn and absorb more, we should always stick to one master/guru so that we do not get mixed up/confused with the different methods of teaching.

What do you think? Should we learn from various masters or only from one?


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Re: Chasing Two Rabbits
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 05:41:24 PM »
There are reasons why new practitioners are not encouraged to learn from many masters at the outset.  As Jessie has mentioned, it will only confuse the practitioner.  Every authentic Buddhist lineage has its source from Buddha Shakyamuni and comes with the blessings of the lineage masters all the way from Buddha Shakyamuni to the present guru that we learn from.  Lineage transmission is important because it ensures the purity and authenticity of the teachings.  And if we practise the teachings, it will bring the results because the methods taught are proven.

Every guru or lineage follows its unique method of practice.  For example, the four major Tibetan lineages - Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug - have common and uncommon methods of practice that will lead the practitioners to liberation and enlightenment.  If we mixed up the uncommon methods by learning from the different master of these lineages, we will not gain the expected result.  Hence, unless our guru has specifically instructed us to learn from another guru, we should not do so.   

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: Chasing Two Rabbits
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 01:59:57 PM »
I have been taught to learn from one teacher only and not to go around running after many teachers. It is not due to the fact that a spiritual teacher would be jealous or upset. Because we are living in these time and place when we can not commit to just learning, whatever time we have should be used focus solely on the advice and teachings of just one teacher who is so compassionate to guide us. This would also prevent the students from getting confused. The master is very wise to advice his student that if he does not focus on chasing one rabbit, he will end up not getting even one.