The Role of the Teacher

Taking refuge in the Buddha generally means taking refuge in a formal teacher. Even though the Buddha encourage us to verify the teachings from our own experience, the teacher’s role in our practice can certainly accelerate our spiritual development.  In modern times, the teacher/student relationship has increasingly complex due to the nature of cultural context of the west. With the advent of the digital age, the types of relationships between the student and their teacher multiple ten folds as teachings/transmissions transcend the limitation of physically. Explore how these practitioners view their relationships with their teachers.  

Teachers on the subject

With the commercialization of Buddhism in the west, the teacher’s role is in danger of being relegated to a popularity contest. Traditional Buddhist teachers accept ‘dana’, a donation based form to honor the teacher but in our modern world, that system has become less sustainable. Teachers not only have to grapple with making a living in a modern world but the cultural complexity of a stained student/teacher relationship. 

Role of Lineages

Buddhism has a rich history of direct transmissions from the teacher to their disciples. This deep relationship between the teacher and student supports the purity of the transmission of the teachings. Accordingly, the ‘lineage’ through the course of time reflects the unbroken history of the authenticity of a certain teacher. In modern times, with the plethora of teachers/teachings instantly available, the vitality and importance of lineages cannot be understated. With 3 main ‘vehicles’ of Buddhism and hundreds of lineages, the plethora of lineages reflects the diversity of practitioner’s that resonate with a specific line. 

Explore the lineages:

THE SANGHA

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The Buddha

The teacher reimagined.

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