using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spring 2006
spring 2006| 54 |buddhadharma cult, measuring it with respect to teachers is much more so. Many renowned teachers have often exhibited bursts of anger or passion, or simply seem to have habits that, to all appearances, are like klesha activity. How do we account for this? blAnche hArtmAn: On a couple of occasions, I recall Suzuki Roshi getting angry. It seemed to me to be frustration at how slow we were to catch on and how little time he had. I recall one sesshin in which the person rang the bell one hour early, then real- ized his mistake, and went running, saying, “Go back to bed! I rang it an hour early. I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I did it an hour early.” Only two students and Suzuki Roshi came down to the zendo. When everybody else finally came down, he said in this terrible voice, “You’re all badgers and foxes sleeping in your zazen caves.” And he jumped down and started hit- ting everybody, going around the zendo saying, “When the bell rings, come to the zendo,” and a variety of other things, while he was going whack, whack, whack, all the way around the zendo. It sure looked like anger to me, but I think it was actually a very effective teaching as well. I think the anger came first and the teaching came sec- ond. There were certainly other occasions when he had strong reactions like that. I think we could be pretty frustrating. Guy ArmstronG: I think it’s true that people are able to share dharma teachings effectively well before all their kleshas have been removed, and occasion- ally the teacher’s kleshas will break out just as much as they would with an ordinary person. Part of the problem is that when a teacher is always in a certain role in relation to students, it makes it difficult for them to speak honestly about their own level of development. Sometimes it may not seem appropriate to reveal to students the areas in which they’re not fully developed yet. That’s why I think it’s very important that teachers have a peer group within which they can talk honestly about their own practice and the things they’re working with. In the absence of their peer group, where they can share honestly, teachers can start to believe in or get too identi- fied with their role and what they are teaching. As a result, they can believe they’re farther along the path than they are, and they can present them- selves to the students as being farther along than they are. That’s where it gets dangerous. Some degree of honesty and sharing about one’s own imperfections is really necessary to keep teachers on an even keel. blAnche hArtmAn: Whether we share them or not, our students see them. So we may as well share them. rinGu tulku: It’s also true that the exercise of com- passion is not always so soft and nice. It can be expressed in a very rough-and-tough fashion. Out of compassion, the teacher may have to be a dis- ciplinarian, be stern, offer punishment, and even show anger toward students – that kind of fierce- ness could help the students to behave better. It’s not completely necessary that the teacher actually be angry, but that the teacher show the anger. Not every teacher is at the same level. I have had the opportunity to train with very great mas- ters, teachers of teachers. You could really see and feel how realized they were, but not all teachers are at that level. This has to be understood very clearly. Students might assume that whatever problems the teacher has are being handled. They might project that the teacher is highly realized, beyond their actual ability. buddhAdhArmA: It could be quite a danger for a teacher, particularly one who’s in the early stages of development, if they get confused between the students’ projections of them and where they actu- ally are. blAnche hArtmAn: That’s why Guy’s point about peers is vital, particularly for teachers in the West, who have probably been teaching for one lifetime, not many, and who are not surrounded by many fully trained teachers, as teachers in Asia might be. We really do need to have our peers around to keep us from getting caught in our students’ projections. It’s awfully nice when people think we are doing so great, and it’s awfully tempting to believe some of it! Guy ArmstronG: Indeed. Praise is one of the armies of Mara. buddhAdhArmA: Many teachers have encouraged their students to teach as a way of learning, result- ing in a system of people who are not fully pro- cessed going out to teach. Can teaching be a way of learning to deal with the kleshas, which will mean that people make some mistakes along the way? Or is that too dangerous a way to operate? rinGu tulku: In most instances, a teacher also has a teacher. I still have my teacher. Even though I teach, I myself will never be without a teacher. If my teacher passes away, I can have another teacher. I never cease to be a student. No teacher is a perfect teacher. You cannot be, unless you are completely enlightened. But when you have some- thing to share, and there are not many people who can share this kind of thing, you should teach. So, even though some of my students are not very advanced, not very knowledgeable, I encourage them to share whatever they understand to the ©b.g.sharma,manDalaPublishing2002,www.manDala.org It can be very humbling to see that as much as we try to meditate and keep our good intentions, our words and actions do get away from us. In that case, we simply have to make space to realize we’re human. — Guy Armstrong