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January 23, 2019

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As Bodhidharma pointed out, there is no Buddha but one’s own mind. If you look outside your own mind, you will never awaken to your own perfect nature, no matter how many teachers you collect.

Being 74 years old, and relatively a newbie with Buddhism, kind of limits me from wandering the globe for several decades in search of a teacher. I do the best I can with ‘youtube’ and my books.
Worth consideration are The Precious Treasury of Pith Instructions by Longchen Rabjam in which he says:
There are six ways in which students are contaminated by the faults of poor teachers:
Students who rely on poor mentors are tainted by fixation on the extremes of naive affirmation and nihilistic denial because of their teachers’ dubious belief systems.
They are led to commit harmful, negative actions because of their teachers’ improper conduct.
They become increasingly quarrelsome and mean-spirited because of their teachers’ signs of inferior spiritual attainment.
They indulge in their confused perceptions and habit patterns because of the poor meditation they are taught.
They are obsessed with mundane affairs because of the questionable spiritual methods in which they train.
They fall into lower realms of samsara because of the inferior goals they are taught to seek.
Therefore, for those who have faith and seek the path to liberation, a poor teacher is the greatest obstacle caused by maras. So identify such teachers and avoid them at all costs.

To clarify what I mean by highervehicleans believing bohdisattvas can force people to salvation against their will, behold the silly vows they make that THEY themselves (despite denying there is a self) will save all sentient beings. But not all beings are even seeking salvation, so they are proclaiming that they will ovwrride those beings will.

"So you'd rather opt for the lesser vehicle just so that you can avoid the effort of seeking a qualified teacher?"

The so-called higher vehicle was created by fundamentalists of the same type as Christian fundamentalists and Muslim terrorists. Only instead of door knocking or suicide bombing they believe after this life they'll become exalted boddhiaavvatas who can force people to salvation against their will. How very agaibat what the historical Buddha taught. Free choic must be recognized; all sects that denie free will are pure evil. And the supposedly higher vehicle is denying freewill via this idea.

(Was meant for N.Yeti) - Point is: OK, if you don't find anyone worthy, sure, do wander alone like a rhinoceros. But if you wander alone because of ego-attachment or some gossip you've read about how "all teachers today are bad", then that is just a cop out and will absolutely prevent one to get enlightened in this life. Only after one has sought, and spoke with many teachers, for decades, is one in the position to decide about this question.

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