Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

A Teacher

Expand Messages
  • rocammack@s6
    Dear Friends Being very much of a beginner, I don t contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 9, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Friends
       
      Being very much of a beginner, I don't  contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
       
      I live in the country, about  eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
       
      A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
      school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second  lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
       
      After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask  a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
       
      I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
       
      I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
       
      Sincerely
       
      Robert
       
    • michael
      I, personally would be weary of anyone who asked me to state definitely whether I will vow adherence to the first 5 precepts or not.  I believe a person may
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 9, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        I, personally would be weary of anyone who asked me to state definitely whether I will vow adherence to the first 5 precepts or not.  I believe a person may be invited, however, this sounds more like an ultimatum.  From the tone of your post I gather you are searching - questioning.  Keep doing that.

        Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
        After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
        Michael
         


        --- On Wed, 12/9/09, rocammack@s6 <cammack@...> wrote:

        From: rocammack@s6 <cammack@...>
        Subject: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
        To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 2:27 PM

         
        Dear Friends
         
        Being very much of a beginner, I don't  contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
         
        I live in the country, about  eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
         
        A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
        school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second  lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
         
        After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask  a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
         
        I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
         
        I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
         
        Sincerely
         
        Robert
         
      • rocammack@s6
        Michael Many thanks for your answer. I shall go on searching. Sincerely Robert ... From: michael To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, December
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 9, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          
          Michael
           
          Many thanks for your answer. I shall go on  searching.
           
          Sincerely
           
           
          Robert
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: michael
          Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:29 PM
          Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher

           

          I, personally would be weary of anyone who asked me to state definitely whether I will vow adherence to the first 5 precepts or not.  I believe a person may be invited, however, this sounds more like an ultimatum.  From the tone of your post I gather you are searching - questioning.  Keep doing that.

          Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
          After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
          Michael
           


          --- On Wed, 12/9/09, rocammack@s6 <cammack@coopenetluj an.com.ar> wrote:

          From: rocammack@s6 <cammack@coopenetluj an.com.ar>
          Subject: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
          To: Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com
          Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 2:27 PM

           
          Dear Friends
           
          Being very much of a beginner, I don't  contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
           
          I live in the country, about  eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
           
          A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
          school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second  lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
           
          After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask  a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
           
          I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
           
          I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
           
          Sincerely
           
          Robert
           



          __________ Informaci�n de NOD32, revisi�n 4656 (20091202) __________

          Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
          http://www.nod32.com
        • cnm_divers
          Another comment if I may. On the subject of your being so far from a teacher. Many live in small communities which have no direct access to face-to-face. I
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 9, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Another comment if I may. On the subject of your being so far from a teacher. Many live in small communities which have no direct access to face-to-face. I can say it is at times disheartening to not have a teacher physically within my locale. Your distance may only serve to fuel knowing yourself first. Secondly, buddhism.

            --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "rocammack@..." <cammack@...> wrote:
            >
            > Michael
            >
            > Many thanks for your answer. I shall go on searching.
            >
            > Sincerely
            >
            >
            > Robert
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: michael
            > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:29 PM
            > Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
            >
            >
            >
            > I, personally would be weary of anyone who asked me to state definitely whether I will vow adherence to the first 5 precepts or not. I believe a person may be invited, however, this sounds more like an ultimatum. From the tone of your post I gather you are searching - questioning. Keep doing that.
            >
            >
            > Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
            > After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
            > Michael
            >
            >
            >
            > --- On Wed, 12/9/09, rocammack@s6 <cammack@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > From: rocammack@s6 <cammack@...>
            > Subject: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
            > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 2:27 PM
            >
            >
            >
            > Dear Friends
            >
            > Being very much of a beginner, I don't contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
            >
            > I live in the country, about eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
            >
            > A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
            > school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
            >
            > After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
            >
            > I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
            >
            > I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
            >
            > Sincerely
            >
            > Robert
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > __________ Informaci�n de NOD32, revisi�n 4656 (20091202) __________
            >
            > Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
            > http://www.nod32.com
            >
          • John Pellecchia
            Good evening Robert. The Five Precepts (commitments to abstain from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, and intoxication) are not necessarily vows.
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 9, 2009
            • 0 Attachment

              Good evening Robert.

              The Five Precepts (commitments to abstain from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, and intoxication) are not necessarily vows. Much depends upon the step that you are on. There are three levels of abstention in regard to the precepts as I understand: one without a resolution that is made in advance, one carried out in observing a religious vow, and one that is unconditional and followed at all times.

               Ch'an or Zen masters will frequently pose a question to test a person's resolve, to "shock" them into awakening. This may have been the intention of that question being communicated to you. You may have been asked merely to determine your level of commitment to the study of Buddhism.  At the same time, there are many unscrupulous centers on the Internet so it is always judicious to proceed cautiously. I understand that it may seem to be a bit early on your journey for this question to have been posed to you. You may want to voice your confusion over the question with the person who sent you the communication to get a better "handle" on the intent. Personally I'd have been more surprised if you were asked if you were ready to Take Refuge after two or so communications.

              Robert, we both know the difficulties attending in person teachings whether they due to distance or physical constraint. I may be mistaken but I believe you and I have communicated this in the past on this forum. Obviously, in person instruction is best but there are many websites that offer teachings on the Internet whether they are text, video, audio, or live broadband. If you are reluctant to follow through with this Ch'an center I'm sure you'll be able to pursue your journey with another online center. Just as one many attend several temples in person before finding one that "clicks" so it is with online organizations. 

              I hope this is of some help.

              May all be at peace.

              John 

               

               
              Conviction is a person's highest wealth.
              Dhamma, when well-practiced, brings bliss.
              Truth is the highest of savors.
              Living with discernment, one's life is called best.

              (Sutta Nipata I,10)



              From: "rocammack@s6" <cammack@...>
              To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wed, December 9, 2009 5:27:50 PM
              Subject: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher



              Dear Friends
               
              Being very much of a beginner, I don't  contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
               
              I live in the country, about  eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
               
              A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
              school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second  lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
               
              After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask  a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
               
              I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
               
              I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
               
              Sincerely
               
              Robert
               



            • rocammack@s6
              Dear John Many thanks for your comments - always insicive. I have been thinking over this problem for several days and it had occurred to me that it was
              Message 6 of 15 , Dec 10, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear John
                 
                Many thanks for your comments - always insicive.
                 
                 
                I have been thinking over this problem for several days and it had occurred to me that it was perhaps a test to see the level of my commitment. I had planned to tell the teacher that I could not make such a promise at this stage even though I will do my utmost to abide by the Five Precepts.
                 
                Your post has strengthened my resolve and if this teacher does not wish to continue with me I shall go on on my own or search for another teacher.
                 
                Peace to you also
                 
                Robert
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 11:32 PM
                Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher

                 

                Good evening Robert.

                The Five Precepts (commitments to abstain from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, and intoxication) are not necessarily vows. Much depends upon the step that you are on. There are three levels of abstention in regard to the precepts as I understand: one without a resolution that is made in advance, one carried out in observing a religious vow, and one that is unconditional and followed at all times.

                 Ch'an or Zen masters will frequently pose a question to test a person's resolve, to "shock" them into awakening. This may have been the intention of that question being communicated to you. You may have been asked merely to determine your level of commitment to the study of Buddhism.  At the same time, there are many unscrupulous centers on the Internet so it is always judicious to proceed cautiously. I understand that it may seem to be a bit early on your journey for this question to have been posed to you. You may want to voice your confusion over the question with the person who sent you the communication to get a better "handle" on the intent. Personally I'd have been more surprised if you were asked if you were ready to Take Refuge after two or so communications.

                Robert, we both know the difficulties attending in person teachings whether they due to distance or physical constraint. I may be mistaken but I believe you and I have communicated this in the past on this forum. Obviously, in person instruction is best but there are many websites that offer teachings on the Internet whether they are text, video, audio, or live broadband. If you are reluctant to follow through with this Ch'an center I'm sure you'll be able to pursue your journey with another online center. Just as one many attend several temples in person before finding one that "clicks" so it is with online organizations. 

                I hope this is of some help.

                May all be at peace.

                John 

                 

                 
                Conviction is a person's highest wealth.
                Dhamma, when well-practiced, brings bliss.
                Truth is the highest of savors.
                Living with discernment, one's life is called best.

                (Sutta Nipata I,10)



                From: "rocammack@s6" <cammack@coopenetluj an.com.ar>
                To: Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Wed, December 9, 2009 5:27:50 PM
                Subject: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher



                Dear Friends
                 
                Being very much of a beginner, I don't  contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
                 
                I live in the country, about  eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
                 
                A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
                school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second  lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
                 
                After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask  a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
                 
                I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
                 
                I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
                 
                Sincerely
                 
                Robert
                 





                __________ Información de NOD32, revisión 4656 (20091202) __________

                Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
                http://www.nod32.com
              • ken
                Hi, Robert, Your situation is quite understandable-- I m pretty much in the same situation here in the States. Cleveland, Ohio, where I live, has several
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 10, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi, Robert,

                  Your situation is quite understandable-- I'm pretty much in the same
                  situation here in the States. Cleveland, Ohio, where I live, has
                  several sanghas, but no lamas (teachers) that I know of. If I wanted to
                  drive a couple hours, I could get to a sangha which has a teacher. And
                  there's a good teacher in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan (some hours' drive
                  away) who comes to town a few times a year. Occasionally, at least once
                  a year, a visiting lama will come through town, staying for an evening
                  or a weekend or longer. So maybe my situation is a little better than
                  yours in regard to teachers.

                  But I feel much the same as you in regards to taking vows. There's been
                  many times now when I've wanted to attend a weekend retreat to learn
                  more about buddhism and become more deeply involved in it, but would
                  like to know ahead of time what vows (I consider them promises) are
                  entailed so I can carefully consider whether I can keep those vows, or
                  promises. I don't want to put myself in the situation of having to
                  decide in two seconds whether I can keep a promise and I certainly don't
                  want to find myself breaking a promise sometime, perhaps many years,
                  later. Unfortunately (or perhaps not, I'm actually not yet certain) I
                  haven't attended such retreats where taking vows is obligatory.

                  Until it's possible for me to adequately consider vows, there are
                  several alternatives. There are a lot of places to get information on
                  the web. I'm always surprised at how much is available on wikipedia.
                  H.E. Tsem Tulku has a very nice website (tsemtulku.com). And this
                  discussion list isn't too bad either. Of course there are many more web
                  resources for buddhists, too many to mention them all in a single email.
                  We're all very fortunate to live in a time when we have this quite
                  powerful technology to help us and allow us to help others.

                  We should comfort ourselves in the fact that the Buddha Shakyamuni
                  himself had no teacher, was not a follower, had no texts to refer to or
                  learn from, but discovered enlightenment and brought it to so many
                  others simply by viewing and listening to the world around him and then
                  putting a lot of thinking and compassionate feeling into finding a way
                  for peacefully coping with the world's suffering. Though we are told
                  that all of us have a Buddha nature within us, it's difficult to imagine
                  us accomplishing what that humble Indian prince did. We can't, however,
                  argue with history. It is possible. It is possible for us to help
                  ourselves and others to relieve suffering and find enlightenment without
                  benefit of a teacher.

                  Finally, a true teacher, a genuine buddhist, like the deities of nirvana
                  and beyond, will always help us to find enlightenment and relieve our
                  suffering, and this whether we take vows or not, even whether we are
                  buddhist or we are not. Compassion isn't reserved just for buddhists or
                  just for buddhists who take vows, but is for all sentient beings
                  unconditionally. That includes you and me and all the many others
                  living in remote or semi-remote areas of this planet.


                  Best wishes,
                  ken

                  --
                  Without music, life would be a mistake.
                  --Friedrich Nietzsche



                  On 12/09/2009 05:27 PM rocammack@s6 wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Dear Friends
                  >
                  > Being very much of a beginner, I don't contribute much to this group
                  > although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
                  >
                  > I live in the country, about eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires
                  > in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book
                  > shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely
                  > mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
                  >
                  > A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order
                  > of the Chan
                  > school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which
                  > seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by
                  > e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about
                  > the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second lesson
                  > briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this
                  > was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already
                  > discovered.
                  >
                  > After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the
                  > teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and
                  > the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide
                  > strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask a
                  > newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief
                  > lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong
                  > enough to fufil,
                  >
                  > I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral
                  > attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly
                  > don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better
                  > understanding of it.
                  >
                  > I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from
                  > you, John).
                  >
                  > Sincerely
                  >
                  > Robert
                  >
                  >
                • rocammack@s6
                  Many thanks Ken I have received several posts regarding my situation and, like yours, have been very uplifting. As I said to John, I shall explain to my
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 10, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    
                    Many thanks Ken
                     
                    I have received several posts  regarding my situation and, like yours, have been very uplifting.
                     
                    As I said to John, I shall explain to my teacher that at this moment I do not feel prepared enough to make any promises of this sort and shall see her (She is a woman) reactio.
                     
                    Sincerely
                     
                    Robert
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: ken
                    Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:09 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher

                     

                    Hi, Robert,

                    Your situation is quite understandable- - I'm pretty much in the same
                    situation here in the States. Cleveland, Ohio, where I live, has
                    several sanghas, but no lamas (teachers) that I know of. If I wanted to
                    drive a couple hours, I could get to a sangha which has a teacher. And
                    there's a good teacher in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan (some hours' drive
                    away) who comes to town a few times a year. Occasionally, at least once
                    a year, a visiting lama will come through town, staying for an evening
                    or a weekend or longer. So maybe my situation is a little better than
                    yours in regard to teachers.

                    But I feel much the same as you in regards to taking vows. There's been
                    many times now when I've wanted to attend a weekend retreat to learn
                    more about buddhism and become more deeply involved in it, but would
                    like to know ahead of time what vows (I consider them promises) are
                    entailed so I can carefully consider whether I can keep those vows, or
                    promises. I don't want to put myself in the situation of having to
                    decide in two seconds whether I can keep a promise and I certainly don't
                    want to find myself breaking a promise sometime, perhaps many years,
                    later. Unfortunately (or perhaps not, I'm actually not yet certain) I
                    haven't attended such retreats where taking vows is obligatory.

                    Until it's possible for me to adequately consider vows, there are
                    several alternatives. There are a lot of places to get information on
                    the web. I'm always surprised at how much is available on wikipedia.
                    H.E. Tsem Tulku has a very nice website (tsemtulku.com) . And this
                    discussion list isn't too bad either. Of course there are many more web
                    resources for buddhists, too many to mention them all in a single email.
                    We're all very fortunate to live in a time when we have this quite
                    powerful technology to help us and allow us to help others.

                    We should comfort ourselves in the fact that the Buddha Shakyamuni
                    himself had no teacher, was not a follower, had no texts to refer to or
                    learn from, but discovered enlightenment and brought it to so many
                    others simply by viewing and listening to the world around him and then
                    putting a lot of thinking and compassionate feeling into finding a way
                    for peacefully coping with the world's suffering. Though we are told
                    that all of us have a Buddha nature within us, it's difficult to imagine
                    us accomplishing what that humble Indian prince did. We can't, however,
                    argue with history. It is possible. It is possible for us to help
                    ourselves and others to relieve suffering and find enlightenment without
                    benefit of a teacher.

                    Finally, a true teacher, a genuine buddhist, like the deities of nirvana
                    and beyond, will always help us to find enlightenment and relieve our
                    suffering, and this whether we take vows or not, even whether we are
                    buddhist or we are not. Compassion isn't reserved just for buddhists or
                    just for buddhists who take vows, but is for all sentient beings
                    unconditionally. That includes you and me and all the many others
                    living in remote or semi-remote areas of this planet.

                    Best wishes,
                    ken

                    --
                    Without music, life would be a mistake.
                    --Friedrich Nietzsche

                    On 12/09/2009 05:27 PM rocammack@s6 wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Dear Friends
                    >
                    > Being very much of a beginner, I don't contribute much to this group
                    > although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
                    >
                    > I live in the country, about eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires
                    > in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book
                    > shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely
                    > mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
                    >
                    > A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order
                    > of the Chan
                    > school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which
                    > seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by
                    > e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about
                    > the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second lesson
                    > briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this
                    > was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already
                    > discovered.
                    >
                    > After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the
                    > teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and
                    > the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide
                    > strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask a
                    > newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief
                    > lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong
                    > enough to fufil,
                    >
                    > I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral
                    > attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly
                    > don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better
                    > understanding of it.
                    >
                    > I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from
                    > you, John).
                    >
                    > Sincerely
                    >
                    > Robert
                    >
                    >



                    __________ Informaci�n de NOD32, revisi�n 4656 (20091202) __________

                    Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
                    http://www.nod32.com
                  • colourshimmer
                    Hi Robert, I m probably joining this discussion a little late, but I d say definately don t take the 5 lay precepts until you re ready to take them. In Tibetan
                    Message 9 of 15 , Dec 10, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Robert,

                      I'm probably joining this discussion a little late, but I'd say definately don't take the 5 lay precepts until you're ready to take them. In Tibetan Buddhism we have a formal ceremony to do this and I understand that there is a ceremony which can be requested in Theravada too.

                      Kind regards,
                      C S

                      at http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com



                      --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "cnm_divers" <cnm_divers@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Another comment if I may. On the subject of your being so far from a teacher. Many live in small communities which have no direct access to face-to-face. I can say it is at times disheartening to not have a teacher physically within my locale. Your distance may only serve to fuel knowing yourself first. Secondly, buddhism.
                      >
                      > --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "rocammack@" <cammack@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Michael
                      > >
                      > > Many thanks for your answer. I shall go on searching.
                      > >
                      > > Sincerely
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Robert
                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                      > > From: michael
                      > > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:29 PM
                      > > Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I, personally would be weary of anyone who asked me to state definitely whether I will vow adherence to the first 5 precepts or not. I believe a person may be invited, however, this sounds more like an ultimatum. From the tone of your post I gather you are searching - questioning. Keep doing that.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
                      > > After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
                      > > Michael
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Wed, 12/9/09, rocammack@s6 <cammack@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: rocammack@s6 <cammack@>
                      > > Subject: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
                      > > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 2:27 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Dear Friends
                      > >
                      > > Being very much of a beginner, I don't contribute much to this group although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
                      > >
                      > > I live in the country, about eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
                      > >
                      > > A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order of the Chan
                      > > school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second lesson briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already discovered.
                      > >
                      > > After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask a newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong enough to fufil,
                      > >
                      > > I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better understanding of it.
                      > >
                      > > I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from you, John).
                      > >
                      > > Sincerely
                      > >
                      > > Robert
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > __________ Informaci�n de NOD32, revisi�n 4656 (20091202) __________
                      > >
                      > > Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
                      > > http://www.nod32.com
                      > >
                      >
                    • Wan Wai
                      Hi Robert, Vows are the basis for Buddhist practice , and from Buddhist view we have had countless lifetimes of delusions and negativity , if we did not we
                      Message 10 of 15 , Dec 10, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hi Robert,
                        Vows are the basis for Buddhist practice , and from Buddhist view we have had countless lifetimes of delusions and negativity , if we did not we would be enlightened by now after countless lifetimes . And hence holding of vows help us to rehabituate to doing positive habits and not create new negative karma to the best of our ability.

                        Five precepts or the mahayana eight precepts one can hold it for one day its not a continuous thing .there are things like refuge vows , bodhisattva vows and tantric vows those we hold for a lifetime.

                        To help people familiarize with holding vows , are the precepts. In Asia, people hold them for special events Buddha's birthday , someone we love birthday's to accrues merit or to benefit the person we are dedicating to.

                        Holding or not holding the five precepts right is a very small thing , not one that one would severe the relationship with a teacher for IMHO. Its ok to say I'm not ready . But vows are not something 'THOU SHALT NOT' not in that sense, it protects us from what ? Protects us from creating further negativity , which will fuel more suffering for us to endure, ripening of Karma.

                        If we kill , we will have illness that shortens our live
                        if we steal , people will steal from us and we will never be able to keep the things we have,
                        if we lie, people will never believe us and will not want to work with us
                        if we take too much alcohol, we may end up drunk driving kill someone, or pick up someone horrible ( joke )
                        if we have sexual misconduct - our relationships will be difficult , fraught with arguments and disharmony, we will be lonely

                        some examples that I have illustrated here :)

                        I hope that helps. Vows are for our protection it is not solely to restrict what we can or cannot , however if one wants to sow something not good, be prepared to reap the results. Cause and effect.


                        Hope that helps :)

                        Best Wishes
                        --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "rocammack@..." <cammack@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Many thanks Ken
                        >
                        > I have received several posts regarding my situation and, like yours, have been very uplifting.
                        >
                        > As I said to John, I shall explain to my teacher that at this moment I do not feel prepared enough to make any promises of this sort and shall see her (She is a woman) reactio.
                        >
                        > Sincerely
                        >
                        > Robert
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: ken
                        > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:09 PM
                        > Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] A Teacher
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi, Robert,
                        >
                        > Your situation is quite understandable-- I'm pretty much in the same
                        > situation here in the States. Cleveland, Ohio, where I live, has
                        > several sanghas, but no lamas (teachers) that I know of. If I wanted to
                        > drive a couple hours, I could get to a sangha which has a teacher. And
                        > there's a good teacher in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan (some hours' drive
                        > away) who comes to town a few times a year. Occasionally, at least once
                        > a year, a visiting lama will come through town, staying for an evening
                        > or a weekend or longer. So maybe my situation is a little better than
                        > yours in regard to teachers.
                        >
                        > But I feel much the same as you in regards to taking vows. There's been
                        > many times now when I've wanted to attend a weekend retreat to learn
                        > more about buddhism and become more deeply involved in it, but would
                        > like to know ahead of time what vows (I consider them promises) are
                        > entailed so I can carefully consider whether I can keep those vows, or
                        > promises. I don't want to put myself in the situation of having to
                        > decide in two seconds whether I can keep a promise and I certainly don't
                        > want to find myself breaking a promise sometime, perhaps many years,
                        > later. Unfortunately (or perhaps not, I'm actually not yet certain) I
                        > haven't attended such retreats where taking vows is obligatory.
                        >
                        > Until it's possible for me to adequately consider vows, there are
                        > several alternatives. There are a lot of places to get information on
                        > the web. I'm always surprised at how much is available on wikipedia.
                        > H.E. Tsem Tulku has a very nice website (tsemtulku.com). And this
                        > discussion list isn't too bad either. Of course there are many more web
                        > resources for buddhists, too many to mention them all in a single email.
                        > We're all very fortunate to live in a time when we have this quite
                        > powerful technology to help us and allow us to help others.
                        >
                        > We should comfort ourselves in the fact that the Buddha Shakyamuni
                        > himself had no teacher, was not a follower, had no texts to refer to or
                        > learn from, but discovered enlightenment and brought it to so many
                        > others simply by viewing and listening to the world around him and then
                        > putting a lot of thinking and compassionate feeling into finding a way
                        > for peacefully coping with the world's suffering. Though we are told
                        > that all of us have a Buddha nature within us, it's difficult to imagine
                        > us accomplishing what that humble Indian prince did. We can't, however,
                        > argue with history. It is possible. It is possible for us to help
                        > ourselves and others to relieve suffering and find enlightenment without
                        > benefit of a teacher.
                        >
                        > Finally, a true teacher, a genuine buddhist, like the deities of nirvana
                        > and beyond, will always help us to find enlightenment and relieve our
                        > suffering, and this whether we take vows or not, even whether we are
                        > buddhist or we are not. Compassion isn't reserved just for buddhists or
                        > just for buddhists who take vows, but is for all sentient beings
                        > unconditionally. That includes you and me and all the many others
                        > living in remote or semi-remote areas of this planet.
                        >
                        > Best wishes,
                        > ken
                        >
                        > --
                        > Without music, life would be a mistake.
                        > --Friedrich Nietzsche
                        >
                        > On 12/09/2009 05:27 PM rocammack@s6 wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Dear Friends
                        > >
                        > > Being very much of a beginner, I don't contribute much to this group
                        > > although I read your mails every day (a bit thin in the ground these days).
                        > >
                        > > I live in the country, about eighty miles to the west of Buenos Aires
                        > > in Argentina. The nearest town is quite small and the couple of book
                        > > shops there rarely have anything on Buddhism. For this reason I rely
                        > > mainly on the Internet to gain knowlege on this subject.
                        > >
                        > > A few weeks ago I was surprised to find a web page of the Hsu Yun Order
                        > > of the Chan
                        > > school, here in Argentina. They offered a course in Buddhism which
                        > > seemed to me to be just what I wanted. I got in touch with them by
                        > > e-mail and received the first lesson of the course.This was mainly about
                        > > the life of the Buddha and was quite interesting. The second lesson
                        > > briefly covered the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Again,this
                        > > was interesting though it went no deeper than that which I had already
                        > > discovered.
                        > >
                        > > After sending in my comments on these lessons - as asked for by the
                        > > teacher - I received a further epistle detailing the Five Precepts and
                        > > the request that I state definately whether I was willing to abide
                        > > strictly to these precepts or not. It seems rather a lot to ask a
                        > > newcomer to take a vow of this nature, especially after just two brief
                        > > lessons. Also I would not like to take a vow which I may not be strong
                        > > enough to fufil,
                        > >
                        > > I am studying Buddhism in order to strengthen my religious and moral
                        > > attitudes and hope, eventually to accept it as my creed but I certainly
                        > > don't want to jump into it head first untill I have a much better
                        > > understanding of it.
                        > >
                        > > I would very much appreceiate any comments and advice (especially from
                        > > you, John).
                        > >
                        > > Sincerely
                        > >
                        > > Robert
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > __________ Informaci�n de NOD32, revisi�n 4656 (20091202) __________
                        >
                        > Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
                        > http://www.nod32.com
                        >
                      • rocammack@s6
                        Friends Returning to my questions regarding a teacher. I wrote to her to say that at this moment, due to my level of understanding of Buddhism, I did not wish
                        Message 11 of 15 , Dec 17, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Friends
                           
                          Returning to my questions regarding a teacher.  I wrote to her to say that at this moment, due to my level of understanding of Buddhism, I did not wish to accept any commitments regarding the Five Precepts even though I am living with these as muy guide as well as everything else I am learning.
                           
                          I received a rather curt answer and best wishes for the future - So I shall go on as before.
                           
                          Many thanks to you all
                           
                          In Kindness
                           
                           
                          Robert
                        • peace_tara531
                          Congratulations. You made a positive, responsible decision. Good beginning to finding the teacher for you. There are good Buddhist online courses have you
                          Message 12 of 15 , Dec 20, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Congratulations. You made a positive, responsible decision. Good
                            beginning to finding the teacher for you.

                            There are good Buddhist online courses have you looked at any?

                            Mat all be auspicious,

                            Tara


                            --- "rocammack@..." <cammack@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Friends
                            >
                            > Returning to my questions regarding a teacher. I wrote to her to say
                            that at this moment, due to my level of understanding of Buddhism, I did
                            not wish to accept any commitments regarding the Five Precepts even
                            though I am living with these as muy guide as well as everything else I
                            am learning.
                            >
                            > I received a rather curt answer and best wishes for the future - So I
                            shall go on as before.
                            >
                            > Many thanks to you all
                            >
                            > In Kindness
                            >
                            >
                            > Robert
                            >
                          • Karen
                            There are good Buddhist online courses have you looked at any? Can you point me in the direction of these please? Karen Tritton S.N.H.S Dip. (Aromatherapy)
                            Message 13 of 15 , Dec 20, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment



                              There are good Buddhist online courses have you looked at any?
                              Can you point me in the direction of these please?

                               Karen Tritton
                              S.N.H.S Dip. (Aromatherapy)
                              B.S.Y.A. (Ad. Crystal)
                              A.M.A.N.F
                              Usui Reiki Master/Seichim/Karuna ®Reiki Master
                              Crystal Therapist/Angel Practitioner
                              Crystal Skull Guardian
                              Accredited "Melody" Crystal Healer Practitioner
                              www.Crystal-Moon.org.uk


                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: peace_tara531 <skydancr@...>
                              To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 17:04
                              Subject: [Buddhism_101] Re: A Teacher

                               

                              Congratulations. You made a positive, responsible decision. Good
                              beginning to finding the teacher for you.

                              There are good Buddhist online courses have you looked at any?

                              Mat all be auspicious,

                              Tara

                              --- "rocammack@. .." <cammack@... > wrote:
                              >
                              > Friends
                              >
                              > Returning to my questions regarding a teacher. I wrote to her to say
                              that at this moment, due to my level of understanding of Buddhism, I did
                              not wish to accept any commitments regarding the Five Precepts even
                              though I am living with these as muy guide as well as everything else I
                              am learning.
                              >
                              > I received a rather curt answer and best wishes for the future - So I
                              shall go on as before.
                              >
                              > Many thanks to you all
                              >
                              > In Kindness
                              >
                              >
                              > Robert
                              >

                            • Jane Harper
                              http://onlinelearning.fpmt.org/ ... -- No matter how much people seem to be careening off the road, they always have a good heart. The negative things that
                              Message 14 of 15 , Dec 20, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                http://onlinelearning.fpmt.org/


                                On 12/20/09 11:18, "Karen" <CrystalMoonStar1@...> wrote:

                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > There are good Buddhist online courses have you looked at any?
                                >
                                >
                                > Can you point me in the direction of these please?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Karen Tritton
                                > S.N.H.S Dip. (Aromatherapy)
                                > B.S.Y.A. (Ad. Crystal)
                                > A.M.A.N.F
                                > Usui Reiki Master/Seichim/Karuna ®Reiki Master
                                > Crystal Therapist/Angel Practitioner
                                > Crystal Skull Guardian
                                > Accredited "Melody" Crystal Healer Practitioner
                                > www.Crystal-Moon.org.uk
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: peace_tara531 <skydancr@...>
                                > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                                > Sent: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 17:04
                                > Subject: [Buddhism_101] Re: A Teacher
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Congratulations. You made a positive, responsible decision. Good
                                > beginning to finding the teacher for you.
                                >
                                > There are good Buddhist online courses have you looked at any?
                                >
                                > Mat all be auspicious,
                                >
                                > Tara
                                >
                                > --- "rocammack@..." <cammack@...> wrote:
                                >>
                                >> Friends
                                >>
                                >> Returning to my questions regarding a teacher. I wrote to her to say
                                > that at this moment, due to my level of understanding of Buddhism, I did
                                > not wish to accept any commitments regarding the Five Precepts even
                                > though I am living with these as muy guide as well as everything else I
                                > am learning.
                                >>
                                >> I received a rather curt answer and best wishes for the future - So I
                                > shall go on as before.
                                >>
                                >> Many thanks to you all
                                >>
                                >> In Kindness
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Robert
                                >>
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >

                                --
                                No matter how much people seem to be careening off the road, they always
                                have a good heart. The negative things that they do are due to their NOT
                                having pure perception. (Chokyi Nyima Rimpoche)
                              • Jody W. Ianuzzi
                                We just rented a really good documentary titled Unmistaken Child from Netflix. Here is the Netflix description: JODY Unmistaken Child Nati Baratz follows the
                                Message 15 of 15 , Dec 21, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  We just rented a really good documentary titled Unmistaken Child from
                                  Netflix. Here is the Netflix description: JODY

                                  Unmistaken Child

                                  Nati Baratz follows the spellbinding journey of Tibetan Buddhist monk
                                  Tenzin Zopa as he travels far and wide to identify the child who is the
                                  reincarnation of his deceased master, Lama Konchog. Acting on instructions
                                  from the Dalai Lama,
                                  the shy Zopa relies on astrology, dreams and other signs to locate the
                                  child, knowing that if he succeeds, he must also convince the boy's parents
                                  to release their child into his care.
                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.