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03.11.11 : Attainment of No Attainment | Are Teachers Reflections Of Their Students? | Some Dynamics of Parent-Child Karma | Importance of Being Earnest

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2011
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      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: Attainment of No Attainment

      Perfect attainment
      of the fruit of enlightenment
      is non-attainment of anything.

      - Surangama Sutra

      [Perfect enlightenment is non-attachment to everything, while functioning with perfect compassion and wisdom naturally, as it realises that nothing should be attached to, since nothing can be truly grasped on to, even enlightenment and non-attachment.]

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       Introducing Silent Swirl
       Realisation: Are Teachers Reflections Of Their Students?

      When the student is ready,
      the master appears.

      (When the students wrongly assume 
      they are ready,
      the maras might appear.)

      - Zen Saying (extended)

      There is the mistaken notion, that after 'carefully' choosing human gurus (spiritual teachers), we should trust them completely, that as all gurus are 'empty' in nature, all the good and bad qualities we perceive of them are merely our projections. This idea is wrong on many levels. Because we are not enlightened, the teacher we choose might be unenlightened as well. Thus, if we totally entrust our spirituality to them without question, it could be dangerous. (Even recent history shows that there are gurus assumed to be 'great' who turn out to have great misgivings.) Yet, we have to choose who is worth learning from with the best of our limited wisdom – which we should continually strive to increase. Blind faith in any teacher or teaching is a big no-no, for it is the nemesis of discerning wisdom. True spiritual devotion is towards the perfect wisdom that teachers dispense; not to their imperfect personalities. If any teacher demands the latter, he or she would surely be a faulty self-centred teacher; and not a Dharma-centred one. 

      If everything about teachers is projected from the side of the students, this would mean that the teachers would be exactly the same as each student in every way! Of course, this is never the case. If all teachers are not different from their students, the teachers ought to be done away with, for every student might as well simply take their reflections in the mirror to be their own teachers! It is exactly because teachers are supposedly superior in compassion and wisdom that students learn from them. However, the ways teachers are perceived are indeed to some extent dependent on their students' perceptions. But if they are willing to learn, they learn to be open-minded, by clarifying doubts and clearing bias instead of just stubbornly hanging on to them. When students stop intelligent enquiry though, blind faith in their teachers starts seeping in. They might even aggressively rationalise their teacher's faults to others.

      Some even use faulty teachings learnt to defend sound criticisms about their teachers, claiming the critics to be biased, when they are the ones who are. Some say that their teachers being criticised only reflects that all teachers, like everything else, are of 'emptiness'. This is a severely deluded perspective. If everything is of 'emptiness', does it mean that anything goes when it comes to conduct and teachings? Why learn anything from any specific teacher then? Some erroneously claim that as their teachers are 'empty', if they are seen as erroneous, it is due to erroneous personal perceptions. Surely, when teachers break the precepts, it does not mean that their misconduct is their students' fault. Sometimes, poor teachers might turn out to have good students, who have better conduct than them! Seeing anyone as 'empty' does not absolve that person's misdeeds or dissolve the possible harms of such mistakes. [continue here]

      May all faulty teachers swiftly awaken to their mistakes.
      May all faulty students swiftly awaken to their mistakes.
      May all swiftly awaken one another to one another's mistakes.

      - A Faulty Student's Prayer

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       Excerpt: Some Dynamics of Parent-Child Karma

      When past karma ripens in the present,
      new karma is created by how one responds,
      which affects the direction of past karma,
      and creates the direction of future karma.

      - Stonepeace

      Children are born from four causes: repaying past kindness; repaying past wrongs; repaying past debts; claiming past debts. "Repaying past kindness" means that the child incurred a debt of gratitude to the parents in a previous lifetime. To repay it, he or she has come to be born in the parents' household and will attend painstakingly to their needs throughout life. He will ensure that they are well provided for while alive and receive decent burials and offerings after death. The child may even perform great public service, helping the country and the people, his name being remembered in history. Thus, when future generations honor him, they will extend their respect and admiration to his parents. Devoted children and virtuous grandchildren, nowadays, generally belong to this category.

      "Repaying past wrongs" means that in a past lifetime, the parents committed some wrong toward their present children. Therefore, the children have come to be born in their household seeking retribution. Thus, when still young, the children will be unruly and when grown, they will create misfortune and calamities implicating their parents. In old age the parents will be left in want, while their treatment after death will not only dishonor them, the shame will extend to the ancestors as well. At times, when holding key government positions, the children may even engage in criminal acts, causing the family's assets to be seized, the lineage exterminated and the graves of the ancestors dug up and desecrated. Thus, when future generations abuse and revile them, they will also hate and despise their parents.

      "Repaying past debts" means that the child has come to be reborn in his parents' household because, in a previous lifetime, he incurred a debt toward them. If it is a great debt, repayment can take the parents' entire lifetime. If the debt is modest, repayment can cover part of the parents' lifetime … Thus, for example, some children assist their parents in business, only to die suddenly as the enterprise becomes profitable. "Claiming past debts" means that, in a past lifetime, the parents incurred some obligation toward their child, who has now been born in their household in order to claim payment. If the debt is small, the parents will merely have to spend money to feed and clothe him, attend to his health and education, find him a spouse and train him to establish himself in the community. Once the debt is paid, the child will die suddenly. If the debt is sizeable, the child may sometimes deplete all of the parents' assets before dying. [Every relationship is dynamic, subject to change with our attitudes and actions.]

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