Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Unassuming Love

Many Western teachers are assuming things or not realising things when they are teaching. Geshe Kelsang took everyone from the start of the path to the final stages of the path. He always began at the start, our basic wish for happiness and took us to Enlightenment. In this way everyone was included and able to make progress. The beginner was taken from the beginning and the senior students strengthened their beginning and middle and tried to get to the end!

As Western teachers we are not doing this. We make the following mistakes

General Program including festivals and courses:

1) We use words people dont understand ASSUMING they understand them - Dharma Sangha Geshela 3 jewels delusions etc
2) We ask people to do prayers ASSUMING they know the words and not giving prayer sheets to read from
3) We say terms such as GP FP TTP KMC KMB and most people are simply baffled
4) We do not explain the entire path because we assume people will not like Buddhism


1)It is assumed that long tireades of praise of the spiritual director or founder will help many people - But to the people who do not know the person being praised it makes no sense. We need to ask ourself. Did Geshe Kelsang mainly focus on praising people or did he focus on the holy Dharma. How big a portion of the teaching did he dedicate to his root Guru or the lineage Gurus? If we fill a quarter of the discourse with this is it beneficial?
2) Lack of definitions- I have just returned from a festival review where half the discourse was praising Dharma using many analogies followed by a plug for the book Modern Buddhism. The teaching was simply the benefits of Modern Buddhism and encouragement to read it. As well as an encouragement to devote oneself to Geshe Kelsang. There was no explanation of Geshe Kelsangs qualities either simply that he is incredible and magical. Geshe Kelsang NEVER taught like this. This could be the discourse of the future if teachings degenerate. No explanation of what Dharma is. No giving of Dharma but simply a motivational speech with no explanation of WHY we need Dharma just a proclaimation that we do and that it is amazing. If we do not reveal what the Dharma is at a festival because we assume everyone knows it already it is a big mistake. Because even senior people need to be told what the Dharma is, who is Buddha, what is Sangha, what are delusions etc. If we do not give a detailed explanation when the clearest teaching of the year is traditionally given, when will clear teachings ever be given??

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