Teacherless Sanghas and American Buddhism

February 8, 2004

Source: Tricycle


On February 8, 2004 Tricycle published an article on the increasing number of sanghas operating without resident teachers. According to Tricycle, for those without teachers, "receiving guidance isn’t as simple as consulting a teacher in the next room during a sitting period... it sometimes involves making long trips to Zen centers, or meeting with teachers during retreats. These options are not ideal for practitioners who crave the immediate teacher-student contact that brought awakening to ancient Zen masters and still brings confidence, clarity, challenge, and encouragement to Zen students today. But these practitioners have adapted to counter a modern-day situation that is the consequence of a transient society and an insufficient number of dharma teachers to serve it. Although many options for teacher-led practice exist on the West and East coasts, where American Buddhism has flourished, many practitioners in Middle America must make do with a teacherless practice."