Monday, November 2, 2009

College teaching vs. Meditation

The question today is whether or not to follow in our Teacher's footsteps or our teachers' footsteps. The Buddha went to college, inasmuch as there was full education for princes in India at that time. (Nalanda, the first university as we understand the term, was soon to follow and became a great place of Buddhist learning. Other ancient centers of learning no doubt existed in prehistory, Egypt, Sumeria, "Atlantis," and perhaps even Timbuktu). But most professors have yet to go the way of the Buddha.

The Greek and British systems for higher education are models American universities are founded. All three are direct descendents of the Indian model at Nalanda. However, it was originally monastic in its orientation and may have been open to women since the Sangha was. Sadly, nowadays, few scholar-monks meditate, preferring to be erudite teachers rather than accomplished practitioners.

Therefore the question becomes, is it better to follow the path of meditaton as directly as possible...or risk becoming a funky liberal professor with elbow patches and no penchant for sitting and doing the hard inner-work of establishing and perfecting virtue, concentration, and insight?

College Professor
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