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Thursday, March 19, 2009

More on what it means to be a master

For the past two weeks, we've been discussing what it means to be a master. This week, Marlene Schwartz contributes her thoughts on the subject:

I have been practicing Reiki for 3 years now. I am a master also. I agree with some others. Just that I am a Reiki master doesn't mean I have mastered it. There is always more work to be done. I use the term Master lightly. I go by a Reiki practitioner. Saying I am a Reiki Master does make me feel good for the accomplishments I have made. I just love working with my clients and the respones I get after a session. 

Marlene Schwartz

Thanks, Marlene.

Our other comment wasn't a reader submission, but a comment from famed Buddhist teacher Venerable Master Sheng Yen, who died last month in Taiwan at age 80. He earned the title of master many times over in multiple lineages, disciplines, and countries. Here's something he said a few years ago:

"I don't really need a Ph.D. in literature, or the post of professor, or the position of abbot, or the title "master." None of these is of any use to myself. But for the sake of Buddhism, and the spread of Buddhadharma, my doctorate is very useful, my position as a professor is very useful, and my being a master can be a driving force for many people. So these things are all useful. These things are unnecessary for me as an individual, but necessary for Buddhism. Therefore, they are not unnecessary." 

(From the television program Great Dharma Drum.)

If you'd like to add your thoughts to our discussion, add them as a comment to this post on our web site (you can do so anonymously if you want -- just scroll down past the login choices on the comment window and type your comments directly into the blank white field). Or you can email them to


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