3 types of people we don’t teach

This may be surprising for some because the Buddhism we know of, talks about compassion and equanimity towards all. Then why do we choose not to share the Buddha’s message with everyone equally?

It can be difficult to accept if we view this topic from an overly simplistic perspective based on our experience of public education or other religious education.

To appreciate better, we need to remind ourselves that

1. Situations in Samsara are impermanent. Someone who is not able to receive Dharma now, may be ready in future. Remember there is no eternal damnation in Buddhism. Just right timing and conditions.

2. Dharma is profound because our mind is complex. Some topic or spiritual practice may not be suitable for some.

3. Dharma is not book knowledge. To be a dharma teacher, one is like a doctor working with a patient. Responsible for altering their mentality.

The first type of people that we do not teach, are people with no Dharma connection. (无缘者)To put it simply, these are people who do not have an ounce of interest in the Dharma and will not learn. We leave them alone.

Buddhism does not force the message of Buddha down people’s throat. We do not encircle someone and start applying pressure tactic to convince them that Buddha’s message is the only Truth. Nor do we hold pretentious children party to bring kids into the faith. The objective of sharing Dharma is not to increase “Buddhist membership”

Dharma is intended to cure the mental afflictions of people. If they don’t acknowledge their afflictions, have no intention of curing their afflictions, will not take the medicine (Dharma) or have no aptitude or karma to receive dharma;

Then it is not productive to teach the Dharma to them.

On the other hand, the Buddha would go all out to teach Dharma when someone is ready. For example, Buddha went to a forested area (alone) to meet the serial killer Angulimala. Buddha walked the entire night to reach the next city so that he can teach someone in the morning.

Fickle minded person

This refers to a person who does not possess consistency in upholding beliefs or tenets of teaching. They lack conviction. Without discernment, they will hunt for different philosophies and tenets from different spiritual systems / religion. They mix everything up without the wisdom to see contradictions. Such people will distort the Buddha Dharma and spread false views / confusion. Claiming that their “new doctrine” is a more complete form of Buddha Dharma. Many infamous cult leaders belong to this category.

Teaching dharma to such people will cause more harm than good. So we do not teach them.

People who will likely commit false claim

This refer to people who pretentiously claim to be enlightened.

They have this inflated sense of self achievement and importance. It is as if everything in the world run for them. Without them, nothing works, not even the dharma.

We do not teach them because they will misrepresent enlightenment and spread false views. Teaching them the Dharma will harm them and indirectly harm others who are influenced by them. Such people will turn Buddhism into a cult.

While it is good and meritorious to share Dharma, sometimes it is better not to do so.

Teaching requires skills and wisdom.

A wise and compassionate teacher will observe their students to determine if they are ready for a specific teachings. Sometimes, a master may just assign wordly task to a disciple without teaching any Buddhist text or practice. This is because the disciple is not ready to receive the teaching yet. (This reminds me of a personal story. I will share it in the next post)

May all be well and happy.

Categories: Articles

Tagged as: , ,

13 replies »

  1. Hi Jamyang, I read your post very carefully, and hope that I didn’t anything important. I believe that people who might not be interested in the Dharma, are the One’s who need it is the most, well I am not saying that Buddhisms is the only believe. Yet , I think it’s our mission to bring them to a more understanding of the teachings of the Buddha. And it People turn Buddhisms into a cult, it’s abut them to learn about ignorance at some point of their live, there will be a teaching for them to learn about ignorance …… But it believe it will not hurt the teachings at all. The teachings are there for ever and ever. Wishing you a great week.


    • Hi Cornelia, thanks for sharing your views.

      In order to teach, there must be someone willing to learn.

      Unfortunately, there are beings who do not possess the conditions to learn Buddha Dharma. Even the Buddha cannot teach them.

      However, their condition may ripen in future. When that happen, they will learn and a teacher will appear. For those whom do not have the right condition, we can try plant a dharma seed in their consciousness. So that it may bloom in future. I will try to write something about that in future.

      You are right to say that dharmakaya (ultimate truth) cannot be corrupted. Unfortunately the teachings that we read or hear are just signpost pointing us to this ultimate truth. People can create misleading signpost so that it direct others to the wrong direction. We are concern about innocent people being mislead away from the ultimate Truth.
      So the focus is not about people hurting the ultimate truth. The concern is about clueless people being misdirected down the wrong path.


  2. What do you think about correcting an error, for example here on WordPress there are lots of Christians who write about Buddhism in a less than correct way. Do they have an interest in Buddhism when they write things about how wrong it is and is it ok as a Buddhist to set the record straight?



    • Hi QP,

      If they wish to learn, than they can be taught.
      Separately, correcting an error is to uphold the truth.
      I think it is good to correct the mistake. Perhaps, some readers of your comment may become interested in Buddhism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the intent anyway, so we seem to agree. There seem to be many apologetics here on WP who like to propagate misinformation about the Buddha dharma. Some are very nice and some are actually terrible to talk to. I like the nice ones, they don’t mind a discussion.



      • It is similar in this part of the world. I had people asking me if the swastika represents anti-christ because it shows the broken cross??? And many other misinformation.


      • Wow that’s just crazy i have had a few friends ask buddhists were nazis. I live in Germany so I guess I can understand that a bit. But I am more concerned with people who say that Buddhists are nihilists and looking to meditate into nothingness.


      • This had been happening since Buddha’s time. Sometimes people just want to spread confusion or falsehood maliciously. A few years back, a Taiwanese pastor was teaching on YouTube that the worship of Avalokitesvara or chenrezig will turn a person gay! That was due to a Buddhist explanation that the true form of bodhisattva is beyond gender.😅🤣 That naturally made many Buddhist unhappy and furious. Fortunately there were no fanatic Buddhist teachers to incite hatred or flame that incident. Consequently, the Buddhist community handled that incident gracefully and wisely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the situation is not an issue between Buddhist and MM. True followers of both faiths will be living peacefully in co-existence.

        In my country (SIngapore), there is an acknowledgement by the Muslim leaders that other religions are also followers of the book. If God is Almighty,who are we to judge and decide that the holy books from other religions are not the holy verses too? Just as a father would teach his different children differently, based on their character.Therefore many different religion arises in different part of the world.

        From that perspective, the situation is really between ordinary people attached to their respective culture and views. Each fearful of losing their cultural identity and lifestyle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.