Hi there r/buddhism. I am coming to you in the hopes that someone can clear up some confusion that I have about becoming a Teacher. I live in British Columbia, Canada and I have been practicing meditation and studying the dharma for several years. In this time, I have witnessed the profound positive impact that this path has had on my life and I feel a strong desire to share the teachings with my community. I am a conventional teacher (I teach English to elementary aged children), not a Buddhist teacher. I find being a teacher hugely rewarding and I teach my students with Buddhist values in mind (in a secular way, of course). I really want to become a dharma teacher for older folks in my community, particularly people struggling with addictions and homelessness as these are enormously prevalent issues in my city, but unfortunately I don't have the time or financial resources to embark on a years-long training curriculum such as the one offered by IMS in the US or monastic communities in the East. I really want to help people with the tools I have available to me now, and I do feel that I have wisdom and insight to offer even though I'm not a certified dharma teacher (I do have years of teaching experience not related to Buddhism). Is it possible to be a dharma teacher without being a "real" Buddhist teacher? I understand the necessity of the vetting process for teachers, just to be clear. For me it's just not practical at this point to do the whole process. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. With metta!
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