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7 Reflections on Teachers & Students

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  • NamoAmituofo
    ... For www.TheDailyEnlightenment.com ... 7 Reflections on Teachers & Students Who is the Best? Instead of focusing on who is the best teacher, it is more
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 8, 2006
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      7 Reflections on Teachers & Students

      Who is the Best?

      Instead of focusing on who is the best teacher,
      it is more important to focus on how to be the best student.
      Being the best student is more important than having the best teacher -
      because the best teacher can only be appreciated so much by a weak student.

      Learn from the More Enlightened

      What matters is not so much whether a teacher is enlightened or not,
      but whether s/he is more "enlightened" than us in certain aspects of the Dharma.
      Those are the areas we learn from, not the areas s/he is less "enlightened" in.

      Failing Each Other

      Teachers often fail us as much as we have expectations on them.
      Students often fail teachers as much as teachers have expectations on them.

      Teaching Teachers

      What do we do when we realise the imperfection of our teachers?
      Do we simply forsake them in disgust? 
      Or do we become their teachers whenever possible?
      Why not share the Dharma with weaker teachers out of gratitude,
      when you encounter better teachers?

      As long as both are unenlightened,
      both teacher and student can help spot each other's blindspots.

      The Messenger is Not the Message

      The Buddha taught that even if a leper carries a torch in a dark forest,
      one should follow him for finding the way out.
      The message is more important than the form of the messenger.
      The message is more important than the tone of the messenger.
      The message is more important than how it is carried across.
      Ask When in Doubt

      Even the Buddha's closest disciples ask him questions
      when they have doubts about him and his teachings -
      not so much out of lack of faith,
      but out of not wanting blind faith,
      out of wanting to strengthen true faith.
      Who then are we not to ask when in doubt? 

      Letting Go the Guru

      Even as we walk the spiritual path,
      we need to relinquish attachment to our teachers at some point -
      or we will be the eternal "student" in the shadow of the guru,
      which is what no true guru wishes.
      It is the wish of all good gurus that all become like them, or even better them.

      Having a clingy guru or being a clingy student
      is like riding the raft of Dharma, refusing to let it go. 
      The vehicle can thus be an impediment to the destination
      when not released at the right time!  
      But release at the wrong time and one might drown!

      - Shen Shi'an

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