08 June 2010

Dharma Quote of the Week from Snow Lion

I thought this was an interesting way to look at amateur instructors...

"Many spiritual seekers are not yet ready to become the disciples of spiritual mentors. Their present levels of commitment may suit working only with Buddhism professors, Dharma instructors, or meditation or ritual trainers. Even if they are ready to commit themselves to the Buddhist path and to spiritual mentors, they may not yet have found properly qualified mentors. Alternatively, the spiritual teachers available to them may be properly qualified and may even have shown them great kindness. Yet, none seem right to be their mentors. They feel they can relate to them only as their Buddhism professors. Nevertheless, the Kadam style of guru-meditation may still help such seekers to gain inspiration from these teachers at the present stages of their spiritual paths.

Unless our spiritual teachers are total charlatans or complete scoundrels, all of them have at least some good qualities and exhibit at least some level of kindness. Our Buddhism professors, Dharma instructors, or meditation or ritual trainers may lack the qualities of great spiritual mentors. Still, they have some knowledge of the Dharma, some insight from applying the Dharma to life, or some technical expertise in the practice. Our teachers are kind to instruct us, even if their motivations contain the wish to earn a living. If we correctly discern and acknowledge whatever qualities and levels of kindness that our professors, instructors, or trainers in fact possess, we may derive inspiration, through guru-meditation, by focusing on them with conviction and appreciation."

--from Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship by Dr. Alexander Berzin, published by Snow Lion Publications


DragonFly24 said...

Ahhh. Cool water during a parched day. This does much to resolve the inner conflict of "should I teach if I'm not a master?" Thank you.

DragonFly24 said...

Ahhhh... A cool drink of water on a parched day. This does much to resolve my inner conflict of "should I teach if I am not a master?" Thank you.

Christy said...

I love this. It reminds me of my days of ballroom dancing. Some of my peers wouldn't go out on the dance floor unless their partners were of an equal or higher "calibre." They wanted to look good on the floor.

I didn't mind dancing with someone who was just learning. Even if we only danced 3 moves in the same pattern for the duration of a song, it gave me the opportunity to practice my own technique.

And since I was starting to teach some basic classes, I learned a lot about what moves came easily to different students, what steps flowed together, and what common mistakes I could enlighten others on later.

I guess every time I step onto a dance floor-- whether it's a class, a performance, a rehearsal, or my own private practice-- I've unconsiously tried to learn something.

This quote helped me think about this practice more deeply. I'm going to try to set a more conscious intention, even if it is taking a moment to cherish something about the experience. Thank you!

zilly girl said...

Taking yoga classes and workshops for years has also caused me to reflect on my instructors. I am able to take something with me from each, and some are an almost perfect match. Learn from them all, and spend more time with the ones who are a match. Isn't learning fun?