November 16, 2005 at 5:01 pm #8394
I still feel a tickle to write about the topic of teachers.
I don’t feel that its a realistic appreciation of teachers to assume or expect them to be.. entirely comprehensive. Neither as a person nor as a teacher of some body of knowledge.
Personally, Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, everyone. That’s just obvious; people are different and each is better at some things and not so good at others. In character attributes and in skills. We’re all working on it, we all are. I don’t think that its compassionate to see a teacher as ideal in all ways, nor is it realistic, nor responsible as an avid student.
As far as the Art goes, Taoism is new to bust out popularly. And there are lots of factions historically that have deep disagreements. That the first shot out into popularity, spear-headed by Chia, could optimally say everything that could be said about even one sub-topic of Taoism – its just too much to ask. Chia made impressive progress, isn’t that enough? I think that the work of producing a full explaination of this area is taking the work of dynamic networks of people, over a number of generations. To stand by the myth that “my teacher said it all, perfectly” .. just isn’t real, imo, ends up twisting so many things, and fails to see the basic fact that the teacher is a real human being, the work is deep, and there is only so much work that can be done at each swing.November 16, 2005 at 7:55 pm #8396
Two things I do think that most people who teach for very long have:
1) Five times a normal person’s stamina.
2) A thousand times a normal person’s patience.November 17, 2005 at 5:08 am #8398
I agree with the things you said here.
I would also say that being an overt spiritual teacher is just one (important) form of being a spiritual practicioner. Imagine if everyone who practices traditional spiritual arts were aspiring to be gurus, like all trying to be the ceo of the same company… It’s unrealistic, amusingly so. Just a thought I’ve often had. There is something simply pragmatic on settling on someone to take on the role of spiritual teacher for a group (someone who of course, embodies the requisite qualities).
Also, I am sure that many people are very accomplished, but are as it were, ‘undercover’. I have often encountered people who have beautifully developed mindfulness, exhibit skillful and unselfish service, and who when put in a tough spot, can suddenly project startlingly powerful and effective energy, transforming the situation rapidly to a desirable balance. I think there are many undercover sorcerors, bodhisattvas, yogic warriors, etc, who aren’t overtly attached to an outward tradition, but have been so elswhere and elsewhen. I guess part of what I am saying is that just because one person practices a tradition, doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is more advanced in ‘spiritual knowhow’ than someone who doesn’t. Naturally this is tricky territory that one shouldn’t waste too much time on, but I think it’s important to keep in mind.
SimonNovember 17, 2005 at 6:01 am #8400
‘What is your tradition?’
‘I am my tradition.’
(from a Mistelle story on observer)
If somebody is studied and his dark mirror is presented… that is a sign of respect. For it implies relevance.
Forewarned is forearmed. Thus if you know the dark side, it is easy to work the light side.
One can teach only what one is. Thus if there is a struggle present, it is part of transmittion that will strangle the flow unless untangled or busted open.
There are no master (except to their subjects). There are only sifus. The one who have gone before.
Such person only presents his experience. What others pick through resonance, it their space.
If such person will others to receive, that it denial of free will and it is called indoctrination. As such it deserves metal.
The inner heart. Not false ego identification.
Accepting one’s locality while resting in inner heart is all about sincerity. It teaches humility.
Not being humble toward others, but being human.November 17, 2005 at 6:36 am #8402
I blush at the way I presented myself again and again to my teachers in the beginning. And I start sweating when thinking about what I said and did when I became a “beginning expert”. Now I probably am just as naive, but in new, unconsious and self-inflated ways…
But that’s just practice.
So I’ve started to think how my teachers have to be able to contain all these dimensions in their students; of holding and failing to grasp the essence, and sticking with the unessetials instead. How many, many times they have seen the same things unfolding. How many times they have transmitted priceless information only to realize that it is not acknowledged as such, or not understood at all.
Trunk, you are right. It requires enormous stamina and patience.
Another thing that is overlooked is that there is no system or practice that is genuinely transmitted without two essential components present: Deep personal experience, and an ability to express this experience in a creative way. Any teaching is not really anything without this creative, expressive quality. A teacher who only expounds knowledge and skill is not teaching the essentials. It would be like a pianist trying to show you how to become a composer.
hDecember 2, 2005 at 11:59 pm #8404
when u say to be especially compasionate and steady with your self during this time, and that things may present themself and resolve, what exactly do you mean, is that what jernej is refering to ” if any fear is behind the action the yin hui freezes and ice breaks, excuse my lack of knowledge with the terminology but what does that infer and should i make sure there is an element of LOVE behind this exercise or something?
“just don’t want to get into anything over my head, though i think i can handle it”
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