Teacher – Are You Enlightened?
As students, we regard the teacher as more powerful than ourselves, but it can actually be the case that the student is more powerful. Here’s why. It’s to do with the way in which we view our reflection of the teacher. Our view is our teacher. If we see the teacher as an ordinary person, then we reflect those ordinary qualities. If we see uplifting qualities in the teacher, we reflect those qualities. It is our mind that has seen something – and so, it is coming not from the teacher, but from ourselves. The teacher is a representative of the teachings; a conduit or bridge.
When we become involved with spirituality, we first need a teacher, a bridge. This bridge shows us the way; how to see our own nature. Although the Buddha, Dharma and Teacher are of utmost importance, it all comes down to the final effect it has on us. Genuine experience is superior to scholastic learning.
However, this bridge/teacher and the traveller/student may have problems. This is a little bit of a touchy subject, as we are not all perfect, so being honest about this is challenging.
The student may want what they want, and not what they need, and the teacher may not be able to give the student what they need as the student can only deal with what the student wants! Are you with me? 🙂 There is also the problem of the teacher wanting and needing students because of their financial commitments to supporting a monastery full of monks and nuns. So we have to be smart, understanding and compassionate.
Of course, an authentic teacher will want to lead us to what we need and not what we want – but we have to be ready for that to happen. To progress to what we need in our development may be a painful undertaking, so we need a firm foundation to proceed.
This brings us to our effort. To proceed, we need energy and a live connection through inspiration. This is where deep appreciation (devotion) and confidence are required. This, and a feeling of connection with enlightened beings through supplication. Spontaneous presence is spontaneity; it is alive, awakened energy. Letting go of preconceived ideas, we receive blessings which make come in many forms, one being clarity.
Importantly, emotions are energy! That energy may be wise, or it may be destructive. Getting angry is full of limitless potential, whereas aggression is limited and destructive.
The problem is that the world is losing spontaneity through conformity. We are programming ourselves. This is not direct experience; it’s hearsay.
Along with spiritual awareness goes social awareness; without this, we are hypocrites, merely actors. “Hypocrite; hupokritēs Greek for ‘actor’.
The Buddha said,
“Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself.”
There comes a time to just suck it and see!
And then we know we know.