How Do We Test A Teacher?
We are told to take a close look at the teacher before we commit ourselves,but how do we know if a teacher is suitable for our needs? Tricky. Just because someone is called a teacher doesn’t mean they are; they could just be someone who reads and repeats text without explaining its practical use.
Everything depends on our understanding, and how we see things. It is we who give another the authority to teach. Names, titles, palaces, temples, gompas have to mean something to us, rather than meaning something to others. We should not just follow others.
Is the person compatible?
Compatible: from medieval Latin compatibilis, from compati -suffer with. To be empathetic.
More importantly, are the students able to be empathetic? ‘Selflessness’ can very easily turn into indifference.
The problem is teacher worship, guru worship. That, in itself, takes away any understanding of others’ needs – or the ability to listen without judgement. Lack of compassion is fear, whereas the hallmark of any genuine teaching is genuine compassion.
Don’t take the Buddha’s word for it.
Don’t take the teacher’s word for it.
Don’t take a student’s word for it.
Don’t take my word for it.
Don’t even take your own word for it.
Start with the genuine experience of realisation beyond words.
When we take care, we are the ones in charge.
There is no greater teaching or teacher
than unconditional caring.