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Love and Trust Between Teacher and Disciple
When monastic and lay disciple do something wrong, clumsy, or unskillful, the Sangha should help them. I have learned over the past thirty years not to use my authority as a teacher to resolve conflicts. We have to use awakened understanding and love. This has to be applied both in the East and in the West. If we do not use this in Asia, we will not be successful as a teacher. Often, disciples cannot see the mind and heart of their teacher. We have to be patient. They think that their teacher’s heart is as small as a peanut. They think that I do not allow them to receive the precepts because I am punishing them, because I do not love them.
When a student looks at us like that we smile. We understand that our student does not know his teacher’s heart. After he is angry with me, six months later, he will see that I love him, and he will love me even more. But he needs time to grow up and to see more clearly. Everyone is like that; they need space, time, and the opportunity to grow up. They learn that my deepest desire is to see my disciples grow and to become big sisters and brothers for all our little sisters and brothers, to take my place. The more they do that, the happier I am.
The teacher is someone who has the capacity to allow his students to make mistakes. But we have to learn from our mistakes. If we fall down, we have to stand up and begin anew. We cannot make the same mistakes again. Our teacher has the capacity to help us to do this. This is something very precious. Our teacher is ready to trust us. But we have to help our teacher, so his trust in us can grow everyday. If my students do not help me, then no matter how I try, my trust will grow smaller. Teacher and disciple have to help each other. I am doing my best, so my students can continue to trust my wisdom, virtue, and love. And my disciples do the same. They do their best to help my trust in them grow stronger every day. The trust between teacher and disciple brings a lot of happiness. Trust is not an idea. Trust is something living that is expressed in our daily life. Our teacher has to live in such a way that we continue to trust him. And we have to live in such a ways that he continues to trust us. Then we both continue to be happy. If we doubt our teacher, if we doubt how our teacher treats us and feel that our teacher wants to limit our freedom, we cannot be happy.
When we are a teacher, we have the capacity to see all our disciples as our continuation. We help everyone grow. We don’t just want to support one or two of our disciples. We want everyone to grow, just as mothers and fathers want tall their children to grow up. If we are an older brother or sister in the Sangha, we have to look after every younger brother and sister equally. If we do that, we are already begun to be a teacher. If we know how to love all our disciples with equanimity, then, when we officially become teachers, there is no reason why we should not be successful.
Last Updated (Friday, 23 November 2012 14:54)