22 February 2011

My Teacher, Myself

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  Sounds good, rather much like Luke Skywalker opening up his eyes and seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi in the desert wastelands of Tatooine.  For those who have had the ill fortune of having a bad teacher, however, saying that when the student is ready the teacher appears makes it sound more like a curse than a blessing.

I'm a really lucky guy.  I have a teacher I have confidence in.  I have seen enough of him in action to know that he is someone who can guide me in the Dharma.  I can be open and frank with him, and yet I know when I am being taught in ways subtle as well as obvious.

But best of all, I get the sense from him that we are attaining the Way together: he in his teacher form, I in my student form, both of us in our priest form, he in his abbot form, I in my head of zendo form, both of us in our dad form, etc. 

I bought the finial for my shakujo off my old teacher; my new teacher made the staff and affixed it to the finial.  When I carry it, I carry both of their teachings.  When I shake it, heaven and earth and all therein awaken to Buddhahood.

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