The Teacher-Student Relationship.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Apr 26, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

“As it says in the old Tibetan proverb: A guru is like a fire. If you get too close you get burned; if you stay too far away, you don’t get enough heat.

The meeting of the two minds really takes place very naturally. Both the instructor and the student meet in a state of complete openness in which they both realize that openness is the most insignificant thing in the whole world. It is completely insignificant, truly ordinary, absolutely nothing. When we are able to see ourselves and the world in this way, then transmission is directly taking place. In the Tibet Tradition this way of seeing things is called “ordinary mind,”  thamal gyi shepa. It is the most insignificant thing of all, complete openness, the absence of any kind of collection or evaluation. We could say that such insignificance is very significant, that ordinariness is truly extraordinary. But this would just be further seduction by the daughters of Mara (Mara represents the neurotic tendency of mind, the unbalanced state of being, and he send s his daughters to seduce us). Eventually we must give up trying to be something special.” ~from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa

Elephant Meditation is now on twitter… Click here to follow us!

Elephant 365 is an example of Elephant Journal’s commitment to the Mindful Life. Everyday we will offer a new reading regarding meditation practice and the spiritual path, all infused with a fresh perspective on traditional spirituality. If you would like to follow Elephant 365 on FaceBook click hereand become a fan of Elephant Meditation by clicking the “Like” tab at the top of the page.


About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


3 Responses to “The Teacher-Student Relationship.”

  1. Cynthia says:

    Interesting perspective. In some ways, this reminds me of the Socratic tradition. Not in terms of how interactions between teacher and student work, but more in the sense that a teacher-student relationship can exist for things other than apprenticeships and classes that have a very limited time constraint. My favorite line: “Eventually we must give up trying to be something special.” Humility in all things, including teaching.

  2. bmservice says:

    Dear friends.I invite you to visit my website for news and tips about outdoor digital accessories.Here is link for touch screen gloves
    Just go and have a look.

  3. […] it. The light of love you see in me has come from a place very dark until you enlightened it. The teacher you see in me has come from the student you have allowed me to be. Photo: Alan […]