Thursday, March 3, 2011

Learn From Your Teachers

“Learn from your teachers for as long as they do not contradict what you have already learned. But when they begin contradicting what you know to be true, thank them for their teaching then seek others. If they insist that they are somehow authorities, invite them to go with you.”

I think Master Rinzai said it best: “There are Zen students who are in chains and they go to a teacher who simply adds more chains. Unable to discern one chain from another they are delighted!”

(From talks given at the Open Gate Zendo)


  1. If you are sure that what you've already learned is true and doesn't need to be discussed for ever, you're a happy man, but aren't you a little egocentric...

  2. I guess if a person is holding something as true simply because he doesn't want to be wrong it could be considered egocentric. These people usually like to argue and debate their ideas as truth with no intentions of taking into account another's teachings.

    But if you have truly found truth you will have no need to debate it with others. You will simply make yourself available to teach those who will listen.

    The enlighten person doesn't change his mind every time a new teacher appears but instead holds to what they know to be true, tested by their own experiences.

  3. People who don't want to be wrong are more than egocentric, I guess they are "fanatics"...

    I don't wanna say or even think I'm enlighten, but it's not because I always feel like listenning to other teachers or reading other books that I'll change my mind. Even if you think you're discovering teachings that don't fit to you, it's always useful on the path to understanding.

    Btw, that's again a proof that the words can make things narrow and that we never pay attention enough to the way we talk...

    Gassho, my friend! That should be a pleasure if other people come on the blog and share with us...

  4. Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

  5. “The death that meditation brings about is the immortality of the new. This is something more marvelous if you come upon it. I can go into it, but the description is not the described. It's for you to learn all this by looking at yourself - no book, no teacher can teach you about this.”

    - Krishnamurti