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#157761 - 06/18/05 05:31 PM A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I read this once and it helped me progress in my instruction to others. I no longer have the actual article so I'll have to paraphrase.

A young warrior once sought instruction in the martial arts from a wiseman who lived in the mountains. After traveling many miles from home he comes to the foot of the mountain and begins his journey. Upon arriving at the hut of the Old Master he tells him of his journey and humbly asks to recieve instruction from the renowned teacher.

After a moments thought the Oldman replies that he will not teach the young Warrior. Though discourage the young Warrior remains determined and stays with the Oldman, asking for instruction and seking acceptance.

After a few days he begins to do the Oldmans menial tasks, cooking, gathering water from the stream, going to the market and so on.
After a few months the Oldman begins to instruct the young warrior and eventually produces a skilled practitioner of his art.

Now the two men part ways, the Young Man satisfied from his learning, and the Old man satisfied having shared something of himself with someone else by providing the instruction. And both are satisfied by having the companionship of the other.

When they first met, the two men in the story could not relate to one another as they had little in common. As the young man began to take on the Oldmans chores, he lived a few days in the life of the Oldman and was better able to understand him. Now that he had been in shoes they had a common ground. From this common ground and understanding of eachother came and knowledge and instruction were able to be passed from one to the other freely and without effort.

Getting to know your student is a good thing. When the enviroment is comfortable, people will relax. Once relaxed Communication(the key to learning or teaching) becomes much easier and the vibe within your Kwang or dojo becomes friendly and homelike. When that is achieved everyone learns, the instructor included.
.

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#157762 - 06/18/05 10:17 PM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: Chen Zen]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Chen,

This only works if you think each person is worthwhile in the relationship. What if the Oldman turns out to be a real goof, though technically proficient, and the student learns that despite living in the mountains he's an alcoholic, abusive man with a drug problem? But on the outside all spit and shine?

Sometimes too close an inspection leads to truths you would rather not have...or would have liked to have known before proceeding.

-B

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#157763 - 06/18/05 10:50 PM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: butterfly]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
What if the Oldman turns out to be a real goof, though technically proficient, and the student learns that despite living in the mountains he's an alcoholic, abusive man with a drug problem?

Then along with the art he would have learned what it is like to live with an abusive alchoholic with a drug problem.
I'm not sure which is the more valuable lesson. He might learn that excellence doe's not insulate us from the pain of life and success can ultimatly be a failed stratagy for overcoming the fear of insignifigance. He might also learn mercy, forgiving, boundries, and moderation.

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#157764 - 06/18/05 10:55 PM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: oldman]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Oldman,

You are right...but what if there were two students and only one knew the whole truth? Is it better to forgive and ignore or inform and walk away.

Life unlike stories, is harder and much riskier. And can be more rewarding.

Warmest regards,
-B

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#157765 - 06/18/05 11:45 PM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relatio [Re: butterfly]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I was going to post something, but it would have just been too long.

The best thing I have read so far on the student-teacher relationship comes from a spiritual aspect. Not for everyone. If you are interested, you can find it in:

The Dzogchen Primer
essays compiled by Marcia Binder Schmidt

Essays are "The Qualified Master" by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and "The Guru, the Vajra Master" by Chogyam Trungpa

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#157766 - 06/19/05 08:40 AM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: Chen Zen]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
There is a story from the Mahabaratta of India where a poor student goes to ask apprenticeship of a great guru archer. The guru sees that the young man is by far the best archer he has ever seen and to accept him would be a great choice, not least because it makes sure no other student of another teacher will be as good as this one.

The problem is that the guru has already promised another student that he will make him the greatest archer in the world. The guru knows that the second student will never be as good as the first one.

What a dilemma...

Guru says he will take the first boy as a student, but for a price. The student must cut off his thumb and give it to the guru. While this effectively ends his archery career it buys the boy apprenticeship to the great guru. He accepts because the honour of apprenticeship to a great guru is higher than the honour of being a great archer.

How about that one?
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#157767 - 06/19/05 02:26 PM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: butterfly]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Sure, there is always risk in learning the truth becaus it isnt always pretty, however, as a former instructor I would want to know the type of person I am teaching Martial skills to before releasing him into society. Undoubtedly he will learn things about me as well which will all influence his decision to accept the teaching. And perhaps, how he will use that knowledge.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#157768 - 06/19/05 08:33 PM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: trevek]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Gives gurus the bad rap they have now. First your thumb, then...

There is another story where a group of people went searching for a bona fide master. They located him, asked him to take them on as students, and he agreed on the condition that they all renounce their former teachers. All agreed but one. The teacher only accepted the pupil who refused.

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#157769 - 06/20/05 08:47 AM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: harlan]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
A little bit off MA, but similar in respect to relationships. A girl I knew was studying Indian dance and anthropology. She wanted to go to India to learn and asked her teacher for help finding another teacher, in India. She was surprised that the teacher was not happy because she thought she was obviously trying to better herself and therefore better dance it self. She failed to understand the notion that by seeking another teacher she was disrespecting her current one and it should be upto the teacher to tell her to find another one.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#157770 - 06/20/05 09:44 AM Re: A story reflecting the teacher-student relationshi [Re: trevek]
MAGr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
If I went to China to develop my skills, my teacher would be more than happy to help me find a teacher.

I am going to Greece to fullfill my military obligations in two years, and I cant think of a better person to ask about finding a good school, than my teacher.

Everyone finds and makes their own path, and its not in the pace of the teacher to stand in the way of your development, it is their position to teach and assist in develoment.
Jealousy should not be in a teacher's vocabulary.

Its good for the teacher in my opinion to keep a certain distance from the student initially just to set the rules, and the boundaries of class.
A teacher should not be subject to buts and ifs all the time, and there should be an added level of dicipline because of the subject matter; so as long as those boundaries are made, then a relationship should be allowed to develop after you get to know each other as people.

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