Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Teacher

What a boring few days these have been. I've spent the past few days as immobile as possible as i let the numerous scabs harden and the wounds heal. This means hours on end just laying around and a) reading, b) watching The Teaching Company lessons, c) watching French In Action lessons, and d) working on a little Chinese (which i'll never learn). Tomorrow i pay a visit to the doctor and hopefully the stitches should come out.

While looking for something new to read this morning, i found a sample of Jean Klein's book The Book of Listening on the Non-Duality Press web site. I especially liked this excerpt:

"Questioner: [I]f I have more than one teacher or I look for another teacher after my "guru" dies, I have not yet met the guru?

Jean Klein: No, there is only one guru. When you meet the guru it is forever. It is beyond your life, beyond your phenomenal appearance.

Until one has caught the scent all looking is in ignorance. All people who go guru-shopping, looking for bargains, fall into the hands of merchants, so-called teachers who want students at any price, who need students for psychological survival. Guru-shopping is a lack of maturity, a lack of inquiry. The emphasis is on the person. Such people are not disciples. They are fundamentally lazy. A real disciple is never lazy.

In a mature student the quest is one pointed, not dispersed. He or she gives all their love to the quest. A disciple already feels that the answer is only to be found in silent living with the question. There is no eccentric energy to go looking "outside."

Q: And by "silent living" you mean...?

JK: Not to touch the quest, not to manipulate it with book knowledge, comparison, interpretation, reference to the already known. As you said, to live in complete innocence with the quest.

Q: Can you talk a little more about those who are not yet oriented, who have not the fore-feeling of their real nature? What can they gain from being in the presence of one who is established in openness?

JK: When you look at the teacher as a person, as something objective, then you can never find yourself in this looking. You will find only the person over and over again and this will leave you dissatisfied, it keeps you in conflict. But a guru gives no hold to this projection and there may come a day when you feel the non-objective in yourself.

Everything must be submitted to what is non-objective. Surrender all that you are not. But before you can surrender this that you are not, you must know what it is that you are not. This calls for unbounded exploration. In knowing what you are not there is presence. Give all your life to this presence and you will discover it is not an object. Surrender is not a thought. You can only surrender to surrender itself."

Shikantaza. Just sitting. Surrendering to the non-objective. Surrendering the objective "what you are not" to "what you are." As for "unbounded exploration" i am reminded of T.S. Eliot:

"We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started...
and know the place for the first time."

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