From The Love of Devotion
One never forgets one’s past teachers or disciplines. Such allegiances are forever enshrined in our heart and continue to help, inspire, and mould us. They are pivotal to our development and our total and absolute devotion to them secures the progress which blossoms from that commitment. The cemented bond between teacher and student surpasses time and space, and the love of a teacher can be beckoned whenever requested. Further, one often has an ongoing commitment to the other students of a teacher and, indeed, the entire group of that pathway. Nevertheless, in spite of loyalties, our inner spiritual drive will take its own path through the terrain it determines is best. It will have its own timing and will guide us to whoever is most beneficial to the next stage of our growth.
Genuine teachers tend to have, in true Zen master style, high expectations of their students. Teachers, worth their salt, take the responsibility of their students very seriously. They do not want to be held responsible for failing to set their standards high enough. As one evolves, one loses concern for being liked. One’s concern, as a teacher, is the evolution of the student. Given that human nature is intrinsically and unavoidably selfish, lazy, proud, and has a great proclivity for procrastination, there are endless opportunities to confront this ego-nature in the evolving soul.
It is this approach of, sometimes, tough love combined with the sweetness of kind and gentle caring which endears our teachers to us. It also engenders an unshakeable sense of respect towards the teacher from those around. When such an individual enters the room, all those in the room lift. When such a one speaks, people listen. When such a one says no, it is not questioned unless there is a pressing reason to do so. When such a one is around, everyone feels better and acts better. When such a one is temporarily gone, it is a struggle to keep energy at the same level. The humanness creeps in. Sometimes, it barges in.
One does not really choose one’s teachers. Nor do teachers choose their students. Such things are written in the heavens. It is more a matter of recognising one’s teacher. Likewise, one recognises one’s own students. This recognition is neither intellectual nor emotional, although intelligence, reason, and emotional resonance do play a part. It is something beyond that. It is a knowing rather than a decision. One feels a timeless connection which has become apparent and clear. One gladly surrenders to being given one’s guide and advocate. Such things are destined and one is, certainly, very grateful for these precious gifts. To be such a help to another person is to repay the karma of having once been taught oneself. That is the price. We pay with love for the love we have been given.
Of all the religions and spiritual groups in the world, why do we end up in one or, sometimes, a few? With all the people in the world, why do we closely bond with a relative few? It is destiny, karma. It is internally driven by the need for lessons and the working out of karma from past forgotten associations, agreements prior to being born, and that which will give us specific learning opportunities. Some bonds arise and then release and some bonds remain intact. Sometimes, we cannot tell whether something is beneficial long-term. So we let time and the flow of events decide for us. There is nothing to prove. We submit to the divine process – not another and not our own ego. It is true humility and makes us invulnerable to domination by any other human. Fear cannot capture us, criticism cannot harm us, and pride cannot make us fall.
This article is from The Love of Devotion