Sunday, September 8, 2013

Not Zen 75: Weak Student

There was a young woman who visited all of the temples, churches, libraries, and schools in her area. Wherever she went, she learned more than what anyone tried to teach her. She heard about other women and men who read similar books, usually about philosophy, or got involved in similar spiritual activities. One name came up more than any other, a young man only a town away. Eventually she met him at a meditation center.

He taught a meditation class. The students were impressed by him despite his youth. He could speak well about disciplines of the body. He could expound on many schools of thought and many sciences. He could meditate on one subject at length, in the western style, and he could establish an empty state of mind.

She studied meditation with him for a few months. In time, she mentioned her new teacher to her parents.

“Oh, I know that boy,” said her mother. “His mother is smart.”

“I don't think you understand,” she said. “This is nothing to do with his mother. He is amazingly wise.”

“Try me. How wise?”

“I've never met anyone as dedicated to wisdom as him.”

“You underestimate yourself. You're as dedicated. You've tracked down spiritual teachers. You get wisdom out of everyone, whether they know they're teaching you or not. You're bright, eager to learn, and wise in your own right.”

“I know that, mother. I know what you mean. Believe me, he's different. Better.”

“As good as he is, when you learn from him you're getting the wisdom of someone who lives with his parents and is supported in every way by them. Think of all the things he can't teach you. Think of how much more wisdom there is to learn.”

“Everyone has flaws, mother. You could point out weaknesses in any teacher.”

“So could you. But you didn't.”

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