Every learning is a two-way process. There is the imparter of knowledge, skill & wisdom of truth who could be called a guru, teacher or a facilitator. Then there is the one who receives, assimilates, processes synthesizes & is then convinced about his or her interpretation of assimilation of truth enough to be called the student, shishya or disciple.
Now as learning is a never-ending process of growth and realization all the seekers of knowledge should have the channels of thoughts, words & deeds open for correction, improvement to be able to retain & sustain the available information to the best of their abilities.
The interpretation of knowledge may happen with respect to the personal state of mind and matter of the receiver, no matter whether he is the student or a teacher. Both are only human and they are bound to the vagaries of human nature.
Poise & Composure
The sheer physical or mental magnetism a teacher or student exudes or otherwise must not undermine the purpose. So certain restraint in conduct, both in the physical emotional & mental sense must be in place for a mutually symbiotic relationship to take place. It’s very important for this realization to be clear and apparent enough between both of them before they can begin a journey of refinement that knowledge brings forth. In a situation of misplaced judgement, it is important for the other to coach and coax the unwilling and astray mule in the mind of the erring person, back on to the road, whoever they are, student or teacher. As learning is a two-way street. The learning will at times make the student a teacher and the teacher a student in the journey of realization.
Channelling the learning
Many times the temptation of thoughts will bring even the most dedicated of students or teachers to testing the real purpose of their efforts and practice. At this juncture, the control of mind and body actions must be exercised. This, if left unchecked could leave room for unnecessary situations which could harm the beautiful synthesis and symbiotic nature of the student-teacher relationship. The boundaries of mind are easily even more difficult to fathom and clarify.
It is simple and wise to let the mind be grounded, focused and steadfast in its purpose enough to be clear about the distinction and discernment while the learning relationship is taking place. As a single stray thought, or action could cause confusion enough to completely toss the relationship boundaries to levels which may be difficult to tilt back to states of equilibrium that needs to be maintained.
Steering the learning
The teacher must make it clear to himself or herself and to the students that he is there for the purpose of teaching and sharing the knowledge that he has been privy to, probably because of his own levels of ability, understanding, karma, dedication or steadfastness and discipline in acquiring the related skill. This act itself clears the ground for proper acceptance of a teacher’s education.
The thought and senses need to be checked before every movement such that there is respect enough for the student towards the teachers’ knowledge and in doing so the teacher manages to gain the required acceptance from the student and learning resumes.
But this is only one side of the coin the student too, has certain modes of conduct which needs to be observed and never crossed.
It is very important to understand first of all that neither a teachers time must not be taken for granted nor his teachings. They will be there for you as you need it and thus trust enough to understand that you cannot learn more or less of anything than what is required for you at that time.
Secondly, it is important that both accept and follow the principles of conduct in which learning is taking place which is ideally laid down by the form or subject to ensure that both do not stray beyond the boundaries and go off track.
The purpose of learning is absolutely free flowing & spills over to life and its situations and circumstances so this association of thought must not be confused with favouritism and partiality of any kind between both of them.
In some learning, the personal space both physical and mental greatly narrows down between the teacher and student putting them in a quandary especially if both are seeing a reflection of thoughts and actions in each other. This is definitely a situation to exercise caution enough to circumvent the spillover of knowledge beyond the cup of the mind.
Finally, there is the need to assimilate and interpret an information and only then act upon it, not get taken by impulse so much that you don’t give the other side the benefit of doubt.
The realization that experiences necessary for your learning and growth come to you will be clear but at the same time, you must keep in mind that no student or teacher can exercise and influence you to the degree that you do not want to be.
You learn what you can imbibe.. Not more not less!
I wrote this article years ago but I was reminded of it today as in India it is Guru Poornima a day dedicated to the Teacher or Guru in and around us.
It is a day of celebration in respect & reverence for the exchange of knowledge and wisdom.
I addressed here the interplay of that which needs a mutual definition in understanding between both the students and the teacher as learnings begin to happen It is always a work in progress for I believe learning is never ending and a continuous path of life and living.
Yet it is beautiful to pause & be grateful for the understanding that comes our way. Thus through the trials & tribulations of being a student & a teacher, life abounds in deep gratitude.
Happy Guru Poornima!