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Thread: Being a good student?

  1. #1
    Member Liang's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    In the Blueridge Mountains, USA

    Being a good student?

    I've come back after a bit of wandering. I am greatful for, as mentioned elsewhere, the open door approach here as well as come and go as you need. I hope everyone is well and thank you for continuing to share your practice.

    I was wondering what people's thoughts were on this question. What makes or how does one be a good student in Zen? How should the student act in an student-teacher relationship?

    Gassho, Fred\Liang
    #Sat in Zazen

  2. #2
    Hi Liang

    Welcome back. We're still here!

    In answer to your question, to paraphrase the Buddha I would say: do good, do no harm, sit daily.
    As far as the student/teacher relationship goes: follow their advice, ask questions when you need to. Think carefully before making a commitment but once you do, stick to it.

    Once you are practicing with your heart, drop all notions of being a good or bad student.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday

  3. #3
    Hi Liang,

    It's hard to say.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  4. #4
    Great things already said

    I would also say to make sure that becoming a 'good student' does not become a sort of desire. For me, many subtle 'righteous' desires can manifest if you are not mindful.



    Gassho,
    Heion

  5. #5
    Mp
    Guest
    Hello Liang,

    If you are a good father, husband, brother, friend, neighbour, co-worker, mother, daughter, sister ... then you are a good student of life ... a good student of zen. =) To me it is not about good or bad, but what is in your heart - being respectful and with an open heart is always a good place to start. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat today

  6. #6
    Joyo
    Guest
    Hi Liang, for me, being a good student of Zen is being a good student of life--just like Shingen said. The concept I am really starting to learn is that regardless of if I am sitting, doing samu (work), chanting etc. etc. it is all practice. And if we are open, there are opportunities to learn in all that we encounter. Even in our mistakes, when we think we are not being a "good" Zen student, we can still learn, grow, accept and go on.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  7. #7
    Hello,

    Shut up and sit-down.


    Gassho,
    Myosha today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  8. #8
    hahaaha I echo what Myosha said. To me, just never give up. Just keep keepin' on. I know it sounds cliche' but I have my ups and downs. Sometimes I love practice, sometimes I seriously question what the point is; it's during those latter times that sitting is most critical. This practice can only be done by you, but it is not only for you. For me I sometimes have a hard time understanding that because I want to reduce it to something that's good for me.

    So good student, bad student... who's asking, who's comparing? just practice with us here and have some fun.

    Gassho,

    Risho

    -sattoday

  9. #9
    Hi Liang,

    As others have said, more or less, being a good student is often a matter of just showing up. Sometimes the feelings are turned in that direction, sometimes not. Same with going to work, participating in a family, and all the other moments of living. As a young man I thought it was necessarily to "really feel" whatever I was doing for that to be genuine. Grew out of that. I like what Shingen said, being respectful and practicing with an open heart. To expect endless experiences of mountain tops leads to disappointment, as I have learned the hard way. The other thing that's been hard to learn but very helpful is not to say "No" quite so fast. As in "I don't do that." Slowly questioning the assumption that there's some "I" who has these preferences, that's been helpful.

    These are just opinions and I know less today than I knew when I started out on this trip. (not necessarily a "bad" thing)

    Gassho
    Meishin/John
    Sat Today

  10. #10
    Hi.

    Aske asked this and got this:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...light=QUESTION

    Good students speak here and there and everywhere!

    I hope you find what you seek.

    Gassho
    Aske > Meikyo
    #SAT TODAY!
    ~ Please remember that I am very fallible.

    Gassho
    Meikyo

  11. #11
    Thank you for sharing these important reflections. Itīs a theme in which I thought a lot too because for my job I have to teach to students too.
    I read the thread recommended by Meikyo and I found brilliant the comparison between the spiritual guide and the relationship of an arts teacher and his student.
    Gassho
    Miguel
    #Sat Today

  12. #12
    Hi Liang,

    I would say: be respectful, have a little trust, go wholeheartedly, and realize that your path is not laid out before you, but you make it as you step forward. Keep in mind too that you are teaching the Teacher even as they are teaching you. And always know that your practice, however small it may seem, really is truly benefitting all beings. This can help when you donít feel like practicing. Also I think that falling off the zafu sometimes is part of it, itís ok, your heart will call you back to the cushion if thatís where you belong.


    "This practice can only be done by you, but it is not only for you."
    - Risho


    "I think that this task is appointed for you, Frodo; and that if you do not find a way, no one will."
    - Elrond

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    To me, just never give up. Just keep keepin' on. I know it sounds cliche' but I have my ups and downs. Sometimes I love practice, sometimes I seriously question what the point is; it's during those latter times that sitting is most critical.
    Thank you for this, Risho. I have experienced some low points in my practice somewhat recently. What I have found helpful is having made zazen a scheduled part of my day from which I do not vary, unless something truly unexpected comes up. When I sit, I am able to let go of my ideas of how I think my practice is going.

    Gassho,
    Matt
    #SatToday

  14. #14
    What makes a good Zen student?
    Sit once or twice a day.

    How to act in a student-teacher relationship?
    Listen, be open and friendly.

    Sat today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

  15. #15
    I'd like to add "being critical" to the advice already here. We aren't, at first anyway, supposed to just accept the teachings. Good to be critical of them, try to disprove them if we need to. In trying to disprove them we often come to have faith in them, because we encounter what they point to.

    Even being critical of our guides can be helpful. Learned some great lessons by discoursing with Jundo rather than just doing a Q&A. "What is the first Noble Truth?" is a bit different than, "I don't know that life is suffering. I've had a lot of good times too "

    Maybe good students don't just ask questions and are open to knowledge; they discourse and apply what they've learned. It's a small difference, but also quite huge. The difference between a lifeless Zen parrot practice, and the living Dharma and applied Zen.

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

  16. #16
    Liang,
    Greetings. As a new member the question you posed is one I've been pondering myself. To me I would say: sit. sit, sit.
    Study and keep the precepts as best one can. As for the Teacher-student relationship: Bring a beginners Mind, listen, and show respect.

    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Today

  17. #17
    Student
    Good, student
    Bad, student
    Not good
    Not bad
    Not student

    Student Sit
    Student Listen
    Student Speak

    Just sit, student


    Lucus Fuller
    #Sat today

  18. #18
    As others have said, be a perpetual beginner.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    sat today

  19. #19
    One who never stops trying

    m

    Sat 2-day

  20. #20
    One who stops trying.
    (too)


    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  21. #21
    Hi Liang

    To me a good zen student is someone who lives by the precepts, challenge them, and screws them up all the time.

    Then sit and realize how far one is from being a good student.

    And when you're tired of sitting, go sit some more.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday

    Quote Originally Posted by Liang View Post
    I've come back after a bit of wandering. I am greatful for, as mentioned elsewhere, the open door approach here as well as come and go as you need. I hope everyone is well and thank you for continuing to share your practice.

    I was wondering what people's thoughts were on this question. What makes or how does one be a good student in Zen? How should the student act in an student-teacher relationship?

    Gassho, Fred\Liang
    #Sat in Zazen
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  22. #22
    For me: just-sitting, using the precepts as guideposts, and focusing on the perfections (six paramitas). Hadn't seen the perfections mentioned yet, but I always try to keep them in mind.

    Some things I used to do but no longer do: don't have an altar, don't light incense, don't chant, don't prostrate, don't wear mala.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  23. #23
    Always been a crumby student (no joke)... so it's hard to say.

    Open the heart. Blow away cynicism. Let affection develop. Be willing to stumble and recover again and again.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    Always been a crumby student (no joke)... so it's hard to say.

    Open the heart. Blow away cynicism. Let affection develop. Be willing to stumble and recover again and again.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today
    BOOM! Awesome! Thank you Daizan.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  25. #25

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