20 June 2011

The Student and the Teacher: A Dance of Symbiosis!

 Every learning is a two way process. There is the imparter of knowledge, skill and wisdom of truth and the factual, who could be called a guru, teacher, facilitator…. Then there is the one who receives, assimilates, processes, synthesizes and is then convinced about his or her interpretation of assimilation of truth enough to be called the student, shishya, disciple etc.  Now as learning is a never ending process of growth and realization all the seekers of knowledge should have the channels of thoughts words and deeds open for correction, improvement and also be able to retain and 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 imperfections of human nature. 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 and 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.
Many a 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 distance to be maintained 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. 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 must be observed and never crossed. It is very important to understand neither 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 and spills over to life and its situations and circumstances so this association of thought must not be confused with favoritism 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 spill over 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 must be clear but at the same time you must realise that no student or teacher can exercise and influence you to the degree that you do not want to be.


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