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Buddhadharma : Spring 2006
buddhadharma| 55 |spring 2006 people who understand less. A problem only arises if you become too proud and start to think of yourself as a teacher, not a student. I never think of myself as a teacher. I think of myself as a student who is sharing my little bit of understanding. buddhAdhArmA: So you experience the occasional klesha, would you say? rinGu tulku: Of course. Why not? Constantly. Guy ArmstronG: I heartily agree that the safeguard is remaining a student. Some of the Western teach- ers whom I’ve seen get into difficulties didn’t have close contact with a teacher whom they looked up to and respected. Such mentoring is vitally important. Any time someone is put in a teaching role, there are going to be difficulties, but with the proper environment, we have all been able to learn from the problems we’ve encountered in that role. They’ve been very helpful for our growth as students. buddhAdhArmA: Would you say that in teaching situ- ations you have felt intense kleshas arising? Guy ArmstronG: Definitely. One of the biggest defilements I experience in teaching is comparing mind. I look around at all the other great teach- ers I work alongside of, or encounter along the way, and I see all their beautiful qualities and ask myself why anybody is going to listen to me. This kind of comparing mind is often one of the sticky places for me. blAnche hArtmAn: I also feel that no matter how long I am a teacher, I never quit being a student. I never expect to be fully realized and never want anyone to imagine that I am. I make it very clear to people that we’re all practicing together. I may have been practicing a little longer and so I might be able to share some of the mistakes I’ve made to help others avoid them. I really appreciate that we have built into the Zen Center mandala several ways in which those who have teaching responsi- bilities meet as peers. I still, of course, relate to my own teacher and check in with him. For those people whose teachers are now dead, like those who were Suzuki Roshi’s students, it’s even more important that they stay in a peer relationship with their dharma brothers and sisters. Like I said before, we can bump into each other and see defilements clearly. That’s why the sangha is one of the three jewels. ©b.g.sharma,manDalaPublishing2002,www.manDala.org Whenever you have a problem, there is where your practice is. When you see yourself getting caught by a klesha, there is where your practice is. — Blanche Hartman Buddha Attacked by Maras by B.G. Sharma