A few days back I wrote a post about the student being ready and the master appearing, how true this is? However, today I ponder another question related to this topic. I am curious, are people of the United States or American Culture (generalization being used) really students?
To go a bit further, I am asking if we truly are students in the sense that we are curious and open as well eager to learn about all things life, especially if we know it will improve us in our areas of interests or expertise?
Personally, this has not always been the case for me. I appeared ready as a student, the master did indeed appear but my ego (and maybe sometimes that of the master as well, I have been on both sides) ego placed some boundaries that in turn presented limitations. This is not too say things were not learned at that point and more importantly you can see that I am and continue to learn from those instances even if in hindsight (it does not necessarily matter when, because if you are truly a student you can and will learn in time). However, I realize that I was not living up to my potential because as I student I had the false precepts, or at least ideas that I had a lot of knowledge, a lot of information and therefore I wanted to share mine more than just empty my cup and come from a beginners mind thus placing no boundaries.
So, I ask, are we really great students. I have been in the position to be both student and master and quite often as of recent. I have found that depending on the level of the student, sometimes they truly are not ready for what the master has to offer (as mentioned above in my own personal experience as a student). playing the role of master in this I find that I truly am always a student and thus in turn learning how to become an even better master.
It is my believe that knowledge and information does not make you a master, it is truly what you do with it and how you use it that differentiates you from others. As I open myself to the unlimited possibilities I begin to see deeper and more clearly the distinction and the path for mastery. The true mastery is of the self and from there learning how to translate and communicate this effectively to your audience, whomever it be. True masters have a way, a way of no way, a formless form, a beginners mind, an empty cup, an egoless ego in which they offer, share, give, recieve, experience, learn, move, function, be!
One can only practice and train moment by moment, day by day to become a master. And it is through being a student and being in a constant state of living and freedom of ego that the masters becomes....
Some things to ponder by Bruce Lee:
"I have come to discover through earnest personal experience and dedicated learning that ultimately the greatest help if self-help; that there is no other help but self-help—doing one’s best, dedicating one’s self wholeheartedly to a given task, which happens to have no end but is an ongoing process. I have done a lot during these years of my process. A swell in my process, I have changed from self-image actualization to self-actualization, from blindly following propaganda, organized truths, etc. to searching internally for the cause of my ignorance."
"An instructor should exemplify the things he seeks to teach. It will be of great advantage if you yourself can do all you ask of your students and more."
Emptiness the starting point. — In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all you preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.
Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier
Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.
What we are after is the ROOT and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds "body feel" and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity.
Concepts vs. self-actualization. — Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. The process of maturing does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is to come to the realization of what lies in our innermost selves.