The teacher-student relationship is based on a shared aim — your awakening to the mystery of being. It is not based on mutual profit or on emotional connection. The responsibilities of a teacher are three:
- To show you the possibility of presence
- To train you in the techniques and methods you will need
- To direct your attention to the reactive patterns that prevent you from being present in your life
Everything else is extra and is usually based on the projections of the student, the teacher, or both.
If the teacher is interested in you for social, political, or financial reasons, or to satisfy his or her own needs for affection, intimacy, sex, money, recognition, fame control, or identity, the teacher is merely using you. Sooner or later you will resent the exploitation and feel betrayed. Most people take at least four to five years to heal from this form of betrayal, so pay careful attention to the quality of your relationship with your teacher.
You, as a student, have two responsibilities:
- To practice what is taught as it is given
- To apply the practice in your life
If you do not trust that the teacher, in the role of teacher, is helping you to wake up, you will inevitably interpret the teacher’s actions through the lens of the reactive patterns that keep you from waking up.