Monday, November 2, 2009

Great Faith, Doubt, and Effort in Training

Linda Eskin presents some good insight in her blog post, Grab My Wrist - Your Teacher is Always Right.  It is indeed very constructive and natural advice to the teacher that if your students don't understand something, presume that it is your fault; similarly, it is very constructive and natural advice to the student to presume that the teacher is right.

I will only add that, over time, both points of view must be merged and released.

It can be said that on any path,  there are three key elements necessary to progress:

Great Faith
Great Doubt
Great Effort

You must have some faith in the the effort you are making, that it will produce the results you are seeking in spite of the constant doubt you must hold in continually examining and questioning what you currently hold as true as you experience more along the way.

The student should not surrender doubt in placing faith in his instructor's methods, nor should the instructor surrender faith in doubting his methods when facing a student who does not understand.  Both student and teacher require balance in faith and doubt as they make the great effort every practice session.

Naturally, you should not have blind faith even in this post!  You should doubt it and check it against your own experiences as they arise to see if it makes sense.  Keep what makes sense and discard the rest.

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