The necessary qualities of the teacher and student ~ Alan Wallace

In addition to the two basic qualities a teacher must possess — altruistic intention and a sound knowledge of Dharma — three qualities are necessary on the part of a disciple. The first is perceptivity — attending closely, clarity of attention. The second quality is having an aspiration to put the teachings into practice. You aren’t receiving teachings merely to accumulate knowledge, or because the lama is charismatic, your friends are going, or other reasons. You have come because you really want to practice. Otherwise you are wasting the teacher’s time, which is a grave thing to do. The third quality is to attend to the teachings without prejudice, especially the prejudice of uncritically believing that your own ideas are true, while any assertion that differs from your beliefs is suspect. In other words, it’s imperative to have an open mind, one willing to critically reassess even your own most cherished assumptions. These three qualities, like those necessary in a teacher, are crucial.

Alan Wallace

from the book Stilling the Mind: Shamatha Teachings from Dudjom Lingpa's Vajra Essence

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