I am sure all of us in our lives have come across at least 1 teacher, if not more.
What are the qualities you look for in a teacher?
I have been a teacher from 2000-2014 and have re-joined the service as a part-time teacher in 2017.
I have my own take of what makes a good teacher. When I attended the Lamrim class and came across Shakyamuni Buddha’s sharing of the 10 qualities of a teacher whom we can rely upon, I felt it was so powerful as a list to find the right teacher as well as a list to work towards as
Gurus who intend to discipline others’ minds must first have
disciplined their own.
Just as a trainer tames a wild horse with a good bridle, so too teachers learn ethical discipline to control their senses and to turn toward suitable actions with great effort. Hence, teachers have “disciplined” their minds, which are like wild horses.
2. Serene: Refers to having accomplished the training of meditative
concentration, a mental state in which the mind remains peacefully withdrawn. This is achieved by means of
a reliance on mindfulness and vigilance in your ethical discipline, turning away from wrongdoing and engaging in good activities.
3. Thoroughly pacified: Refers to having accomplished the training of wisdom. This is done by specifically analyzing the meaning of reality in dependence on
meditative serenity, wherein the mind becomes serviceable.
In this modern world of endless knowledge and Dr Google… it is not
easy to know all, thus I would often tell my students that we learn and explore together. The students are at times my teacher while I am theirs most of the time.
4. Having good qualities surpassing those of the students:
By relying on those superior, we attain excellence. If you rely on whomever is superior – thoroughly pacified, endowed with ethical discipline and exceeding
wisdom. You will become superior even to those who are superior in morals, values, skills, attitude and wisdom.
5. Having a wealth of scriptural knowledge:
When the teachers give an explanation, they must cause their
students to have a deep understanding. When they are putting the
teachings into practice, they must demonstrate what is helpful at a
time when the teaching is on the wane, and what is useful in the
situation at hand.
6. Having thorough knowledge of reality:
Connecting with the real world with knowledge
7. Skilled in instructing disciples:
Understanding different learning styles, building rapport and having varied teaching strategies.
9. Possessing loving concern:
See each child as unique; accepting their mistakes are the foundation of success and being objective rather than subjective – avoiding power struggle.
10. Abandoning dispiritedness:
Building confidence, giving hope and incubating the curiosity in our children in this fast pace learning society. It is of extreme importance.
This list is also important to all of us as we have children at home, younger siblings, younger friends, younger colleagues and people whom we meet who are our juniors. We are their teachers in their life journey!
Thankful to our greatest teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha with great wisdom and compassion, and to all my teachers and mentors for making me a better person, moment after moment, day after day and decades to come!
Penned by Irene Lee
Auspicious Puja (Mandarin)
Discourse by Venerable ZuGuang on the root cause of suffering and unhappiness is from afflictions and that the solution is in the teachings of Buddha! Invest two hours weekly in Lamrim classes and you would discover the key to happiness.
A practitioner’s testimony by Lecturer 刘玉琴 on overcoming human relationship obstacles with Dharma teachings from Buddha and repentance.
Auspicious Choir singing insightful praises to the Triple Gems.
Ordination Ceremony 剃度法会 15.6.18
Sister Dawn Chen
Sister Doris (云娟)