On Being a Good Student

The game has flipped.

It used to be: good information was hard to find; good teachers and teachings were rare. The onus, in many ways, was on the teacher.

Now, of course, that’s still true in a certain respect. But also true now more than ever, I reckon in this age of near-infinite material being but a click away, is the importance of being a good student.

What makes a good student?

• You are willing to learn, and also willing to stop learning and practice what you’ve learned.

• You don’t think you know everything; you don’t think you know nothing.

• You’re willing to suspend belief for the sake of experiment, thought also you remain an adult, not handing over your discernment at the feet of a guru.

• You go through periods of introspection, taking the teachings in and treating your body-mind as a very precious temple. You also go through periods of expressivity and effort, inhabiting your body-mind as a hungry tiger inhabits the forest, fierce and unrelenting.

• You’re willing to try new teachers and teachings.

• You’re willing to dive deep into material, not stopping until you know, in your heart of hearts, that you understand what’s being taught (and not merely an ability to regurgitate, verbally or physically).

• You can take care of yourself and you’re also willing to bust your ass trying.

• You don’t seek confirmation; you seek guidance in confirming for yourself what’s true.

• You’re not an island. You’re part of an ecosystem.

You're a student. Beware any teacher who isn’t.