This morning I walked my niece to school. It’s a five-minute walk through a small industrious village of the Italian countryside. On the way to the school, she told me about her day’s ahead, what she likes and what not. Her stories about school make me often think about how we approach education here, but that’s a good topic that won’t fit in a fifteen minutes writing slot.
On the way back, I was thinking about the relationship between a student and a master. In the last two years, I met many people who have taught me a lot. They are not teachers in the proper sense. They are friends, colleagues, partners, fellow travellers in the walk of life. Yet, more than once each one of them has been a master to me.
I was thinking about this while walking home, and I remembered reading somewhere that “the student makes the master” or something like that.
So, I ask Google, and I found out that the quote that I remember was “when the student is ready the teacher will appear.” A quote that is often presented as a Buddhist proverb.
As I always do, I dig a bit more until I discovered that Buddha has nothing to do with it. Instead, it is an old Theosophical statement taken from a book titled Light on the Path, wrote in 1886 by Mabel Collins. The statement is a bit more poetic, and it says; “for when the disciple is ready the master is ready also.”
Anyway, even if the quote has some weird and questionable origins, it resonates with me. Any time I embrace a learning mindset, a “master” manifests before me. Sometimes the master is a person, other times it is something else like a piece of art, an event or nature herself.
I think the lesson for me is that if we want to learn something, before finding a master, we must embrace the learner’s mindset.
P.S. I just realised I already wrote about this not long ago. What is the lesson here?