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Book Review: Wise Teacher, Wise Student

August 12, 2010

Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship
By Alexander Berzin
Snow Lion Publications

Hands down, this could be one of the most important books for Westerners to read in reference to Tibetan Buddhism. What you thought, and or assumed, about the relationship between teacher and student could very well be turned upside down.

In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed to have a dedicated and trustworthy teacher is something very important for a person on the path to liberation. Other schools of Buddhist thought don’t seem to stress this to much, but having a regimented, monastic background Tibetans take the student/ teacher relationship very seriously.

While we, as Westerners, believe we are taking that relationship seriously we find ourselves lost and confused at times with certain rituals and interactions. “Wise Teacher, Wise Student” is full of clarity for the beginner and can help even the most experienced practitioner. There is not another source of information so relevant to one topic than there is with this book.

Understanding a culture we are unfamiliar with can seem daunting to some, especially those of us that are relatively new to the path. “Wise Teacher…” will help those, like myself, that have only been navigating this path for a short time. It is a complicated thing, the teacher/ student relationship but it doesn’t have to be. “Wise Teacher…” is boiled down, supplying the reader with exactly the information they are seeking.

This book came along at the right time as I was questioning a few things in regards to a teacher I had been speaking with, and I am glad to say the answer I was seeking was right there.

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