The relationship between a teacher and student can be a most rewarding and life-enhancing experience, yet it can also be fraught with problems and misunderstandings. For Westerners working with Eastern teachers, the difficulties can be compounded by cultural differences, language barriers, and divergent expectations. Wise Teacher, Wise Student examines the teacher-student relationship as it is understood in the Tibetan Buddhist context. The author surveys a wide spectrum of situations, exploring the causes of potential pitfalls. In illuminating the sources of misunderstandings, he offers methods to heal wounds and encourage healthy relationships.
“"Alex Berzin has taken head-on one of the hottest issues of Buddhism in the West: the teacher-student and guru-disciple relationship. I consider this a seminal work."—Lama Surya Das, author of Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be "This is the most thoughtful and comprehensive book yet written on the teacher-student relationship. Alex Berzin provides readers with both clear-eyed wisdom and extraordinary knowledge of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition."—Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart and The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace "An informative, thoughtful, and in-depth approach to the mentor-student relationship, this book will benefit both newcomers to the path and more advanced practitioners."—Ven. Thubten Chodron, author of Buddhism for Beginners "A sane and valuable cultural and spiritual bridge for practitioners and teachers in any tradition."—Sangha Journal "Alex Berzin's work is the first serious attempt to write a comprehensive study of the issues involved in the student-teacher relationship in Buddhism. It is to be hoped that this will be the vanguard of a whole genre of literature on this important and controversial subject."—Shenpen Hookham, author of The Buddha Within "If you realize you are more than just a little confused and that you might have to admit that you are disappointed in your teacher, or if you feel you have been led astray or you are experiencing doubts or are upset about apparent cultural differences or conflicts of lineage, then this is the book for you! In Wise Teacher, Wise Student, Alexander Berzin clarifies many crucial matters, and in so doing has done us all a wonderful service."—Khandro "The topic is a crucial one for Buddhism. . . . Berzin's prose makes for very compelling reading. It moves from the academic, analytic, and remote to the personal in a very engaging way."—Tricycle "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. . . . Full of clarity for the beginner, and can help even the most experienced practitioner."—Precious Metal ”