The teacher-student relationship is complex. Over the years Joan gently guided me, and sometimes not so gently. When I was full of myself, she reminded me that I had to try to live generously and kindly; when despondent, that I knew of a world of peace. She pushed me into seeing life as an ongoing exploration, and every moment as an opportunity for exploration.
But perhaps the main thing is simply the teacher’s presence in your life. They have given their life to the teachings, and to passing them on. They may have their failings, and a good teacher knows it. Yet they are there to keep you training. Again and again, to call you back to it.
An excerpt from part way through Henry’s path of training as recounted in One Blade of Grass.