The best thing a teacher can give a student is for the student to believe in themselves. So, people would come and listen to Zen Master Seung Sahn, and what you would get from him is to not be attached to his words. And what you would get from him is this incredible energy and this incredible centeredness, and this incredible clarity, and the realization that you could also have that, and in fact you already had it. That’s the best thing the teacher can give the student
It is not for the student to believe in the teacher as this exterior authority, but for the student to realize that what this teacher has, you already have it. It’s yours. You don’t have to go somewhere else to get it. So to me, the job of the teacher is to encourage people to practice, encourage them to find that for themselves, encourage them to really believe in themselves. That’s what my job is.
And to believe in their true self. Not in the sense of “Oh I’m the greatest this” or “I’m the best that.” Not that kind of belief in yourself. Belief in this true self that doesn’t belong to you. It’s much bigger than you are. Believe in that, and then everything you do comes from that. Which of course never completely always happens, not even with Zen Master Seung Sahn, not even with Buddha. But as much as possible everything we do comes from this center, comes from this true self, which we don’t own. It’s not ours. And it’s completely ours.
–Zen Master Bon Hae