As a beginner, how to find your teacher, is the most important task to solve!
But how can you know, if he or she is really good? Or if he or she is just a fake, maybe abusive, maybe only a business oriented self made guru? You have no chance, but finding out yourself!
Once you found some candidate for being your teacher, work with him, full heartedly. Don’t hold back, and see where it brings you! But keep your responsibility for your life, for your mental and physical health, with you!
If you get angry, if you get very angry, if your teacher (who once was so soft and kind) corrects you and scolds you all day long, although you already explained you gave your very best; if you think he or she is an idiot, and you should stop working with this teacher immediately; even if he eventually kicks you out … don’t quit! In case of trouble, sit down on your pillow, practise Zazen! Maybe, after an hour, a day or a week, you’ll find out, that he or she did a great service for you, touching your big big ego!
This teacher is good and loves you, and by all means you want to stay with him!
But if you realise that he, or people in his close environment, are going to destroy your life, your family, your body and soul, you must leave!
Only professional young Zen novices, entering the training hall to sacrifice their life for studying with their Roshi, have no alternative. If you feel up for this, go ahead! But we Zen lay people must never forget our responsibilities, our family, our job, our beloved ones who depend on us. And it is vital not to mix this up!
So, if you find out that the relation becomes abusive, if you get a very clear impression that you do 100.000 times more for your teacher, than he or she does for you; if he lets other people in his environment interfere the exclusive teacher-student relationship; if he manipulates you instead of letting you grow … or if end of the day you realise it’s all about titles, certificates and money, you must quit and safe your life!