Look at the link above; it’s a classic called the “Disciple Rule,” which was meant to teach people to be good disciples or even good “kids.” However, many people will think it is “outdated” and “it is not the same anymore in the modern days.” I used to be one of those people too. However, I was wrong. I hope everyone will learn this when they ordain; it’s an important mindset to know what it means to be a disciple (not a student).
The word for the master is sifu 師父, which means the teacher who is like your father. That is why in the rule above, there is always the mention of parents. Your master is like your father; it’s a relationship that bonds by heart, not money. Unlike being a student, if you pay to learn and don’t pay, the relationship is “off.” Think about what would happen if your school teachers were not paid. Will they still want to teach and be so “passionate” about teaching? However, your sifu is not like that.
In the past, sifu and disciples were like a family; they lived together, ate together, and made a living together. A real family is all bonded and connected in the same house. No one abandons each other.
The main point is that being a disciple, you should always care about the feeling of your master (sifu). Just like you would care for your family, you will always ensure the parents are eating well, living a happy life, and taking care of their life. It’s not just about paying for classes or learning more or less; it’s about the relationship and feeling in the heart that you are building to bond with the family. A good disciple always makes sifu happy, help sifu to lessen the burden, and always think about sifu’s feeling before himself. This is a good virtue! The cycle will always be good and positive when the disciple is like this, and the next generation learns the same way. If you are unsure, let’s consider what happens if the sifu is treated the opposite way. Imagine you are the sifu and your disciple treats you like the opposite of nice, doesn’t care about your feelings and so on. How do you feel about the relationship? Do you want to teach anymore?
Look at our internal podcast playlist; we have a few episodes about this kind of thing too!
This classic I linked is very good at teaching people the basics of being a disciple. I strongly recommend it, and if you are wondering if we have anything like that here from our lineage… here you go, the Filial Piety Scripture! Take a good read and enjoy the wisdom from the Tao!