To answer the question, who is a disciple, we need to look at the meaning of the word 'discipline.'
Discipline means readiness to learn.
And hence by extension, a disciple is someone who is ready to learn, who is open to learn.
You have to be first aware, to be ready to learn. Then you can learn everywhere and anywhere. Each event and every encounter will become a learning experience.
Once there was a Sufi mystic, Shibli. Someone asked Shibli, "Who was your first master? Who guided you on the path?"
And the answer shocked the questioner, as Shibli said, "A dog."
He continued, "One day I saw him almost dead with thirst, standing by the water's edge. Every time he looked at his reflection in the water, he was frightened and withdrew, because he thought it was another dog. Finally, such was his desperation that he cast away his fear and leapt into the water, at which point the other dog of course vanished."
"The dog found that the obstacle between himself and that which he was seeking was no body but himself."
"In the same way, my own obstacle vanished when I knew what I took to be my own self was just a reflection, not the reality. And my way was first shown to me by the behavior of a dog. He was my first master."
A man of understanding learns everywhere, from everything that crosses his path.
He learns and becomes a disciple. A discipline arises.
Buddha said, unless you have discipline - the capacity to learn, to receive in awareness - you will not be able to go to the other shore. Knowledge will not help, because it is second hand, but capacity to learn is your own and it will lead to your own insights.
Only this innate capacity to learn can bring a great transformation.
Become aware. Become a disciple. Start a discipline!
Also try these mindfulness meditations that will help you become more aware.
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