If you are sincere about reaching enlightenment, you can learn even from a child, or from the person who insults you on the street. The entire world becomes your teacher. The person leading you toward spiritual awakening is not the one who praises you or is nice to you. Your spirituality deepens because of those who insult you and give you a hard time. They are your spiritual teachers in disguise. How can you tell if someone is truly enlightened? Shower him with both praise and criticism. If he shows signs of being susceptible to either, then it means he has forgotten his enlightened nature.
Our emotions are capricious, like the weather in London. One minute, when someone criticizes us, we are offended and furious. The next minute, when someone praises us, we feel proud and pompous. Unless we recognise the still point beneath the surface of our changing emotions, we will feel we are hostage to their whims. Someone advanced in spiritual practice has the following attitude. In a large community, she lives as though she is alone. She minds her own business without meddling in others’. When alone, she acts as though she is in a large community. She follows her regimen without sliding into laziness.”
Excerpt From: Haemin Sunim. “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World”.