When people judge or conclude on the mannerisms of teachings and the people who are drawn to it, it just becomes very obvious that they are still putting something into the box although they claim to be getting out of it. Surely, at this moment, it also looks like I am also putting them in the box by stating this too.
I read an article not too long ago about a teacher who is apparently guiding his disciples towards awakening, advocating that it is still gentleness that leads people out of delusion, rather than harshness. Interestingly, a few weeks later, I had to edit a similar article. Personally, I found both articles quite funny as if trying to reason which mannerism is better than the other, or to achieve an understanding on why some are drawn to the respective mannerisms.
The reason why I find it funny is because it is impossible to define which mannerism is better and what more, which is better for oneself although one may very well have his or her preference. And to conclude that one is drawn towards one approach and not the other, ultimately is also limiting. I find that the drawing or resonance towards teachings or teachers’ behaviors has much to do with one’s own intention towards the whole objective of being in touch with the teachings or the teacher. It can be unconscious intentions of seeking comfort, love, approval or even to the extent punishment, depending on what seeds are growing in the abyss of the mind at the moment of seeking.
For one that is seeking the truth, I have observed, it doesn’t matter how the knowledge or information is being presented although at times, it can come as a shock and some form of discomfort can be experienced at first. But again, as mentioned, depending on the initial intention of the original contact, the mannerism adopted during the contact is secondary, yet becomes a necessary means to fulfill the conditions of awakening at the point of contact as part of the process. So to conclude that one is better than the other, or even try to reason why there is preference, is to totally deter the natural law of what is prudently, necessary and needed for the moment for the objective to be achieved in the midst of the process.
Being privileged to be in the shoes who have had experiences of sharing in both mannerisms (gentleness & harshness), those specific times were simply explored and surrendered for the benefit of the sharing sessions. So far, the comments which I have received in return were phrases such as a bright beautiful angel, a living Buddha, even a tough-love-no-nonsense-no-frills teacher/comrade. Yet at the end of it all, my true gift in return was not in the resounding words that came back to my consciousness, but rather, in being a witness to the process of awakening to their own clarity and freedom. And yes, I do get a grateful Thank You from them too. Secretly, I myself am thankful to them, and most importantly to the natural process that took place without my own interference and interpretation of it.
Definitely, the gentler approach would draw crowd and most times, popularity too. Yet, it would be equally redundant if the gentler approach was used as a means to that, as opposed to truly sharing or guiding one who is truly yearning to find out what is truly going on. But then again, the non-abiding laws of the universe can always be trusted – where the seeker will always find what he seeks, since no man can be hidden from what he truly and sincerely seeks.
Therefore, so-called seekers, if you truly seek what you are sincerely seeking, why bother on the type of mannerism or how it arrives at your door when the Universe is merely delivering to you what you are seeking?