Selecting a teacher

Selecting a Teacher 
There are so many teachers in the world and so many theories about life. 
When selecting a teacher, ask yourself… 
Is my teacher a well-balanced person? Is she or he happy? 
Does my teacher reflect and demonstrate the quality of life I desire? 
If the answer to any of these questions is no, move on in your journey.
Otherwise you may become one of the blind, led by the blind.
Sydney Banks, from The Missing Link

You can exchange the word teacher with other words, such as guide, coach, leader, boss, spiritual guide, enabler. The word doesn’t really matter anyway, but oh, how these words ring true for me.

I remember Lama Kathy Wesley stating in one of my favorite podcasts how important she felt it to be to look at the elders of any tradition of faith that you found interesting. By their appearance, health, harmony, you know, whether or not to venture forth into that tradition or not. In a nutshell, she’s stating exactly the same thing as Syd Banks is pointing to.

And at the same time, well-balanced doesn’t mean a person who is ”perfect”, and never gets out of whack. On the contrary, I would say. I do not require my teacher, coach, guide (yeah, you get it! That whatever-word you place here!) to be ”a perfect human being”, in the meaning that they do not live the human experience.

Because that’s part of the trick for me – living life, experiencing all the up’s and down’s of human experience, and doing it with grace, with balance (that is, returning to balance when off-centered for a moment or two), and a lot of love, laughter and light. Tears commingle with laughter, grief with ecstatic joy, boredom with the feeling of flow where time seemingly disappears. All of that is part of the human experience, but how I live into it, or perhaps, how I live out of it, is what tells a well-balanced person apart for me.

BoldomaticPost_Selecting-a-Teacher-There-areWriting this, I just had an insight.

This quote isn’t only about looking for external teachers. It’s also a great reminder to myself, on my ability to be my own guide and enabler.

When I am well-balanced, happy, reflecting and demonstrating the qualities of life that I desire – then I am a good teacher for myself.

And when I am the opposite (off-centered, miserable, definitely not demonstrating the qualities of life I desire, but rather the opposite), it serves me well to remember to take myself a lot less seriously, as it’s as if I am one of the blind, leading myself. And boy does it hurt when I stumble into all sorts of obstacles along the way, attempting to lead my blind self. In situations like that, the best thing I can do is to pause, to stop in my tracks, and wait for vision to return. Go about my day, doing the routine things that I can do blind-folded, staying clear of making radical decisions, and not expecting too much of myself either. It’s not always easy though.

So am I the only one dumb enough to try to lead myself even when I am in no shape to lead?

Acceptance

How good are you at acceptance? I have, historically, not been good at it at all, but I’m getting there. I got this EnneaThought yesterday though, and it sparked some thoughts:

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I have gotten really good at accepting myself as I am. But also at loving myself, a step up from acceptance in my view. The same goes for other people. But the world. Hm. That’s a trickier issue I must say.

And I guess it really is the same process in work here. You see, when it comes to myself, I no longer believe I have to ”better myself”. I don’t see me as a self-improvement project, the Do-It-Yourself variety. Rather, all the changes that I go through, are me becoming more me. It’s be allowing myself to be me, fully. It’s me, shedding the layers of stuff, issues, constraints, patterns that I have put on myself, or had put on me by society because I thought that was ”the way it’s supposed to be”.

The same goes for the world I just realized. I accept the world as it is, but want to assist in letting the world shed all the stuff, issues, constraints and patterns that we – society – place upon the world, letting the world be more itself. Because I believe those patterns aren’t serving us or the world. And they are not natural laws or musts. They are mostly made up of beliefs and systems.

Interesting this. When I first read that statement, I felt a huge resistance to it. How to accept the world as it is, when I don’t think it is perfect and at the peak of what we can achieve, as mankind.

But during the time it’s taken me to write this blog post, I have let go of the resistance, the acceptance has grown, and I see that the world is perfect – it’s just that there’s a lot of stuff in the way of that perfectness shining through.

Far out? Yeah, likely. I’m ok with that. Are you? Do you accept yourself, others and the world just as they are?