Welcome to this week’s edition of the Source in which we explore treating every precious moment as a teacher.
Some of the most profound messengers of peace, awakening and truth have graced the planet for thousands of years; and as we have evolved and grown, we have resonated with differing voices and different messages depending on where our paths have journeyed. Celebrating the teachers, coaches, Masters, gurus, rishis, and guides who have graced the world with light and love gives us infinite wisdom to make important decisions each day.
Think of the ancient masters Patanjali, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus or Adi Shankara who have touched many deeply with spiritual guidance; or modern teachers, such as Thich Naht Hanh, Eknath Easwaren, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, or Joel Osteen, whose voices resonate with your vision of life. The blissful teachings of Yogananda, the compassion of the Buddha, the awakening of Christ consciousness, the transcendence of Yogi Bhajan and so many others all flow through our awareness when we carve out our spiritual time.
But we need to go deeper. We need to see the teachers around us in every moment.
Every difficult conversation we have includes someone who is teaching you something about yourself. Every trying situation contains an opportunity for deeper self-reflection and learning. Every irritant, heartbreak, frustration, disappointment, fearful moment and sadness is a teacher.
The author Carlos Castaneda stressed this when his archetypal character Don Juan said, “A warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one.”
My own experiences have taught me that the guru rests inside.
The answer to every question we could ever ask sits lovingly in the silence of our heart waiting for the right moment to emerge. We need to understand how to tease it out … how to allow spontaneous right thought, speech, and action to flow from us with grace and ease at the perfect moment. And that starts with allowing the stillness of the universe to become your stillness.
By quieting down, powering down — for only five to thirty minutes a few times a day — we create the space and the opportunity for the teacher to “arrive” with each constriction, overwhelm or less-than moment. Coming from a place of stillness and silence, we are wiser, less reactive, less conditioned, more creative and more intuitive, so we are more likely to respond to life rather than have a knee-jerk reaction to it.
So today, let’s celebrate the teachers and the teachings that have helped to make us who we are. Let’s honor every teacher who has helped us mold the personal Play-Doh of our life. Let’s pay tribute to our parents and the caregivers who brought us into this world; our teachers in kindergarten straight through graduate school. Our coaches, doctors, clergy, bosses, and all the authority figures that have pointed us in a particular direction. Our schoolmates, work colleagues, loved ones and the members of our support groups. And of course, those with whom we have a grievance, the petty tyrants, the nagging experts, the oil-and-water relationships that challenge us to be better versions of ourselves.
The key to mastering the ancient wisdom teachings is making an internal shift that transforms your intellectual knowledge into inner wisdom. And that comes from seeing the teacher in every moment … in every breath … in every conversation … in every interaction … and in every self-reflective moment.
It is this acknowledgment merged with a daily practice of stillness and silence that will awaken your inner student, your inner teacher and your inner healer.