|Worry||Be at ease/be at peace|
At some point we have all been in the role of student. We have all had teachers from whom we have learned. Sometimes we have learned what the teacher wanted us to learn; other times we have learned lessons the teacher had no idea he was teaching. The teacher is a person or a situation, and we relate with them according to our temperament. Many times as students we at first say we want to learn but then move into the realm of the above foursquare. This foursquare has qualities that most people bring to the table in various situations. The problem is, most of us are not aware of our negative qualities and project those onto our teachers.
Only when we begin the process of truly listening do we see what our part is. We may have thought we were examining, but we were really contradicting. Because we believe we are just questioning, we cannot understand why the teacher is acting the way she is. We are unaware that the teacher is reacting to the way we are approaching the learning.
“We have been listening”, we say. To what are we listening? Such an important question; this is where discernment comes in. We tend to agree with the teacher when she says what we want to hear and disagree when she says something we do not like. Our selective hearing occurs because we believe the teacher is just another opinion and not the expert—that our read and the teacher’s are equal. Actually, no, they are not. Our limited truth and the understanding of the expert are not equal.
If the teacher is a good spiritual director, then the teacher’s read is actually our honest read, though we may not be willing to listen. So when the teacher yells, it is usually because we are refusing to listen to ourselves. The teacher has listened to us, but we will not agree because we are not listening to ourselves. We are listening to our narrative, our creation. We decide that the teacher is just giving us her opinion, but no. A good spiritual teacher is a mirror for us and is giving us our real answers. We are just rebelling against ourselves.
In this situation, the teacher is looking at a fight that can become not worth the effort. The student is actually sabotaging himself and the teacher finds herself fighting the student in order to fight for the student. In truth, the student is fighting himself in the form of the teacher, who is fighting for him. We convince ourselves we are speaking our truth when in fact we are running from the truth.
I read the other day on the internet the statement that our own experience will always be our truest and best teacher. This was a sad comment on the state we have come to spiritually. When we have an experience, is it not the discernment that will decide the lesson? And if we have no discernment, aren’t we then at odds with the spiritual teacher who sees clearly? We will then decide that our read on our experience is equal to if not better than the teacher’s read. So the child that is afraid of the bathwater learns that her read is true and the best teacher, and no one can change her read. We are in trouble as students if we rely on our read before we have acquired discernment. Her “truth “ is her interpretation of her experience, which is her best teacher? Danger.
Discernment does not just show up. We as students have to work to clean our vehicles so that we can see clearly. Until we see that the teacher wants the best for us, the teacher wants Love for us, we will be fighting against what is really healthy for us. Working with the above foursquare will help us move toward the discernment we need. Then we will actually agree with the teacher and the teacher will be in harmony with us. Then we will no longer fight ourselves.
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