I was a really shy kid. I was the one who walked into the room looking at her shoes because looking up was too scary. That was a long time ago.
Somewhere along the way, I did get brave enough to look up into the eyes and hearts of others. Eventually, I even learned to speak up. In time, I found that I love to teach.
My favorite subject to teach about is meditation. I think that is because meditation is such a powerful healing tool and our world is in need of healing.
I’m currently leading two meditation groups. Leading a group is different than sitting in meditation as in a way, you’re sitting for all of them. I find that since I started teaching again that my personal practice of meditation has grown. It’s almost like I must “work out” my meditation chops to be my best for the groups. In some ways, as a leader, you are responsible to energetically carry the group, to protect and hold the space and be intuitively connected to them all in hopes of sensing what they need to learn.
That job isn’t a task… it’s like a joy. It’s a privilege and a bit of a reward. See, I’ve studied meditation since I was 18. My hair is grey now so that was awhile ago. My practice hasn’t been consistent but meditation has always been a healer to me. I’ve studied with many teachers and I didn’t connect with all of them. The practice they presented may not have always suited me but while I was with them, I did it their way. I read books, drove to workshops, scraped together money here and there to pay for the opportunity to sit with this guru or that learned soul. I never resented it at all but there were times when I thought, “why am I doing this?”
Now that I’m back to teaching, I really know why I did all that. Honestly, I don’t teach much of all I’ve learned. It’s like all those classes, all those approaches, the painful and the joyful are all blended together in me. When I sit down in class, with all those hopeful and maybe nervous or even pained eyes gazing back at me…. I am grateful. See all those teachers live somewhere in me. Consciously, I might not be able to quote this one or that. I certainly can’t replicate all their practices. But I have their wisdom in bits and pieces. When I sit with a group, I prepare ahead so when I am with them, all I have to do is open my heart.
Classes and groups don’t always go as I plan. Sometimes I wonder as the students file out if I have disappointed them somehow. But I remember, that it’s not me…. but all those wonderful souls who shared their knowledge with me. All those wise and practiced beings couldn’t let my group down. At the next gathering, there they all are again and they bring friends and family.
I gaze at them. I sit. I breathe, I open my heart and we begin. I just hope to help them but it’s not in an anxious way. Because it’s not me there, speaking gently to them as we drift. It’s wisdom but from beyond me, from beyond our times, from well beyond the world that is described by the media. Loving spirits from time immemorial teach and will continue to teach thru so many of us who at some point managed to just sit, listen and learn.
It’s like some circle is complete. I know that is the gift.