This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Influence of a Teacher

I read the book Halfway Up The Mountain:  The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment soon after it was published in 1999.  At the time I was training in breathwork, bio-energy and hatha yoga.  I recommend the book for anyone who leads a form of meditation, healing or inquiry.  On the flip side, the insights contained in the book are helpful for the student as well so a misguided teaching or incompatible path can be identified before stumbling blocks enter for the student.

It is all too easy for many seekers to turn power over to a teacher as much as it is all too easy for a teacher to absorb the power.  Meditation assists in keeping things neutral so to speak but things can get tricky, especially when unresolved emotional business makes an entrance.  This can create a "blip" on the integrity scale.  Even values shine through.  As I write this post there is the awareness of my innate tendency to be independent, independence being something instilled in childhood, something I value and strive for. [Dare I say to the extent of cynical mistrust of authority?]  

Every teacher, every one I've worked with anyway, brings through a bit of their personality and a bit imprints on what is being taught.  This is a beautiful thing of course!!!  AND... remember this effect.  Even the most in-the-now leader is often presenting how the process works for him/her.  Angela Farmer comes to mind.  I appreciate how she says that's what she does, stating she no longer considers herself a yoga teach per se.

One of my favorite ways to lead the yoga and meditation experience is to schedule the mysore/individual sessions where we come together in silence and each have our own practice.  To me it is a beautiful middle ground of group support and honoring intuition.  Of course instruction has its place and I enjoy it too.  Just like tennis, golf or surfing, there's a time to take lessons from an instructor* and a time to simply play and grow. There is no substitute for personal practice.  

* In-person or through books or videos, etc.

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