Teaching Others Comes From Our Own Direct Experience
Teaching other people a spiritual practice is a wonderful tool to share compassion and wisdom around the world. But how do we teach and where do these teachings come from? The most important element of teaching a spiritual practice is the teacher’s own direct experience of the spiritual practices he or she is teaching. This direct experience creates openness in their heart-mind through which the energy starts to flow more freely through their being. The more open their heart-mind becomes, the more this openness starts to emanate from their whole being. It might even become so open that the compassionate energy from the teacher’s heart-mind emanates throughout the whole meditation room. And this is the space where the real teachings come from.
The student now can entrain, or fall into rhythm with, the compassionate expanded luminous energy that comes from the teacher’s own direct experience of their true identity. Through this entrainment the students, if they are ready and open, can gain a direct experience of their own true identity. This direct experience cannot be expressed intellectually; we cannot point out to someone what is indescribable: their true identity. Yet the teacher can facilitate the space in which the student can rediscover this in a direct experience, without words or symbolic language.
However this can only start to happen if the teacher herself has a direct experience of her own luminous nature. Through dedicated meditation practices over time, the teacher has taken away the lampshades of worry, fear, anger, and attachments and therefore her light emanates all around her. Facilitating this kind of experience will take the students to a much deeper level than just the intellectual understanding. Intellectually we can understand how to cook a wonderful meal, but it is only after we have the direct experience of cooking and eating it, that it will become real. If the teacher is just repeating instructions on certain meditation practices which he learned, but only applied basically in his own life without deep and consistent practice, then he is just repeating what he has heard or read. This kind of teaching likely will not facilitate a direct experience of entrainment within the students.
Nowadays some teachers use words like oneness and emptiness, but these are just words. Oneness and emptiness only become alive when the teacher has had numerous direct experiences of this state of oneness and emptiness. Just intellectualizing is not enough; it needs to become a direct experience. A real spiritual teacher therefore will teach from her own direct experience so that her teachings will become alive with vibrant compassionate luminosity. Teachings like these will help students draw vibrancy, luminosity, wisdom and compassion into their own heart-mind so that they, in turn, can radiate these qualities out to others, and to the world.Photo by Eutah Mizushima
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