Hello and welcome
I have the great honor of teaching.
I say it is an honor because I see teaching as a powerful responsibility that requires love, compassion, and care. Yes of course I need to also know the material, but more than that I need to be able to present it in a way that touches the hearts and minds of those I teach. This is more difficult than just presenting facts – it’s about presenting truth that can be incorporated into a world view and strengthen those who receive the information.
When you hear truth it has a quality of singing or ringing in key within your body, spirit and mind, all at once. Giving you a feeling of deja vu almost, a feeling of immediate comprehension and knowing.
This is very different then being compelled toward something from propaganda. Propaganda is seductive and alluring but it doesn’t ring true in your heart it has more of an emotional-visceral, reactive quality to it. Propaganda is something that lulls you into a sense of righteousness or patterned behavior. Advertising and politics are masters at using partial information or “spin” to guide you to take action that may not be inline with your heart/spirit connection but feels right. This feeling right is not the kind of truth that rings through to your heart/spirit.
Because of this peculiar experience of feeling right through propaganda it is important to be able to remove emotionality and righteousness from the conversation and work toward understanding, connecting and compassionate lovingkindness.
The art of seeing the world from a compassionate, neutral, and curious perspective encourages connecting with truth. It increases the kind of seeing of truth that is not righteousness but open-minded, strengthening and graceful.
The best way to encourage this is the use of optimism, gratitude, kindness, compassion, and nurturance of ideas and growth; flexible, present moment response creates the space to open to truth in various forms through sound, word, and information.
The more you have a practice of mindfulness and meditation, breathing and prayer, internal spirit-self-communication with a quality of waiting to understand before jumping to conclusions – open-mindedness – the more you will experience truth in all your interactions.
The best form of teaching is through modeling. Our brains are hard-wired to learn through modeling. Living in a way that is consistent with what you value can go far to teach.
Many roles incorporate guidance, direction, teaching and strength building – managers, parents, coaches – all have the foundation of teaching at their base. Highly effective coaches, managers, and parents share the skill of meeting their students where they are, defining their strength and limitations, building their strengths and transforming their limitations into strengths all with compassion and frankness.
To develop these skills try the following steps:
- Practice noticing what works.
- Practice looking for how you agree and connect with another.
- Practice flexibility and paradigm shifting, allow the other person’s meaning to connect with you even if how he says it is different from how you say it. Think here of the issue of recognizing that having different names for god isn’t having different gods. The connecting point is that both parties have a deep belief in god even if the story about how to be connected to god is different. Connecting to the elements that agree is the best starting point for understanding and teaching or relationship.
- Be grateful for what is great about what is happening rather than sorrowful or even sullen about what isn’t. Practice turning things on their head, thinking the opposite, and just saying thank you.
For example if you just lost your job – being grateful is to look for how that loss allows for something new and better to come into your life. Maybe the loss of the job allows you to learn something about yourself that is negative that you have to change so that you can be successful.
The attitude of gratitude is when you have to define what is great about something that feels negative or is a loss – simply looking from the perspective of asking the question how can this be good allows you to open your eyes to see the positive aspects.
Sometimes the attitude of gratitude is using your thinking skills to put the issue in perspective – for example if you are unhappy with a habit of your partner’s – consider what else you love about him so that you can view the frustrating habit within context. You may find it is less bothersome or you may be able to communicate about what you don’t like without making it into a big fight. More on how to develop the attitude of gratitude here, less attitude more gratitude, 9.2.11.
- Reframe the energy of your “student”. If he is willful guide his strength to help him be stronger internally rather than get into trouble. Of if he is rebellious support the innovation rather than reinforce the reactivity.
Relationships don’t require work because there is something wrong with them – relationships require work because we all live in our separate universes that are in constant need of interpretation and definition.
Effective teaching (managing, guiding, parenting, coaching) requires care and willingness and a compassionate practice of viewing, interpreting, connecting, and translating. Knowing yourself, allowing the dynamic process of evolution within yourself and the dynamic process of evolution in the other to be, and to be understood, and to be connected. That is the essence of effective teaching and ultimately the essence of loving, honest relationship.
Embrace your great honor of teaching with all the wonderful beings and “students” in your life. It will bring you immense joy and a real sense of love and connection. Start with yourself. More information about how to increase your internal connection can be found in an earlier article on this site, InstinctiveHealthMedicine, 8.28.10, Guiding ones beliefs and actions.
The divine spark of spirit lives in our truthful capacity to see and love one another. Namaste, is a Sanskrit word that means My soul (spirit light) within me bows to (sees or acknowledges) your soul (spirit light) within you. ( Yoga Journal description of Namaste, Aadil Palkhivala ) It is generally stated with one’s hands in a prayer position at one’s heart and a very slight bow of one’s head toward the other with one’s eyes closed. It has a deeply reverent quality.
It is a statement that is often shared at the end of a Yoga session. Yoga is seen as a medicinal and spiritual practice, not simply an exercise by those who have studied it and maintain it these thousands of years.
- Develop a practice that allows you to acknowledge in all your actions your connection to spirit and to integrate your spirt-mind-self. This will increase your opportunities for health and prosperity.
The practice of Yoga allows you to practice communicating with your self – mind, body, and spirit – through breath.
Any practice that is done with breath, compassion, lovingkindness, open – mindfulness, and meditation or prayer will increase your spirit-human connection so that you can align with your true self and create health and prosperity. Meditation on Lovingkindness
I believe that human beings are spirit-humans. The idea of managing your body and mind integrated with your spirit is what is your most primary work for health and prosperity because it aligns you with your true purpose and true self, not only individually but also as a community of human beings.
- Teach yourself the difference between how something feels right that is false and propaganda and how something feels right that is truth.
Your first step is to develop a practice of integrated internal communication with yourself and spirit – meditation, prayer, neutral observation, open-mindfulness, and breath are your best communication tools. To find out more check out this article En-Joy Now, 12.29.10.
See you tomorrow.
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March 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Hi Beth, I loved reading your post. In this day and time with such busy schedules and distractions I found that meditating has helped me to be more centered. Practicing compassion has come in very handy living in the burbs, especially because we were city dwellers before we made a drastic move to the south. I’m now reading a book by healer Ma Jaya called The 11 Karmic Spaces that has really helped me to calm down even more and be more compassionate. We really don’t realize how much karma we carry around thus keeping us bound by it. Really enjoyed your blog and I’m now following! Here’s a link to Ma Jaya’s blog so you can check it out. http://blog.kashiashram.org/