On the bizness of “teaching” encouragement, support, and the ways in which we wander and flow…

Sept. 1, 2010,

Good morning all,

I’m sending out perhaps what some of you may feel is stranger than the usual email and posting. It’s kind of a letter to my “dear-self”, that my dear-self felt I should share. And so, up front I’ll tell you that this one truly is, and is truly not meant to be too personal or too strange, yet it just may be.

I’m actually happy to keep finding myself in a place and bumping into an experience that one of my dearheart friends and teachers mused on, and seemed amused with, and that is contained here as a paradoxcal teaching….Perhaps even a paradox of a paradox. Or, perhaps bit of a serendipity paradox.

After a weekend of wildness, between our fundraiser with Porterhouse/Microbrew; and the multiple opportunities to meet/learn from visiting Permaculturists Peter Bane and Keith Johnson, a Permaculture Design consultation/teaching/amazing meal at Little Artshram, and then an evening of discussion in circle with some of the Tc Transition Towners considering and configuring how to share our knowledge of the stormy crises of living/healing in a post-oil/drastically changed economy world…..

. ….after all of that on Monday morning……my friends Steve and Brooke and I drank a good cup of coffee at Frenchie’s Famous, down the street from my O’k Studio and had a post-wild-weekend discussion.

For me our friendly discussion seemed to circulate around the theme of leadership and teaching, and how we find ourselves in those places, sometimes struggling, sometimes not, wanting to work from our heart, sincerely, and, finding ourselves regardless “where” we land or call home, in this search/find, student/teacher place. At some point, I found myself giving Steve advice and council, and when it was happening I noticed that I felt in my heart compelled to do this. My heart was feeling, in those moments, vibrant and open and sincere. Steve, in his own right and with many years of experience is a teacher/professor in a University setting, listened, observed and received. Likewise, I felt this give and take with Brooke. We talked about how fear plants itself within us, and how our dual work is always finding that key or “peak” moment of letting go…..in order to actually accomplish the “work” we believe we are setting out to do.

As my day unwound, and I parted ways with Brooke and Steve, I felt a bit like I was skimming just above the ground, and my energy was riding along-side of the 100 degree weather and high humidity so I went across the street to the beach and sunk myself into the lovely water in Grand Traverse Bay/Lake Michigan.

This is when, with the help of the water/the sound of the waves, I actually opened my awareness up, and, the serendipity/paradoxical occurrences continued. And just to simplify, and not keep this true storytelling going on and on, I’ll just list them:

….in the book I was reading, I turned to the marked page to begin and the character, a young woman was speaking to herself, in her mind: “I will never hear my voice twice in the same place. I am the ever-moving River, flowing. If I want to learn, I must teach me of me. If i try to hold me, I burst over every dam and destroy. But I can guide my own flow. SO what can I, my Self, discover of this River that I am, that carries along every bit of beauty and filth that falls into it, every fallen leaf and dead bug?”.

…when I gathered myself and my beach paraphernalia, and picked up my earrings—a special gift from a teacher friend, that I miss deeply, I heard his voice distinctly and clearly calling my name.

….just before tucking myself in bed, to get my much needed beauty sleep, I checked email and facebook for any fast-breaking end of the day news and found two items: an article and an invitation to join in on a webinar (tonight @ 7 pm) which I share both with you now,

because all of this connects to all of that;

I believe in your good work, heart and intentions;

and serendipity paradoxes abound.

with love, appreciation and respect, for you in any role,

`penny

Here’s the webinar information:



The Seat of the Teacher, with Dave Jacke

go to: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153604204651114&ref=mf

September 1, Wed. 7-8:30 PM EDT

To live, we must all learn: the Teacher lives inside each of us. Yet, when we choose to sit in the Seat of the Teacher, we take on a sacred trust that opens us to numerous possibilities, responsibilities, and challenges. Let’s explore these together



And, an article on the same subject:

The Seat of the Teacher

Written on Thursday, 01 July 2010. Posted in teaching WISDOM FLOW YOGA….

An interesting yogic paradox is that we can’t teach anyone anything yet we all seek guidance; we want to learn and are attracted to experts. But what is an expert? We usually think of an expert as someone who is experiencing success based on the mastery and intelligent application of a field of knowledge. We are attracted to their success, we want some it for ourselves and so we hang around them and try to get a good look at what their secrets are. In the yogic tradition, this iscalled “the guru effect”. One of the definitions of guru is “weighty one”. This doesn’t mean the guru is chubby. Rather, it means s/he has a gravitational pull that is so strong; people tend to orbit around them.

We can all think of people who have been our teachers without even knowing they are. We are watching them, asking questions about them, they have something that looks good to us and we want to know more about it. This is the guru effect and essentially the seat of the yoga teacher.

The effectiveness of a yoga teacher rests in her ability to live as a shining example of vibrant body, sharp mind and compassionate heart. She also must be willing to have those who are orbiting around her, examine her closely. Yoga students will want to know all about their teacher. What does she wear, eat, and read. How does she spend her time? What is she like as a mother, lover, and friend? How does she handle life’s challenges? Does she ever fall apart or get mean? A teacher must be willing to receive this close examination. It is what keeps us present and committed to the philosophy we teach. In this sense, the students become our teachers by quietly demanding that we prove the effectiveness of our teachings.

If we are not living with devotion to the yamas and niyamas, our teaching will not be powerful or transformative. We can only truly teach what we are living fully. This is the seat of the teacher.

Another humble aspect of the teacher’s seat is that we never teach a student something they don’t already know. It is our example that awakens something that is already within them. And it is their own inner awakening that directs and drives their studentship. Our living example can continue to be a strong beacon, but we are not the cause of their growth.

From this humble vantage point the yoga teacher can see that she will always be a student and her students will always be her teachers.