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To teach, do not be a teacher.

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To teach, do not be a teacher.

As the path of Teacher training unfolds in front of me I came across this quote a friend sent me from Ken McLeod, Buddhist meditation teacher, writer and scholar on teaching.

To teach, do not be a teacher. A walker appears only when a person starts to walk: a teacher appears only when two people interact in a certain way. There is no ‘teacher’ as such, but when conditions are right, teaching (and learning) take place. The same, of course, is true for ‘student’. To see oneself as a teacher is to create an imbalance in the world.

A person may sit in a room and talk about the most profound understandings and insights but there is no teaching (let alone a teacher) if there is no one else present (or no one is listening).

One has only what one experiences. As time passes and one accumulates more and more experience, there is a greater and greater tendency to see the person in front of you in terms of that experience. Assumptions and projections proliferate, and the results are both inevitable and predictable.

In each encounter, put aside everything you think you know. It won’t go away: it will be there if and when you need it. But in forgetting about it, you create the conditions for seeing ‘the direction of the present’ and what is to unfold in each moment.

When people thank and praise you, what they say has nothing to do with you. This is just their way of expressing joy in their own experience. Remember this, too, when people blame or criticize you.

Rest deeply in your own experience: you will know, through your body and feelings, whether you responded to the direction of the present, or fell into projection and reaction.

Consider carefully the question “Why do I teach?” In the end, it must, in some way, be part of your path – that is, when you teach, you wake up in some way.

The Octopus Garden Teacher Training and Yoga Education program is a comprehensive 1000-hour curriculum divided into three segments: 200-hours, 300-hours, and 500-hours. Begin with the fundamentals of self-practice, expand your teaching skills in the second segment, and advance towards a yoga therapy specialization in the final component. This program is the most extensive and rigorous teacher training of its kind in Canada and exceeds the highest standards of the Yoga Alliance.

Want more information? We invite you to join us for an informal question and discussion period with Scott, Pat, and program alumni. Upcoming information sessions are scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at 1-2pm and Tuesday, July 19 at 7-8pm.

Stay tuned… next weeks postings will be letters from our teacher trainees about the program.

Thank you David Good and Ken McLeod.

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