Yesterday was Guru Purnima, a time to honour our teachers, in their various forms. I spent some time during the day reflecting on the most obvious teachers in my life and the many ways they help me, and my students too, with some appreciation now of how knowledge and understanding is transmitted by each of us in turn. I made sure to talk to both my mum and my dad, the original teachers in my life. And I spent some time contemplating the lessons that life throws at us, whether we feel ready for them or not. A bit gritty, this one, since life is rarely a bowl of cherries, but there’s also much to be grateful for too, so all in all my contemplation didn’t get too heavy.
I also reckoned that my teachers would encourage me to stop thinking so much and get on with my practice too: so I went to yoga class followed by a rather hefty amount of Sanskrit study. I also chanted the guru mantra for a while. It fascinates me endlessly, thinking about life-cycles and how everything has its season and its place. It makes me feel both very small and humble, yet capable of greatness and part of something bigger. Pretty intense chanting!!
And today I had coffee with a yoga friend and out of the blue she made some comment about coming to appreciate that the real teacher really is the one within, which was nicely, coincidentally, on topic. My thinking about teachers is that they help us remember what we already know. I often have this feeling: that I’ve forgotten or lost my way, or that my inner sense is obscured by all the day-to-day rubbish that accumulates in life, that my still point is knocked off balance by too much rushing around. I guess the ‘remover of darkness’ meaning contains all that.
All the quiet yogic patience and love I experience now seems far distant from teachers earlier in my life who were more demanding and castigatory. Perhaps there’s a bigger lesson there that I’m not seeing yet. Many things remain obscure. And I’ll have to be OK with that.
The more I feel,
the less I know.
The less I know,
the more I trust.
The more I trust,
the less I fear.
The less I fear,
the more I am.