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December 31, 2015

Haven’t You Noticed? All Your Teachers are a Mess.

Flickr/Caleb Roenigk

I don’t know if I will ever get accustomed to the idea of calling myself a teacher.

I seem too young, too inexperienced and somehow not ready for the job.

But what I do have going for me is that I am a mess, and this seems a very important component of being a spiritual teacher in any form.

Haven’t you noticed that your meditation teachers, yoga teachers, tai chi teachers and other types of spiritual teachers seem kind of neurotic?

When you think about this it actually makes a lot of sense.

All you have to do is wonder why people come to these practices for healing in the first place, to understand that being a mess is a prerequisite to being in a spiritual teaching role. This is because when we feel broken, we look for guidance and something that will help us get through this human life.

And it is only through this type of searching that we learn.

And it is only through learning that one day we will be ready to teach.

This has definitely been the case for me.

I remember standing at my kitchen sink, gripping the sides of the counter for dear life, sinking under the weight of the responsibility for two young children and all the mortgages, jobs and human relationships that come with being a parent of young kids and being sure I wasn’t going to make. I felt like I couldn’t cope.

I felt like I couldn’t possibly make it through another day.

That is when I signed up for my first meditation retreat.

I wanted to calm down enough that I wouldn’t yell at my kids throughout the day while gripping the kitchen sink so hard my knuckles turned white, in an attempt to make my world or at least myself disappear.

Over the years, my personal training in meditation and meditation instruction has grown into a teaching role.

But this is not because I am perfect or know everything (just those words alone make me want to cackle in uncontrollable laughter).

Instead, it is because I am a mess that I teach, and my guess is your teachers are a mess, too. They are neurotic, flawed and stumbling their way through this human journey exactly as you are.

They are probably great teachers. Their messiness makes them relateable, because they understand how nutty the human journey is; through their own efforts to untangle the knots of their consciousness they have developed tools they’ve learned along the way.

And these teachers of yours are generous enough to be willing to take these tools and turn them into spoken and written words to convey the healing journey in understandable terms and concepts in an attempt to help others such as yourself suffer less.

Our teachers are generous, compassionate and willing to go out on a limb as they try to share what has helped them, so that they can help others.

But still our teachers are humanly flawed, like the other seven billion humans on this planet, and for that we should be grateful, because this is what has made them great teachers in the first place.

~

Relephant Read:

I Smoke, and I am your Yoga Teacher.

~

Author: Ruth Lera

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Caleb Roenigk/Flickr // danaboo/Flickr

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