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I humbly admit that I need a surplus of meditation.
Lately, after my father’s death and living close to my mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, I see some of my family’s negative habits more clearly.
At this moment I only recognize the honesty, the tenacity, the attitude towards others (but the latter was perhaps too much).
Many others have been good teachers, including a good priest, who is a chaplain in a prison, not far from me. He is a man, before he is a priest. He knows how to wear other people’s shoes.
Many have been, and many still are. For all I am deeply grateful. Dear ones who conveyed what they lived, my professional teacher who enthusiastically inspired many people; my teacher in arts at school who just loved what he was doing, passing on this love for being creative with colors, pencil, clay and other materials; my boss who wholeheartedly did his best to help me on; some books, music, singing, you dear friends here, my sister who always is there for friends and family… and many people where i even may not know the name, kind and friendly people who were there like a sparkling star with their smile, their authenticity, their joy and their love. But the deepest is His Love, holy, rarely able to open up to, deeply touching.
What comes to mind is “Life”, through many ups and downs I just learn to figure it out!
I also believe that people come into your life and some are natural teachers. My parents of course were
my first teachers. I was also very fond of my 4th grade teacher who taught us some Spanish music and culture.
I also loved learning languages when I was younger thus my love for travel was always my future dream.
I can relate to your post and Barb’s too – one of my favorite teacher’s was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Ruple (later Sharyn McGuigan). We had kept in touch for awhile, then not-last email was 11.22.2011, then I looked her up and saw she had passed March 25, 2018.
The meditation method of subtracting the false self has been an important teacher. My mediation teacher, Michael, has taught me this meditation method and so many other things! He is an amazing person and truly gives everything he has with all his heart. It’s been over two years that I have been practicing and he has been instrumental in helping learn how to let go of things that I never believed possible. The helpers or guides in this meditation are truly amazing people who give their whole lives to teach us and show us how to uncover truth within by using the method of subtracting our false minds. Thank you so much Michael for being here and basically holding my hand through some very difficult times when I thought I wanted to give up!
I think that the people I met and developed friendships with all proved to be teachers of some type during different times in my life. Of course; teachers in school…a few were very special… Now; alot of what I learn comes from books…what a comfort!
Life has been an important teacher, of course. And I always, always mention how much I learned from my mother that shows up in who I am today and how I treat others. My dad was quieter and I’m sure I took lessons from him too, especially the importance of being reliable, but it’s Mom I think of first. Kindness, empathy, generosity, service, welcoming people into my home, recognizing my good fortune and applying it to improve the lives of others, staying steady in a crisis so I can do what needs to be done–thanks, Mom.
After reading the reflections of others I came back to add one specific teacher: Mrs. Piller, Tammany Elementary School, sixth grade. She was always willing to answer a sincere question, including discussions of race and opportunity that made her a very progressive influence on me in 1973 or thereabouts. Over the years I often thought I should track down an address and send her a letter telling her that. I just looked her up and found that she died in November 2021. I wish I had sent that letter.
Any situation I face and any person who crosses my path is my teacher. Many times the lesson helps me gain self-awareness and grow. Other times the lesson teaches me what is not healthy and helpful to my growth.
As for important teachers that stand out, I would start with my kindergarten teacher. She was so loving, so present to all of her students. I am 81 years old and thinking of her still warms my heart.
I call an Episcopal priest who entered my life in my mid-30s my Moses. He was an important teacher. He was truly a man of God who understood that we all have to write our own Bible. He helped me identify the difference between the God church dogma presented to me and the God of my own understanding and experience. As Rumi taught me in his writings, “Recognize that unlearning is the highest form of learning.” In my case, there’s been a lot of unlearning to do!
As for what situations have been important teachers in my life. Many situations have taught me there is a big difference between submission and surrender.
Thankfully surrender is always a choice. Surrender says life is trustworthy and so am I. It does not manipulate, it processes. It lets go.
Submission craves control. It says “okay, I’ll submit for the day” but refuses to let go. It ruminates depletes my energy and ties me to the past or the future robbing me of the strength that is only available in present moment.
The biggest thing I have learned from my mentors and my experience is that life is not an evacuation route. I am not here to please a higher power so I can be rewarded in the afterlife.
My mantra is best expressed in John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” It is such a powerful expression of the importance of NOW and the wish that the world would live as one. The only thing I know for sure is that what I do NOW matters for those who came before me and those who will come after me. They are all my ancestors and my descendants. My species has an obligation to all of Creation.
Beautifully said, Carol.
What a beautiful and meaningful post, Carol. Thank you!
I have gathered information and
knowledge from those around me.
Taking bits and pieces. Reading a fair
amount. Traditional education didn’t
work for me. But I did have two teachers
in junior high that had an impact on me.
One was my photography teacher, who
taught me about composition, juxtaposition,
contrast, and having an aesthetic. Along with
the fact that he was always interested in
what we were doing. The other was my
history teacher. I didn’t know this at the
time, but he taught us to think critically.
Quite subversive, if you think about it.
As for circumstances, crisis has really been
the thing that pushed me forward.
Through all of the turmoil, I seem to come
out with a little more perspective.
I think what’s important for me, is to
maintain my beginners mind. It’s not easy.
My ego constantly gets in the way.
Thank you Charlie.
Life — also known as the school of hard knocks — has seasoned me beyond anything I could’ve learned from a person or a book.
I think everyone we encounter or meet in life can be a teacher in some shape or form. There are things I admire in almost everyone I know.
Many, from school, work, family, friends, to people on this site.
Wishing everyone a peaceful, relaxing Sunday.
I seemed to have been blessed with teachers throughout my life that appear just when they are needed. They range from family and friends, authors and artists, children and random folks at stores and on the streets. I am amazed if I am aware.
In her reflection below, Carla uses a powerful image~~
“Grace and God’s Love ….became a gossamer Thread that led me through that labyrinth.” Giving Carla credit, I would like to borrow this image as my own Teacher in life, manifested in so many ways. Thank you, Carla.
The challenges in my life, whether chosen or given, have always been my best teachers in life. The learning often shows itself in reflection.
Farming, youthful clients, Ministry, and raising our children, have all in their own way been important teachers in my life.
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