I have been pondering the matter of teaching. That’s with respect to teaching about practice as well as about general life circumstance teaching. What I have come up with is that the best of teaching in the widest possible meaning, from formal talks to so called obsticles on the path, is the drawing out of that which is already there. But what makes that drawing out happen?
I was at a ceremony yesterday where each resident monk is asked, formally, if they will fulfill a certain monastic responsibility for this training term. Since I’m not a resident I don’t have a job so when my name came around I was Rev. Master Mugo; honored and esteemed guest. Honored and esteemed! Esteemed? To hold in high regard. I was touched. And it seems to me that holding oneself and all things in high esteem/regard, to elevate rather than pull down, is to draw out the very best teaching in all circumstances, including within oneself and others.
For some crazy reason grooming cats, dogs and horses comes to mind. One simple cannot groom an animal successfully if they are not esteemed. Held with proper regard. I’m not talking about being sickly sentimental and cooing to them. Far from it. More about…drawing out the best in them through ones own simple actions. Taking care, honoring them, and oneself, for being. Just that.
As is so often the case I don’t know where a post is going or what it is really going to be about. What point or teaching I am going to get to. It would seem however that the process of writing (as an example of an activity) draws out that which is within and it is so often a surprise as to what ones expression ends up being.
I guess that’s the beauty of it. One is teaching self and other, at the same time, while not trying to!