Teacher and student

I am a meditator and a mediator: peace in, peace out!  I teach conflict resolution in a university masters program, and I also have a consultancy business in creative conflict engagement and education.  I help people to respond to situations of conflict in a constructive and creative way.  I believe that conflict can be an important catalyst for change and development, so long as it is managed appropriately.

I recently spent four months living in a Buddhist temple, meditating, learning and working on a youth peace project.  Now I’m back in the real world, where it’s much more difficult to be good, and to stay in the present moment.  With ‘right determination’ and support from my kalyanamitra community, I intend to continue to develop ‘yoniso manasikara’.  I learnt this Pali term during my dhamma lessons, and I really connected with the concept.  It means appropriate attention, or wise reflection; however, the interpretation I like the most is ‘the ability to be a good teacher to oneself’.


One response to “Teacher and student

  1. At the beginning of the year I had a long detailed dream. I’ll spare you the length and offer you the detail; because it has become one of Those dreams. A lingerer, a slow releaser, big message giver and it fits with the theme/motive for your new blog, which I like BTW (always nice to check in with your considerations and happenings).

    Here’s the short version.
    I was in italy, a common setting for my dreams, in a yoga studio. Class was soon to begin. The studio was old, large and beautiful. I was nervous. I was there alone. I was early. The teacher arrived and we got into a yoga-style teacher-student chat. He spoke english with a thick italian accent. He asked me who my teacher was. I replied (with my real life truth) that I don’t have a teacher; I’m my teacher. I spoke with words bathed in a wee stroke of glum because I yearn for a good teacher. He didn’t seem to catch my glum. Instead he commented in a throw-away way saying Well then only you will know if you are a good student or not.

    Truly, I’ve never doubted my capacity to continue to teach myself, guide myself towards what the practice has for me. I do long for a teacher, a true teacher, but until that dream I had not ever looked at myself as a student through my self-teacher eyes.

    This dream has a second part with a message that is as bone touching but for now life is still mostly determining the lesson from the first half of the dream.

    It’s forced me to look inward as a kind teacher would. It’s making me look honestly at my faults/ingrained habits (not JUST in yoga, in life). I haven’t been the best student.

    I could go on an on and on and on but I’ve realised that going on and on and on is not going to get me to actually realise (in the buddhist sense of moving beyond a thought and meeting the thought with it’s action) my potential/nature.

    The dream opened something that has actually been quite painful … but it is right.

    So, self as teacher WITH a good student, right student, true student … respectful student. This students makes for a better teacher, and vice-versa.

    This notion has FAR reaching implications on how I parent, love and be. Oi, it’s big stuff and I know I barely even have a sniff of what it’s about.

    My resolution: back to the mat. Back to the practice ~ to become a better listener.


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