Our Greatest Teachers

Posted on May 2, 2018


“Our teachers — as much as we love our embodied teachers that come in flesh and bone and sit on cushionsAnything-which-is-troubling-you-anything-which-is — are really the people, the situations that we confront moment to moment, day to day, month to month, year to year, that incite a sense of discomfort, dis-ease, awkwardness in us. 

And rather that seeing those moments as threats to who we are, if we could reorient, if we could center in our relationship to ourselves as evolving, fluid, ever-expansive creatures whose role is to be in observation of: What is that? What has that inspired? What has that called forth in me, that discomfort that is speaking to something that feels solid and fixed and is now challenged in

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” its location? — if we could do that, if we could live our lives in a way in which we understand that our deepest learning, our deepest capacity for growth comes not from walling ourselves off from the things that make us feel a sense of threat or discomfort or out of alignment or out of sorts, but rather, figuring out what is speaking to us when we feel those things, and what do we have to learn from that teacher that is embodied in that situation, that moment — not so that we become something different than who we are, but that we’re evolving into a greater and greater

every moment a teachersense of what it means to be fully human, to be radically, completely in the truth of the human experience and all of its complexities

“I think that if we can move our work, whatever work we’re up to, whatever kind of desire that we have for our own development in life, to be willing to face discomfort and receive it as opportunity for growth and expansion and a commentary about what is now more available to us, rather than what it is that is limiting us and taking something away from us, that we will — in no

time at all, we will be a society that enhances the lives of all our species. We will be in a society that thrives and knows that the planet must thrive with us. We will be in a society that knows that no one that is suffering serves the greater community, and that no one that is suffering is not an indicator of the ways in which the society itself is suffering.”

On Being with Krista Tippett and angel Kyodo williams.   https://onbeing.org/programs/the-world-is-our-field-of-practice-apr2018/

Some of the deepest lessons in life, I’ve learned from the most unexpected places.

Wisdom for life comes from life; if we live it with our eyes wide open.

Could wisdom come from the youth with a disability so severe that he cannot speak?

Could wisdom come from the homeless man on the corner?

Could wisdom come from a child?

Could wisdom come from an infant gasping for its first breath?

Could wisdom come from an elder taking her last breath?

Could some of the greatest and deepest wisdom come from the greatest and deepest pain?

Could wisdom come from the death of a friend?

Could wisdom come from imprisonment?

Is it possible that wisdom could come from divorce?

Is it possible that wisdom could come from a wheelchair?




What is MY learning ability?

What is MY learning disability?

Are we living with our eyes wide open?

Do we slow down enough to see?

Do we stop long enough to think?

Are we quiet enough to hear?

Are we living in the “now”?

Because “now” and right “here” is where wisdom is. We learn wisdom from life.

Wisdom cries out from the mountains and the valleys, from the gutter and the streets, from the paths we trod, from the “gateways of the city” (Prov. 8:3).

“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls” (Lyrics:  Sounds of Silence)

Look everywhere

Listen to all

Learn from all

Don’t miss it!

Male, female, slave, or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see (Lyrics: Bruce Cockburn, Maybe the Poet)