Dear Pogue,

In the last letter I said that “God breaks out everywhere”. Well, continuing the theme I would like to add God speaks. In fact God speaks a lot. God is not a silent or distant god. You might want to start looking around corners, just in case.

I remember listening to a spiritual leader some years ago and he described how he and his fellow leaders had petitioned God over a period for an answer. Nothing had happened.Then, one morning, with time run out, he had to act as if he knew the answer. To his amazement, there it was. Some might say he got lucky but, whatever. Later that day he had a vision where he saw honey pouring from the sky onto people (you and I, we do believe in dreams and visions, don’t we?). Some were joyful and delighting in the experience and others were annoyed and trying to get away. Then, he said, God told him: “This is my outpouring. For some it is a delight and for others a nuisance. I am always pouring it out. I never cease, so if you are not hearing me the problem isn’t on my end”.

The point is God, or Source or whatever term you use to refer to ultimate existence, is continually communicating with us. You don’t hear? The problem isn’t at God’s end. Just think of a radio that’s poorly tuned.

So God speaks and does so in innumerable ways which brings me to the point of the letter. There’s a saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will come”. I never really gave this much thought considering it something academic. Like a classroom environment. I now know otherwise. The teacher can spring from anywhere and is as various and limitless as God herself. The teacher can be a simple quote noted at the right time, a book, an experience, an actual teacher and so on. The teaching may be verbal, visual, experiential or God may even speak directly (wouldn’t that be a thing!)

Recently my teachers have been people, not academics coming with a plan or a dialogue. No, people coming and pressing my buttons just by being who they are and doing what they do. I didn’t see these people coming so was not prepared. And the lessons were not pleasant ones because my eyes were opened to who I am capable of being. I like to think of myself as a calm, laid back, kind person and now I have discovered I can become cold and judgemental, even critical.

Particularly challenging is the desire to be acknowledged as right especially when I knew I was in fact correct. But even as I write this I must remind myself that all truth is subjective and…it’s far more important to live in love than insist on my truth. That is…you can be totally right and still be wrong.

Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.

Dalai Lamar

There are many sayings about avoiding people who cause you to lose your peace and my first action is usually to remove myself from the company of the person who brings disquiet if I can. On one of the occasions I am recounting I found myself sitting on the beach for 3 hours, meditating, waiting for some serenity to return and the lesson to be heeded (and yes I admit, it doesn’t take much to send me to the beach as you know).

The lesson?

Well if I am to progress on the spiritual journey, if enlightenment is to come, then the journey is as much within as it is without. Yes I can read and listen, walk in nature, do kind acts and strive to tread lightly in the world but there remains the journey within to overcome the things that have been accumulated over the years.

Nothings ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know

Pema Chodron

I draw some small comfort from the knowledge that we all have this accumulated baggage in varying amounts and the more we can remove the lighter our footstep as we travel. Knowing I am not alone brings this small comfort as I know I should not be judged.

He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.

Jesus: John 8.7

However, I will be judged because so few look within. As I have discovered, it’s easier to look out than within. But let us not fret about this. The wonder is that God spoke and more amazing, I heard, I think. That through my realising I still had a distance to go, that I was not who I would have liked to think I am, a lesson had been communicated. And I got to spend more time on the beach which is always a blessing. Can you think of a better classroom?

Yours without judgement


2 thoughts on “Teachers

  1. I absolutely LOVE this post! There is always Presence…. the answer lies in whether we choose to be present for it or not.
    Focusing inwardly can hurt, a lot of the time. It takes great courage and strength to admit that we have shortcomings that need changing. But admitting it is where we find our start. Plenty of small battles take place within me a lot of the time… but I am determined to win the war.
    It is so true that we often find ourselves poorly tuned to the Voice that can encourage, motivate and uplift us. We’re also too often poorly tuned in to the little things that can bring great joy.
    This post is definitely revisit-able material 😉


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