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teacher in a thousand ways

I am sure we have all heard the saying, “When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come!” There is much wisdom in this saying. Now, for the next few minutes lets suspend images of desks and rulers, blackboards and pens.

Life’s journey to be truly what it could or should be must be one of continually learning, growing, giving and dreaming. On that journey we are called to be a pilgrim. Walking with open mind, open heart and open hands to give and to receive. The tourist never sucks the marrow from life as does the pilgrim. The tourist keeps deep encounter at bay through a packed schedule, digital gadgets, photos of all and everything and a bucket list of coffee shops, wine bars and postcard sights – never truly going below or beyond to the sacred stories that lay within and around all beauty and difference. The pilgrim takes off their shoes, senses it is holy ground, opens eyes and hearts and encounters in ways that stretches their hearts to more.

On this journey we become the pupil of love and life. We are continually seeking to grow and learn, to stretch and dance. We are not seeking to do so in a stressful, tasks to be ticked off way – but rather as does the poet with pen in hand and open page before them, or the artist listening to the image within as they reach for brush and easel. The pupil longs to learn. The pupil of life loves learning. The pupil knows that they don’t know. The pupil seeks understanding. The pupil stands in awe. The pupil dances with mystery and wonder, awe and majesty. The pupil comes humbly, ears attune and mind and heart pliable and honouring. That pupil continually changes and dances into the dreamer that can and will make a difference in our world – leaving behind a trail of oneness, peace and understanding as their steps take them to their next village of learning.

Yes, the true pupil is always, continually ready to learn. They know their truth but hold it lightly. They know their fragility but also know its gift. They enter into life’s sacred moments as guest: open, honouring, seeking, bowing – embracing of difference, wonder and seeming complexity. The pupil wraps their journey in silence, with heart companions, simplicity and awe. All of this prepares their heart for the teacher – the heart that has gone before.

And the teacher will come to such a pupil. When the heart is ready. When the monkey mind is quiet. When the ego is hushed. When the need and urge to conquer or rule or dominate or win has been faced and gently placed to the side.

At that moment of openness, humility and wonder the teacher will come. The teacher in the form of leaf or flower, sunrise or sun-shower, pain or failure, loyalty or love. The teacher as child or giggle, hand held or hug, heavy heart or sparking eye, great king or simple pauper – the teacher will come. The teacher will come bearing insight and courage, sometimes through the veil of tears, sometimes in laughter that leads you to bend over – but the teacher will come. There will be a knock on the door of our hearts. Do we hear it? When we open, will we have the humility to see the teacher – hear their voice – respond to their whisper?

Yes, when the pupil is ready – the teacher will come. The heart of the pupil will know the teacher. The feet of the pupil will walk towards wisdom just as the ears of the pupil will listen for more. Sure there is a timing in all of this. One can’t force wisdom. One can’t click your fingers and acquire insight. One can’t manipulate your heart truth to fit into boxes made by politics or power. All one can do – and it is more than enough – is to walk with integrity, humility and courage – and trust – trust that in its season your heart and ears, mind and spirit – will learn from life what it needs to for THIS step on life’s journey.

The word education comes from the Latin, Educare – which means to draw out of, to liberate. When we pilgrim our lives we will grow daily into a joy and peace touched freedom! When we ready our hearts, the teacher will come – and we will learn what our hearts and our world so desperately long for.

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