Blog # 4 When a student irritates me. October 16, 2018
What is my role as a spiritual teacher? My role is to see the student as my own Self. I am to create a rapport with them that makes them feel free to express. I am to encourage them to develop their best qualities and to challenge their suppressed qualities. I am also to bring light to the patterns that are creating difficulty for them and to suggest an alternative healthy practice to grow into.
A student is a reflection of myself. I feel, know and experience them as my self. I love them from the deepest place. I love my student because they have decided to play with me, to walk this path with me for this period of time. I am honored they chose to work with me and to open themselves under my guidance. I am very honored because it is a big decision to choose to study under anyone when trust is a big factor to consider. My challenge is, will I fulfill their expectations for spiritual growth with out harming them? Will they gain the skills they need at the end of their training in order to contribute to the world in a better way?
Every year now for more than twelve years, I train a group of yoga teachers or therapy workers. Each person comes with some past trauma, expectations, fears, survival patterns, core beliefs, talents, skills, hopes and abilities. And they are totally perfect as they are. There is nothing they need to fix or improve in themselves. They are the perfect reflection of the Divine. They are my own Self!
But what happens when a student irritates me?
They are a perfect reflection of my Self. There is nothing they need to fix for me because they are ‘perfect’. But now they irritate me. What changed in me? I am also ‘perfect’ in the same way that they are perfect. So what needs to be understood?
‘They are perfect’ means I accept who they are and how they show up in this moment. But now they irritate me. Hmmm. I now have to consider two things before I take action.
- Why don’t I see them as perfect now? I am not accepting them as they are? My ego must see something that is threatened by and wants to change something in them?
- My sattwic sensitivities and knowledge from my years of teaching are picking up something that would be helpful to them if I address it with them? And it’s not an irritation as much as it is a sensitivity?
My Observer is very useful here. I need to take time to watch when and how I react inside when I feel triggered by them. Taking the time to study my reactions create a space for clarity and discernment to unfold. The purpose of having them as a reflection for me in my spiritual growth is to purify my ego limitations. I must observe and see an opportunity for my growth.
Then, after much observing and assessing of my own ego ways, I can open to the next important factor which is to address something they need to know for their benefit if it is needed.
Students grow through love and acceptance.They grow through example. When I offer my ego limitations up to the Divine who is my highest teacher, then the student will have direct access to the Divine’s teachings. When the Divine becomes my students’ teacher, I have done my job well!
It’s fascinating to watch how those irritations now seem to disappear in the arms and love of the Divine!!!!!!