“Here came the thought that passes beyond Thought,
Here the still Voice which our listening cannot hear,
The Knowledge by which the knower is the known,
The Love in which Beloved and Lover are one.”
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri; The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds; The Kingdoms of the Greater Knowledge
Right where we are, in this moment, there is possibility for realization. As educators, we practice in a ground so rich with possibility, so full of promise and hope, that it can be nearly overwhelming. What do we do next? What do we offer? We want to awaken the hearts and minds of our students, our colleagues, and continue in our own process of realization and awakening, and yet there is somewhere in the back of our minds, somewhere the recognition that we are indeed hoping to teach the unteachable. And we also know that there is some teaching practice, some upaya, that will serve the place where we find ourselves.
Knowing Our Selves
Before we can reach our highest potential as educators, as teachers, we need to come to know ourselves as fully and deeply as possible. We need to recognize our unique gifts and talents, and also come to understand our own shadow selves. As educators, we show up completely as ourselves and will find again and again that our practice of teaching is really one of teaching oneself. The more we can understand the depths and heights of the Self, and the more we can deepen our own personal practices, the more fully we can step into the possibilities of our roles as educators.
Creating Space / Holding Space
In a learning space, one of the most significant roles we can play as teachers is that of creating space for insight, for awareness and for creativity. When we are fully present and teaching from a space that is grounded and centered, we can give our attention to all the subtle acts and energy that create space and hold space for learning and realization. The ways we receive questions, the ways we encourage and offer inquiry, the seeds we plant that might lead to discovery, the tools we offer for creative invention, and the high expectations we hold for what can be accomplished – all of these support a space where meaningful learning may emerge. Our own enthusiasm and energy, our skill and discipline, are also present as sources of inspiration, examples of engagement. Whatever the field of study or practice, when we approach it with care and genuine interest, it becomes a true reflection of the realms of understanding beauty in the universe.