Spiritual Development

Page 80

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By CinnamonMoon

Well, I can only speak from my own personal experience here, but as a student I've had many
teachers so I want to address the issue of finding one. So many beginning seekers are asking:
"where do I find a Teacher?" and they get the pat answer: "When the Student is ready the
Teacher will appear". While that's true, at that point in their exploration it becomes a very vague
answer and can be frustrating. While I use it myself from time to time, I always add my own
explanation with it.

It is my opinion that as a student seeks knowledge their curiosity leads them. This stems from the
inner spirit's guidance and striving to breakthrough to the conscious mind and make the
connection. Our inner spirit stirs us to action through intuition, through sensations, and through
impressions as well as curiosities that are fed...those deep yearnings to know more. As we begin
our search we explore many paths and really tend to struggle to find one that is right for us. In
the process we come across others doing the same and a network of "friendships" tends to
develop. In that network we end up meeting others through introductions, people steering us in
the right directions here and there, through message boards, internet sites, all sorts of places. If
we hit a dead end we turn and go another way. So as we wander the many paths available to us
we begin to make "connections" and sooner or later we meet others with more experience and
wisdom to share.

I want to stress to the new seekers that there is never just "One Teacher" that will tell you
everything you need to know. We have many teachers throughout our lives and we experience
them in many ways on a variety of levels. Everyone we meet has something to share, some bit of
wisdom to offer, and likewise, we have something to gift them with. We may not always
recognize it but it's there. Now some teachers are obviously in the physical world, people like
you and I, who can help us understand an issue, process, technique, fundamentals, etc. I know
this as a fact and I'll pick a mind every chance I get walking away with at the very least a new
perspective, if not more. Other teachers, the Great Teachers, come to us in very special ways
under very special circumstances be they on the physical or spiritual levels. I personally believe
the Greatest Teachers are not of this world, but of the spiritual realms and have found this to be
true for me again and again as I have explored things. So when I teach, I teach my students to
find their spiritual teachers, Guides, and Allies. They lead them into the deeper studies and
experiences and more or less take over. I will introduce my students to 7 different Guides
(minimum), and believe me they have their hands full at that point. *Smiles*

Knowing that if you sit, as a student, at the foot of one person all your life, you gain tunnel
vision, narrow horizons, and blind spots, it makes little sense to me to do that. The purpose of
study is to grow, to savor, and to taste the flavors life offers us. So in that banquet it is important
to taste the teachings of many. You'll know if you have a good teacher or not by the things you
are learning, by the way they work with you as an individual. Someone who forces you to see
things only in their perspectives (after fundamentals are laid out) is narrow in their thinking to
say the least. Someone who works with you to help you bring out your natural abilities first, to
introduce you to your functional assets, is going to help you hone them and then help you look at
what is new and interesting to *you* not them.

Like I said, this is IMHO, and you should know that I'm *highly* eclectic and believe in sharing
with anyone who asks a question. I do buffer my answers until I get to know more about the
person, but I don't blind them with rhetoric either. A teacher, a good one, will help you map your
path as you need to follow it, not as they see it. They will teach you what is appropriate for your
interests. Your inner spirit nurtures those interests through your curiosity, through sensations you
get when topics come up and by stimuli. It does this because it knows what is right for you and if
you have the insight to follow that lead you will never be led astray. It has a purpose too, but it
complements the path you are on in life and the secret is learning to work together. So becoming
a good student requires the insight to recognize a good teacher from a charlatan...we have to
make some mistakes along the way to do that so expect to stub a toe here or there. You are never
tied to a teacher and should never contract with them or pay exorbitant fees to learn. (Another pet
peeve of mine.)

As a Teacher, I've found that each student that comes to me needs foundation to work from so I
take them through 7 perspectives, introduce them to their Spirit Guides, Totems, and Spirit
Teachers as well as the elemental forces and realms. I stand them up on their proverbial feet,
show them how to look for more, and help them map their way. From that point on they
determine the lessons (if any) that they need to learn by the questions they ask of me, by where
their interests focus, and by their levels of understanding. I will teach them what I can if I am
comfortable doing so. If not, well, then I send them to someone I feel would be better suited. No
one is an expert on everything and anyone telling you that they have the "only" way should tell
you to head for the hills and hide out! There is no *one* way to anything.

We are all unique, and there are as many paths as there are types of people because we all
understand things just a little differently. So how do you know what path is right for you? It's an
internal recognition and feels like you've come home from a long absence...it just feels
"RIGHT". On that path many will be encountered and you should seek those who "click" with
you to learn from them. When you have the knowledge they can give, when things start to dry
up, well it's just time to say thank you and move on. Perhaps a friendship will come of it and be
lasting, perhaps not, but paths cross, part, and sometimes cross again later. I've had students
come, go, and come back, and others that kept going. In my practice it is important for me to
touch a life in the most positive way I can, sometimes they need to explore things a bit more
before they come back for more advanced training, sometimes they run start to finish. It must be
a sharing that is equal to the student's level of competence and comprehension, and teaching is
just that...sharing knowledge. It's not being a dictator.

There are also what I've come to term "Shadow Teachers"...those who teach us through their
actions, words, and character what "NOT" to do. Sometimes (in most cases) their lessons are
very painful and we feel resentment towards them for the pain we suffer. But they came to us for
a reason and once we can start to recognize them for who they are we are able to avoid the
painful lessons seeing them through observation rather than participation. We can also choose
not to study under such individuals but we have to learn to recognize them first...again, stubbing
our toes and being a student of life itself.

Spirit/Creator, this is the ultimate teacher, and you can bet your bottom dollar that if you don't
have someone around to physically give you the basics, if you truly want them, Spirit will step in
and initiate you. I've been taught by individuals, Spirit Guides, Totems, and Spirit has stepped in
when needed every time without fail. You'll find that you can be initiated into a tradition this
way and if, as a novice, it seems outrageous to you just ask yourself...who taught the first lessons
to the first human seeking spiritual knowledge? It wasn't on a website, in a book, or at the feet of
another person...it was at the hand of Spirit and the classroom was life itself...the elemental
forces in nature interacting, the Dream Lodge where Guides and other Spirit Helpers come and
interact to feed us knowledge, and in the ability of that individual to recognize the guidance
within themselves...trusting senses, intuition, and urges they couldn't ignore.

In conclusion here (I know I got carried away as usual), I just want to say that "when the Student
is ready the Teacher appears...but when the Teacher is ready the Student knocks." Teaching is
sharing and any teacher worth their salt will tell you that every student gives them insights and
growth that are equal to or greater than the information they give that student. They open our
eyes with their questions, they point out areas we may not have explored, they make us think and
ponder and explore our own resources. These are gifts and they help us to grow. So as a teacher
I'm a student at the same time and it is a gift to me as well as the person I'm working with. The
fact is that no matter how hard you look, when the time is right we find one another. I want to
end this by saying I do not seek out students, I never have and never will. The person must ask
me to teach them. Seeking a student does not place value on the lessons given, but a student that
is seeking and finding answers that are validated by experience values them highly. You can lead
a horse to water....and it goes both ways.


Good one for Many Voices.

“Someone who forces you to see things only in their perspectives (after fundamentals are laid
out) is narrow in their thinking to say the least. Someone who works with you to help you bring
out your natural abilities first, to introduce you to your functional assets, is going to help you
hone them and then help you look at what is new and interesting to *you* not them.”
I feel this addresses a key issue in regards to teaching in general and that's flexibility. I've had so
many teachers over the years that had only one way of doing things - it was a case of their way
or the highway and that's never sat well with me. I've never been one who learns easily. I'm
curious. I like to explore and get a feel for how I relate to the material or experience. I've had
many that felt that telling you was enough for them to do and it frustrated me so - I struck out on
my own, with only Creator as a teacher. Now, perhaps that was my path all along.. only Creator
knows. But it did bring to attention that aspect for me.

As I grew and began to share what I knew with others who were interested - that became my
focus, to share... not 'teach'. That's the perspective that serves me and those I work with best. I'm
always teacher AND student at the same time.

Advice I give to those who take up the practice of teaching is to let the student teach you what
they need to learn rather than curriculum oriented material or in addition to it. So much of how
a person learns is based in their psychology. Are they a 'secure' person? Do they feel the CAN
learn. Some don't. If a student is coming from that perspective - then that energy is involved too
and that's something to be aware of.

Be aware that you can't be the 'teacher' unless there is a 'student'. As far as I'm concerned -
those labels are for everyone else, not for the learning relationship and at times, ego based.
Have respect for your student. It is a tough thing to reach beyond personal boundaries. I think a
lot of 'teachers' spend so much time putting out info.. they don't stop to respect the students. They
get caught up in being the one who knows.

Another good point - don't be afraid as a teacher to say you don't know. I have known so many
who make up an answer just so they have one and it's not the truth. This is also ego based
teaching. If you don't know - say so. You're student will respect the truth more than a half-baked
cover up of your ego. I guess I should define what I mean by ego as well. If there is anything in
you that places you 'above' others... better than... this is what I mean by ego. So many will
become teachers to be the one in the know - and they know nothing but ego. Well, I went on a bit
too And I got more but I'm on my way out the door so...


Yes, it belongs in Many Voices, and you're words echo truth too.


SEDD: ''don't be afraid as a teacher to say you don't know''
That one I know, lol. in the few instances that I've actually 'taught', I've always overly
emphasized the I'm not sure about this so it's just my perspective and so on. Basically it's an
insecurity on my part of not wanting to be wrong or lead someone astray and screw something
off. Now I know Cinn would reply to that the 3 I's and yup that's a good way to avoid that. I also
wanted to point out that being a 'teacher' is a nerve racking experience too. Being a student
means pushing past boundaries but being a teacher means to have a lot of opening up and
exposing yourself. That's not necessarily easy and often requires a lot of introspection and selfexamination
while the process of teaching unfolds. Ummm, I thought I had something else to say
but forgot... oh well. Old age you know.

I remembered what I wanted to say. Do you find it's more difficult to share teach with people you
know then with complete strangers? On the net I have no problems, but with friends it's harder
and I don’t know why. I'm less comfortable with it. Probably because most of my friends have no
background what so ever in this so it's kind of hard to pin point exactly the info that they need.
Just another thought here.

Remember, my friend, that teaching is really simply "sharing" knowledge. Taking the role of
teacher can be intimidating for all the reasons you just stated, but "sharing" actually eliminates a
lot of those fears. By sharing we can always inject the "IMHO's" that stipulate your experience
around the current lesson or issue being discussed. As you well know my "students" for lack of a
better term, and I often debate the issues. We are really putting things we know and understand
on the table for others to sample. The true lessons come in their learning to apply them to their
own paths and abilities, and what we give isn't always for them to keep personally, sometimes
it's for them to pass on to someone else. Think of the things you've learned about that don't work
for you, you still have that information and can recognize when it might benefit someone else so
you "pass it on". That's what it's all about...just passing things on to others and letting them
decide if they can use them or not. Seeing teaching as an open discussion with your friends may
be better than trying to teach...just discuss the topic from your perspective and let them guide
you as to what needs clarification or foundation. It's really no different, online/in
person/stranger/friend...in the end it is simply sharing a bit of the Light we have come to hold. *S*


That struck such a chord with me too. My mum is a teacher (for high school) and she was never
afraid to say that if she didn't know, and also to make it clear if she thought she had the answer
but wasn't sure. Her favorite saying for when she didn't know was "look it up in the
encyclopedia.” Must be why she bought a set for us, so she could tell us to use it and get a bit of

But the reason it soooo struck a chord is that once I was having "men trouble" and I asked my
mum for help and advice. She said to me "I don't know, Leonie. I never worked that one out" (she
divorced my dad and never remarried). It was the single best thing about relationships anyone
ever said to me. That they don't know how to have a happy relationship. That put it into a context
I could understand... aha, research!!! It really helped me.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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