Finding A Teacher

One meditation practice is to imagine a person who you respect sitting in front of you, ready, available and waiting: a teacher.

When I’ve practiced this meditation I’ve tried to imagine different teachers in my mind at different times, depending on what’s challenging me.

Sometimes I’ve thought of entrepreneurs who’s blogging on start-ups seems solid and reliable.  In this case, I usually feel like I’ve missed something in my job that was important and there’s been a negative impact on me or the people I work with.  I try to remember that failure in work is OK and that each time there’s something worth learning from the experience.

Other times I’ve imagined a writer who’s perspective I respect.  Usually during these times I’m stuck thinking that writing is too difficult or too risky and I wonder whether or not the practice is worth pursuing at all.  If thinking of someone successful feels too scary I just think of someone who loves writing to remind me of my purpose.

Often just a friend with a good heart will do the trick. Other people have struggled just like me, so it’s no big deal to remember that there are people who just care, without any requirements.

If you want to know the steps, here they are: First you give the teacher a gift. After the gratitude comes discussion: you tell your teacher the things you’ve done that day that helped or hindered someone else.  Finally you make a commitment to doing something as penance and ask the teacher to stay with you as a reminder of your promise.

There are moments though, when the exact challenge is unclear. And it’s hard to problem solve, or ask for help, when the problem itself seems to be hidden.  The most difficult thing for me to do, in this case, is to leave this spot entirely blank – to know that there’s an absence.


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