by Gary Van Warmerdam: A Teacher is a Guide that introduces you to Unconditional Love within…
A Spiritual Teacher and Coaches Responsibility to the Student
There is an aspect of teaching that is profoundly important to me, yet is rarely talked about. It has to do with the responsibility that a teacher has to a student. Students will often put the teacher on a pedestal. They assume that the teacher knows something that they don’t, and then rely on the teacher’s guidance. Whether the teacher realizes it or not, people will make an authority figure out of him or her. By doing so, the student puts their faith, or personal power, in the words of their teacher. This is not necessarily bad. If a person is in a high degree of hell, and they need help to get out of it, they are often better off listening to someone who has moved past those demons, than to the judge and victim in their own mind.
When a student puts their trust in a teacher, the teacher then has a great responsibility to the student. The teacher is in service to the student. But, this does not mean that the teacher is responsible for the student. The student remains always responsible for their own choices, actions, and results of their actions.
In the beginning of my time as a teacher, I did not appreciate the level of responsibility that students put in my hand. In one manner I did, because I was aware of my own process and don Miguel’s guidance. On the other hand, I was naïve of how much faith my students would put in what I said. As I became more aware of people’s willingness to put their faith in me (something that I didn’t really consider the impact of early on) I became more careful of my instructions and guidance.
Through my experience with don Miguel I became aware of how a dedicated Spiritual pursuit will bring change to your life. In the way you view the world, feel emotionally, what career changes might be incurred, relationships, and everything else.
The integration of these changes in ones life can be challenging. They often take time. If rushed, they become sources of drama that interfere with our creation of happiness. When the integration of change becomes more a source of suffering than a source of happiness, we are moving too fast. I often find myself instructing clients to have patience in accepting things the way they are,,, and never to hurry up. The price of too much change too fast, is too high. Yet sometimes they still want to hurry.
Don Miguel’s has often said, “We are not in a hurry, and there is no time to waste.”
As a teacher, these words have a profoundly deeper meaning when I consider my responsibility to my students.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from don Miguel had to do with Power. Through an experience I had with him, I discovered what an extraordinary connection he had with Intent ( Spirit, Power). I was quite impressed. I didn’t understand it very well, but I knew it was big. What I immediately began to wonder was why he didn’t do more with it. Why not do big acts of power all the time? It could have an incredible impact on people to shift the whole dream of their life.
As I journeyed into this question about don Miguel, I saw the amount of refrain he had in the use of Power. What I then saw was behind this motivation of refrain. I saw that don Miguel had no desire to change anyone, or their life. He only loved and accepted people just the way that they are. His love was/is, so unconditional, that he loves people just the way they are. In that unconditional love, there is no desire or need to change anybody.
This is when I saw the real nature of don Miguel. I understood what unconditional love was. It means not needing to change anyone, and that includes yourself. This realization became much more powerful to me than any act of power could have performed. His unconditional love and respect was more powerful than any Ceremony, or act of Power or change could ever be. He loved me just the way that I was. I didn’t have to try to be anything any more. I was lovable. I was good enough just the way that I was. He loved me no matter what I was. And in his reflection, I began to love myself just the way that I was. No conditions.
For me, to love unconditionally became the most powerful act of transformation. It transformed me and my entire personal dream. It completely changed my relationship with myself and forced me to dissolve all the fear based beliefs and judgments in my min.
And the irony is, that it came to me through someone who didn’t have a need to change me. He was teaching by example. It was simple. He was just living it, and wasn’t even doing anything to bring attention to how he loved me.
To me, Unconditional Love is at the heart of what a teacher has a responsibility to impart to those he or she is responsible to. It may be the only thing they have a responsibility to.
If you have a teacher or coach with an agenda to change you or make you “better”, consider how this interferes with self acceptance. They may want the best for you, but their best might come with an agenda that you could or should be different than you are. This will not be a reflection of love and acceptance. It is love that makes you happy and allows you to be yourself.