Why did I enroll in the Guru and Self course starting next month? Let me begin to answer by describing a personal inquiry practice that I have used for myself as well as my students in teacher education.
Years ago I picked up the practice of assessing who in my life has been most influential in my continued growth and adult learning. This is an end-of-year review practice. When I first started it was fun to name an elementary or high school teacher, a family member, best friend, the priest who led the CYO group, a camp counselor, or a first employer.
In this practice, the next step is to write why — what about that person made them an influential “teacher”? Why did I “learn” more readily from that person than others?
I also used this tool in my undergraduate teacher education classes to help perspective teachers realize that they have had many experiences with great teachers and many experiences with learning, which color their beliefs about teaching and learning — mostly experiences outside the school classroom. When examining theories of teaching and learning and teaching, we continuously compared them with their learning experiences and most influential teachers.
Personally, I do this practice to see how my experiences with teachers and learning change. It’s a dynamic process for all of us!
Why did I enroll in the Guru and Self course starting next month? You guessed it!
The past few years, Swamiji has radically changed my experiences with learning from a most influential teacher; and she has continuously been on the top of my yearly list. The monthly 8–12 page course readings from phone courses that I have taken with Swamiji are like receiving a gift wrapped in gold tissue and tied with silk threads. In most fields of study, the “old” ideas are examined in history courses or tangentially in other courses. Not so with the study of yoga’s “ancient” ideas from sages of old and our love-filled modern sage, Swamiji.
Each article is so filled with truth, with knowledge of who we are on the inside, deep inside, and how we come to experience this depth of knowing the truth. Swamiji shares so many of her own experiences in the readings and even more in the audios. Then in the monthly phone calls we share our experiences and hear from one another. I have first met many new yoga buddies through these calls, and then deepened our relationship at the final retreats in the year-long programme.
Teaching as clarity in delivering the ideas from ancient texts; using multiple texts for examining the same idea, providing multiple personal examples, as well as teaching as revelation — the flow of grace between student and teacher through the ideas and experiences.
Learning as experiencing the revelation again and again, experiencing the love that flows between Guru and students. Experiential knowing as a deep level of knowledge and truth that transforms your life and view of what is most important and who is most influential.
All this and more are the reasons that I have enrolled in the Guru and Self course. I hope you will join me for this year-long programme, whether it’s your first online, multi-media course with Swamiji, or you will be a returning yoga buddy.