so I’m not writing a “how i did it” entry.
It turned out I needed to do a lot of exploring! Although I’m open-minded in many ways, I learned that I was expecting there to be a single teacher or tradition to be “the right one”. And I also learned that for me at least, that’s just not how it works!
I’ve learned and developed so much thanks to so many teachers from the Dalai Lama right through to people I bump into on the street.
Discovering the Buddha’s teachings helped me so much but it took me a while to find a tradition I felt “at home” in. It was really just a question of staying open and exploring what was on offer. I sat with several groups from various traditions and some resonated with me more than others – all were valuable.
Thanks to Skype and the internet I’ve connected deeply with teachers thousands of miles from where I live – I learnt to meditate from a teacher in California while sitting at home in Dublin, Ireland! I feel so lucky to have that, if I’d been born in a different time I just wouldn’t have had access to these teachings.
A few years on, I’m open to learning from anyone. An angry drunk man on a bus teaches me about patience, suffering, compassion and equanimity; my sister teaches me about right speech and listening; Pema Chodron teaches me about self compassion; the Dalai Lama teaches me about love and kindness; Sharon Salzberg teaches me about faith and doubt; Martin Luther King teaches me about forgiveness and hope; my ex teaches me about trust and generosity. And I’m not being (intentionally) corny but I learn from the 43T community. I see so much here – the joy, sorrow, ambition, hope, greed, selflessness, grief, kindness, love, loneliness. It shows up that web of humanity – all our many facets and how we are all connected.
And something new for me – I see that I can learn from my own experience. I don’t think I ever trusted that before. At first I was so thirsty to learn what wise people said. But now with their guidance I’ve been putting all that to the test and am being my own teacher.
So this will never end – learning from myself, others and everything around me. 5 months ago