Friday, August 10, 2007

Teaching and Trust

Reflections on the Teacher Archetype in The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary by Angeles Arrien, Ph.D.

The definition of health for many shamanic traditions is the equal expression of these archetypes in each person. In this book, Dr. Arrien describes how to develop these four archetypes within ourselves.

“The Teacher has wisdom, teaches trust, and understands the need for detachment.” Trust is an essential ingredient for learning. Learning how to be comfortable with uncertainty is necessary to learn and practice trust. And it can’t be learned from someone who does not practice it. The do what I say and not what I do approach does not work for teaching or learning trust. There are people who think learning results from telling someone something. Maybe in the short term that works, but for someone to learn to be self directed, they need to learn much more than how to listen to others give direction or answers. Control is often seen as something that a leader, teacher, or manager gives up or needs to give up. In reality, it is often only the illusion of control that needs to be given up. Very rarely (if ever) does someone really have control over a situation, person, or group.

Dr. Arrien states that the opposite of trust is “trying to control the uncontrollable – clearly an impossible task” And yet, this is what we are often under the delusion that we are able to and in fact are doing. Suppression is not the same thing as control. Saying that someone has control over things or others is often not the reality, but the result of people giving up. Becoming resigned to things the way they are is often a result of suppression. Letting go of resignation, now that is something that requires trust.

A few of the suggestions she has for developing the inner teacher:

• Practice sitting meditation,
• Consciously make each day a focus for practicing wisdom, ask yourself how objective can I remain?
• Explore - who have been significant teachers in your life? Who were sources of inspiration? Who have you been a teacher for?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Mary Warren said...

Cassandra: You do a wonderful job of sharing your reflections and experiences! I loved the articles on cycling in Europe, as well as your summaries of Transformational Presentations, Taking time to reflect, etc.
THanks for sending!