“Three things make you worthy of a teacher: the capacity to listen in the beginning, the ability to question in the middle, and the courage to go your own way in the end.”Rabbi Rami Shapiro commentary on the sage advice of Yehoshua ben Perachyah (2nd Century BCE) who walked with Jesus, in Pirket Avot 1:15
Listening to the teachers and teachings, asking questions, and finding our own way, in this order, may possibly be the universal path of receiving and following any timeless spiritual tradition grounded in Truth, Love, Awe, Wisdom, Justice. Each action — listening to the teachings, engaging the questions that rise from them, and courageously becoming the teaching in one’s ordinary daily walk — holds the still point inside of Mystery, keeps the light on. They are the three elements comprising the triangle of the student, they are the humility of beginner’s mind, they are the soil prepared for the Holy seed, the remnant making space for divine action.
Why is it so hard to listen to the teachings? listen and speak the questions? become the teachings? Answer: many reasons, too large to count. Can we find the path in a single lifetime, our “lifetime” that seems to go by in a day? If one is truly pondering these questions then one may see the ancient vision of Venus in the background, giving Psyche the trial of separating a pile of beans, peas, seeds, corn, barley, grains of all sorts….. by evening. How many hours till the evening of our life do we have to become the student, hear and ask the questions, and embody the teachings on our journey home?
Now, try reframing the question in terms of Kairos time, non-linear time, divine time. If you know what I am talking about you are graced by the kiss of infinity and you are laughing. The seeds are sorted and you are ready. I bow to you.