Teaching is a realisation that we have an effect on the whole. Therefore the ethics of teaching requires more sensitivity and self-reflection regarding the impact of our thoughts, feelings and actions. In the transmission of skill and wisdom it is listening and learning. To use the metaphor of the gardener, the soil is the desire to learn – both teacher and student are learning. For both teacher and student, learning is an exploratory, experiential process. It is useful to have a way of sensing the whole of what people are learning as well as the individual, so everyone is learning from everybody else; what you are really doing as a teacher is creating and supporting a learning environment. In Coyote Teaching you enable a student to learn from a situation and most of this is about being present and aware.
The teaching within Lasavia is to create a foundation where you are facilitating between the relationship between the spiritual world and the physical world, and, as a teacher, you are empowering people to engage in a relationship with the spiritual world. Every human has a direct relationship with the divine – a teacher may assist people in the relationship with the divine by having their own personal ongoing spiritual practice deepening the relationship with the divine through heart and mind. It is this active inner growth that is important to convey the wisdom, the tools and the practices. The teacher in Lasavia is actively engaged in the reflection of the inner reflection of grace.
In teaching, there is an underlying cultural understanding of the sacred and the ordinary. This means that anything that is transmitted on the spiritual plane has the space to be integrated through participating in ordinary tasks of the physical world.
There are times in teaching where I have shared a story and I have wondered why I have shared that particular story as it didn’t seem in context and yet I find that it will be that particular story that will have an effect of shifting something for somebody or deepening an understanding. To teach in this way is to be open to a kind of listening on the spirit plane and then allowing that to come through. Teaching requires a balance of intuitive heart connection and intellectual process.
Teaching is about your relationship with the material you are teaching. It is about how you connect and understand the material you are presenting, as well as how you are learning and relating to the spiritual world. The students themselves will be attracted to who you are. The ethical foundation here is your authenticity, at times you may feel un-authentic and it’s important to explore where that stems from – everything in teaching is deep and subtle reflection.
In Lasavia Healing the structure of teaching is the co-creative circle, the deep respect that arises through creating the co-creative circle with sacred intent, the philosophies of humility and of unity and diversity and truth.
The teacher doesn’t have to understand everything, they don’t have to answer all the questions or know it all – in fact, one cannot know everything in this work. The more you work as a teacher, the less you feel that you know, and so if you do not have the answer, you are able to be relaxed with that and to engage a person to enquire and ask different questions or invite someone else to answer.
You do not need to be a guru, you do not need to have followers, and you are not a parent. These are the things to look out for in teaching because there are people who are nervous and uncomfortable in the process of learning and these archetypes edge and float around when teaching. By coming back to your love of the learning and the transmission of wisdom you will be able to keep these in check.
The work of being a teacher is extraordinarily rewarding in that much self-reflection, learning and thoughtful working with group dynamics and facilitation are required for the growth of the soul. The evolution of the soul in doing such work is extraordinary. On the other side, of course, this is difficult work.
Part of the difficulty is also a cultural relationship we have around power and authority; the art of teaching is to be able to work without falling under the spell of projection. So, ethically, it is important to be able to convey the wisdom with humility. To be able to take time to set up a space that creates healthy cultural learning process, to have innate a strong ethical and inner foundation that will naturally be conveyed to the students.
When I started teaching this work, I remember reading a document outlining what constituted a good teacher and a bad teacher. It was interesting to have a list like that, yet ultimately what is interesting as a teacher is to remember that your shadow is your gift. Sometimes in teaching you may react strongly to a person and it is through thorough self-reflection that you may get a glimpse of your own shadow at work. Any shadow that you observe through self-reflection gives you the opportunity to evolve the shadow into your particular gift within teaching.
The other interesting aspect in teaching is that within the group you will have students sometimes surprised by their own behaviour. What’s going on is that they are discovering something about their behaviour through an exaggeration of that behaviour. So, in teaching, one has to be aware that the behaviour is actually the teaching. This requires the teacher to hold a space of compassion but also bring forward a way of awareness as to what is going on, so that the student can find a way to grow from this patterning. Some students will be very susceptible to projection and their behaviour may reflect the group’s projection on to them. This is the level of subtle awareness that is perhaps the key to the ethical foundation of teaching.
The student may also be working through levels of conditioning, and it is how we create a space for the student to create a relationship to the inner world, enabling the letting go of conditioning.
In working with conditioning, wounds of the heart and strong emotions, I want to remind people about the notion of wholeness. That everything is part of the whole and therefore everything is whole.
The other aspect that is helpful for a teacher of the Lasavia work is the balance between overview and detail. Understanding the balance between detail and overview, and also vertical time and linear time, helps in holding the space. In structuring and preparing for teaching look at how you create space within the structure.
The caretaking and the appropriate sharing of knowledge (the guardianship of wisdom) are in the realm for all of us to be aware of, but it sits particularly in the role of the teacher. The work of the teacher is to respect and share the knowledge in reflection of its essence. In sharing knowledge it is important to acknowledge the source of the knowledge, if possible and appropriate.