Inquiry :: Teaching

 

I am not a good teacher (instructor, public speaker).

  1. No (at least not completely true.)
  2. (no)
  3. How do I react when I believe that thought?

    I look for evidence for it, such as blank stares when I talk and so on.

    If I believe that thought, then anything can become evidence for it – including the most innocent things such as people’s neutral facial expressions and even expressions of gratitude and appreciation (which I take as not honest, or maybe as a way to make me feel better!).

    How do I live my life when I believe that thought?

    I avoid teaching or public speaking situations. I tell myself that I am not good enough, and that others can do it better. I want to leave room for others to do it better, even if there may not be any others around (at least locally) to do it at all. I hold back. I get frustrated because I hold back. And I sometimes judge others for not teaching well enough, even telling myself that I can do better than that.

    It creates a sense of separation. When I do teach or give a talk, it creates a sense of separation with the recipients, with the topic and with myself. And when I am a recipient myself, it creates a sense of separation with the teacher or speaker.

    It is very dissatisfying, in many ways.

    How do I treat others?

    I may turn down teaching and speaking opportunities, saying that others can do it better. During teaching and speaking, I make the recipients into Other and experience separation.

    What is the payoff from holding onto that belief?

    I get to appear humble to myself and others. I get to show that I realize it can be done better, that my insights and knowledge is not as comprehensive as it can be, that others do it better than me, that I am not arrogant, that people deserve better than what I can offer. I get to be a victim, of my own beliefs.

    What is the cost?

    Frustration. Dissatisfaction. Feeling like a victim. Judgment of others. Sense of separation from recipients, the topic, myself, others in a teacher/speaker role. Holding myself back from sharing with others. Holding myself back from exploring topics more in depth through teaching and public speaking. Holding myself back from exploring the roles of teaching and public speaking, and what it brings up in me and how I can mature through it.

  4. Who would I be without that belief?

    I would have a sense of connection with recipients, the topic and myself, when teaching or speaking. I would connect through eyes, facial expression, humour, sincerity and more. I would enjoy it much more. And I would be open to and seek out teaching and speaking opportunities. I would explore the topics more in depth through teaching and speaking.

  5. (a) I am a good teacher.

    Yes, that is as or more true. I usually prepare well. I am present while teaching. I am focused on what the recipients may benefit from. I am sincere about my limited knowledge and experience with the topic (even if I knew more than anybody else, it would still be limited, still only scratching the surface). I am sincerely interested in the student’s questions. I speak from what is true and alive for me. People sometimes tell me they appreciate and enjoy the way I teach and speak.

    (b) My thinking is not a good teacher.

    Yes, that is as or more true. When I believe my thoughts, I take them as my teacher and guru, and am mislead my them. My thinking is not a good teacher if I take it as true, if I believe in it. Also, when I teach, I want to teach from what is alive for me – not from abstractions and thinking, although that is obviously included. I want the thinking to be in service of what is alive for me.

    (c) My thinking is a good teacher.

    Yes, also true. Through inquiry, I learn a lot about the interactions between thinking, believing in them, and my human life. My thinking is a good teacher in that sense. Also, my thinking helps me explore the world in a different way – through abstractions, analysis, differentiation and so on.

    (d) Others are not good teachers.

    Well, I sometimes see others as not good teachers – as not familiar enough with the topic, not aware enough of their hangups and blindspots (as if any of us are!), and so on. Also, others are not good teachers for my teaching. My teaching has to come from me, from what is alive and true to me in the present. I do it for myself, to explore the topic more in depth, to explore the role of the teacher, and so on.

    (e) Others are good teachers.

    Yes, everybody is a good teacher for me – no matter what – because they reflect me. They are my mirror. I learn about and see myself in them, no matter who they are or what they do. And I see that the reverse is true as well. I am always a good teacher for others, because they see themselves in me.

  6. I am willing to see myself as not a good teacher. I look forward to seeing myself as not a good teacher.

    Yes, because that will remind me to explore that belief.


New statements: People deserve better than what I can offer. I am not arrogant. I am humble.

Turnaronds for new statements…

  1. People deserve better than what I can offer.

    (a) People don’t deserve better than what I can offer.

    Yes, they get what they get. And they are free to not attend, or ask for the money back. That is their responsibility. Also, they see themselves in me.

    (b) People deserve what I can offer.

    >> Yes, I can offer something to them, both as a mirror and in terms of learning and exploration. I am them, helping them see it in themselves.

    (c) I deserve what I can offer.

    >> Yes, also true. Can I receive what I can offer? It is for me, after all. The activity, the teaching, the explorations, it is all for me. I am the one to receive it.

    (d) I deserve better than what I can offer.

    Yes, also true. I deserve better than what I, as a human being, can offer. And that is why there is a whole universe out here, reflecting back other things to me than what this human self easily can do.

    (d) I don’t deserve better than what I can offer.

    Yes, what is is.

    (e) I deserve what others can offer.

    Yes, it is for me. Can I receive it? Can I see myself in it? Can I take it as an opportunity to see and get to know me better? Can I take it in?

    (f) I don’t deserve what others can offer.

    Hmm… Well, not if I am not receptive to it. If I believe in stories, I am not all that receptive to it.

  2. I am not arrogant.

    (a) I am arrogant.

    Yes, as true. Especially if I believe in the thought that I am not arrogant! In that moment, I am. I set myself aside from others and from sides of myself. I make myself right, I make myself better than that.

    (b) My thinking is arrogant.

    Yes, or at least when believed in. As soon as I believe in a thought, there is arrogance. I split the world. I identify with something I see as right, and make something else wrong. I split the world into I and Other.

    (c) My thinking is not arrogant.

    Yes, also true. My thinking is innocent – just innocent questions about the world. It is only when I attach to them, when I believe them, when I make them right and something else wrong, that arrogance comes into the picture. Arrogance, from splitting the world into I and Other, into right and wrong.

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