Prompted by Peter at Large from The Buddha Diaries, who has initiated an “inspirational teachers” meme, here is my tribute to teachers who have been there for me.
I was that much of a reprobate during my school years that I didn’t give any teacher the opportunity to engage with me, even if they had tried to. I had very little interest in school and only did what I had to do to keep my parents “off my back”. I had a different relationship with my dance teachers. Dance allowed me to express myself in a way that worked for me, and I was filled with admiration for my dance teachers, who treated me with respect as a dancer. I am grateful for my years in their classes.
But my real teachers have been life itself, and my children. I chose the school of hard knocks over the private school that my parents sent me to. I deliberately sought out “troublesome” types to befriend, chose to experiment with drugs and alcohol at an early age and actively put myself into dangerous situations. Life took me in this confused state, kept me safe and brought me out the other side. Life has been my most compassionate teacher, bringing me my son in my early 20′s to ground me and put me onto another course. The precious gift of another life to nurture and protect turned me away from my self-destructive behaviour and slowly brought me to a path of peace, love and compassion. I now have two children who continually teach me how to live in the present and give me the opportunity to love them and serve them.
Since my discovery of Buddhism and the start of my practice of meditation and mindfulness, there have been a stream of people who I have been directed to or who have simply arrived in my life as I have needed them. I’d like to say a special thanks to:
Jacqueline Kramer – who shares her wisdom in online classes with the Hearth Foundation and is author of the wonderful Buddha Mom;
Wade M – who writes The Middle Way blog and who actively encouraged me in my practice just when I needed it;
Karen Maezen Miller – who showed me kindness when I least expected it, and is the author of Momma Zen, a book that is teaching me to find spirituality in my “ordinary” life as housewife and mother;
Jeff and Linda Hunt – who generously give their time to facilitate the Modern Buddha Way meditation sangha where I’ve experienced the benefits of their support and wisdom.