The Tao of Teaching

I had the opportunity this week to talk to quite a few teachers here at the Crossroads of Curious Convictions and apparently very few of them considered this week to be a source of spiritual enlightenment and joy. Having achieved enlightenment myself several years ago (it is truly amazing what’s on Ebay), I found this amazing and not a little sad. In the ancient tradition of all great sages I have spent the last few days fasting (I only ate candy and soda) in the hopes that I would be inspired with some great revelation that would lift up the spirits of my colleagues and friends. Sadly, aside from an odd facial tick and a general inability to fall asleep, I have only been struck by a few small toys courtesy of the Gnome.

So, in an attempt to offer some kind of comfort in these dark times, I have included below a few of my favorite excerpts from the Tao Te Ching. The translations are my own and of course adapted to suit the situations in which teachers are likely to find themselves. Since Tao is universal, I don’t think that Lao Tzu will have a problem with it.

The Class that can be seen is not the Class that can be taught.

Knowing where your mind is at is mastery. Knowing where your students’ minds are at is impossible.

When told about Class the wise student attends it immediately, the average student tries it now and again, and the poor student laughs at it. If they did not laugh, it would not be Class.

Teach without acting and work without effort. Relish movie day.

The student who knows does not speak. The student who speaks does not know.

Students cannot chatter all day and all classes must eventually end. Leaving all behind, there is only Beer.

Truly such timeless wisdom will always be able to offer us guidance during difficult times. I hope that the Long Dark Tea Time of your Soul (Thursday afternoon) can still offer a source of humor and enlightenment.

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