What makes a great teacher?
Well for me you need a purposeful mix of both knowledge and wisdom.
Knowledge is a function of the intellect with learns through senses and the mind. That is through ones capacity to think and understand the world and how one sucessfully interact with it.
Wisdom is different.
Wisdom is a direct internal grasp of an inner knowing, intuition and insight.
Knowledge, ‘knows’ at an intellectual level; wisdom ‘realises’ it fully and is able to apply in day-to-day working and living. Once you manage to combine both of these there according to ancient yoga science nothing more you need to know in the world.
Its harder than it sounds though. Most of us live in our heads. Its exhausting
We have been taught to have very little use for wisdom. Preferring to trust our intellect as the only worthwhile version of the world and ourselves in it. And yet wisdom is the very stuff of life. Wisdom flows without effort and comes from that part of you that real. That is why a good teacher combines both worlds if he or she is to make a difference.
And every teacher wants to make a difference.
This tricky duality of being human came up recently during a meditation training session with young student teachers with TeachFirst at Manchester University. Knowing that they were there on intellectual merit, learning to meditate, to go inwards, was a way to help them access that other, deeper part of themselves.
I began by teaching some basic techniques on being present, focused attention, fostering breath consciousness while opening a deeper individual awareness, intuition and resilience. Emphasis was on watching and settling thoughts, learning to know, experience and inhabit that inner space of stillness- the source of all our creativity and insight.
When knowledge and wisdom combine balance, creativity, joy and resilience are the output. To achieve this our beanddo meditation training is designed to merge inner wisdom and outer intellect –the cornerstone of every great teacher .