Grieving Lost Students

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Recently, there has been much death surrounding my heart. Over the last two years as Shihan, the issue of letting go of students has always been there for me. It isn’t easy letting go of any relationship, however, as a teacher it is so hard watching your students struggle with the material, especially when it has to do with dealing in patterns of human behaviour. 

Every teacher has their own way of imparting the teachings of Reiki that have been passed down from teacher to student over the last 90-something years. However, we do not simply teach techniques for healing with our hands. We employ a variety of teaching methods gleaned from our various holistic trainings (it’s like collecting Baseball or Pokemon cards: ya gotta catch ’em all!) However, Reiki is not just the energy exchange of light. This is only one level of living: using the technique purely for the sole healing role of healing touch. What some of us teachers employ, in addition, are the mechanisms BEHIND this light: the analysis of behaviours, environments, traumas, and the necessary lifestyle changes that require a firm and grounded approach to healing. Yet, changes in behaviour is easy to intellectualize, changing the choices students make and their awareness is another entirely. They are stubborn, and sometimes violent. Not everyone likes to be shown the darker truths that lie behind our western civilization’s way of living. Yet, these choices affect the healing energy we possess within us, whether it is enhanced or depleted, the experience of not only our students but in turn their clients will be impacted. 

So, with that in mind, as I write this novel of a paragraph, I ask you read the following with that in context. I sit here, writing my next chapter in my Shihan Handbook and the issue of students is paramount. Finding the students, students finding you, their experience, different teaching roles, different exercises to utilize… We spend so much time building up our teaching muscles that we forget sometimes that inevitably the students leave us. They leave us not because they do not find our material enriching, nourishing, or of substance; but because life takes hold of them and shakes them all about in  a very unsettling way. The abuses of the world, including the ones we inflict upon ourselves, are incredibly powerful. However, as you will see with the turning of these pages is that it is not the only such power in the world. 

The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book. 

Read it. Meditate upon the words. It’s up to you whether you chew it up & digest it, or just spit it out. Either way, feedback is incredibly welcome.

Ubuntu,
Blessed be the work of our hands and voices.

GRIEVING THE LOST

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The screens we use serve to beautify the teaching.

But, remove the screen and what remains?

The light, which with all its shine and splendor is expressionless. It is the projector, but we and our teachings give it personality, we give it humanity. We add words and culture and colour and texture and form. With our experience, we pull flavour from the light in hopes of explaining the unexplainable. Ultimately, we prepare the student until that one day they peak behind and behold the flame. Hopefully, with enough training, they are not burned but wrapped in the same ecstasy we have discovered. Every teacher tries and attempts and hopes for this. Yet, some students inevitability will not be enraptured, but to the contrary, consumed by the heat of the Source.

In their haste, they do not develop the armour to withstand the inferno.

Teachers remember, this is not your doing but theirs. Theirs is a path chosen, not offered. Above all things, do not blame yourself. You are the screen, you are the teaching. If the student decides to toss you aside, what is to be expected?

Take us away, and the candle blows out. Take our protection away, and the fire grows out of control. Yet too, on occasion, the lucky chosen student enlightens… But again when egos are too large for their eyes, they do not see or feel what is happening. Disillusioned by grandeur or lost interest in discovery, students will disappoint. And they will suffer for it. As teachers, we will inevitably lose some, and… we will feel their pain…

Remember… we can hope the best, but we must also accept the contrary.

Remember, we are teachers not God. All we can do is as instructed by our Master’s Masters: teach those who diligently seek our teaching with kindness, and never give up hope on those who turn away from us in anger or out of fear for what they might discover behind the screen.

GRATITUDE TO CREATIVE COMMONS ARTIST MIKE MAGUIRE.

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