Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Personal Responsibility

The most important teaching my teacher Sally ever offered was she refused constantly to be my teacher. We spent a great deal of time together: weeks on retreat, weekends in workshop, constant email and phone conservations, as I spent my time trying to resolve the various adventures my mind came up with. Constantly bagging my head against the imaginary non-dual wall I created for myself: what is it?, I would wonder.

It took me a long time to understand. I thought that I could somehow force or trick her into being my teacher. But she slowly and steadily wore me down. One afternoon, on retreat in Northern California, we sat in the woods for a talk. It was one of those beautiful and clear northern California days; crunchy leaves and everything. We had sat down for many of these talks - it wasn't the first time. "You're not getting it," she said, "I am not going to be your teacher."

I got it. I let go.

Initially, I thought, I was just letting go of having a teacher. But later I realized that I was letting go of a lot. I realized that I was letting go of someone else making me enlightened. For years I thought if I could just find the right teacher, I would be able to get it. When I let her go, I let go, just a little, of the need for someone to make it work for me. I became responsible for myself, my experience, and my practice. This letting go was an important step in waking up and being free.

Be responsible for yourself. You create your experience in each moment. Create freedom.

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