Tending to my garden and being with the beauty, the mystery, the complexity, the joys and challenges was when this flash of inspiration suddenly dawned on me. Since then I have been mulling over the idea and the more I think about it the more certain I feel that there is a lot for the teacher to learn in the garden.
Why a gardener, would be a relevant question to ask??
First and foremost this is an invitation to a way of being, a way of life…and not at all an imposition/injunction to do one more thing!
There is no denying the significance of skills set for a teacher; however I strongly feel that the skill set ought to be a subset of an attitude-a gardener’s attitude! The attitude of being in the moment and doing what needs to be done without losing sight of the process is essential. A wise gardener is Zen master like, participating without controlling, tuning in without pushing one's agenda and tending, caring and pruning without hesitation. Persisting without giving up is another sadhana one will have to practice which can lead to many surprise discoveries and learning.
What a keen gardener will not do are also points to reflect on. ..Operating from a mechanistic paradigm with expectations of uniformity is a strict no. This will certainly be a recipe for failure and disappointment. The teacher like a gardener should not just look at what is not working and try to fix or sort it out. Instead she should be alert to signs of life…responding, unfolding, and emerging! If she imagines that what is visible is proof of her hard work it will lead her into a world of illusions. So her feet needs to be firmly on the ground at all times.
There is a Chinese Saying –“If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap – if you want to be happy for a day, get married – if you want to be happy for life, plant a garden.”
Being a teacher /gardener also promises a lifetime of happiness. There never will be a dull moment. One learns to partner and revel in life processes, value and cherish the integrity of each being and enjoy magical moments of reciprocity. The power you experience is of holding a space, nurturing and co- creating!