"THERE ARE TEACHERS EVERYWHERE" (excerpt) The Exquisite Risk by Mark Nepo

--PAINTING - “Power of Wisdom” by Linda Apple

The Upaguru—Hindu for the teacher that is next to you at any moment.

From the rotting tree felled by lightning to the water re-smoothing after the whale dives down, everything is of equal sanctity and grace. From the darkness we can't see through to the [ tenderness of a grandfather afraid to speak, everything and everyone is a teacher. Each flower, each bird, each suffering, great and small, each eroded stone and crack in that stone, each question rising from each crack—every aspect of life holds some insight that can help us live. We can learn and deepen from anything anywhere.

Yet one of the paradoxes of being human is that no one can see or comprehend all of it. Thus, each of us must discover the teachers that speak to us, the ones we can hear. This seems to be our job as initiates of being: to pursue our curiosity and passion and suffering in an effort to uncover our teachers. Just as different insects are drawn to certain flowers, though pollen is everywhere,different souls are drawn to certain aspects of the living Universe,
though God is in everything.

While the geography of stars pulsing in the night may help you discover the peace waiting in your soul, digging in the earth may help your sister know where she belongs. And yet listening to elders speak of their lives as they near death unlocks the things I learn. Each is equally a teacher, one no truer than the other. It's as if everything has to carry what is holy because each of us 1 one set of ears and one set of feet to help us stumble on our way.

The moments that hold mystery, whether dressed in wonder, wait to be treated with respect and sincerity, as i sage was carved in stone for you before you were born, and a storm has washed it ashore just in time, and you need all you can get to decipher its meaning. And we will be found by teachers repeatedly—be they the moon, the thief, or the until we can uncover their meaning.

It makes a difference when we can look at experience a vastness. And the moments that open our lives become p stories in our own personal mythology, the retelling o renews our vitality. For me, such moments include God err solitude through the waves of the sea, and Grandma star eternity at ninety-four when she thought no one was look when I woke after surgery to the miracle of freshly squeezed juice.

So, who and what have been your teachers? What stories carry the teachings? And what inner history do they form? Who can you share this with? If no one, find someone. It's one of things that matter.

And where is your next teacher? In the loss about to that you won't be able to make sense of? Or in the stone shoe next month that has the imprint of a bird's wing?

It is all very humbling. For plan as we will, study as I search as we can, it is all a guess—a wild attempt to land ourselves in the open or in the dark until our teachers appear.



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