How to Be a Teacher
Excerpts from a lecture by Yogi Bhajan on 3/23/90, Los Angeles, California
A teacher is one who guides a person to give the person an experience of his own purity, own piety, own strength, own totality, own identity, own Infinity. And that’s your job. I’m just explaining to you what a teacher is. If you do not follow these few rules, you shall be nothing but preachers. You’ll have huge congregations, you’ll be very charming, you’ll have a lot of charisma, and the end result is there will be nothing—no juice. It’ll be a very short-lived attitude.
But once you touch somebody in a very pure manner, and elevate a person, and give that person his own experience—not yours—he will be grateful to you forever. And he will enjoy life, because his perception will become greater. Make people’s perception great.
Do not promote yourself or promote anything just to suit people. But give people that which can serve them, can uplift them: energy. Share pure technology—not emotions. Don’t put a rider on it. If it’s a bitter pill, let it be bitter. Don’t sugarcoat it. It is very deceitful on the part of a teacher to teach teachings to please people. You teach these things to build people, to nurture people, to bring their reality out, to bring their personality out, to take away their cavities, to take away their downfalls, their pitfalls. You have that capacity. Through these teachings you’ll gain a very perfect quality to stimulate the real strength in a person instead of looking for popularity or personality.
I can introduce you to the teacher who displays any false pride in this life—in his next incarnation you can find him in the bathroom, or under the kitchen sink. They call him a cockroach.
You may not be elevated, but who cares what your mood is? Whether it is polished or not polished, a forklift is still a forklift. They call it ‘fork’ and ‘lift.’ If it lifts, it is a forklift; if it doesn’t lift, it’s just a fork.
Once you have an elevated self, everybody will look to you. You don’t have to ask, “Respect me, love me, help me, comfort me, be with me.” You don’t need that. Once you are there, at the status of your personal credit where you just serve the will of God, the light of God, the flow of God, and let it happen, then Kundalini Yoga is just a technique. It’s not difficult at all. It’s meant for the common householder. Just be—for a moment, for a second. There’s no difficulty.
Many times you may have experienced with me where you’ll ask about an exercise, “Are the eyes closed or open?” I don’t always know. Maybe I didn’t ask. Or, maybe I don’t remember. So be it. It’s also very graceful for a teacher to admit what he knows and what he doesn’t know. There should be no misunderstanding given to the student that the teacher is all-knowing, all-doing, omnipresent, omni-this or omni-that. That’s a quality reserved for God, not a teacher.
You are the vehicle. A postman is a postman. He’s a man with the post. He doesn’t start opening the letters and reading them. Have you seen a postman come to your house, ring your bell, open up your letters and start reading them to you? Don’t try to do that.
As a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, you have the responsibility to respect every other school of teachings and Teachers. You have no conflict. Reaction is for the fool. Achievement is for the wise. It takes the same energy to achieve what you want to achieve—or to react.
All this duality—“I’m a teacher, am I not a teacher, am I doing it right?”—this act is not required. Sit down, as bad or as good as you are, and just meditate and jump into the infinity of the transparent God. Let Him take over. Allow Him to take over. That’s all that is needed. God knows if you are blond or brunette, or yellow or pink, or up or down. That’s not the problem. Let it be. Lift and uplift. All the goodies will start coming because God is good and brings goods.
The idea is not to feel restricted. The idea is to feel infinite. Whatever you are, you are. Don’t try to force yourself to change—it’s a violence. Don’t try to change anybody—it’s a violence. Let it be. It will all come home. Just for a few minutes, let it flow. The One who can rotate your Earth for you, you think He cannot take care of your routine? The One who can grow forest after forest, can’t He take care of this little toothpick?
Question: Over the years when I’ve been teaching, sometimes I’m not sure if what I’m teaching is accurate or…
Answer: Who wants you to be sure? That’s the most stupid thing. Sit on that Teacher’s bench and presume hypnotically that you are the Teacher. Go with the will of God. That’s why the first thing you chant is Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. It’s not a psychological test or biological condition. When the heavens do not come through you, don’t worry about it. You are serving.
God also has ears and eyes to see. If somebody’s going to serve, God shall come through. God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. Your doubts are personal. You have to undoubtedly serve. Undeserving people also get sunshine. There’s no ticket for it. It’s not a lottery. Whether you are deserving or not deserving, just remember one thing: When you sit on the seat of a Teacher, you would not be sitting there if God had not bestowed honor on you. How long that honor is bestowed is your prayer. Is that clear? You’re not teaching with your personality. You are a vehicle—let it flow.
Question: After class when a student asks a question that I’m not sure about, or I’m not able to answer, what is the best approach?
Answer: If you’re not sure, don’t be sure. There’s no gun at your head. If you can’t answer, search out the answer. There’s nothing wrong in asking for an extension. Sometimes even I say, “Give me an extension.” Students don’t mind. You are the teacher. You’re not a person. You’re not discussing the question and answer as a person. Remember: “You’re not a woman. You’re not a man. You’re not a person. You’re not yourself. You are a teacher.” That is the oath. If you press the right button, then there shall be the right experience. That’s the beauty of Kundalini Yoga. It’s the status of timelessness, beinglessness, and selflessness. It’s pure vitality of Infinity. So…what is there to worry about? Enjoy it.
Question: Do you see a difference between teaching Kundalini in the ‘70s and the ‘80s and the ‘90s in terms of what to present?
Answer: Kundalini Yoga is a timeless teaching, and if you want to define it by the decade, it will decay. If you think your teeth will last forever, cavities will prove otherwise. That’s why when I started teaching I did not consider the time or space or who or what. These are infinite teachings. Kundalini Yoga is for everybody. You can do public relations for it—but Kundalini Yoga can do its own public relations: give the person an experience and he will never forget it.
Your experience is important!
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