On Lessons Learned
It is the last day of 2021. As this turn around the sun closes, I look back on it. What have I learned this year, what insights have I acquired? Learning a lesson, though, is not simply naming it, identifying it. A clear thing one learns changes one’s life, even if subtly.
Learning a lesson is very different from hearing it. I notice this on the mat all the time. There are things my teachers have told me time and time again, which I have heard, but not really learned. Then one day there is that moment, that HA! that is what it really means. From that moment, everything changes: perhaps the posture itself, the attitude towards what it represents and often even my own view of myself. I have also learned this year, mainly through meditation, that the deepest lessons don’t announce themselves with big bangs. They are minute changes of perception but so important.
For me, as a teacher, there is also the question of sharing lessons with students and supporting them to learn their own. To truly share the lessons I have learned, I have to embody them. It is no good to encourage my students towards something I think is important without walking the walk myself first. Talk is not sufficient here. This is something that requires a lot of skill and constant learning on my part. In fact, one of the things I have learned is how important it is for me as a teacher to remain open to the lessons my students offer to me.
For all the lessons of 2021 which I have received with gratitude, I bow to my teachers and my students. Thank you. Let us approach 2022 with an open heart and mind. The possibilities are all there.