Teacher vs Student Responsibilities

Teacher’s responsibilities

  • help students see their own wisdom – be careful to no over-identify with being “the source of wisdom”
  • affirm the student’s own authority, and support the student’s unique process and path
  • Offer insights and perspectives, but recognize it’s up to the student to decide if they are useful or valid. 
  • the TA model is to some degree arbitrary, but it has practical accuracy. Not “the” truth, but a helpful way to view things.
  • to understand what TA emerged out of:
    • the gifts of the teachings, and
    • the toxic baggage and guru traditions and appropriation
    • why are we using sanskrit words, like ‘dharma’?
  • be conscious of and hold students’ projections; and, as kindly and gently as possible, decompress and deflate students’ projections. Hold the student’s projection until student is able to acknowledge their split-off qualities.
  • transparency
  • be conscious of ‘teacher’ hierarchy
  • be a container/ holder
  • hold the current evolution of the teachings
  • not over-inflate “my wisdom,” acknowledge what I’m saying seems wise, but people already know or have known it
  • encourage the depth of perspective that comes from diving into different teachers
  • deeply honor the student’s vulnerabilities
  • deeply honor the student’s strengths and intrinsic wholeness
  • don’t just give lip service to mutuality – really engage 
  • don’t hide my imperfections – my imperfections liberate the student to be their own imperfect self
  • first affirm student’s experience, and then, when the student is able to receive it, sensitively offer your own experience
  • hold appropriate boundaries and do so with love and kindness
  • own the projections and shadow material that arise in response to a student. Get extra support for this if needed!
    • become aware of my dependency on students positive projections – am I avoiding tarnishing student’s positive image of me in order to feel good about myself?
    • get support when old wounding is activated in response to a student’s negative projections on me. 
    • keep in mind that a student’s perspective of me holds a kernel of truth. What are they asking me to become more conscious of?!

Student’s responsibilities

  • become willing to acknowledge both positive and negative projections I am placing onto a teacher
  • become conscious of the ways in which I am giving too much of my power over to a teacher
  • take ownership and responsibility for my spiritual process and path
  • as best I’m able, bring issues forward to the teacher to work through in mutuality
  • get extra support if I’m experiencing conflict with a teacher

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