My recent transition from a Trillium Awakening Mentor to an Interning Teacher has represented a sort of spiritual blossoming for me, a coming to fruition of years of seeking and practice. And yet, I’m aware that, like a blossom, this time of transition will continue to unfold until it rots, dies, and falls away to be replaced by a new bud that will have its long or short turn in the sunlight of realization.
For me, the transition to Interning Teacher is both a culmination and a beginning. It’s both a stage in a process and a culmination. The process is maturation. My journey into second life brought me into a place of newness like an infant, seeing things through recently opened eyes, a world magical, non-separate, and rarefied. Over time, Being led me beyond this infancy to toddling and stumbling on the uneven surface of newly awakened consciousness; a childhood of learning by doing; the adolescence of boundary pushing and rebellion; and finally an unfolding adulthood of deepening realization.
Adulthood saw the emergence of a more stable awakened Being. Greater clarity about my conditioned patterns; dressing, redressing, and nascent healing of the wounds of relationship. Awakening of intuition and a deeper awareness of the paradox of trust in Being. These shifts were facilitated through IAM courses, Deepening in Second Life and Advanced Mutuality Skills, and the peer work associated with those courses and teachers. They helped me to shed the baby-fat of adolescence and young adulthood, hone my discriminating awareness, integrate emerging elements of healthy masculine and feminine, and lean into a developing self-confidence and authority. The paradox of knowing how little we can really know beyond our Self, and precious glimpses of that!
Mentoring showed me how conditioned I was to distrust silence in relating, to “know and show” instead of listening and reflecting. To watch as mentees shared and shed their own stories and patterns or looped around and revisited themes and behaviors or projected their shadows like puppets on the wall of my listening. The awakening teacher in me gained greater awareness of these ways of being in mentees and myself. The deeper my listening and holding, the more evolved my intuition until the light of clarity shone through my heart in a way that said: this can be spoken.
Transitioning to Interning Teacher was made possible by the many hands of my teachers, peers, and mentees. By the infinite patience of Being that gently guides us along our way with occasional pushes, shoves and surprising expulsions and explosions. It’s like watching a tree bud, the slow emergence of new life from the tender skin of branch. How can such beauty not hurt? And yet it is a necessary hurt, like birth itself, the stretching and accommodating of new life.
To be an Interning Teacher is to be a dedicated student of our living dharma; we teach what we need to learn, and we learn by listening into the small, still room of our heart’s loving wisdom. As the American poet Theodore Roethke says in his poem “The Waking,”