Who or what is the great teacher?
Is it love? Or our friends, partners, family, our spiritual guides, Jesus, Buddha? Our children if we have them? Loss? Beauty, art? This very moment?
I guess there could be many fine answers.
But before offering one (as of today) I want to reflect on what a great teacher would teach. Here is a random selection of possibilities:
To fear less.
To love more.
To be able to appreciate this moment with gratitude.
To be humble.
To work for the wellbeing of others.
To love others.
To love ourselves without overindulgence.
To recognize the inevitability of loss.
To live lives of kind self-discipline.
To make the most of each day.
To work for longterm projects that benefit other beings.
To leave this world in better shape than we found it.
To end each day feeling grateful for having been able to experience it, and to begin each day as if it were our first and last.
To live each moment as if it were the only thing in the whole universe, and had infinite value.
To live without any purpose at all.
The list surely might differ for each of us, and at different times in our lives. While many things and many teachers might succeed in inspiring and encouraging us toward any of the above, there is perhaps only one teacher who can always do it, with a highly consistent level of success.
The good news is that it’s the one teacher all of us will unfailingly encounter. Perhaps our task is just to remember that whatever we are doing, we are on our way to meeting it.