A Kundalini guru swore: “I am not a woman.” I’m not a man. I’m not a person. I’m not myself. I am a teacher.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
I have a confession to make. I struggled with the teacher oath when I started my kundalini yoga teacher training. When I first heard it, I rebelled. What do you mean I’m not a woman? If I am not a person, then what am I? And if not me, then who am I? I didn’t understand it and it confused me a lot. Who was this man to tell me that I wasn’t me? Can you say “resistance”? How about for a great start?
In this article, I will explain about the teacher section and what it means to me now compared to my first impression. I will also touch upon the main ethical responsibilities of a KY teacher in terms of service to students, personal conduct, and roles. Finally I will enter my relationship to the teachings and the source of the teachings.
“As teachers of Kundalini Yoga, [we] take this [Teacher’s] swear. It sets a precedent about why we exist and what we have to offer: these sacred teachings. Our goal is to turn the student over to themselves – not to the teacher. We are there to inspire students.”
How do I feel about the Teacher section now? It’s about uplifting humanity! Yogi Bhajan gave the teacher’s oath as a reminder to keep ego out of our teaching and always respond to what is in the best interest of the student. He is trying to teach us to “light the student’s soul,” not our ego. It is about being the messenger of the teachings; Being a vehicle and letting it flow. The Teachers’ Oath reminds us to be the teacher and to lift the spirit of every student.
Along with the teacher oath are the ethical responsibilities of a KY teacher. These responsibilities are threefold. First, it is the moral responsibility in terms of service. As a KY teacher, it is imperative to maintain the purity of the teachings and teach them in a selfless manner. It is the teacher’s responsibility to connect students to the flow of teachings and to elevate the student to the awareness of the infinite within them.
Secondly, moral responsibility in terms of personal behavior. This is about walking the talk and teaching by example. It is also about the spirit, soul and essence of a person, not their ego. In addition, teacher-student relations must remain professional. Personal conduct should be of the highest standard and always from a place of deep concern, respect and concern for others.
The third and final piece is moral responsibility in terms of the role. As a KY teacher, you need to let go of who you are with your success or failure. In this role, the KY teacher needs to recognize “being a teacher” as an endless task. It’s about realizing students (ability levels, never bullying, honoring all belief systems, maintaining trust). In regards to the role of a KY teacher, choose right over wrong, morality over convenience…these are the choices that measure your life (not just your teaching experiences). Travel the path of integrity… There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
To end this discussion, it is important to mention what is my relationship to the teachings and the source of the teachings.
My relationship to the teachings is one of respect, consideration, love, appreciation, gratitude, and service, always, at all times, regardless of my own momentary feelings and opinions, for that is the attitude I need toward my very essence.
As for my relationship with the source of the teachings, it was difficult at first. As a pure Sagittarius, I am often very unhappy in strict situations because I tend to get bored and restless, and I also resent authority. Therefore, accessing this kind of spiritual education based on the tradition of a guru imparting wisdom was an interesting choice. I know that people, ordinarily, yield to the guru to lead the way so that you may have the discipline of pure teachings. Everything turned out great as soon as I began to trust my teacher and give in to temptation. Now, KY is a proven step-by-step system for walking my own path. All of this is love… pure love. I surrender the ego of my soul. I came to explore knowledge and did not know that knowledge would begin to explore me. It was about the wisdom of surrendering to the flow of life rather than opposing it.
I get it now… Just as Marc Chaboury claims, “My entire universe is moving toward these teachings. I love what I learn, and what I don’t learn.”
© Copyright 2010 Kundalini Yoga with Charlene Starr. All rights reserved.