Honoring a Teacher

A profound teacher of mine unexpectedly passed away; perhaps not unexpected by him, but certainly to most of the rest of us who were his students.  And I find it a mystery that when someone dies, they become more alive for us; perhaps it is in the reflection and memories that this becomes true.

Yogiraj Achala, above all, was a man of courage.  He ingrained in his students the necessity to face fear wherever we found it.  And like all great teachers, he lived what he taught.  More than anyone I know, he gave me pieces of myself that I didn’t even know I had discarded, leaving me with a fuller human self.  And he left nothing untouched by his keen mind.  He believed in a life lived well on the inside and the outside and looked at every level of system to become meticulous in his seeing and in his actions.

I have heard it said that the teacher does not want the student’s admiration or following.  What a true teacher desires is that the student do their practice.  It is a good reminder for me that if there is a teacher we honor and respect, our allegiance is best kept by the sincerity of our daily practice.  After all, this is what delights the true teacher.


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