When teaching people how to help themselves, it is crucial for the teacher to have gone through their own journey and achieved personal success. Perfection is not necessary, as no one would be left to teach if that were the case. However, the teacher must be authentic, transparent to some extent, and willing to reveal their struggles. Learning from someone who has experienced failure, made mistakes, and overcome challenges is more valuable than learning solely from book knowledge.
A good teacher remains humble when imparting knowledge, avoiding arrogance or excessive bragging about their accomplishments. If a teacher resorts to such behavior, it often stems from their own insecurities or manipulative tactics to establish credibility. This attachment becomes a distraction for both the teacher and the student. Charging money for helping others is acceptable, as many professionals make a living by assisting others. In the modern world, financial obligations exist, and individuals need to support themselves. However, a great teacher understands the balance between monetary needs and the genuine desire to help others, relinquishing excessive attachment to material possessions.
To avoid distractions, teachers should not prioritize their personalities over the teachings. They must refrain from using manipulative marketing techniques that enhance their self-image, as it diverts focus from the core lessons. The teachings themselves vary for each student, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula. It is essential to understand one's audience and adjust the message accordingly. Simplifying complex concepts may be necessary when addressing individuals who are at rock bottom in their lives. Some teachings may be valuable to those suffering deeply, provided the teacher can communicate in a way that engages the listener unlike before.
For example, when dealing with deeply troubled drug users, teachers should first focus on providing support for their recovery and helping them establish new behaviors. Teachers must recognize their limitations and acknowledge when they are not qualified to assist individuals with very pronounced mental illnesses. However, if teachers share their own personal experiences it can still be impactful.
The most critical lessons to teach involve nonviolent behavior and the importance of self-reflection for healing. Nonviolence requires courage and goes against defensive instincts, making it a valuable and meaningful teaching. Exploring compassion and empathy is also valuable: Encouraging individuals to practice compassion daily can be impactful.
Understanding one's emotions, learning to be present with them without suppressing or acting out, is another essential teaching. This applies to both positive and negative emotions that individuals struggle with. Teaching individuals about the nature of the cosmos and dispelling superstitions can also be valuable. By reducing fear and anxiety, people are less likely to react impulsively and resort to violence. However, knowledge of the cosmos should not replace deep introspection and the ability to feel truth within oneself.
Everything happens due to preceding causes and effects, forming a chain of events known as karma. While karma provides a logical creation story, it is limited in explaining the initial cause. Creation stories, whether from ancient cultures or modern physics, should be approached discerningly. While scientific studies and knowledge increase understanding of the material world, it should not distract from sitting with the truth and experiencing it on a deeper level. Meditation is a critical tool to teach, along with nurturing and caring for the physical body.
Lastly, it is important to emphasize the significance of giving back and sharing the knowledge one learns. Sharing nonviolent teachings with others is a wonderful accomplishment that contributes positively to society.