Day One of Part I of the Summer 2010 Teacher Training was great. The group is comprised of really good students - from Eugene, Oregon, Canada, Montana and Idaho. Today we worked with - of course - Open to Grace. And also worked with foundation.
I used a technique that Chris suggested - called "Cafe Conversation" - to get people really thinking and talking about why they teach. It is a good inquiry. The group took it fairly deep - and they seemed to get it that it's a ongoing question and the inquiry can always go deeper.
One of the things I like to do in Teacher trainings is to really teach to what it means to be able to receive feedback without recoil. Just like teaching to studentship (teaching the attributes of studentship -adhikara) - I find that when I teach to what it means to accept feedback - students really start demonstrating those attributes. Now a cynical view would be that this is just the students trying to do what the teacher is looking for. But I don't think it's that. I'm inclined to believe that, like our method says, people are intrinsically good, intelligent, honest, curious......they really do want to change and transform,. And sometimes have simply never considered that feedback is necessary to transformation. So we talked about things like: sitting with an alert and open posture, giving eye contact, staying in your back body and generally staying tuned in to body sensation. All of this and more as techniques for staying open and undefended when receiving well intended feedback. And in the context of the teacher training at Garden Street Yoga - it is a pretty sure thing that the feedback is well intended. I don't, however, suggest to people that they stay open and vulnerable to feedback they may get while waiting in line at the DMV.
So we spent some time on that - and on an Intro to observation skills. We also spent a good deal of time partner teaching, giving feedback, etc. It was a full and tightly woven day. We're off to a good start.
This time I set the schedule to run 10 - 6 and everybody - myself included - seems very pleased with that. We are able to have a bit of morning - to practice or walk or whatever - have a good breakfast - and arrive ready. The down-side is there's less time for celebration and social fun in the evening.
Tonight after I taught, I went swimming. And now I'm off to meditate and to bed. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.