It’s kind of like the last concert to be given by Beatles (of course missed – a little before my time…) or Rolling Stone’s (are they around still breathing?) or the last Cirques du Soleil or the very last Devi Premal & Mitan concert or how about Krishna Das – if you heard that, would you not want that ticket?
Okay, okay, a bit different but same idea in terms of ICHIGO-ICHIE, a Japanese concept of impermanence…
In this age where anything is “taught” or all sorts of information is on the internet, I feel, the direct, in person, personal and customized teaching is invaluable. It’s gold. A direct learning from a well experienced and passionate (about this craft) teacher is … once in a lifetime gift. It can’t be rolled out again and again. Such teaching represents years, if not decades of their own learning, a wealth of knowledge and techniques they had acquired over the years and that … is hard to transmit over utube even though it’s nice to have to re-visit and review. Real front line experience dealing with actual students – that experience and what that teacher learned from all those interactions and now shares is … invaluable.
& for the students, that experience does not repeat itself. Have you ever been to a lecture or a talk where you know it’s being recorded or you know you can get the notes later – have you noticed how you are not as engaged, not AS FOCUSED or attentive? Have you noticed you saying to yourself – ah, oh, well, I missed that but I am just going to re-watch this video later, etc. You stop having that “need” to ask questions or be honest with the teacher – ah, I didn’t catch that – can you repeat what you just said? No you skim through thinking that you have that crutches of a recording. To inquire later; not fill the holes “later”.
That prevents us from the need to KNOW right there and NOW. You put off the questions that you could DIRECTLY ask the teacher right there, thus, teacher-student relationship is also lukewarm – it’s just not as dense or meaningful … yeah, there’s that video you can watch “later”. You lose the direct human connection. The relationship is superficial at best.
This thought crossed my mind as I sign up for 4 hour workshop given by a teacher soon to go off on a sabbatical after 35 years of service. I do the same for any authentic teacher – sorry, I can’t learn anything new from someone who just picked up a 200 hrs. certificate at some exotic vacation destination who did tons of ballet and gymnastics growing up – while nothing is wrong with that and body beautiful is appreciated but that teaching style probably does not serve my needs – true teacher is someone who lived YOGA and demonstrates an unmatched a degree of commitment to this craft. It’s deeply human and inspirational while steeped in wisdom accumulated the years of experience. I want THAT lesson.
Bowing with sheer Respect.