Monday, February 28, 2011

When the teacher is ready the student appears

QUESTION: I was working as a theatre director in London, with a particular passion for  actor training and craft. Actors aren't treated so well, and constantly  under scrutiny and judgement, so there was always a sense of undoing that injustice in my work and restoring their sense of creative power and bringing  them back to their bodies. However I started to feel incapable of doing this. It's like I realised the scale of the problem, that this wasn't just about actors, this was also about me and a lot of the world. I felt like an ill  equipped fraud trying to get the actors to be 'present', purifying where they were reacting from, and removing ego from the rehearsal room when I was truly as  egotistical and in my mind as any of the worst of them. Years later I still do not feel ready to teach people what I know to be good when I have not yet achieved the state I am trying to help them reach. Do you have any advice?

ANSWER: The core concept is this: if you wait until you have fully resolved all the issues that you are trying to help others resolve, you will never be in a position to help others at all. Think about the fact that acting coaches and directors are not required to be Oscar winners in order to teach and direct, any more than sports coaches must be as good as the athletes they train. In order for there to be good teachers and guides for helping to make the world a better place, there have to be people willing to be imperfect, willing to risk mistakes, and willing to help. You can always teach what you know to be good, even before you have mastered it yourself. And, because of free will, after you have shared what you know, you cannot be responsible for how - or even whether - it will be used by your students.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Senseless Violence?

QUESTION: In your book, "Urban Shaman," you say that everything that happens has a good purpose. I can understand that natural disasters can have the purpose of attracting our attention to certain parts of the world and their problems, but what about parents who kill their children and those who shoot or blow up innocent people? What could be the good reasons for this kind of violence that seems to be growing?

ANSWER: If you study history, you will discover that it is not the violence that is growing, but the news coverage of such events.

Nevertheless, you do pose one of the most difficult questions to answer. The simple fact is that there is no way for us to know.

When events happen, good or bad, we have the choice of assuming that they are meaningless, that they are accidental, or that they have some larger purpose that we are not aware of. The effects of assuming the first one tends to be anger, frustration, helplessness,
fear, depression and despair, none of which do anyone any good. The effects of the second one tend to be fear, sadness, sympathy, compassion, and healing. The effects of the last one tend to be the same as the previous one without the fear. No one knows the "real" answer, if there is one. In Huna, when there is no clear answer to a particular question, we choose the assumptions that provide the most benefit.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Communicating with the land

QUESTION: In a Huna lecture you mentioned the possibility of learning from the land. I'm not sure I fully understand how to achieve it. Should I work with the stones, touch the trees, walk barefoot ? What would you suggest to be the most appropriate way to communicate with the land ?

ANSWER: You don't have to walk barefoot to learn from the land. All you have to do is combine knowledge and feeling. Learn all you can intellectually about the land, practice awareness of the land with all your senses, practice talking to it and listening to it as if it
were alive, and practice imagining how you could apply what you learn to other areas of life. Then apply it.