The self-made man is a myth. No one stands alone; we all stand on the shoulders of our predecessors.
Those who are honest will gladly admit this truth. Additionally, they will be quick to point out the kindness of a mentor who used their influence to open a door, or a trainer pushing another rep out of our spent muscles. Those who have tread the path and achieved a level of success can peer into our lives and steer us clear of the dangerous chasms ahead.
During primary school, classrooms were assigned and with a bit of luck, you didn't draw the mean-old-hag that would smack your knuckles with a ruler. Evading the monotone and stubborn college professors, was the best you could request. Upon completion of school, geography no longer constrains our options of teachers, and the Internet makes the connection that much easier.
Meditation is an intimate activity and to invite someone near to shape how to conduct the practice is an extension of a gift of trust. These teachers are distinctive and must be carefully selected. The age-old adage, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear," has proven true.
By providence, I met Pat and extended this gift of trust to learn about the Scriptures and prayer. His humble study and reflection of the Scriptures laid a foundation for me to approach my personal study. He patiently taught me how to approach a genuine prayer life informed by faith.
I met Tara Brach (@tarabrach), through the Tim Ferriss (@timferriss) podcast, and came to enjoy her online mindfulness meditation archive. I attended one of her weekly classes outside of DC and was not disappointed in the session. Tara introduced a new language to add to my vocabulary and a new way to approach the meditation practice.
Whose shoulders do you stand upon?
Charlie "Tremendous" Jones said, "You are the same today you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read." How can you trace the influence of your meditation teachers from five years ago to whom you are today? Following this heritage confirms you were right to trust these teachers, and they were worthy of your gift.
Well done, now is a good time to express your gratitude.