Who Are Your Teachers?

Posted by Robin Easton

I’ve been blessed that my “life-teachers” encouraged me to learn through experience, not through words and concepts. In almost all cases they didn’t give me the answers or direction I thought I needed, but instead taught me that I was the answer, that the answers I sought already existed within me. Who were my teachers? Over the course of my life, my teachers were intense physical pain, irreplaceable loss, the raw honesty of Nature, other animal species such as poisonous snakes, crocodiles and stinging trees. My teachers also have been my mistakes and fears, as well as love and pristine solitude.

WHO ARE YOUR TEACHERS?

Physical Pain

Physical pain taught me that I could endure, that I was not always in control nor could I change every situation. But, I could choose how I responded. Pain taught me that I was much stronger than I ever imagined. It forced me to let go of the “future” and live only in this one single moment. Pain brought me to my knees and humbled me. It taught me to forgive myself and others, and helped me to better understand human suffering. Pain brought me the great gift of compassion.

Loss and Grief

Loss connected me with all of humanity because none of us can go through life without feeling the wrenching grief of losing someone we love. Loss taught me to more fully cherish that which I had, and to never take anything or anyone I love for granted, whether that be someone close to me or the Earth I walk upon. Loss showed me what is really important in life, and that petty arguments, grudges and hanging onto anger are not worth one second of my time. Loss told me to actively tell (and show) those I cherish that I love them, and to do so every day.

Nature and the Wild

Nature taught me so much that I had to write a whole book about it. Most of all she taught me to love and find peace, and gave me both (and still does). She also showed me how beautiful I am, just as I am. She doesn’t judge, define, conceptualize, or categorize me into good or bad, right or wrong. She just IS. Nature was my first experience of nurturing “Mother”. I’ve known her to be fiercely wild and untamed, even impersonal and far beyond my control. And yet, she also is so profoundly intimate and personal that I can only weep. She knows who I am. And I am Nature.

Other Species

Poisonous snakes and other potentially deadly species showed me that I too had to be aware. They brought about my consciousness. If I wanted to survive in the wild I could no longer bungle along like an unconscious idiot who unknowingly destroyed everything in its path (the current state of humanity?). I too had to be aware in order to not be bitten or eaten. I grew to respect the survival skills of other species and saw these beings as my equals. I reentered the oldest brotherhood on Earth and lived as “part of” and not “apart from” the natural world. In the process, I lost all loneliness and awakened to the abundant intelligence that surrounds me.

Beloved Mistakes

Often we’re taught that mistakes are a bad thing. However, I’ve found that mistakes are wonderful teachers because we cannot know what we don’t yet know. We can only learn what we don’t know. If we are blessed we fall repeatedly into mistakes until we’re able to embrace the lessons Life offers. None of us are perfect, and mistakes are a great way to learn things we might not choose to learn on our own. Embrace mistakes as gifts. We’re not here to appear flawless; we’re here to learn and experience Life. Dare to get your hands dirty and your feet wet.

Fear, a Potent Teacher

Fear is one of the most potent teachers we could ever embrace. If all we did was explore our fears, we could change the world overnight. Fear is a doorway to freedom. Facing fear revolutionized my life. Often we shove fear so far “down” we experience it as anxiety, greed, anger, disease, fatigue and more. But when we actively pinpoint what we fear, or at the very least embrace that we experience fear, we can then begin to grow. Sometimes when fear is so big all we can do is consciously “be with” our fear. In time we grow to better understand it, and become emotionally tougher.

Love and Solitude

Love and solitude also are teachers that have given me crystal clear contrast. In the face of unexpected and generous love from a stranger or a loved one, I am humbled, healed and want to reciprocate. Love encourages forgiveness, openness and healing for all involved. In solitude  (especially in Nature) I am replenished, calmed and find vast stillness to hear the voice of my heart.

Who are your teachers and what have they taught you?

Love,
Robin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This Site: © Robin Easton
Website:
http://www.nakedineden.com
Blog:
http://nakedineden.com/nakedinedenblog/



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51 Comments so far...

Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills Says:

5 May 2010 at 9:23 pm.

Hi Robin,

So then, long story short, life is our #1 teacher. But since everyone lives, why doesn’t everyone learn? Just as in school where there are students who want to learn and those who don’t, we are all in life, but not everyone cherishes the lessons offered. You do, because you are a student of life. This is the mindset that makes life an intriguing journey of never ending knowledge and wisdom. It’s that thirst for the lessons of life that make us want to drink in and savor the the whole glorious experience. In the school of life, everything and everyone becomes our teacher. What a wonderful arrangement, don’t you think.

Missing you lately, so glad you wrote this!

[Reply]

Robin Easton Reply:

Dear Jonathan, what a remarkable comment. It’s like you added the wrap up to my post. And said it so well and in so few words. Yes!! Life is our #1 teacher, and yet oddly that is SO obvious and simple that many of us miss it and go looking for something else. We often can’t fathom that it could be THAT easy. I also love your lines: “In the school of life, everything and everyone becomes our teacher. What a wonderful arrangement, don’t you think.” YES!!! If we just open our eyes and hearts we realize that we are given EVERYTHING we need to grow, and that, as you say, everything and everyone is our teacher. Just Beautiful!!

PS: Yes, I’ve really missed being here and connecting as well. So it was a great treat to find your comment here and to end my day on such a refreshing note and beautiful insight from you. I especially needed that today. Thank you my dear friend.

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Tweets that mention Naked In Eden Blog – Robin Easton » Who Are Your Teachers? -- Topsy.com Says:

5 May 2010 at 9:29 pm.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RobinEaston and Zuzanna Musial, Zuzanna Musial. Zuzanna Musial said: RT @RobinEaston Who Are Your Teachers? http://bit.ly/bCd48s [...]

Annemieke Says:

5 May 2010 at 10:22 pm.

I absolutely agree that our own experiences are the best teachers. And I think that words and concepts indeed do not give the direction and answers on what to do, that the answers often come from inside.

But I do think the words and concepts are very important too. I think they are a way to better understand our experiences in hindsight. And they make it possible to communicate those experiences with others.

To recogise it in others, like I did in this post.

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dear Annemieke, Welcome to my Eden!, and thank you for stopping in. Although my life learning lead me down a very visceral path, I agree that some people better understand or can grasp certain events through concepts.

I also know that for myself, there were times in my life when I was without words or concept and was forced to go deeply inward and simply “be” the experience. By that I mean that I was “left with myself”, so to speak, left to trust my basic instincts. And as you say, it wasn’t until later that I was able to put to words what I had learned, but the body knowing was well in place before I had the words.

Your comment raises another interesting thought, which is how the written word changed early cultures. I live in a community that is rich with Native American culture and I’ve often heard elders say that with the advent of the written word, oral traditions (storytelling – stories passed down for generations) were often lost, along with languages. Some cultures had no written word for the sounds, words and expressions they used. I think there can be pros and cons to all of it. If we are bless we find what best works for us and then use it to grow. Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom. I enjoyed both.

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Annemieke Reply:

Dear Robin, this is so very interesting what you say about the Native American culture. Lately I am fascinated by the physicist David Bohm. After seeing an interview with him, I felt that he had such a deep understanding of the world. But he said that our modern language is not capable of expressing it all. He worked for years on a way to make our language more suitable for understanding what is happening on the quantum level of our world.

He said that we needed a more dynamic language, because our language is to static. And one of the most characteristic features about his proposal is to base the language on verbs instead of nouns. Now as it seems he spent much time developing that, but it never really got picked up by others. I guess one of the reason was that others never saw the need for such changes in our language.

But at the end of his life, he had meetings with people from the Native American culture, and there he learned that their language was much more dynamic. And much of what he wanted to change with language, was already in use with those old traditions. I don’t think any of those meetings is recorded, but I would have loved to witness those exchanges.

And what you say about trusting your basic instincts, is so very true. Our body knows so much that we can not understand yet, what can not be put in words. But I think that you have a fascinating way of translating those experiences. You have a way of expressing that, which can hardly be expressed. Thank you for that.

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Trish Scott Says:

5 May 2010 at 10:29 pm.

Oh Dear Robin,

There are so many statements here that I resonate with (well like the whole post :) but this one is key for me, “I reentered the oldest brotherhood on Earth and lived as “part of” and not “apart from” the natural world. In the process, I lost all loneliness and awakened to the abundant intelligence that surrounds me.”

I think that is what makes us able to BE as we are meant to BE and makes all the rest sort of a given.

I love the way you are able to express (to many of the rest of us) the inexpressible! Thanks.

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Trish Scott Reply:

Oh gosh, you asked who were my teachers? I JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE A WHOLE ARTICLE about that :) . http://www.scottfree2b.com/default.cfm?page=679 AND MANY MORE. Ain’t life GRAND!

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dearest Trish, I am going to “treat” myself this weekend by sitting at my laptop in a comfy chair and reading your article , and checking out the others as well. I LOVE your work! I love how you intuit SO much SO instantly. Wow!! You are just so “right there”, all the time. I feel it all the way down here in NM. My whole body just comes to life. And every time it does that, all I can think is that THAT is how other species respond to you. I know I said this the other day, but they feel your extraordinary presence (in that you are %100 present), your awareness of them and Life, and that excites them to no end! They have finally found a someone who can see and understand their intelligence, and hear their voice. Hear beyond the language difference. The species difference.

Writing this I started to laugh at the end because I could feel how other species must feel. And imagined them thinking, “Oh my WORD!! We got a live one here. Hey guys, here’s a human who knows how to listen, who actually speaks our language. Here is one who’s as intelligent as we are.” LOL!! Can’t you just see it?? What a relief for that other species of animal to realize that total “knowing”/connection has been made.

All too often we humans treat other species as dumb, unintelligent and lacking in the ability to communicate in highly intelligent ways. But then, as a species, we also often treat our children this way. And in doing so we effectively keep them “dumb”. Their innate intelligence goes unrecognized and has no outlet for expression. They then live in a “dumbed down” world. Unfortunately when this happens they often turn it inward on themselves and perceive it as a deficit within themselves and not within the adults they’re dealing with, whether that is a parent, teacher, or other. My word you are a glorious inspiration!! I have got to meet you some day. Or do a workshop with you or do one together or SOMETHING!! LOL! Hugging you so much!! :)

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Trish Scott Reply:

Oh a workshop TOGETHER! It would have to be unlike any other workshop – a starting premise none have yet encountered & ending with an inner surprise for EVERYONE! Scanning the idea. Got it on simmer :) .

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marcel lemieux Says:

5 May 2010 at 10:53 pm.

Hello my loving friend..i would have to say all of the above as you said///physical pain..when i left home i could not even feel the pain/ i sort of had a second body to hide all the hurt..///loss and grief…more than you can imagine////nature..my Savior forever..it has always been good to me///accidents, near death experiences, i,m a stubborn learner ..but in time i got it..//one thousands experiences with life, to the core..full life///love and solitude…oh! yes..my heart has had a thousand patches//solitude..my best friend..but that took a while…but the best is more love has been given to me than i could ever take..my heart is bursting even today, because the universe loves me..and by the way, it loves everyone..its all in the acceptance of bliss…..but i think all happened because i was so innocent and curious and my heart was always open..p.s. the teachings never end..its like life…peace..marcel…

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dearest Marcel, I cried reading this comment. YES! As you know so well, I relate to SO many aspects of your life. What you have shared is exquisitely beautiful, beautiful in it’s raw openness. There is an unfettered or untamed wildness to your soul that resonates strongly with me. You life story and all that you have embraced (even when it was so very very hard) is a remarkable story…and a LIFE of excellence. Because you have LIVED my dear soul brother.

You are incapable of writing even a word without the great wisdom that you have become, shining through everything you do. You have lived lifetimes inside of lifetimes. Kind of like what I told Trish Scott just above you the page, to be in the presence of such RICH Life-wisdom is enthralling, exciting and allows others to be who they REALLY are. You are a gift to the world. And yes, “like Life, the teachings never end”. Bless you my friend.

[Reply]

mike foster Says:

5 May 2010 at 11:34 pm.

So true, Robin, life is the greatest teacher of all. My pain and mistakes and failures have taught me more than my lifetime quest for autodidact knowledge and thirst for continuous education. We learn from failure, because it gives us the feedback we need, but also, as you so wonderfully point out, from love and happiness. Again, we learn from living, and, as I always say: ya gotta livelife365.

peace,
mike

[Reply]

Robin Easton Reply:

What a TREAT to see you here my dear friend!! Yes, I have always sensed in you a deep well spring of amazingly rich life experiences, including your ability to embrace and talk about your failures/mistakes, etc. It is what REALLY got me intrigued in your life path, and wanting to see you write a book. I was stunned hearing parts of your story on your blog. Stunned in that you have created a remarkable transformation. AND you are so clear thinking, highly intelligent AND highly creative in everything you do. I could see you easily writing your life story or as easily writing a vegetarian cook book that was both informative and funny…and wise.

I was very amazed when you said that you were predominately self taught. I am too. But I NEVER would have initially known that about you, and yet, it made total sense to me in terms of your ability for such spontaneous videos, free thinking, bursting creative talent and more. You are quite a remarkable character Mike. And I mean that in the highest regard, in the sense that you are one of a kind. Very much your own person, with you own unique style. I think that is one of your greatest strengths. I was just at your site the other day reading a recent post and I just keep thinking, “This guy has to tell his life story.” And you are already a great writer! And yes, dear Mike, we really DO have to livelife365 – http://livelife365.blogspot.com/

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Chrissy Says:

6 May 2010 at 1:47 am.

Hi Robin, it is lovely to see you. Some wonderful thought in there and rather uplifting. I have lots I would like to say to this but I am finding it really hard to fomulate the written word since the accident. In brief, I have had the opportunity to watch the spring arrive this year (properly without dashing around) for the first time since I was a child, and it has been a fabulous education…
Much love ~ Chrissy

[Reply]

Robin Easton Reply:

Oh my dear sweet Chrissy, You have moved me to my core, to tears. Wow! Your soul is so deeply beautiful. I am humbled and just hugging you. This pristine (like Nature) comment from your beautiful heart to mine is a scared gift for me, one I hold very very dear. I have wondered how you were doing since the accident. Someday I will share more with you, but for now I so strongly relate to your words: “I have had the opportunity to watch the spring arrive this year (properly without dashing around) for the first time since I was a child, and it has been a fabulous education…” This is just lovely. I am so glad that you are able to claim this in amongst the other. Your deep love for and connection to Nature such a part of you that to have the time to REALLY stop and be with it, without dashing around, is so wonderful for you. I also imagine that it’s good for your soul and healing.

Oddly, this is one of the fist springs that I’ve missed so much due to getting my book ready. The timing of your comment here gives me goose bumps because this morning I decided that I just HAD to be out on the high desert with the morning birds. So I packed some water, a tiny book of Thoreau and went for a barefoot hike. It was glorious and at one point I sat under juniper tree and opened my Thoreau book and read my favorite passage. Inside that passage, tucked between the pages is a little card made by “someone” I love very much, and on that card is a copy of a painting of a beautiful little English Robin. Can you believe it? And I thought of you this morning as I sat holding the card you so lovingly made. I keep it in there (when it’s not hanging on my wall) because it reminds me of who I am. You remind me of who I am. And I love you for it, dearest Chrissy. Thank you from my heart.

PS And then I came home and here you are. Talk about goosebumps on my arms. Wow! That is some connection.

And the Thoreau passage reads:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Bird Says:

6 May 2010 at 2:16 am.

Where there is fear, there is power. I can be quite a fearful person but have learned that the fear is usually telling me something important. I don’t mean the very reasonable fear that occurs when you are about to topple off a cliff; I mean the nagging fears about things that have not yet happened, about what someone else might think of you, about not being competent. I am blessed with many of these teachers, they visit me every day, so I’ve learned to question them and find out what it is they might reveal. The one I get most fun out of is the “but what will people think” fear… and the ones I can’t quite fathom are the phobias that pop up suddenly and seem to have no source. When I figure out how to interrogate them I’ll learn a LOT. But that’s learning inside myself. Learning about the bigger picture? I recommend watching insects. Any insect at all will do. They are fascinating, surprising, complex, unpleasant, beautiful and awesome in the truest sense. By watching them go about their wholly alien lives I get a real sense of how we humans are not the greatest show on earth by a long chalk, there is so much going on around us and under our noses that we can never comprehend and which does not care a fig for our human world. Now that is humbling.

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Robin Easton Reply:

OH MY WORD!! Dearest Birdie!! :) This comment is SO loaded with brilliance that I hardly know where to start! I thrive on your honesty about your “nagging-type” of fears. What a beautiful thing that you can share that so openly. I found THAT humbling. Also refreshing because I think so many people will relate to it. At least I know lots of people who have told me the same thing.

A possibly random thought the just came out of the blue and one I’ve not yet examined, but will throw out (simply to share it): As I was reading about your “nagging-type” fears, a voice went through my head and said: “Try loving your fears.” Then I imagine us talking soothingly to our fears as if they were frightened children.

And that’s that! LOL! I’ve not thought it out further, but maybe in loving our fears we love those parts of ourselves that feel vulnerable, frightened, ashamed for being afraid, or the parts that feel we should be different or something other than what we are (better, more, unafraid, etc.).

Also Beautifully wise Birdie, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your astute commentary on insects. I have thought this same thing. I oohed and aahed my way through your insights. I experienced this in the rainforest for the first time and still find it to be true. You words here are extraordinarily beautiful: “They are fascinating, surprising, complex, unpleasant, beautiful and awesome in the truest sense.” YES!!! I know what you mean. That is beautiful writing.

And I too have felt this part as well: “…we humans are not the greatest show on earth by a long chalk, there is so much going on around us and under our noses that we can never comprehend and which does not care a fig for our human world. Now that is humbling.” ABSOLUTELY!! Yes, you really have a stunning connection to the world around you. This is an insight almost forgotten by us humans, “the collective” of humans. I also found in the rainforest that insects are highly intelligent, often extremely organized and productive. Oh, oh, I could just go on and on here. This is a thrilling comment dear “Bird”. Oh this has been a wonderful connection with you again, very rewarding, but then it always has been. Thank you SO much dear friend. Big hugs!

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Mike King Says:

6 May 2010 at 6:17 am.

This is wonderful Robin and I love how you’ve put the experiences as teachers, this is so too often overlooked by people and is much more typical to fall to a habit of victimization from experiences like you’ve listed. However, as you have done, when framed in a context of learning, they become invaluable and continuous areas to grow as a person. Thanks for this, much enjoyed it!

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Robin Easton Reply:

Oh how wonderful to see you hear dear Mike!!! I love this comment because you so elegantly reinforce the astounding value of “life experiences”. and ones that aren’t necessarily easy. I also thrive on what you said about “victimization”. Yes! I’ve noticed that I live in a world that is often taught that being a victim is not only okay, but justified, as if in that alone will make things “right”. And yet I think it can often slow down healing and dis-empower us. The same can be said of “blame”. We lose so much in both cases. I think there is a fine line between the very real need to explore things that happen to us and express our feelings about them (to help us grow and further let go) – AND – simply staying in a state of lifelong victimization and/or blame.

I love how you wrote: “…framed in a context of learning, they become invaluable and continuous areas to grow as a person. ” Mike you always write so clearly and elegantly. It’s just a joy to let your words wash over me. Thank YOU much for sharing here. I am honored by your presence.

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Mike King Reply:

Well thank you Robin for the compliment. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I’ve written (both good and bad) and I certainly enjoy having the ability to be concise, I value that dearly.

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Marghanita Hughes Says:

6 May 2010 at 9:03 am.

Robin, this is a beautiful post-so much of what you have written resonates with me.
Thank you for sharing. I also loved Jonathan’s comment – and your reply YES!!! If we just open our eyes and hearts we realize that we are given EVERYTHING we need to grow, and that, as you say, everything and everyone is our teacher. Just Beautiful!!

[Reply]

Robin Easton Reply:

Dear Marghanita, It is a joy to see you here!!! :) Yes, I can easily understand how you would resonate with this. I sensed all this in you when we first connected. I think it’s why I felt kindred with you. Jonathan’s comment was good as it kind of wrapped up my whole post. There was so much more I wanted to put in here but it was already long. So I am REALLY honored that you took the time to read it and comment. You energy is just lovely. And you know, you are SO right about that fact that if we can only open ourselves to life, all of it, that everything we need to grow is given to us. And we can often miss it and think, “Oh this isn’t supposed to happen!” LOL! and yet, it may exactly what we need to grow. That IS beautiful. Thank you my kind friend.

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nothingprofound Says:

6 May 2010 at 9:08 am.

Robin-Today will be my best teacher, because I’ve already forgotten everything.

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Robin Easton Reply:

My dear sweet “Profound”, THIS took my breath away. I felt like you spoke to the bottom-line essence of who I am….AND how I LOVE to live. I choose to let go of so much and let each day, each moment be experienced, felt, seen, heard, tasted and embraced as if it were my very first. Life is always new, fresh and exciting. I just love THAT!!! Thank you for all your kindness and very profound “being”. I just treasure it and you.

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Debbie Hamprton Says:

6 May 2010 at 12:01 pm.

Thank you so much for this post. It actually had me in tears, but it is one of those kind of days. This helped to remind me beautifully that all the challenges in my life right now and over the past couple of years are really gifts. Miraculously, even the hardest of circumstances turn out to be blessings in disguise. Reminds me to just relax and breathe and notice the beauty and wisdom of the other teachers such as nature and wildlife and to just allow the wisdom of all to work in my life.

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Robin Easton Reply:

Awww, Dear Debbie, your comment brought tears to my eyes. SO beautiful. So filled with heart and soul. I sense deep compassion and wisdom in you. And I also sense that all you are going through makes you emotionally available, or open is a very wondrous way. And although it might be harder for you, do you know that for me it makes you more human and approachable. I read your comment and just felt somehow more human myself, more real and even soothed. Bless you for that. It IS a gift. And I am grateful.

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Evita Says:

6 May 2010 at 3:02 pm.

Hi Robin

My breath was taken away by your list. You have such a gift of taking subjects and examples that can be run on, and putting them in the most eloquent and beautiful ways. The way you described each teacher said everything that was needed to be said – not too much more or too little.

Your teachers were fantastic and I thank them all for shaping the person you are today. I am just now starting to learn from other species. It is black fly season up north and within the first day they taught me the meaning of being humble like nothing perhaps ever before. We as humans think life is always by our rules and on our time, but in nature it is not like that. We are part of a whole system and need to learn how to coexist together.

I love your list Robin and share in so much of what you have written. For me also, silence has been an amazing teacher. When the mind and ego wants to talk, but silence urges us to just be and has made for many amazing experiences out of that.

Thank you dear friend for sharing yet another amazing part of yourself!

[Reply]

Robin Easton Reply:

Dearest Evita, I realized that I sent you an email after your guest post, but you may not have received it. LOL!!! Will send it through Facebook or your other as soon as I get a break. I am soooooo honored by your words here, especially as I have always looked up to your writing style and often been unable to fathom how you can write so clearly and lay something out with such wonderfully progressive order. So I am letting you words sink in and just enjoy how they made me feel, which was delightfully surprised, excited, in awe and wonder!! LOL!! I told my husband the day after I wrote this post that I had almost no memory of writing it. I didn’t know what I was going to write that day, and then I sat down and next thing I know there was a post up there. AND I have no memory of even sitting down to do it. What I do remember is the feeling I was experiencing. LOLOL!! I laugh, but that is TRULY what happened. It felt like something I dreamed, but never physically wrote. But then much of my book, Naked in Eden, was written that way. Where I would suddenly realize I’d written a 100 pages one night and all I remembered was the “dream”. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever put that in words. Very little of my writing comes from thought. Maybe none.

I was SO moved when you said that you are starting to learn from other species. I also chuckled over the black fly season. We had that in Maine when I grew up there. I also thought how once you start to learn from other species, it will BLOW YOUR MIND. At least for me, I started to feel, “Where have I been ALL my life?? How could I have possibly become so disconnected from the rest?” Even though I grew up in small town Maine and spent almost all my free time (non school time) in the woods, on the water in a canoe, etc., I still did not see the extent with which I perceived other life forms as “less” than me, less aware, less intelligent, less important, and so on. They were just the “backdrop” for us humans, the backdrop for the “REAL” world, which was the world of humans. My ignorance gave birth to arrogance and in the process I lost my fill-on connection to all the rest, to that which I AM.

I am excited about your insights into silence. I have done a few vows of silence. Once for 3 months, another time for a month, and other shorter times like a week or day. The power of silence can ROCK our presumed foundations and transform us like we never knew possible.

Dear Evita, Thank you soooooo much for this sharing. It is brilliant and beautiful and means the world to me. I am moved to tears by the journey you are undertaking, your journey back to Eden, both within yourself and with the Earth that loves you. It feels SO profoundly right for you. I am with you on it. I can’t be anything but. Love, Robin

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Simon Hay Says:

6 May 2010 at 3:34 pm.

Hi Robin,

What a great list. I’ve always thought a mistake is only a mistake if it happens twice. Until then it’s an opportunity for growth. Although I am a slow learner and stumble again sometimes. Peace, Simon.

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dear Simon, Welcome!! It is a joy to see you here. Yesterday I explored much of your site. What a LIFE!!! What a journey you have lived. I am intrigued, and bookmarked your site. I so enjoyed your down to earth approach, and the honest story of your life and the discovery of your gifts. There wasn’t any “hype”, no “I’m a guru”, no grandstanding, just humble honest sharing. It is what it is, type of thing. Beautiful and refreshing to see. I think that will hold you in good standing and be one of your greatest strengths. Y

our site is stunning!! I loved the gum trees. Are they ghost gums? I remember them from when I lived in NSW. On a full moon night they would almost glow like luminous ghostly beings. SO elegant and other worldly. I look forward to following your journey. Thank you for sharing here.

PS re mistakes: sometimes people stumble all their lives. I had one man once tell me that his whole life had been one big mistake. And as he was dying he told me that the BIGGEST most mind blowing lesson he had learned was to forgive himself for not awakening sooner. And then he said that it was okay because he had learned deep and abiding compassion for himself and others, and in the end found profound peace. In that peace he said he fell in love with all of humanity, with all of life. He felt that he had finally connected to that which was most important in life: forgiveness, love, acceptance, peace and living the remaining days of his life moment by moment, as if each moment were a lifetime. Thank you Simon. Robin

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Wilma Ham Says:

6 May 2010 at 4:41 pm.

Oh Robin, I only started to learn from life when I accessed LOVE again. Life only teaches to the heart NOT the mind so I missed many lessons when my heart was closed and my mind had the upper hand. Small children learn so well as they come from love and Humberto Maturana has noticed, LOVE is the only emotion that expands intelligence.
I have experienced finally to let LOVE do the learning, let LOVE respond to the teacher and what is being taught and then let LOVE guide the mind.
OH Robin, LOVE responds to the LOVE that you are, LOVE responds to your awesome words, LOVE loves you to bits as my teacher. And I love you for being you, xox Wilma.

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dearest Wilma, Oh! I am so honored to see you here. This comment is just SO YOU! As I read it tears came immediately to my eyes, and your words allowed me to feel in my body what is true for me. I felt so seen and kindred with you when I read: “Life only teaches to the heart NOT the mind…” I really hear you on this.

And then when you wrote: “LOVE is the only emotion that expands intelligence.” I WAS STUNNED. That is brilliance beyond brilliance. I’ve often wrote here on my blog about how I really have little concept to offer my readers, but the thing that I DO have, the thing that comes readily to my heart, is to LOVE them. I think the easiest thing for me do to is to move through the world loving. If I have to go up into my head with concepts I feel very drained and like I have moved away the fundamental flow of Life itself.

Dear Wilma, you most DEFINITELY let Love do the learning and teaching. Everything that comes out of you IS Love. It is what draws me to you. You respond to others with a wide open heart and from a place of what’s truly important, which is LOVE. You move through the world “being” Love. I saw that the first time I connected with you. You are unforgettable. What I got from that was not only to bask in the Love you give so freely, but just in being YOU, you confirmed for me a way of “being” that is all I know, and yet at times in my culture, I thought I was supposed to be something “more”, “other”, better, bigger, more conceptual, “educated”, etc, etc. You being YOU, sets those of who are ready, FREE! I love you for that Wilma and so much more. Thank you for gracing me with your astounding beauty. Robin

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Steven Aitchison Says:

6 May 2010 at 9:40 pm.

Hey Robin, It’s good to have you back writing, I know you’re really busy but you are missed when you are not around.

When you look at this closely it seems ‘WE’ are our biggest teachers and being aware of the experiences we have in life, and treating them as lessons is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. The unlearning of life comes when we take off the teachers hat and become victims of the school of life and forget to see the lessons it can teach us.

Another thought provoking post Robin, you are my spiritual teacher :)

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dear Steven, I am touched by your kind words. It made me think of the times that you have been writing/working on getting your books ready and have had guest bloggers, and even though the guest bloggers were EXCELLENT, they were not YOU!! :) I learned from that, how much we look forward to reading the people we’ve come to know, trust and love. And yet, I also know that we all get busy AND that we can often meet other wonderful people through guest posts. So it’s all good.

The part that’s hardest for me is that I TRULY miss being here more often, and interacting with all the remarkable people who share with me. People like you who just blow my mind and make me realize how many good people there are in the world.

I agree with you that “WE” are out biggest teacher in that, as you say, we have the ability to be aware of the experiences that Life offers us. I think you’ve hit on the key, which is to embrace and treat these experiences as lessons. YES!! it is a huge gift we give ourselves and others when we can look at life in this way. Thank you my dear fried for your kind and wise words. You also have been a teacher for me, and continue to teach me SO much. You are a very earnest soul. That touches me. Hugs, Robin

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The Exception Says:

7 May 2010 at 12:44 pm.

There isn’t much I can add to the comments here – Life is a fabulous teacher as is everyone we encounter. We are both teacher and student throughout our lives. My daughter is one of my greatest teachers – children offer something that we often can’t find anywhere else.

Thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful essay.

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dear “Exception-al” :) !! I love this comment because you not only point out that we are both teacher and student, but you are the first to mention children. I thought that would be one of the first “teachers” people would mention. I purposely left some things out of my post as it was already too long, and it gives opportunity for others to mention them. So I’m VERY grateful that you mentioned children. YES YES YES!! They are marvelous teachers, aren’t they?!! My word, we adults often grossly underestimate what we can learn from children. It blows my mind how much they can teach us, every day, all the time. If not repressed, frightened, etc., children just tell it like it is. They see the obvious, the honest, the truth, the fundamental core of Life itself. They LIVE that core!

I just adore your words: “…children offer something that we often can’t find anywhere else.” Yes, I absolutely agree. You have worded that so profoundly. “…that we can’t find anywhere else.” I don’t have children, but have worked with children and just love them and they flock to me like bees to honey. I LOVE LOVE being around them. I go right to their level and lose myself in their unbridled spontaneity, laughter, honesty, curiosity, emotional flow (both tears and joy)….and I go away feeling clean, healed, free and TOTALLY ALIVE. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this beautiful insight. You made my heart just SING. Hugging you, Robin

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The Exception Reply:

Thank you for your comment on my post. It was wonderful to read this morning and left me with tears. There is so much I want to do and share with kids and the world and sometimes I just don’t have any notion as to where I can best help or how to start – I think big picture in a world that seems to be made up of millions upon millions of individuals in bubbles.

I am not surprised that kids are drawn to you. They see the wonder and the magic of life and the world around them.

Thank you Robin – Thank you.

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Lauren Says:

7 May 2010 at 1:12 pm.

Dear Robin,

This is a beautiful post that took me on an inward journey to reflect upon my teachers. I was most impacted by your naming of fear as a potent teacher. Recently I’ve been calling up a couple of my basic fears and working with them through using EFT and it has been remarkable.

Your profound statement that fear is the doorway to freedom I believe is totally right-on. And it is wonderful to revolutionize our life from the inside out.

Robin, you are a beacon of light and I adore you.

Big hugs,
Lauren

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Robin Easton Reply:

Dearest Lauren, what a beautiful comment. I am touched by your ability and commitment to look at your fear. I really admire you for that because it is one of the most raw and often consuming of emotions. I too have done EFT on myself in the past for various situations and found it fascinating. It allowed me to move through a couple of situations in my life with much more ease than I’d previously managed. Also, I am moved by your kind words to me. They go into me and leave me feeling very humbled. I see you as a one amazing, beautiful and open soul. I am grateful for your presence in my life. Thank you dear one and BIG hugs back to you. Robin.

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Robb Says:

7 May 2010 at 3:22 pm.

Kia ora Robin,
I am sure, Wild Sister, it will not come as a huge surprise to write to you that my Finest Teacher has been The Wild. In the mountains I finally came face to face with the essence of me, and realized so many different truths about myself. I have told you about sitting down by that Ruahine river and just crying, letting all these emotions out that were stuck inside me like a black sludge. To finally FEEL and bring that outside to here and be a better man to Tara and my sons, but there is no doubt that gift came from the mountains. It has taught me perhaps most of all the value of patience, to accept what I can control, and to simply operate as best I can within what I cannot control. No river will become unflooded, or the gales of wind stop blowing, or the clouds clear so I can see, simply because it is an issue for me and what I would like to do. So I have learned acceptance of these things beyond me, and am learning how to operate within them, to navigate myself through the turmoil and still smile. The Buddists write that Desire is the root cause of all pain, and I learned walking in the mountains these past years with my bad hip that indeed if I pushed too hard, tried to do too much, the pain overtook me because in essence it was me causing it in my desire to be something I was not, or could not do. At times simply accepting that and slowing myself down to a pace in the journey my body could tolerate, it freed me to enjoy some of the most amazing journeys of all, and walking slower simply makes us more aware. I can’t wait to try again without the physical pain so near at hand! Patience, Balance, and Acceptance, I had to find these in Nature and let them seep into my soul to become a better man out here. And so it goes on. Rave on Wild Sister. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb

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Chris Edgar Says:

7 May 2010 at 5:26 pm.

Hi Robin — thanks for this — wow, I experienced quite a desire to go sit somewhere in a field or in the woods as I read this — unfortunately I’m not anywhere near the Amazon Jungle or a similar place, so the field right outside will have to do. The plus side is that, probably, no three-foot-long cockroaches will be there. I’ll report on my experiences in the field when I get back as long as the stinging trees don’t get me.

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Julie Says:

8 May 2010 at 6:10 pm.

YOU are one. :)

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Hilary Says:

9 May 2010 at 2:44 am.

Hi Robin .. what an incredible post. I’ve learnt so much in the last few years – more than previously. I’ve been inspired having moved to a different thought process – it’s enlightening. This transformation is occurring now – I am seeing more, hearing more, being receptive to things, feeling and understanding more .. the process is definitely ongoing.

As I go I will get some time to assimilate my learning, which time has been (understandably) lacking .. one thing I’ve learnt is to take lessons in, which I know over time will be absorbed and understood better by me – but which resonate with other articles or information I pick up as I go along. There are lots of things I need to activate .. this will happen.

Since this experience with my mother, my uncle and my blog .. I admire and would have loved to have learnt from the polymaths of old .. they turned their attention to so many things .. learning, mastering & understanding .. then experimenting and inventing new thoughts ..

Now I know you and others resonate so fully with nature & that side of life I’m beginning to appreciate a lot more; I’ve always loved nature .. but perhaps not appreciated the wholeness of the earth & the heavens, or the cosmos, galaxies above .. as I’m learning to do now.

I was brought up to perhaps hide my feelings – that was the age .. it’s a pity as so many are still there, while there’s so much more if we can take the time to understand, to learn, to open our hearts – that’s the thing .. open our hearts.

I loved that composite picture .. wonderful scenes .. with you!! I must come back – because there is so much here for me to take on board and ideas I need to think about .. great post – truly wonderful – full of wisdom & love .. thanks Robin .. with love and hugs Hilary

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David Says:

10 May 2010 at 3:24 pm.

All day long I have been thinking about a little wooden house on stilts and a comment you made about living there happily. That was a teaching moment and one so gracefully offered I could not stop thinking about it.

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rob white Says:

10 May 2010 at 6:54 pm.

Hi Robin, Thank you for sharing. The student and the teacher are never separate… I can see you were a diligent student because you are teaching the lessons marvelously. There is no better way to learn something new than to go out and spread the word.

Lately I relate to Solitude as a teacher in my life. When you give your heart soul to your passion solitude is simply a must. I have learned so much about myself by throwing myself into the writing of my next book. In that sense solitude has been a wonderful teacher.

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Trish Scott Says:

12 May 2010 at 10:24 am.

Bouncing off your blog again :) http://scottfree2b.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/a-message-from-ficus-benjamina/

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Leisa Watkins Says:

20 May 2010 at 10:54 am.

Thanks Robin for a wonderful article.

Thankfully life brings us plenty of experiences that we can use to grow from. To often we fail to see the benefit of our hardships until years later when we look back at our life with a different perspective. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can choose to be happy now. We can choose to learn the lesson now – or later. Now is much easier.

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Sandra Lee Says:

18 July 2010 at 2:03 pm.

Robin, this is such a phenomenal post. You are an excellent writer. I’m awed by how you capsulize the most profound in such an essential way. I’m so happy to connect with you.

As for teachers, I’ve been fortunate to receive teachings from many extraordinary Buddhist masters. I will be forever grateful to them because without their assistance I may have never recognized the true nature of my mind or existence. At the same time, in the Buddhist tradition it is said that there are four types of teachers and whatever we encounter in life is one of them.

Illness, solitude, and fear are high on my list of life teachers. Difficult encounters with others are also a prime learning opportunity for me. I do my best to take whatever arises in my life as a teacher. Thanks for writing on this topic.

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Jenn Says:

24 August 2010 at 11:32 am.

Wow, Robin.. I love how I was drawn to this title instantly, as I woke up this morning feeling such gratitude in my spirit just wanting to soar! I was just thinking of how beautiful the tapestry of life is, and how we always have such kind Spirit guides and yes, sometimes necessary life teachers who help stretch our capabilities. I did not think of it immediately as making a list + thinking of the full gratitude of each one of “my life teachers through experience”.. what a great concept! I have touched the surface of this, but not dived in yet! I look forward to this new power tool! Thank you Thank you!! I love looking at the world through your eyes! You are a wise and transparent soul! hugs,… Jenn

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Ricky Ferdon Says:

22 February 2011 at 8:28 pm.

Yours is a pure spirit. You connect your readers with what is. Once discovered, Truth moves the bearer to share. Thank-you! Peace and Love.

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