I have been on a “spiritual path” since 1975 when I attended my first meditation class in Minneapolis with the man who later became famous as Swami Veda Bharati. During the decades that have ensued since then, I have come to realize that there are two primary types of teachers – those who transmit energy and those who share information.
SEE ALSO: 10 Interesting Facts About Buddha
The Two Modes of Teaching
Most teachers utilize a combination of these two modes, but all of the hundreds of teachers I have experienced over the years heavily favored one over the other. Because we live in the highly thought-oriented west, most of those who have become our popular teachers primarily share thoughts, techniques, and ideas rather than transmitting energy. They provide us with the information about transformation, but they are generally not trained or skilled in direct transmission.
Even those who claim the gift of direct transmission tend to be people who have taken a class, done a seminar and been “certified,” but have not put in the years or decades of training and practice required for most people to become skilled in transmission.
A Heritage of Transmission
There are the very few teachers who were born into transmission traditions and have retained and honed their skills through countless lives. These people include native born shamans, tolkus, medicine people and other indigenous individuals – many of whom are now sharing their gifts and wisdom with people outside their traditions because they have been instructed to do so by their elders and guides.
This shift from maintaining such transmitted wisdom within a secret, select few is occurring at this time because we have entered into a period where we must come together as one global population if we are to survive and thrive. Many of the ancient cultures such as the Maya, Hopi, Tibetan Buddhists, and Shamans have known that this era was coming and that they would eventually allow their transmitting teachers, often called gurus, to proliferate throughout modern society.
Distinguishing Genuine from Sham
Even though such cultures are allowing non-members into their wisdom societies, it is often difficult for the average untrained individual to distinguish authentic transmitting teachers from those who simply deliver information and, more importantly, from those who are simply using the jargon to control others and profit. Almost anyone can read a book, take an online course or acquire some basic information and begin to “teach”. Many information — sharing teachers are useful in that they help people begin their spiritual or transformational journey. They cannot, however, be compared to teachers who infuse their students and often anyone who comes into contact with them with a transformational energy that is difficult to describe.
Modern Agents of Transformation
One such non-indigenous teacher who was able to transmit such energy was my mentor and teacher Buckminster Fuller, or Bucky as he preferred to be called. Bucky’s “thinking out loud lectures” often continued nonstop for six to ten hours. When he finally stopped, often because the building was being closed for the night, many people had the same reaction that I had when I first experienced Bucky.
I’ve heard many people say, “Being with Bucky was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. In fact, that one lecture changed my life forever, and I have no idea what he said.”
Such transformational energy transmissions are rare and precious, and one has to be open to receiving in order to fully benefit from them. Nowhere is that more obvious than when Mata Amritanandamayi (more commonly known as The Hugging Saint or Ammaji) makes her yearly tour across North America. Thousands of people will wait for hours for a 30-second hug from Amma.
The experience is called darshan, and Amma freely transmits this energy of transformation to all who are open to receive.
Being Open To the Gift
Still, the potency of what is received is directly related to the openness of the receiver. People who arrive skeptical generally leave with something, but nothing compared to those who either have faith in Amma’s message and mission or those who come with an open curiousness. Such faith-based extraordinary experiences are common, and the lead people to become followers or disciples of such teachers.
Handling Our Ever Skeptical Minds
Other teachers are far less transparent in telling people what is actually happening. They entice us into joining them with teaching topics that appeal to our minds, and they actually lecture on those topics. Genuine transmitting teachers, however, are operating on a far more subtle level, transmitting energy to everyone in the room, but most potently to those open to receiving. This was the case with Buckminster Fuller, who most people consider to be an architect, inventor, philosopher but not a guru. In order to reach the most people possible, he assumed the most innocuous clothing he could imagine: the dark three-piece suit, white shirt and black tie of a bank teller in the 1930’s.
“Hiding” in this “disguise,” Bucky kept his appearance from blocking his message and transmission.
Remaining As Present As Possible
Often, such teachers will look directly into a student’s eyes. This is a powerful experience because something of great depth is being offered. If we are fortunate enough to have such an auspicious experience, it is good to be prepared. We need to have asked ourselves, “am I ready and willing to accept what is being offered?”
If we have come to get more than just additional techniques and information, we stay with the teacher’s gaze and are empowered with a direct, deep transmission. Others in the room also receive a transmission on all levels (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual), but the gaze provides a particularly potent method of transmission that only a genuine transmitting teacher can bestow.
More Than A Momentary Rush
This is why I often assert that I attend teachings not so much for the information but for the transmission. And in the days, weeks or years following the transmission, I watch for what is most important to me – the results. Things happen that most people will not relate back to that moment of transformative transition, and those are, for me, the true blessings of the teacher.
May you, and all beings, be open and curious enough to experience such transmissions and transformations.
Latest posts by Steven Sieden (see all)
- Choosing Between Being A Transmitting Or Informing Teacher - February 3, 2017