(A part of Sahajananda‘s speech at the opening of the Hridaya Teacher Training Course, Mazunte 2012)
Hridaya Teacher Training Course Vision
Communion in Ideals, Principles and Actions
The Hridaya Teacher Training Course is not just a 3-month course for acquiring some specific knowledge, improving ourselves and obtaining a certification accordingly. It opens us toward a life-time journey. Practically speaking, the communion in ideals, principles and actions, the friendship, the teachings and the support will continue also after this formal period.
The Hridaya community is open and welcoming to any of his teachers, and is actively supporting them in the transmission of the Hridaya ideals, perspectives and methods.
Going Beyond Labels and Roles
The Hridaya Teacher Training Course aims to go beyond the formal style of a course in which you would be labeled ‘student’ and therefore you have to be only in a receptive position, for becoming after 3 months of preparation a new person, labeled ‘teacher’, simply because you will be placed in a different position. We learn together, continuously, as students and teachers, to be beyond roles. Here we are not learning how to assume a new role – that of a teacher – but we are constantly learning to be beyond roles.
In the HTTC the education starts from another paradigm. We respect each other beyond roles, appreciating the gifts each person can bring, supporting the beauty and the inherently creative power that lies in every soul. Thus, real love can grow.
The HTTC encourages spontaneity, and this gives the freedom, freshness and dynamic character of the course and of our relations.
Emphasizing Creativity and Quality – Learning in Freedom and Love
Emphasizing creativity is a way of learning in freedom and love, of cultivating our best, sattvic (harmonious) qualities. This doesn’t contradict, but includes the need of being systematic and the understanding of the order. When a spiritual school is based on quality and sattvic standards it grows naturally in love and beauty, art, harmony, and respect for Love.
Being focused only on quantity and a franchise-like style, in which the specificities are ignored, a spiritual group can risk rapid degeneration. When we put enthusiasm into it, our work is approached not through quantity but quality and therefore awareness, intelligence, love and creativity are present.
In order to provide to our students the same trust in the depth of their beings, confidence and faith in the infinite ocean of Light that resides in our Heart should radiate firstly from our being. This is the best way of teaching – it is a Heart (Self) –affirming attitude, without remaining in the ego. It is about learning how to surrender (which of course doesn’t mean not to be prepared theoretically). It is about cultivating awareness in what we actively do during teaching and during our entire life.
The Model of Plato’s Academy
A real transformation in our students is only possible when the teaching becomes an offering to the Spiritual Heart. Without an intuition of the Ultimate, it is not possible to offer teachings that inspire wisdom, love and happiness in people. Thus, loving and offering our gifts to the world should go beyond the personal limitations, as it was in or in the Renaissance, for example.
Fulfillment Coming from Heart Awareness
Even though there will be formal examinations which are based upon a solid theoretical preparation, much more emphasis is put on keeping the spirit of Hridaya – the naturalness, love, awareness. Cultivating the Heart, which is so important for every human being, cannot be taught in a strictly formal, mechanical way. We are not encouraging that so-called “competitive spirit.” We need only to show and expand our own possibilities and gifts, but not necessarily in comparison or in opposition to others. By living in awareness, Self-enquiry, freedom and beauty we become the best teachers. Then we don’t feel the need anymore to prove something to others, based on competition and a pushing attitude.
When we are centered mainly in the mind, in thinking, there is always a feeling of lack and a pressure of doing something. In the awareness of the Heart there is fulfillment and when we live knowingly in our Heart, there is no feeling of lack, frustration or agitation.
Cultivating Imagination, Beauty, Stillness
Only passing beyond the common way of teaching and receiving we can go beyond the mind. Of course, the mind, the intelligence is needed, but in the same time HTTC is inviting you to express and cultivate your inspiration, imagination, your heart and beauty, your presence, the stillness as well – since this is also what you will want to awaken in your future students as well.
The Universality of the Message
Therefore, the HTTC is not done with a dry theoretical approach, but is a living course (through its vision, methods and attitudes) which aims to make these teachings resonate more deeply within each of us. They are rooted in the Consciousness of Oneness, and our highest priority is to keep the universality of the message – even though Hridaya Yoga has its own specificities, it is important to avoid any dogmas.
The Radiance of the Heart is the Only Authority
The real competence of a Hridaya meditation and yoga teacher is not based on competition and self-image but on love and intimate knowledge of who we are. And in this way people will naturally come for the teachings that we are offering – both teachers and students understanding that the radiance of the Heart is the only authority. Temporal authority, which our role as teachers provides us, flows from this knowledge, this love. And love has its own ultimate authority.
An Education Coming from Love
We strongly believe that a meaningful education should come out of love. Then people will learn the non-dual approach of meditation and hatha yoga, because they will love it. Thus we will be able to give, to share what we love and what we have learned.
The Harmony of Naturalness
Each one of us is learning how to create the best conditions for the revelation of our true nature and this cannot be based on rigid rules. The harmony radiating from our true nature is the ultimate sovereign authority. The HTTC is encouraging an education and culture in which we are free from dogmas, personal interpretations, dramas and wishful thinking, being able to see facts as they are, from the stillness of the Witness Consciousness.
The Clarity of the Concepts
Another important preoccupation for the Hridaya Meditation and Yoga Teacher Training Course was related with formalizing the teachings. In spite of the fact that the teachings of advaita, of non-duality are essentially beyond mind, in order to be transmitted properly we definitely should use our intelligence and inspiration. That’s why the HTTC is trying to bring maximum clarity in its main concepts: The Sacred Tremor of the Heart, Hridaya Meditation, the Heart Center, Self Inquiry, Hridaya Hatha Yoga, Samarasa, Open Attention, the Witness Consciousness, etc.
The Heart Doesn’t Have a Copyright
The Hridaya Community and Sahajananda will support you in giving Meditation and Hatha yoga classes, workshops, courses etc. and will not require for this a part of your profit as a teacher. The non-duality of the Heart is the inheritance of all humankind. Advaita is not just for a few well-educated people, but is a universal truth and belongs to all humanity.
On the other hand, what we encourage is your contribution – to continue to work together for constantly improving the way in which the message of the Heart can touch people.
The Teachings of Advaita, the Non-dual Vision
The HTTC promotes the Non-dual Vision. This means that essentially there is only one inseparable domain of the Heart. When we really understand this principle, we are able to apply it to teaching and to all our activities.
As Chuang Tzu said:
“Great knowledge sees all in one.
Small knowledge breaks down into the many.”
What is spiritual, uplifting, beautiful, noble, good comes from this global perception.
The HTTC Flows in 3 Main Directions:
- Practical technical (methodological) knowledge – which consists in methods of meditation, transformation;
- Theoretical knowledge (including teaching methodology) – which are considered necessary for a meditation and hatha yoga teacher.
Paraphrasing an old Taoist saying, HTTC doesn’t want to give you a few fish, but to teach you how to fish. Anyway, since you are enrolled in a Teacher Training for Meditation and Yoga, you should be already good fishermen. HTTC is just inspiring you to go in the deepest water.
We wish you an inspiring journey into the Real!