Teaching the Mind, Touching the Heart

What is a teacher?

A teacher is someone (or something) that provides or passes on knowledge to another.

In the beautiful, spellbinding documentary My Octopus Teacher, we meet a struggling human who begins to dive daily in the nearby sea as a way to cope with his lack of enthusiasm for life. Deep in the ocean, he encounters a small female octopus and, astonishingly enough, develops a bond. Through the lens of this intrepid human, we have the privilege of accompanying these two creatures on their journey and watching as the trust builds between them.

While the human gains all sorts of factual knowledge from the experience, it is that trusting relationship that changes his heart. It is the connection that drives him back to the nest again and again. He becomes hungry to know more and works to continue to gain her trust. This is a wonderful display of the teacher-learner relationship and how cultivating trust helps to create that eagerness to return. It becomes so rewarding, that both student and teacher want to create the encounter again and again, in even more meaningful ways.

From a spiritual perspective, life is our school, and we are all both students and teachers. If we are open to it, we are learning all the time and we are all teaching all the time. When we become aware that it is a healthy teacher-learner relationship that opens the heart, we are forever changed. When we strive to create trust between ourselves and our students (or teachers), it transforms content into wisdom -- and that is where the magic happens.

Who are your teachers and how do you connect with them?
Are they educators by profession, coaches, parents, friends, an octopus?

Who are your students?
Are they your children, someone else's, someone that you lead or who works for you, or a sad human that has encountered your nest?

May you value, respect and build a healthy, trusting relationship with your students.
May you value, respect and build a healthy, trusting relationship with your teachers.

To those who have chosen a life of teaching, we thank you and wish for you strength and wisdom to understand and use your power to uplift, inspire and open the hearts and minds of your learners, young and old.

~ Edwina Cowell

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ~ Aristotle