Tao Te Ching Day 16: The Teacher is Always Present

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I was at a jump park with my kids the other day and one of the attractions there was a ninja warrior course, with a foam drop pit. Written on the very top of this course was the saying, “Bow to your Sensei.” It hit me like a bolt of lighting wrapped around a 2×4 being swung by Barry Bonds, The Teacher is Always Present.

This is the theme of chapter 27.

“Therefore the good person

is the bad person’s teacher, and the bad person

Is the good person’s resource.”

TTC – Chp. 27 (Addiss & Lombardo)

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I pray for patience and don’t you know it, I get stuck in traffic. I pray for strength and of course, my kids all wanna run away from home. I pray for love, and all the weirdos come out of the wood work.”

I know I have heard this many times, and I have experienced it as well. The reason for this and what Lao Tzu, was saying is that the teacher is never, not teaching. It is always up to the student to take the lesson.

“Not to value the teacher,

Not to love the resource,

Causes great confusion even for the intelligent.

This is called the vital secret.”

TTC – Chp. 27 (Addiss & Lombardo)

Back to the Ninja warrior thing. So, I’m looking at this thing, and of course I understand now, there is a lesson being taught at all times to anyone willing to become a student, and thankfully all it takes is willingness.

What does the Ninja Warrior course teach me. It teaches me, balance, core strength, courage, seeing beyond the obstacle and being present in discomfort.

Would I know that if I were unwilling? Hell no, I would remain ignorant to the fact that there is a great big world of sensei’s out there waiting for students to be present.

Yet, I can find myself unwilling at times to learn from that which is screaming in my face to learn it, because I can find myself thinking I am too intelligent to learn from a kids play ground.

So this is why, traffic shows up for patience, boredom shows up for peace, crazy people show up for love, and difficulty shows up for strength. They are all our teachers and allowing them to teach us is the only way to get through the insanity of dealing with any of them.

I remember after being sober for a while and getting some hobbies and learning to meditate, people would say, “I am happy to be sober, but man I am so bored.” I would ask them, have you been praying for peace? To which they would always reply, “Yes.”

I would then say, “well, it seems to me you are getting exactly what you are praying for, peace can feel a lot like boredom when we have spent a life time chasing chaos. Enjoy the peace, maybe you will learn something about yourself.”

Teachers always be teaching man.

“In this way the Sage, Always helps people and rejects none,

Always helps all beings, and rejects none.

This is called practicing brightness.

TTC – Chp. 27 (Addiss & Lombardo)

I have never seen a candle withhold light from someone because it didn’t like that person. Practicing brightness is shining for all, because allowing anyone to effect your light robs them of their ability to shine. In this way we are all teachers for one another if we are willing to practice brightness.

If you are feeling confused or lost, as though you have no idea what direction to take your life, feel secure in the fact that the teacher is right in front of you simply waiting for you to become willing.

How do I know this, because I had to become willing last night and humble myself to the teacher that was in front of me, and as soon as I did, life became enjoyable again.

Learn or do not learn, the choice is ours. When you are ready, humility will open doors that no number of keys could unlock.

Happy Day.


Published by Matthew Whiteside

I am a writer, a storyteller, a yarn-spinning freakazoid. My life is full of two things today, lessons and blessings. I write fiction mostly but I also love to write about my life and the things I go through on a daily basis. Writing it out inspires and motivates me and that's why I do it. Plus if it does that for me maybe it will for someone else too.

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