Guidelines for teacher trainees

General guidelines for Vajrasati teachers and teacher trainees…

  1. To demonstrate faith or confidence in the central position of the satipatthana sutra in the evolution of Vajrasati Yoga by reading and re-reading it, considering with a mind that understands its importance and therefore stays open to its potential and potency. Allow a dialogue between practice, everyday life and the sutra so that it runs like a golden thread, revealing its deepest meaning through having it naturally, non-forcefully running through your life and practice over many years (the heartwood sutra should be considered in a similar way).
  2. It is advised that teachers and trainees have the vajrasati principles displayed or easily available so that the focus that we share in common is always at the front of our minds and serves to keep Vajrasati pure, creative and connected: Strongest foundations for the tallest towers.
  3. It is trusted that all teachers and trainees will naturally be self-disciplined and mature enough to be truthful (satya) to themselves in regards to adhering to the spirit of the yamas in practice and in teaching. And recognise the need for vigilance and self-questioning on a regular basis in this regard.
  4. It is trusted that Vajrasati teachers, through their own understanding of the inevitability of the laws of cause and effect, will demonstrate patience and compassion in their dealings with either students or the general public (if there is an effect, there must have been a cause).
  5. All teachers and trainees should understand that the big aim of Vajrasati yoga is to lift the mind out of suffering into creativity. That through bringing the principles of sun and moon out of conflict and into union, the mind held barriers that arise through appearance of division of in or out, can and can’t and so on, in other words the appearance of duality, are melted or transcended.
  6. All teachers/trainees should always fund their teaching from direct real personal understanding gleaned from personal practice. It is advised that a regular practice of Vajrasati Yoga is of central importance and on a normal week, a minimal practice of around eight hours (asana/ pranayama mantra either or) should be aimed for, which can include class attendance. In addition, it is recommended that a further minimal practice of two or three half hour meditation sessions per week are maintained.
  7. It is stressed that teachers/trainees practice humility by teaching within what one has a personal and clear understanding of. And where uncertainty or confusion is found, steps are taken to fill in that gap through seeking advice and through exploring one’s own experience, using and building on existing Vajrasati vocabulary.
  8. All teachers/trainees should make a regular effort to meet up with Jim so that any confusion or uncertainty can be addressed and cleared up as soon as possible.
  9. It is trusted that all Vajrasati teachers/trainees understand the benefit and support that we all can bring to one another and therefore make as much effort as possible to meet with each other (teachers, trainees and prospective members). And through friendliness and discussion, help to strengthen each other, understand and purify our own misunderstandings.
  10. ALL TRAINEES are expected to focus on the syllabus in hand, with regards to study and research at home, and not just rely on the teacher training session. In this way, time can be saved on basic points such as Sanskrit names and their translations and in terms of the basic alignments of the asanas ect. This will also make the teacher training sessions more lively with the students being able to offer more to each other in terms of tips and ideas and in terms of clearing up uncertainties in greater depth and detail.
  11. ALL TRAINEES are expected to try to hand in finished homeworks one week after it has been set and to have made copies of their work for each other. This will allow greater understanding and opportunity for all students during homework feedback including a chance to make useful comments about each other’s work when desired.
  12. Above all else, although it is called a yoga school, it is to be understood that Vajrasati has very little in common with many of our common experiences of our formal childhood education. This is apparent in the focus of Vajrasati. It should not be viewed that we are trying to get something that we are set to either pass or fail, it is not like a pass or ticket into something. No one has the absolute take on the truth, truth by it’s nature has to be creative honest and intimate. Trainees coming to yoga school should not to think just in terms of what can be taken from it but also in terms of what can be given to it, otherwise we’ll find that the well soon runs dry as more and more come to drink. Trainees should have confidence in their own maturity, that is confidence in their ability to be honest and questioning outwardly and even more so inwardly, and stay in contact with their sense of care and responsibility for self and others as they practice and teach.

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Quotes

A spontaneous Vajra song

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
You exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax this tight fist of grasping,
Infinite space is there-open, inviting and comfortable.

— The Venerable Lama Gandun Rinpoche