People often ask me to teach them how to meditate and so I always prefer to give simply the most basic instruction necessary.
In my classes, what I am doing instead of teaching how to meditate is giving you the opportunity to experience it. Holding the space to make it easier or even possible. And I think that counts for a lot.
It happened today when I was leading an Aikido class where a third of the class was made up of black belts who have been training for many years longer than me (talk about intimidating!)
Instead of trying to “teach” them something, I demonstrated a series of familiar techniques and created the opportunity for the experience of vigorous training.
All the students trained according to their own capabilities and the result was a tremendously satisfying class.
Often times when we are in charge of a situation, we feel inclined to instruct to such an extent that our words become a mandate.
This is especially true for me if the person that I am instructing happens to be my teenage daughter. I really really want her to get the information I am giving her so she can learn it already!
But just like the meditation classes and the Aikido class, my best teaching is not teaching at all. It is a thousand times more effective if I give her a few guidelines and hold the space for her to safely experience it on her own.
This is an exceptionally ripe opportunity for paying careful attention to what my intuition is telling me – often it is telling me to Stop Talking!
It can seem unproductive to only give the slightest amount of instruction, but in reality all the words in the world are not nearly as valuable as just doing it.
So maybe you have a situation in your life like that – a child, an employee, a co-worker or a student. Maybe instead of teaching them how to do something, just give them a few choice guidelines and lots and lots of space to safely explore, experiment and experience it for themselves.
Give it a try.