To all my spiritual teachers

To all my spiritual teachers,

Most of you are no longer living in this realm, however, some of you are. Some of you I have never met, others of you I have. Some of you have taught me through your writings, your lectures, and other things you have done to assist others and me in our journeys. You were walking in your calling as a teacher and sharing the wisdom of your life with people like me and for that I am grateful.

A while back, in one of my earlier blogs, I made a list of 10 spiritual teachers in my life. They were:

  1. My bubby, which is Yiddish for grandmother, who taught me to silence my self and listen to the spirit within.
  2. My wife, Zoe Davis, who taught me that love was and can be unconditional. 
  3. Miguel Don Ruiz whose writings helped me bring an end to my own suffering.
  4. Osho, whose writings helped me to understand the difference between belief and faith
  5. Dr. Diane Samdahl, who gave me the courage to face my demons and insecurities
  6. Meg Christian, who reminded me that it is all about the journey and that “great wisdom from painful experience is an inside job!”
  7. My mother, Roslyn Kamin Jacobson, who taught me that love was the greatest gift one could give
  8. My son, Nicholas Maurice Chambers Jacobson Johnson Davis, who taught me the transformative power of love and faith.
  9. Jorge Rieger, who is a constant reminder to me that the larger our welcome and affirming of human diversity is, the greater our understanding of the Creator is.
  10. My father, Avram Lyon Jacobson, who taught me the importance of being responsible for one’s behavior and words.

These people and spirits continue to teach me and help me to grow and for them I am eternally grateful.

At the same time, however, I was reminded this week how everyone we meet has the capacity to teach us something and help us grow spiritually. Lordo Ringler talks about this in his book The Buddha Walks into the Bar and Iyanla Vanzant has said something similar when she talked about being grateful for those who get on your last nerve. Even these people offer us an opportunity to grow, to become more compassionate, to learn something new about ourselves, to widen and awaken our hearts in ways we had not done before.

This week, I was reminded of that by someone I have never met, and most likely never will. This person only identified themself as intellectual honesty. They called me out publicly on my website for not mentioning how some of the information in my blog was from Rinzler’s book. I had to sit with that feeling for a while, as academic honesty is important to me. It is something I feel passionately about because I once had the authorship of an entire article taken by a former professor. I also found it hard to believe I would do that for those very reasons. There was a part of me that wanted to just delete the comment, but then I found myself being very grateful to this person, who I will never meet for reminding me that even when I am writing from my heart, I need to remember to be clearer about where some of my ideas come from. This person reminded me to give thanks for the lessons I was learning about myself and about the importance of staying present with our feelings. This person gave me an opportunity to work through some feelings I had not yet worked through from a few times when I had been plagiarized.

After I had sat with my feelings, I went back to my post and realized I had mentioned him in my reference list which I now know does not show in my posts and had embedded a link to Rinzler’s site in my blog as well.

Whether my reference was seen or not is irrelevant. What is important is that this person provided me with an opportunity to practice what I preach, to grow, evolve, and transform. This person provided me with an opportunity to receive and respond from a place of love, regardless of the intent of the person providing that moment.

So to all those in my life who have contributed to my spiritual education and growth, intentionally or unintentionally, thank you.