when the student is ready, the teacher will appear

a new painting that I am working on (acrylic on old board)

a new painting that I am working on (acrylic on old board)

I’ve always liked (and believed) the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The thing that I didn’t realize though was that “The Teacher” has always been here. The Teacher is Life itself, and hidden within every moment (every circumstance, event, interaction, thought) It waits to be recognized.

It may show up in the form of words in a book, a conversation with someone who has gone the way before me, or a person that I choose to talk with. But it is just as likely to come from a bird, a dream, or a song, and it always teaches me how to live; what to do, and what not to do.

I have also come to know that The Teacher is not accessed through the conscious mind….it will not be put in a neat little box, labeled, “Future”. Its guidance is in the moment, for the moment.

For many years, I wanted to paint again, but didn’t, because I couldn’t figure out where I would do it. And then one day I felt a deep urge to paint and so I began. Right in the middle of our living room, cats and dogs and fur and life all around me, I pulled out my paints and a new world opened up.

Guidance from “The Teacher” is being offered to us at every moment because It is the larger part of who we really are. It is constantly and continually revealing paths that lead to more life, more harmony, and more love.

I can see in my own life, the times I didn’t follow this inner knowing, it was because of a lack of faith; I couldn’t (with my conscious mind) figure out how something would work out, so I didn’t begin it. I wanted the type of guidance that said, “Do this now, and then tomorrow you will do this, and then next year, you will have this.”

When I am trying to figure out how some future event will work out, before I make a move in my present moment, I am lost. The only question that will open my ears, my eyes, my mind, to this guidance is, “What would You (Wisdom, Deep desire, My Own Heart, Love, God) have me do?”  And then I do it.

You need to climb way out on the limb of faith, and know that god will grow a tree under you.” Edwene Gaines



15 thoughts on “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear

  1. Wow. Thanks so much. I am leaving — by choice — my employer of more than 27 years at the end of the month because, among other reasons, I have felt for a number of years as if the job was a ‘set-up-to-fail’ position that I haven’t been able to turn around, at least not for myself. It is an exciting and scary time, with some freelance stints ahead, but I certainly need to turn to listen and recognize the Teacher — both within and around me — to lead me forward. Thanks again, Mary.

  2. There is such a well of talent within you Mary! Your writing, connection with soul, painting ( I love your new painting here!).. Many other things without doubt…

    You’ve touched on a point ( namely just plain faith) that has inhibited me for many years of my life. Obstacles are always many..and I always wanted the outcome to look tidy , safe and predictable. I always longed for the support ( from others ) that I needed more of. Of course , the biggest source of support should be myself…
    I am currently reading a biographym of a talented opera singer ( Jessye Norman) whose amazing voice I remembered from years ago ( when I could hear) . Oh, how others can inspire! I can “hear” her even now through her experiences, her determination , dedication, and yes, when I watch her sing I can hear that too with my innermost ” voice”.
    I’ve been in a void for the past year especially , having let my self doubts and fears get ahold of me . Starting today I will put them aside and start again building up the skills I still retain and practice my grand piano even though my audience will be the robins outside my window ( for now) .
    Thank you for your inspiration today !

    • Bobbie, I’m delighted to hear that you are planning to return to your piano music. The robins will surely appreciate the melody they hear because it will come from your heart — the best gift anyone can offer. Enjoy!

    • Oh my Bobbie and here I go through life accepting the fact that I have no auditory problems than someone entering older age and you’ve been dealing with so much more. We so take our senses for granted until we lose one or the other of them. The robins, well, you must be in the more northerly hemisphere perhaps…but it will be not only the birds outside your window but the music created in your mind through your memory of it. I’m glad the inspiration comes to you through reading this site. I cannot imagine, if I’m reading this correctly, the personal challenges you’ve faced.
      SandyP in Canada

      • I thank you all for your kind response and words of encouragement. . It is moving to me that you are all so uplifting , each in your own special way . And I do take courage in forging ahead , ready to learn new ways of coping, thinking , being . I do so much appreciate you all and your different responses and insights. I did return to the piano today, thrilled to start putting together once again the Chopin Scherzo no 3 I played years ago .

  3. Thank you, Mary … Keep painting when the spirit moves you, it’s lovely! I’m in a”holding ” place right now after many life changes and it feels good and right but open to ” the teacher when it appears ” . It’s so nice not to have to try to ” make things happen” .

  4. Thanks Mary! I’ve spent a good portion of my life ignoring “The Teacher”. But I’m learning as I go to trust that quite voice.

  5. …or it comes over a cup of tea at a cafe table in a bookstore…at the Divine moment it’s needed.

    You already know how much I love your painting…and for me, being still and open helps to clear my muddy waters. I’m sitting here watching a squirrel tiptoe to the end of a very shaky limb…trusting he’ll jump to another…illustrating your inspiring thoughts this morning! Thank you Mary! Much love!

  6. Dear Mary, I love your suggestion of asking “What would you have me do?” (in reference to asking for divine guidance). This is a beautiful way of letting go while at the same time, hearing the wise counsel from the inner teacher. I SO needed to hear this today! Thank you!!

  7. Mary’s post and Debra’s comment reminded me of something from The Course in Miracles. It is:

    use practice periods to asking God to reveal His plan to us. |s2 Ask Him very specifically:

    |s3 What would You have me do?
    |s4 Where would You have me go?
    |s5 What would You have me say, and to whom?

  8. Mary, I’m so embarrassed to say that the ‘teacher’ appears often when I open my own mouth and out pops something that comes back to me hearing my own words and in seeing and hearing others reactions to what I have said….
    SandyP in Canada

  9. Also, Mary, meant to ask your medium on your painting, which is lovely. Trying to figure it out…it looks like watercolour but the bee is too opaque for watercolour….maybe acrylics??

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