Insight Meditation Houston

Seeing All Beings as Your Teachers

Adaptation of Jack Kornfield’s “Seeing All Beings As Your Teachers”

Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable posture.

Be aware of sensations of warmth or pulsation in your heart.

Picture or imagine that this earth is filled with millions of teachers and wise beings. Imagine that every single being you encounter is enlightened and that they are all here to teach you. Whoever you encounter is acting as they do for your benefit, to provide the teachings and challenges you need in order to awaken patience, equanimity, courage, compassion and love. See what lessons each offers you. You have a lot to learn about love and presence, tolerance and courage from encounters with them. Honor each as a teacher and inwardly thank them.

Visualize or sense the presence of a person with whom you had an uplifting or challenging meeting in the past week. Reflect upon what qualities this person exemplifies. What does this person have to teach you? Consider whether you have some of those same qualities within yourself. How can you express those qualities in a wholesome way? Let go of the image or sense of this person, and return to sensations of warmth or pulsation in your heart.

 Now visualize or sense the presence of a sentient being you have encountered recently. You might think of a zoo animal or a pet— a dog, cat, bird or fish—or a wild animal in a natural setting. Reflect upon the qualities you like in this animal. What lessons can you learn from the animal?   Letting go of the image or sense of this animal, return to sensations of warmth or pulsation in your heart.

 Finally, visualize or sense the presence of a mentor or benefactor, who has given you kind attention and guidance. Reflect upon the qualities that you admire and respect in this benefactor. What does this person have to teach you? Consider whether you have some of those same qualities in yourself. How can you express those qualities in a wholesome way? Let go of the image or sense of this person, and return to sensations of warmth or pulsation in your heart. At your own rhythm, slowly open your eyes.

 In the coming week, notice the enlightened teachers all around.

Be aware of how this change in perspective affects your life.