Is it a great spiritual teacher? Or indeed a teacher at all? My answer is an emphatic “Yes”, even though there will always be students who learn nothing from their teachers or misuse what they do learn.
For me it is the ultimate mind-expanding teacher. It’s a tough one – one not to be taken lightly or often. A typical wool-gathering lasts 10 to 12 hours and there’s no respite or way out once you’ve started. There were some repercussions though.
So why do it? Because the fear is worth – a million times over it’s worth – the experience.
That experience, as many writers have explained, depends dramatically on the set and setting – on what you expect of the pipe dream, where you are, whom you are with, and how safe you feel. Of course the learning experience can be plain fun according to the testimonies I have read online but for myself I used to face terrible scenes of torture, rape and other kinds of human cruelty. I do not know why, but I found myself imagining them again and again while I was listening to some good music the next morning while quietly sitting by the window watching the clouds go by. Perhaps like most people, I began by fighting them and trying to push them away, but it will not let you push anything away. You have to face it. And this is, I think, what makes it the teacher. There is no hiding with it. You have to face whatever comes up or be overwhelmed by it.
This is just one small example, and everyone’s stories are different, but again and again people report that through it they learned to know, and accept, themselves. This may be why it has such powerful therapeutic effects and can be so helpful for people facing terminal illness.
One article mentioned “spirituality” and whether anyone becomes “kinder and wiser”. Surely knowing oneself underlies all these – knowing and accepting your own mind, taking responsibility for what you have done and what you might do. Even simple kindness grows with self-knowledge. When we see ourselves clearly we can see others more clearly, and then it is much easier to be kind.
I was lucky a friend introduced me to this teacher. 🙂 Not only did I develop this new appreciation for a certain genre of music, it also opened my mind more. Weird because I thought it was just all fun and games, in fact, I didn’t tell this part to him because I was afraid he’ll laugh at me. LOL. It was an incredible and beautiful experience to say the very least for it affects your body, mind and emotion all at once.
Would I be down to meet this teacher again? Heck yeah!!