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T'AI CHI MAGAZINE - October 1991

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK > October 1991
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October 1991 - Editor's Notebook

Teaching can be like trying to fill a well with snow. The effort doesn’t seem to produce a result.

George T. Jepson’s article about the difficulties he encountered are probably similar to those of most other people, although he has some added problems caused by the length and depth of the recession in his area.
One of the problems is that when teaching T’ai Chi Ch’uan, you are likely to want to accomplish something, like sharing the joy and benefits of practicing T’ai Chi.
The sad truth is that at best one in three or one in two students will actually learn a basic form. And even of those that do learn, most of the credit has to go to them for their own intensity and perseverance, and inner light.

Of course, a teacher can pump students up, but then students will lose interest as soon as the teacher stops motivating them.
You can only teach those who feel T’ai Chi is important to them. The others will stop soon. And of those who want to learn, some will stop, too, if they cannot tolerate certain levels of difficulty.

The best way to teach is to teach for yourself, for your own development. A successful teacher is one who has fulfilled his potential for being a creative, resourceful and patient teacher.
Having a lot of students or only a few is irrelevant. So is having good students or bad ones.

Teach because this is your “path” at this time and it is necessary for you to fulfill that role. The ‘path” is your Tao, or Way, an opportunity to discover and resolve your own inner contradictions and to cultivate your own inner light.

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