Teaching Pathwork: Graduate Level vs. Undergraduate Level
Most students in undergraduate college want good teachers. Who are good teachers at the undergraduate college level? The good teachers are ones who can take the complex but known material and communicate it clearly, systematically, and effectively to their students.
Good students in graduate college, on the other hand, seek out professors who are pushing the envelope in their respective field of specialty – professors who are actively pushing beyond what is known, sharing what they are discovering, and inspiring students to do likewise.
These professors, often the same teachers teaching at the undergraduate level, take a different approach when teaching a graduate-level program. In the graduate level programs these professors follow their passion for their field of expertise, emphasizing the research side of the spectrum of their field rather than the teaching side of the spectrum. And the good graduate-level students are inspired to push the research edge right along side of their professors. This creates an exciting growth environment where the boundary between “teacher” and “student” melts away. Research becomes the teacher for both “teacher” and “student,” and in this environment growth in the field pushes forward.
This undergraduate/graduate distinction relates to spiritual paths as well, including Pathwork. In undergraduate Pathwork school Pathwork concepts are taught, specific learning experiences provided, and self-awareness and growth in the students happens.
At a graduate level, however, Pathwork teachers, often the same teachers teaching at the undergraduate level, let go of their “teacher hat” and push themselves beyond what is familiar and known. They have walked in the fire of life and not flinched. They push into the Mystery that is. And in this graduate-level mode teachers are willing to be vulnerable and bold, and can inspire others to join into the exploration of the Mystery that Life is, encouraging participants to stand in the fire and be transformed.
These spiritual teachers, while offering graduate-level material, treat their students as peers who are joining them in the pursuit of the secrets of the Cosmos, of God, of Self, of Consciousness itself, and of All that is. Having been there, they are willing to hold participants’ feet to the fire of transformation. Though challenging to be sure, the environment becomes thrilling for both students and teachers caught up in a mutual commitment to the Call for individual and collective spiritual and personal growth, encouraging one another to weather the storms and fire that transformation requires.
Let me clarify “thrilling.” It takes a lot of courage to enter deeper and deeper waters of personal confrontation and Truth where the ongoing process of transformation occurs. One is rarely comfortable and often terrified by what one has to face in oneself at these deeper levels. But some seem truly Called to enter such waters daily, and over time there is such joy in coming through such waters and discovering that indeed the Truth sets one free. This fresh taste of a deeper freedom is what I call “thrilling.” But the Pathwork Lectures ever remind us that this time of joy is followed by a call to enter still deeper waters. So the spiral of growth goes on.
This year Mid-Atlantic Pathwork is introducing a new graduate-level program. It is a four-session series titled Letting Go, Letting God — Exploring the Sacred Dimensions of the Pathwork and will be taught by a Senior Helper, Erena Bramos.
Erena has been student of the Pathwork since 1979 (that would be 33 years of personal work), she is a teacher and helper and has for the last 12 years been leading Helpership Programs in New York and Sevenoaks. She is currently also co-leading a program in Brazil designed to take therapists into a deep exploration of the Guide’s teachings. Erena, like other Pathwork teachers, is passionate about her spiritual journey and is constantly pushing the envelope of her own journey.
Erena’s introductory letter for her new graduate program being offered next year invites others to join her in her passion for personal and collective spiritual growth and transformation. I find I am deeply drawn to join her in this experience. Who knows what we shall discover and experience in this amazing and transformative adventure called Life, the Teacher of us all?
Shared in love, Gary