In the past week I have received more “Can I be your student?” emails than I’ve received in years. Is it a full moon or something? I’m really baffled by this. I am also baffled by how each and every one of these folks is unwilling to come sit with me when I offer that as an option.
John Graves, a guy who started sitting with my LA group perhaps 8-10 years ago, said, “It’s easy to sit with Brad. Just show up.”
If you’re thinking of asking me to be your teacher, you need to read this first. Then read it twelve more times. Then stop pretending that’s not you.
After that, if you still think you want to be my student, show up.
I will not call you my student. If you call yourself my student, make sure not to do it where I can hear you because I will tell whoever you’re talking to that you’re lying and that would be embarrassing. But you can sit with me. If you want a nice place to start, come to one of the many events on my events page.
If you answer, “That’s too far! It’s too expensive to get there!” Then you need to face the fact that you don’t actually want to be my student that badly anyway.
This is not a criticism. It’s fine. It’s better, in fact. I don’t demand that you be my student. I don’t even want you to be my student. Not because you’re a bad person or anything, but because I don’t want students.
But look. You say you want to be the student of the famous teacher who lives far away, yet you’re not willing to go to where that teacher is. What does that say about your desire to be the student of the famous teacher who lives far away?
It’s a fantasy. It’s one of those things that’s way off over there in the land of somewhere and someday. Things that are far off in the land of somewhere and someday always seem much more attractive than anything nearby. There’s no smell to those things. There’s no taste. There are no aching muscles in the land of somewhere and someday. There are no frustrations other than fun frustrations that you can heroically overcome. It’s not cold. It’s not hot. There are no disappointments.
There are no traffic jams on the way to the land of somewhere and someday. There are no delayed flights causing you to have to sit in the St. Louis airport for six hours listening to bad muzak. There are no gross road stops with roaches and stinky toilets.
Teachers in the land of somewhere and someday don’t say things you don’t want to hear – except for the fun things you don’t want to hear that you can heroically overcome. They don’t do things you don’t think they should do. They don’t have bad days and tell you to go away. Except in fun ways that you can heroically overcome.
Be content that you have learned that you don’t really want to be the student of the famous teacher who lives far away. It’s fine. Breathe a sigh of relief. Be happy.
Look. I love you. I’m flattered by the fact that you feel like what I wrote has touched you. It’s nice. It really is. I’m not trying to be a big meanie here. I’m trying to help.
But you don’t even really want to be my student. Which – I’ll say again – is perfectly fine. You just have a very strong fantasy, like all of us get caught up in sometimes. Let it pass and move on.
In the next year or so, I hope to have a center established that you can come to any time. Will you show up there? I wonder. I really do.