MasteryWe would like to send you a message about the Masters you meet on Earth. You may read about or even have the chance to see enlightened people, teachers, yogis, avatars, and saints.

Each encounter with another person can teach you something, whether that person is a recognized Master or an ordinary neighbor.

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Perhaps you have heard about the following two-day exercise.

Day One: you are the student

You are the youngest novice in a vast monastery. Each person you speak to or see is one of the special teachers assigned to you. You are to learn specific lessons from each one, even though they are not allowed to teach you directly but only through experience.

If the bus driver is driving too slowly, your lesson is about patience. Take the time to breathe deeply and silently thank him.

If the cashier gives you too little change, your lesson is about attachment. Ask for the right amount and silently thank her.

If a child next door plays too loudly, your leson is about compassion. Remember your own childhood, its highs and lows, and silently thank him.

Take on each interaction as if it were especially designed for you and your current issues. Be grateful for the wisdom your teachers share with you.

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Day Two: you are the teacher

On the second day of the exercise, you are the teacher, and everyone you meet is a student who is eager to learn the path to enlightenment. However, all the students are disguised and are forbidden to reveal their search. You cannot inform them of your position as their teacher or your philosophies. Everything must be accomplished through example.

If you meet someone who is impatient, respond with deep respect and dignity. Don't give in to the temptation to exaggerate your reaction or to scold.

If someone offers you a way to cheat or lie without getting caught, refuse in a tone that says more about you than the student.

If someone tests you in whatever way, feel your strength and know that you are a wise and powerful teacher.

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You may find the most interesting part of this exercise to rest in the hidden nature of the roles you and the others are playing.

For the rest of your life, remember: you can never be sure if you're encountering a saint or being called to serve as one.

Go well.

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