How do you recognize a real teacher? I think I recognized him as one when he made it clear that he did not come to please, entertain or impress is audience. He did not pretend to know everything, but he pressed to ask the right questions about dying and life, not to hide behind the "what ifs". He warned us of the pain we fight feel in the two coming days.
It wasn't just the pain, it was the bareness, the exposure to being called the orphan deprived of your own village and roots. It made me remember that at times I feel an orphan of learning. I need spiritual guides and mentors. Not gurus, not ideals but teachers. They won't do the learning for me but can show me a new light. I might question their arguement or challenge them, but I am willing to look at the world throught their eyes, even if for a moment, to see what it feels like.
I find the stiffness in my tongue to say "my teachers". I use the word "trainers", "lecturers", "authors". As if it was a sign of weakness, submissiveness or blidness to talk otherwise. Call me sentimental, but that night I walked into the room to be interpreter and he was the speaker, I walked out as a student, apprentice and he became my teacher.