When I very first began practicing the dhamma, I knew I wanted to teach it as well. Does that make me crazy?
My reasoning changed over the years, many time, back and forth across various reasons, with two main reasons always being present. I wanted to learn and I learn best by teaching. Having that accountability of knowing I have to say something on Sunday at 6pm means I will study. And, more importantly, I was always worried about adhering to the precept not to cause harm. I wanted to honor that precept not only in the obvious ways of not hurting beings physically…but also, I didn’t want to cause harm by sharing the dharma incorrectly.
I’ve learned a lot since those early days, and while I don’t worry so much any longer, I still think these reasons are worthy. To that end I’ve completed facilitator training through the original Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society under the expert tutelage of JoAnna Hardy and Vinny Ferraro, and I’m honored to say that on June 12th, 2022 I also graduated from the Dharmacharya program at Heartwood Refuge under the incredible teachers Vererable Pannavati and Venerable Pannadipa.
In a beautiful graduation ceremony that only Heartwood Refuge and the Venerable Pannavati could bring into being, one of the many wonderful moments was when they sang the song “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley with reimagined Buddhist-appropriate lyrics suited to our graduation. Having now graduated, I earned the official title of Reverend George Beecher, or Acharya Khantu-Abatti, I look forward to continuing to embody and share the dharma in every way, in every place, that I may.
For our graduation we had to write an intention. Mine was “My intention is to always learn and embody the Dhamma with a fresh mind, guided by the question “What’s the most generous thing I can do in this moment?”. That intention wasn’t just a quick thought. It’s the culmination of, and is informed by, the teachings I received from all of the above teachers and I hope I honor that.
You can find me teaching THS on Sunday’s, multiple nights per week in the TRIPP+EvolVR communities in Virtual Reality, and many other places. I’ll launch a page soon to share those offerings.
Photo Credit: Matthew Hahn