Two important lessons JR Worsley taught me many years ago have stood me, and all those people I have passed them on to, in good stead. They are both deceptively simple lessons, but are profound in their reach.
The first was when I had just started my School of Five Element Acupuncture, SOFEA, and was feeling rather overwhelmed by the task I had taken on without thinking through many of its consequences. I remember telling JR that I thought I had been foolhardy in accepting the responsibility of teaching others when I had only been in practice myself for so few years. And he said, "Remember, Nora, you know more than they do." And indeed I must have done, although I hadn't put it to myself in those terms. After all, I had then had more than 6 years' experience both learning about and practising five element acupuncture, first as a student and then as a practitioner, and the students I was expecting to teach had absolutely none.
So this is the advice I pass on to other prospective teachers. As long as you never claim to know more than you do, then each person has the right, and, as I often say, the duty, to pass on the little or the great amount of their own learning to those that have less than they do.
I found the second piece of advice a little more surprising, but it was even more illuminating. I told JR that I was having problems feeling the pulses and trying to diagnose their relative weaknesses and strengths. And he said, "I know what you mean; that happens to me, too. Perhaps for a month or so I am uncertain of my pulse readings, and then I realise that this is because I've moved up a further level in my pulse diagnosis." I wasn't convinced that the same applied to me at my much lower level of practice, but it was a comfort to hear JR say that he also had doubts about his own proficiency at various points in his life.
Both these lessons have comforted me throughout the many years of my practice and teaching. I hope that they encourage others in their practice as they have encouraged me in mine.