I was feeling nervous and fragile that first visit to Lyle. He was quiet, respectful and he sat in his chair at an angle which was almost side on to me. It gave the impression that we were sitting together.
During the session, I filled him in on what was going on. We spoke and he mixed me a container of liquid made up of chinese herbs. It was green/blue/black - a mixture of liqurice and slime. I was gagging just watching him swirl it around.
A couple of times I asked questions of a spiritual nature. During these times, he seemed to stop and take a little notice of me.... His answers were interesting and they prompted more thoughts and questions.
At the end of the hour.. I felt as if I had moved from my stationary position. He was fascinating and the thoughts processes were a welcome change from the real life emotional dramas.. there was some peace which I hadn't felt for a long time.
I paid Lyle for the consultation and as I was about to leave asked if I could make an appointment with him the next week. He asked 'Why?' I told him I had more questions. He smiled and told me to come back the same time next week but he wouldn't be accepting money.
From then on, I become a very happy student of this wonderful person. His generosity in exchanging ideas and his lack of wanting anything in return was refreshing. It created a rare trust. Although it didn't start as smoothly as I had planned or expected...
The following Wednesday arrived and I got to Lyle's office ready to learn everything that he had to teach. I was so fired up - When I got there.. he was sitting in his seat. He said hello and smiled. I sat down and waited. And waited and waited. He just sat there.. in silence.
I was thinking, "What the? Isn't he going to say something?". But he didn't. At the end of the silent session which I have to say freaked me out.. I went home to ponder. He said, "See you next week." I remember thinking.. Why? I have just completely wasted your time and mine...
The next week came and this time I was nervous. I decided that I would go along just to tell Lyle that I didn't think it was for me and that I was afraid that I would be wasting his time. I sat down.. but the words didn't come out the way I intended. They came out as a question and he could respond. In fact, whenever I asked him a question.. he replied quickly and with enthusiasm. The discussion began and I realised that he had put me in the drivers seat. I was in control of my own learning... and then it became apparent that as a true, good teacher does - he didn't try to teach.
What joy to realise that he didn't have an agenda of what HE thought I needed to learn. Lyle was able to gauge, from the simple questions I was asking, where I was on my philosophical journey. This tactic was an invaluable lesson in itself and one which I would like to master myself.
We didn't have silent lessons after that. There was much energy and information thrown around that little room.
I moved away from the country to live again in the city. I haven't seen Lyle since I left.. but like a true friend or someone who is 'important'.. I think about him every day. And every day I am grateful to have him as part of my spiritual life.
And now I know that you don't get the answers unless you first ask the questions.