Controversial comedian Bill Hicks used to do a bit about the difference between slick, manufactured boy bands and actual rock stars. Bill’s point was that real rock stars–and ANY real artists, for that matter–play from their hearts and use passion, guts, and genuine emotion to connect with their audience as opposed to pushing prepackaged, soulless “music” (designed mostly to sell other stuff) on unsuspecting fans.

One Direction, anyone?

I agree with Bill’s premise. Sure, those that choose that road might be a little rough around the edges, but they have a much higher chance of actually touching or moving their audience instead of trying to sell the audience on something that while distracting and marginally entertaining is, ultimately, without substance.

Being a Zen Teacher is like this. I’d rather dig deep inside myself and teach with passion, guts, and emotion even if the lesson doesn’t go perfectly, than give my students a soulless, prepackaged lesson that comes from some book or educational expert, but touches no one.  Passion is at the core of The Zen Teacher.

To remind myself to be genuine and authentic in the classroom and to teach my students with real emotion, I put a sign on my classroom wall where I can see it when I teach.  

It says simply, “Play From Your         Heart.” –Bill Hicks.

I left a space on the sign between the words “Your” and “Heart” because in his act Bill uses a word I don’t want my students to see.  

But I know it’s there.  TZT