In practicing alternative healing, which is a career path I no longer follow, I learned the concept of being an empty vessel. Far from being hollow or without offering, being the empty vessel as an ideal means–for the practitioner–coming to each patient open and unburdened by past experiences (or the last patient, or the list of things to do, or . . . ). Being present is a piece of this concept, but being present without judgement or fear, without preconceived notion, without agenda, with nothing–empty–that is the key. It is no easy task.
Similarly, in mask work–if you’ve heard of commedia dell’arte–there are a set of character masks, each with its own fixed set of characteristics that must be observed strictly by the wearer. Then there is the neutral mask, which is the most difficult of the masks to wear. It requires the wearer to be without characteristic. The concept is as ethereal as it sounds. Too little effort and the performer is dead flat–unwatchable. Too much and the performer overbears on the delicacy of the mask, making the performance thick and clumsy. Mastery of the neutral mask is the disappearance of the performer into the neutrality of the task.
This is what I think is in your class and in your teaching and what I think makes you so special. This difficult-to-describe being-ness. You inhabit the practice and the teaching thereof so as to be both entirely present and out of its way, not superimposing yourself even one iota more than critical to provide for your students and hold space, all while supporting and compelling a deep practice for all . . . on a screen, no less.
Nothing short of magic.
I hope this is digestible. I know it is “out there. . . ”