06 June 2020

Teaching as a Couple - Ngakma Nor’dzin & Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin

Ngakma Nor’dzin & Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin

In this video from February 2010 Ngakma Nor’dzin & Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin talk about the benefits of teaching as a couple – both for themselves, and for students.


Ngakma Nor’dzin: The Aro gTer Lineage is unusual—possibly unique—in that we have teaching couples rather than just individual teachers. I think this offers a wonderful opportunity for people who become students to have a teaching couple. You have the same sex teacher as your role model, and you have the opposite gender teacher – who is your teacher in that they can reflect to you in a different way to the same gender teacher.

So this offers a great scope of inspiration and capacity for what teachers can offer you as a teaching couple. For us as a teaching couple, it’s just really nice to teach as a couple – to have that support for each other. We have different qualities in the way we teach, different capabilities in what we remember, what we understand, the way we present things. I think it enriches the experience for our students—and for us—being a teaching couple.

Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin: We have different qualities and different ways of approaching a question, so if questions arise within the group of students I’ll often listen with fascination to the answers that Ngakma Nor’dzin gives because she comes at a question from a different angle to me.

Ngakma Nor’dzin: I have the same experience.

Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin: So as much as anything, I’ll be sitting here learning, being able to understand things in a different way. We are able to play—in a sense—with our relationship in terms of how we approach teaching. So we enjoy each other’s company, and the teachings that we can give are complementary. Also it can give one person the chance to rest and consider a situation in more depth, while the other person is answering perhaps the immediate question. So it enables us to work together in that way as well.

Ngakma Nor’dzin: It’s also very useful to me being a little bit deaf! So when i mis-hear a question that somebody asks me, and answer the wrong question, then Ngakpa-la can very gently say at the end ‘well that was a lovely answer, my dear, but that was not quite what was asked’, and then we can start again.

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