Some of my wisdom-keepers come dressed in the expected forms - my rabbis and Pema Chodron (a Tibetan Buddhist nun) are good examples. I learn from them on a regular basis and I know what to expect. Their spiritual wisdom seeps in slow and steady.
Some of my other wisdom-keepers bring intermittent flashes of insight, only because I am in their presence less often. One of these is a scholar who leads meditation and text studies. She has a wise face and a warm smile and she is patient with me. My brain works hard when I am with her, but when the flashes of insight appear, they remain with me, with ease.
The wisdom-keepers who bring me the most spontaneous delight are those who appear unexpected - to whisper spiritual insights, unawares, in the midst of a broader conversation. When I am fully present, listening with my body, heart and mind, I notice the truths they offer as a "zing" in my heart...
My friend, in the midst of chemo for her second round of breast cancer, greets me with a huge smile and an open, loving face communicating her joy in being alive.
A young adult who worked through a major professional disappointment stated triumphantly, "I have chosen a lens of gratitude."
And just recently, a group of friends prepared meals for a grieving family, demonstrating once again the healing power of community.
Being consistently reminded of the "bigger picture" encourages heads-up, chest out courage.