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My Greatest Teacher

I’m 72 today. Around the time of my birthday last year, I was privileged to be working on a new film project from Hay House called My Greatest Teacher. The story is based on my experience at my father’s grave in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1974. It was a moment of forgiveness that turned my whole life around and changed everything—from my writing to my career to my relationships. I stopped drinking and doing so many things that were debilitating to my body. In that moment, I got rid of the anger and rage against my father that I had carried around inside of me since I was a child.

The film has a contemporary setting with an actor playing the young me—angry, impatient, careless of the feelings of others—until he faces his greatest teacher. Essentially, he can’t go on with his life until he settles up with the huge burden of blame he is carrying. A Course in Miracles says, “If you didn’t blame, there would be nothing to forgive.” That’s important to remember. We get to stages in our life where we’re blaming other people for our unhappiness and our pain and our hurts. If we stopped blaming, where might we be? Ram Dass once said to me, “Who is anybody to forgive anyone else?” If we must forgive, we must first have blamed. To forgive is to stop blaming and to accept with compassion that everyone is simply doing the best they can given the conditions of their life and what they have to work with at the time.

Forgiveness sets you free to move past the pain and on into a life of loving and serving. The satisfying and fulfilling life you know is there for you. My Greatest Teacher does a fine job of portraying the turnaround that comes when a man stops nursing his own wounds and looks around to see who else needs the gifts of love and healing he was born to give.

Comments (78)

  • 1.

    May 10, 2012
    11:25 am

    Happy Birthday. I guess you are paying it forward because you are my greatest teacher. I love you. Thank you.

  • 2.

    May 10, 2012
    12:03 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer, hope this will be your best year EVER. You are one of my greatest teachers, I'm always grateful that you were born. Keep Rocking.

    – Diana Levy
  • 3.

    May 10, 2012
    12:24 pm

    Happy Birthday !!!! You are one of My greatest teachers as well, thank you!

    – Danny
  • 4.

    May 10, 2012
    12:40 pm

    A very Happy Birthday to you, Wayne! I was privileged to see you and Skye in Vancouver last weekend... I hope your day and all the days to come are filled with joy, happiness and the peace of God... I love you!

    – Allison Bradley
  • 5.

    May 10, 2012
    12:50 pm

    Happy Birthday! I have been following your teaching's for many years now and every day I am closer to realizing my Truth! After all this time I did not know until today that we shared the same Birthday! Thank you for the gifts of your life lessons.

    – Wanda
  • 6.

    May 10, 2012
    1:09 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer!!! Because of my heart being touched by your words, I am once again writing... this time, I am not going to allow "my" music to die with me. I can honestly say that you are one of my "greatest teachers". May all of YOUR wishes be fulfilled!!! Namaste

    – Wanda
  • 7.

    May 10, 2012
    1:36 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer. I am a long time admirer and I am honored to share your birthday.

    – Doreen
  • 8.

    May 10, 2012
    1:39 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer!

    – Jerry
  • 9.

    May 10, 2012
    3:53 pm

    Happy Birthday Wayne - here's to a happy and healthy year - you are a true inspiration, leader and teacher - love & light

    – Rachael
  • 10.

    May 10, 2012
    6:55 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer. I SO enjoyed your talk on Saturday in Vancouver. There was magic in the room... especially during a tense moment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have read most of your books, and listened to your tapes many times... and each time I do, I find another aha moment.... Be well, my friend.

    – Sandra
  • 11.

    May 10, 2012
    7:22 pm

    Life is our greatest teacher. Thank you for sharing your life and teachings with us. It was good to see you in Atlanta last month. I love you. Happy BIRTHDAY! Namaste.

    – Joseph Wadas
  • 12.

    May 10, 2012
    9:15 pm

    thank you! happy birthday!

    – ginamarie
  • 13.

    May 10, 2012
    9:46 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr.Dyer! Your books are such an amaizing gift to me and lots of other people. Inspired by YOU I change my life and I feel You as my teacher. Thank you and may all your dreams come true! Lots of love from Russia.

    – Natalia
  • 14.

    May 10, 2012
    10:26 pm

    Happy Birthday Wayne!! I am enjoying the Wishes Fulfilled CD's, DVD, and Meditation. We share a diagnosis, so it is special to me to hear your words of inspiration and wisdom. Blessings to you!

    – Dave
  • 15.

    May 10, 2012
    10:49 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer! Thank you so much for the insights, it helps a lot. Thank you for being The Greatest Teacher!

    – Cha
  • 16.

    May 11, 2012
    12:22 am

    You are so greatly appreciated, Wayne; I'm sure I'm speaking for at least a million others who just have not stated yet what they've often felt. Came across a lovely 5 min Youtube: Ten Signs of A Spiritual Awakening; I think you will enjoy it, espec. # 9; reminds me of your butterfly story. Music is lovely, too. Happy Birthday Week!

    – Sam
  • 17.

    May 11, 2012
    12:43 am

    350-wd char. lim. was a li'l 2 li'i for prev mssge: Perhaps you'll watch the video when you're up @ 3:13 again; it mentions that ;-) Generally, if you get some positive psychic "hellos" at any time, at least a few of them are mine: You're a treasure -- beyond measure!! Enjoy video.

    – Sam
  • 18.

    May 11, 2012
    2:25 am

    Wishing you splendid and very enchanting birthday moments Dr. Wayne.Dyer with love and gratitude India

  • 19.

    May 11, 2012
    2:37 am

    Happy birthday Dr Dyer! Thank you for being you, you are amazing!

    – Anne Kari
  • 20.

    May 11, 2012
    3:01 am

    Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne Dyer. As you have shared your life with us for all these years, I wish for many more years of your inspired guidance to come through. Love you.

    – Sukhbir
  • 21.

    May 11, 2012
    4:38 am

    the films, the books, the speaking, they are truly only the medi(a)um. I am that eager relay racer that is participating only because it makes me a part of the universe and avoid the dash. I could care less about the name Dr. Wayne Dyer, but could care about nothing more than what he climbs for. I love you all extremely

    – michael
  • 22.

    May 11, 2012
    4:51 am

    Belated Happy birthday wishes Wayne

    – John
  • 23.

    May 11, 2012
    5:46 am

    Happy Birthday!! I wish for you many joys. It has been a privilege to follow your teachings for many years now and continue to be an instrument of peace. You always seem to write exactly what it is that I need at the time. Your latest is a "My Greatest Teacher" came to me when I needed it the most. Thank You!!!

    – Patricia
  • 24.

    May 11, 2012
    7:26 am

    Happy Birthday Wayne!

    – Tamara
  • 25.

    May 11, 2012
    8:52 am

    In the Power of intention you said do not hold onto intentions like a pit bull with a rubber tire, now you say thats just what we should do? Which is it? And is AHHH still the sound of GOD. I'm so confused. LOL Happy Birthday.

    – grace
  • 26.

    May 11, 2012
    11:16 am

    Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer. I hope God keeps you teaching us for many more years (is 100 ok for you). What you mentioned about forgiveness is the basis for one of the chapters of my book Never Mad Again I sent you with Tracy in Atlanta. therefore I couldn't agree more. God Bless You

  • 27.

    May 11, 2012
    5:58 pm

    You have been the catalyst for changing the way I look at things. My song has become clearer & is greater than before. With focus & those dormant forces, I will be able to do this. We have spent many hours togetheron my IPod, I love you & thank you & wish you the happiest birthday yet with more to come.

    – Kevin
  • 28.

    May 11, 2012
    6:35 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday Dr. Dyer. Thanks so much for all you have given me and everyone else whom you have touched in such a profound way. You have affected my destiny to its true intention and although I see hard work ahead I am determined to persist, meditate, practice and ultimately to be pure love. -Marcel

    – marcel
  • 29.

    May 11, 2012
    11:02 pm

    To forgive means to forget anything that isn't. It means to love anyway. It means to empower possibility in delight.

    – Jordan Klimp
  • 30.

    May 12, 2012
    4:35 am

    Yours is a birthday for me to celebrate. I do so with gratitude, respect and love. Over the past few years, you have given me, through your words, all I need to live a wonderful life above and beyond what I ever could have imagined. Happy Birthday Dr. Dyer. Peace and love be with you always.

    – Kenneth
  • 31.

    May 12, 2012
    8:52 am

    Happy Birthday! You have helped me with forgiveness the most. Wishes Fulfilled resonated . I came to recognize, in every case, everyone is/are doing the best they can with the kowledge, tools, and circumstances they are dealing with. It isn't about is about their journey. How freeing is that?! Thank you so much for YOUR teachings!

    – Rebecca
  • 32.

    May 12, 2012
    3:25 pm

    Dr Dyer, You have help so many of us look beyond our worries and frustrations and connect with our Spirit! Thank you! Happy Birthday to you!!

    – Julie
  • 33.

    May 12, 2012
    4:40 pm

    You came into my life for a reason. Thank You Wayne Dyer for making "feel" and "Live my Purpose". Just taking those 5 minutes every evening changed the way I was thinking and changed my life! HAPPY BIRTHDAY :)

    – Virginia Nardone Hampton New Hampshire
  • 34.

    May 12, 2012
    10:27 pm

    Wayne, thanks for all the hard work of writing books and public televisions shows. I read your book, "Your Erroneous Zones" back in the early 90's, used to listen to your books on tape, and now can write to you in a blog. Technology is amazing! Happy birthday, keep up the good work and looking forward to your next project.

    – Jack
  • 35.

    May 12, 2012
    10:32 pm

    I just wrote in your facebook page my experience with being cure by John of God also and when i saw that you were born same day as my mother I had to wish you Happy Birthday as well. Is a little late but from my hart.; this day is very important TO ME. Happy Birthday! May all the good spiritual continuing using you to bring happiness.

    – Cida Bottcher
  • 36.

    May 13, 2012
    5:24 pm

    It s not late to wish you Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne. Today , I don't know the reason, I watched your movie The Shift. Its excellent!!. Thanks for your teachings ,I hope they will help me dealing with all the changes are come soon to my work and family life. My love and wishes God bless you always !!

    – Fiordaliza
  • 37.

    May 13, 2012
    5:26 pm

    Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne. God bless you always !!

    – Fiordaliza
  • 38.

    May 14, 2012
    1:29 am

    Thank You Wayne. Your the greatest teacher of my life. May Gob Bless you.

    – Sheetal
  • 39.

    May 14, 2012
    2:44 am

    From one former Michigander to another, Happy Highest Energy Day to you! My two greatest teachers-you and Jack Boland. We are blessed by your teachings. Thank you for bringing Light to the dark places on my journey-for piercing the fog of uncertainty with wisdom and clarity. Happy Birthday, my guide, my friend.

    – Julie
  • 40.

    May 14, 2012
    3:02 am

    Dear Wayne I would like to thank you with all of my heart <3 I once went on your radio show and you told me there is no such thing as depression, Well it's true it took me a while to figure it out then I got cancer, then I got rid of it as quick as It came. I love you all with every cell of my body xxx

    – Tracy Twinkle Taylor
  • 41.

    May 14, 2012
    5:49 am

    What happens when you forgive but the other person hasn't forgiven you?I used my spiritual awareness to put this concept into practice recently but felt a bit empty when the other peron didn't accept my apology.I'm trying for my ego not to get upset as it was not initiated from there but my heart is hurt.Where do i go from here? Have I done enough?

    – Michelle
  • 42.

    May 15, 2012
    3:33 am

    You Are Such a supreme mankind that Given by Source of Earth To connect each one of people on the earth. My WIshes to god must gave you anothers 100 years so you can teach all human being around the world the important of source and connectivity between earth and human kind.Thank you

  • 43.

    May 15, 2012
    3:36 am


    – Segaran,Kuala Lumpur,MALAYSIA
  • 44.

    May 15, 2012
    4:15 pm

    Dear Dr. Dyer...the first time I saw ;you was on the Today Show many years ago...I have followed you ever since...All the things you have taught me have made my life so much better...Thank you and belated Happy Birthday

    – Julie
  • 45.

    May 16, 2012
    4:42 am

    Dear Wayne: It's been a great blessing in my life that I have stumbled upon your books. Fortunately, someone told me about "Your erroneous zones" and I read it. It has since changed my life, and I am so grateful. I am a great fan and would love for you to come to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I hope you read this! Take care

    – Delfina
  • 46.

    May 17, 2012
    6:25 am

    Dear Wayne, It's going to be a very HAPPYBIRTHDAYYEAR 4 u, I can feel it. I read Anita's book & key word that leapt out was: ALLOW. I am that I allow my art to flourish. I look forward to reading your new book, Wishes Fulfilled & seeing Miraculous DVD. We share May, mine the 13th & I also do Bikram. Haha!! Keep inspiring the world! Love, Beth

    – Beth
  • 47.

    May 17, 2012
    7:49 pm

    Happy Birthday! My father like yours was some one I had to work very hard to forgive. His birthday is 5/10 also. Your first book was the first book I ever bough. I think of you as my (spiritual) father. The lilies of the Valley are in bloom here on your birthday, each year I sit among them, in pure gratitude and thank God for you. Love

    – Betty
  • 48.

    May 18, 2012
    11:08 am

    Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne Dyer. May the good God bless you.

    – Jerry Rasquinha
  • 49.

    May 18, 2012
    11:59 am

    Happy Belated Birthday!! You have been a great inspiration for me and I have valued your television specials and many books you have written, thank you again for amking a difference in my life and for sharing such great things with people all over the world.

    – Andrew
  • 50.

    May 18, 2012
    9:26 pm

    Happy belated birthday Dr. Dyer. Thank you so much for all your wonderful books. I just read Inspiration again and am listening to The Power of Itention on the car radio now. I have decided to live an inspired and source/God filled life! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    – Gail
  • 51.

    May 19, 2012
    9:39 am

    Happy belated birthday and more blessings to you Dr. Dyer. Thank you for KQED-San Francisco program where I bought your wonderful books on my birthday (best birthday gift ever). Thank you for a life changing journey. You are definitely God sent.

  • 52.

    May 19, 2012
    7:00 pm

    Thank you for being born.

    – Cara Leah
  • 53.

    May 20, 2012
    2:42 pm

    Wishing you endless peaceful moments with our creator Dr. Dyer. Thank you for your gift of inspiration.

    – Mary
  • 54.

    May 21, 2012
    6:55 pm

    Happy birthday Wayne! Since I never had a "Dad" I always would close my eyes and listen to your voice pretending you were my dad. I know you have many children and you don't need anymore ;) but THANK YOU for being you! I cherish you and your kind spirit! Thanks, Josh

    – Josh
  • 55.

    May 21, 2012
    11:18 pm

    Dr. Dyer, happy belated birthday. I listen to your CD The Power of Intention everytime I need a reminder of the power intention and the power of love and life force of intention. You continue to be a source of inspiration for me. You have a beautiful mind and soul. Thank you for all that you do!

    – Louise Tremblay
  • 56.

    May 22, 2012
    3:54 pm

    I am revisiting The Power of Intention which is bringing a more profound message and source of inspiration to me at this time. Thank you for your work and the clarity you impart. Happy birthday--may you have many more!

    – Melissa
  • 57.

    May 23, 2012
    8:51 pm

    Dear Dr. Dyer, it's too late, but I'm a new membership & I like to say " happy birthday " & thank GOD for this day. you are a source of inspiration, energy & every good things. I appreciate for all that you & your group do.I'm sorry my English is weak & I can't say what I want really to say.

    – negar
  • 58.

    May 26, 2012
    6:23 pm

    help! I won't wish you a happy birthday, even tho' I'm happy for youl. I need help. I'm lost. I am reading wishes fulfilled and want to believe it soooooooooooooo much but am still trapped in the idea that "god" is some mysterious diety that lives out there and makes no sense to me. I'm tired of not understanding. Please help me understand!

    – Bonnie
  • 59.

    May 28, 2012
    7:11 am

    Dr Dyer, your words are so inspirational. I thank u. I have not been a very good person and am turning my life around. I pray that all those i have hurt can forgive me and allow me to serve them in light and love. Your words hit the spot - always.

    – LP
  • 60.

    May 28, 2012
    8:50 pm

    I cant believe its taken me so long to find the answer to my questions. Im a 45 year old male. when I was 10, another man, a stranger sexualy asualted me. I've spent the last ten years trying to let that go. Forgivness has always been the answer, it seems so simple, as you point out Mr. Dyer in an older blog I read, " meet hate with love."

    – Joseph
  • 61.

    May 28, 2012
    8:50 pm

    The journey has brought me here, to learn, to share, to love, be loved. I lost my way in this life , but I'm in the belief I can find who I really am, stop blaming! Today im touched by the spirit I have been chasing, and still think I have to chase it.

    – Joseph
  • 62.

    May 28, 2012
    8:51 pm

    No today I sit still and know, know that I,m at rest, this feels like a big step for me Thank you and happy belated Birthday Mr. Dyer, God Bless.

    – Joseph
  • 63.

    May 28, 2012
    10:06 pm

    Happy Birthday.

    – James
  • 64.

    May 29, 2012
    8:57 pm

    Mr. Dyer, you once quoted, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, I am ready! Open the door, see whats inside, you may be or not, suprised at what you find. I'm excited with the new journey!

    – Joseph
  • 65.

    May 30, 2012
    1:28 am

    My question is how can you forgive so many people that put such a darkness in your life that you cannot even face thinking about it let alone talk about it? Is there any 'manual' on the how to? It is not that easy if you are not a talker let alone someone who shares and who keep this wall around yourself for so so many years....

    – Jane
  • 66.

    May 30, 2012
    6:15 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Dr. Dyer! Just wanted to thank you so much for your inspriation on the radio and through your books. What a blessing to have found it all!!!

    – Charlcie
  • 67.

    June 1, 2012
    12:57 pm

    Hello,when I read for first time your book zonas erroneas' my life changed, thank you

    – laura
  • 68.

    June 1, 2012
    7:20 pm

    Once Again you've provided us with Godly Wisdom Inspired directly from the Angel Realm. Happy Belated Birthday Dear Dr Wayne Dyer.I just Finished Reading for a Second time your Book "Wishes Fulfilled".As a Psychic Reader and Motivational Speaker (In the Works)

    – Gian Paolo (John)
  • 69.

    June 1, 2012
    7:21 pm

    I Send Quotes from your books by the Thousands to my Clients.Rushing them to Buy your book and to listen to your Lectures as you've been quite a Inspiration and Guide for me

    – Gian Paolo (John)
  • 70.

    June 1, 2012
    7:21 pm

    .I as many others,that I am sure that have told you.Feel a connection to you.In a Spiritual/loving way.And want to end this by telling you.That I appreciate you more then words can express

    – Gian Paolo (John)
  • 71.

    June 3, 2012
    5:00 pm

    Posting from Oz. I wanted to say THANK YOU. All my life I was trying self-help books as I was looking for a guide, when there wasn't 1. A couple of yrs ago, I was in the library waiting to use the computer,

    – Cathy
  • 72.

    June 3, 2012
    5:01 pm

    next to one of your books. I picked it up, thinking it didn't mean anything that I was doing that. How wrong I was. I never feel more satisfied/ closer to spirit than when I'm reading your books. I wanted to send love, & say thank you. x

    – Cathy
  • 73.

    June 4, 2012
    3:39 pm

    What comments do you have in using your list of 18 excuses (Excuses Begone) to help people who are undergoing career transition? Do you have any materials, resources (a workbook) to assist me in this process? Could you introduce me to someone has used Excuses Begone in a group setting - other than being a participant at one of your lectures?

    – Chuck T
  • 74.

    June 5, 2012
    4:36 pm

    Greetings to you Dr. Dyer. I'm curious to know if your current writings have to do with the "veil". With the realm behind the veil that few have been...such as your guest Anita in your PBS prodcast.

    – Tamy
  • 75.

    June 5, 2012
    4:44 pm

    I was always dwelling over the infinity after I depart on my journey until the day I opened up to the secret my life changed. I started dwelling on the infinity before my time and realized that it's existence is just as important as the time after.

    – Casey Faitel
  • 76.

    June 5, 2012
    4:45 pm

    Lets just say that it is a good thing for your current mind and memory to decompose when you begin your journey or it might get in the way of the next. It is kind of like formatting the c drive on your computer, without the bad feelings you feel, there is only positive left with a new beginning.

    – Casey Faitel
  • 77.

    June 19, 2012
    4:14 pm

    That's true,I watched the movie 4 times and I cried every time ,but know I understand why things happen to you and I appreciated live and people more,Thank you

    – Fernando
  • 78.

    June 30, 2012
    4:32 pm

    It is the scars that leave me battling with my self and keep me from reaching higher energy levels in my spirituality. I sit and hope to someday be able to really feel total love towards everyone, so I can live on a higher energy level. Coming to terms with your Father was your turning point; I am in awe of such forgiveness and peace.

    – Cara

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