Though I have come, over the years, to think of myself as a Christian, I believe wholeheartedly that there are profound truths in all the great spiritual practices. As Freeman says in Jesus, the Teacher Within, "Tasting the word in other traditions returns us to the gospels with a finer palate for truth."
And, in fact, I think there are teachers everywhere, not just in the spiritual disciplines. Much of what I have learned comes from my interactions with my friends and family, from visiting unfamiliar places and experiencing new and different paths. My older daughter, who is majoring in Chinese religion and culture, sent me a quotation from Confucius yesterday which perfectly encapsulates this view of life.
"When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them." (from the 22nd part of the Shu Er section in the Analects.)
I have not gotten the impression from my readings that Frank Lloyd Wright was either a particularly spiritual man or a particularly nice man, but he was certainly a gifted man. And, as this statue from his Taliesin estate outside Phoenix shows, he was certainly capable of tapping into the peace and beauty that exists around us.
As we struggle to expand our compassion for all of humanity, our sense that we are all connected and one in God, it might help to remember that there are teachers everywhere. And I, for one, know that I still have a great deal to learn from them -- even from my kids!