The Guru

The Guru

Guru Day 2 @ Future Ways of Living
Guru Day 2 @ Future Ways of Living

Guru is a Sanskrit term meaning remover of darkness. It’s often translated as teacher. Rishi means seer, someone who sees reality. A rishi may or may not also have the skills of a teacher.

As you begin a spiritual path, it’s very useful to have a teacher. They guide you away from pitfalls on the spiritual journey and towards a right approach. With good understanding and good practices, your development will be as smooth as possible.

We should see any teacher as a guide. If we place the teacher on a pedestal or deify them, an imbalance of power emerges. It’s not the person of the teacher that’s important. Focusing on the appearance can create unhealthy attachment rather than progress. Making them special also makes our own enlightenment unattainable.

Most of us will find teachers in the physical world, but if there’s enough refined perception, they can also arise in the subtle. The key to the subtle is knowing the difference between quality beings and those with an agenda. We don’t find this in appearances but in the feel of their presence.

If a teacher has charisma, be careful not to confuse that with presence. Resonance can show up in either. Presence amplifies alertness and clarity. Charisma only creates attraction.

As everyone will become enlightened, the only difference between you and someone already enlightened is time. And time is just a perspective.

If a teacher asks you to give away your power or self-determination, leave them. That’s a red flag for entanglement and abuse. A teacher should never be predatory.

Certainly, it’s fine to love and cherish our teacher. Devotion is a deep path. But that doesn’t mean giving away our power, just giving our love.

It’s important to remember that a teacher remains a human, however enlightened. They’re still (or should be) working on their stuff.

A few years ago, a group of leaders formed the Association for Spiritual Integrity. The ASI offers peer support and professional guidelines for spiritual leaders. This can help avoid some problems we see, especially with teachers on their own, without peer support.

They also have guidelines for students, as we all share some responsibility in a teacher-student relationship.

I’ve spent many lifetimes in ancient traditions. A deep lineage can help us find good teachers, but the recent dark age has made that less true. Do your due diligence before committing to any teacher. Then stay the course. Let the linage support you.

During the unfolding of enlightenment, several key steps take place.

After awakening, the intellect shifts from identifying with the mind to identifying with being. This makes it very stable or resolute and much more reliable in the discrimination of truth.

As we deepen into source, either before or after the Unity shift, we gain what has been called the Inner Guru. We become our own teacher. This is even more so after the Brahman shift, when we become a law of nature unto itself.

We may still maintain a relationship with our teacher as an act of service and gratitude. But it’s like leaving home as an adult. We evolve from newbie, to convert, to clarity, to transcendence.

I appreciate it’s difficult to find a good teacher we resonate with. I’ve been blessed on that front. Yet our circumstances are never an impediment to deal with our stuff. We can make a lot of progress with a good effortless meditation and some self-awareness.

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