Saturday, January 11, 2014

To follow a Guru or not?



When it comes to spiritual progression, there is a lot of debate on wether you need a Guru or not. Some treat a Guru as God on Earth and but do little to change themselves, while others arrogantly say 'I am my own Guru!'.

A Guru is the one who illuminates the darkness, one that brings awareness where there is ignorance, one that quenches the thirst of understanding. We have all had people in our lives that cleared our doubts, showed us the way, held our hands when we felt lost. Regardless of what is being taught, we all had Guru's in lives, our parents, our teachers, our mentors.

I look to a true Guru, as an unadulterated teacher, yet not all teachers are equal. It is unfortunate there many that claim to be more than what they really are for all sorts of reasons: ego or some sort of selfish agenda. The truth is that there are teachers of various degrees. I must say, I have pretty high standards on who I follow, otherwise why follow at all, if the person you are following is worse than yourself.

So here is what I look for in a teacher:

'Living embodiment of teachings'
I look for action, not words, words are cheap, words are shallow, even a sinner can appear as a saint given some nice quotes. I look for a living embodiment of what is being taught, I want to see, hear and feel what is it I am to learn first hand.

'The wiser the better'
I look for wisdom not ignorance, I look for answers to questions I don't have the answers for, I look at the logic and love in the response even to questions that attack the core of their teachings. A teacher who knows and understands the truth is not afraid of being challenged and has the confidence to clear any doubts based on the clarity in their very own mind.

'Love and Logic rules all kingdoms'
I look for compassion and an absence of judgement, why should there be attacks of who I am even in a spiritual context. If you tell me what I should do and what I should not do, then that has to be based on some sound logic should it not, and a message wrapped in love and concern only. Love and logic would appeal to me far more than any commandments and coercion ever would.

'Why would the ocean claim to be the wave'
I look for humility in all aspects, when there is nothing a person claims to be, there is no longer a limit on what that person can be, why would the ocean want to be the wave, it simply surfaces and then goes back to the infinite. The same with the mind of a true teacher, it appears to serve a purpose, and then disappears into selflessness.

'Any change for the better must happen'
Last of all, given I follow the instructions and the role model of the teacher, that has to bring some sort of change about in me, the short term and sustainable long term results should be visible, otherwise I really got to look twice at what I am doing wrong or what the teacher is doing wrong, either way somethings got to change.

'Worth their weight in gold'
A true teacher is worth their weight in gold and much more, they accelerate learning, they provide the guidance, they provide the role model that you can imitate, they are a living embodiment of the teaching themselves, and can transmit this to others through their understanding and living example. What good is a dead teacher who could walk on water, rather give me a teacher better than what I am in the present, today, so at least I can get some personal guidance rather than depending on my imagination.

'Don't throw the baby out'
The key thing is not to throw the baby out with the bath water, for any one true thing, there is always a thousand cheap imitations, choose wisely and this will change your life for better.  I am so very grateful for the teachers in my life, otherwise my life trajectory would be on a very different and difficult path.