If you dream of finding a great Teacher, a Master, the operative advice is, “get real.” Great teachers may appear once in a hundred years. Masters require great sacrifice of those willing to follow them … and as we are not prepared to pay the price, it’s best to start exactly where we find ourselves with the help that is within reach. More likely I can find a guide, someone who knows the way but is still in the process of becoming. A useful guide is one who will help me to connect to my authentic self, that self that is connected to God. No shame, no blame, no fear, marks this journey, where every inner movement needs to be seen without judgment. – His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
inevitably, sooner or later the teacher dies.
We will hear his voice no more.
It is the end of an era.
You, you mourn.
With the spiritual parent gone, you are no longer the child.
What is a pupil to do?
To find another teacher seems necessary, but wait— What did he or she teach you? The source of “I Am” is within.
Richard Gere inspired by the Dalai Lama
George Harrison and Ravi Shankar inspired
by The Hari Krishnas and Sathya Sai Baba
Deva Premal and Miten Inspired by Osho
The wise say I can learn from everyone I meet. But exactly what is it that is being learned? What can I glean from some rough lout, some timid or repressed soul, some crazy? Surely they have nothing to teach an educated person like me. But there is no better teacher than the mirror, and every person can be my mirror, reflecting back to me some aspect of myself, particularly when it is something I dislike. I contain multitudes, as Walt Whitman put it. There is nothing I can see in another that I do not also contain to some degree—cheat, murderer, martyr, hero, and much more. Looking closely I discover that fundamentally we are all alike—all subject to the same passions and hopes, and this touches a feeling of compassion in me that does not otherwise appear.
My deepest guilty secret is gradually revealed to me: I believe that at least in some respect, I am better than everyone else. Only a penetrating view of my inner world dispels this pernicious illusion.
Books are helpful—reading prepares the mind and books are available where a living guide is not to be found. But eventually we need the human connection. A book cannot look back at me and hear my tone of voice. It cannot remind me to release the tension in my shoulders. It does not know when I am ready for the next step.