Many individuals enquire about having a teacher on one’s spiritual path. Well, what’s a spiritual teacher? What can this relationship look like? Would it be the best choice for you?
Many people have asked me my estimation on having a teacher on a spiritual path. Like anything else in life, you will find only points of view concerning whether this choice is the best one for you. All I may do is reflect our experience regarding having a teacher and what I’m the huge benefits and problems are of doing this sort of relationship.
First and foremost, a teacher is someone who has been down the same road that you’re traveling – albeit at the least a few miles in front of you. They understand the pitfalls and the roadblocks, and can assist you to make your path easier and less painful. They can comfort you with the information that numerous people have walked this road before and survived, irrespective of how difficult the trail may appear for you in the moment.
Second, a teacher can reflect things to you that you would never see in yourself – at the least not without lots of self-honesty, which will be difficult to find when we are first on our spiritual path. Denial is usually our companion and we avoid what we fear is painful, even though we’re doing it subconsciously. The point is a teacher has more awareness and can work through the mental and egoic strategies that individuals eagerly justify and defend.
Third, a teacher creates a secure and supportive environment allowing us to open our hearts and minds in, giving us the opportunity to explore facets of ourselves we’d normally avoid Acim. A great teacher will not use anything we’ve shared against us or even to hurt us, and especially will not manipulate us with that information. This is simply not unlike the partnership we’ve with our doctor – what’s discussed in the treatment room stays in the treatment room.
The dangers of this type of relationship are found whenever a teacher has not totally cleaned their ego-mind and still has the tendency to want to use people and situations because of their personal benefit. The flip side of this dilemma is that numerous times the student does not understand the teacher’s standpoint because they can only see from their limited point of view. Then they judge the teacher, not totally understanding their intent or the larger picture. In these moments it helps you to talk with other students who have been in the future before for clarity – one of the ways or another. The purpose of your spiritual path is to improve your individual power, self-love and self-worth, not to provide it away to others.
Other dangers involve becoming mounted on a teacher feeling when they were to leave you that you would never achieve enlightenment. That is yet another appearance of “I’m negative enough” manifesting itself in another guise. There is a vintage Chinese proverb that says: Teachers open the entranceway, but you should enter by yourself. A teacher could be a mirror for you, they can reveal many hidden facets of your mind, and they can mention many of one’s habit behaviors that are causing you pain in your life. But in the end they can’t do anything for you. You have to do it for yourself. Anybody who promises otherwise is really a danger to you.
For me personally, having a teacher has been an amazing blessing in my own life. He taught me what unconditional love was through action – not through words. He reflected in my experience the love and blessing that I’m, revealing the lies that I’m not. He gave me words of support when the trail was dark and encouraged me when I thought I would not make it. He was brutally honest with me, since there was benefit or investment in lying to me. He lent me his eyes to see the planet through to ensure that I possibly could experience that life could be heaven on earth. And above all, he loved me just the way I was, with all my bad habits until I finally could express the light that I am.