Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Are You My Guru?

I absolutely loved this book as a kid. It was fun and I liked that the bird found his mother in the end. (Hope I didn't spoil that for anyone!)

However, I question the number of Yogis I see searching for a guru to "tell them what to do."

I've never been to India and am not an expert of the subject of having or being a Guru. For the use of this post, I'm talking about a Guru not only as one who brings light where there was darkness, but as a knower of all things--including what's the best path for his/her students. Perhaps, there are such Masters in the caves of the Himalayas, but there are a number of international Yogis posing as Gurus--or at least their students have put them on this type of pedestal. My question is, is this such a great idea?

As a student, I find there is a fine line between showing respect for a teacher and following them blindly. Unfortunately, some of the most well-known and "followed" teachers have created a bit of a cult. They're not asking people to donate all their money--well, not directly anyway. But there is a mentality that they can cure anything and if you, the student, would just understand and obey (uh, I mean listen to) what they say, then everything would be fine and dandy. Heck, some even promise samadhi or enlightenment. Others say their alignment, and no one else's, is right for you.

What troubles me most, is how many people take to this. Is it the need for a strong parent figure in their lives? Is it the fear of making their own choices? Is it a lack of self-confidence?

As a teacher, I tend to back away when a student looks to me for all the answers. If you're looking for a Guru, I'm not it. Handling my own life is enough. I'm happy to share, guide, love, and accept you. But I'm not prepared to tell you what is right for you. Quite frankly, because I don't know.

In my opinion, a great teacher and true Guru helps students to see the beautiful person that they already are. A true Guru guides, but never insists. A true Guru suggests, but honors the student's right to decide. A true Guru, accepts the student as a person, even when they disagree. A true Guru, offers their opinion and encourages students to share their thoughts as well.

Remember, Svadhayaya or Self-study is the 4th Niyama from the Yoga Sutras.
No matter what path you take for Self-realization, in the end you have to go it alone in order to see that we're all one.
Then, you will realize that you were never truly alone.

Love Much,


Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

1 comment:

rand(om) bites said...

I like your thoughts about Gurus. I will read and be inspired by them but don't follow them blindly. I actually cringe whenever I hear the word Guru or when someone talks about being enlightened. We all need to follow our own paths and if that inspires others along the way, bonus. I think the Dalai Lama is a pretty good example.