About a year and a half ago, I posted on the subject of gurus - http://totalhealthyoga.blogspot.com/2007/09/are-you-my-guru.html. Here again I'd like to share a few thoughts on the subject.
Contemporary spiritual leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and Wayne Dyer claim to not want to be anyone's guru. Dyer points out that if something he says inspires you or guides you to a deeper knowing, it's not his doing. It's your readiness and openness that sheds more light. He takes no credit for any progress you make; nor does he take blame for your blocks.
In the past I thought that anyone who brought light and understanding where there used to be darkness or confusion was a guru, but I'm beginning to see that the only one that can truly dispel suffering and bring joy is each one of us for ourselves. As Jesus said, "The kingdom of Heaven is within."
There is a Zen saying: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!" The idea here is that Buddha is not something or someone outside of you. Buddha can only be found within, so something outside of you must be an impostor.
Another wise man, Lama Surya Das wrote, "We can always learn from others, but finally each of us can only trust our own intuitive heart." This is important, especially as students of yoga. Even alignment that is perfect for one person, may not suit another. We each have to decide for ourselves what is best--what is true for us. This takes courage, discipline, and trust in who we are.
Finally, some words from Byron Katie, "You can't free yourself by finding a so-called 'enlightened' state outside your own mind. When you question what you believe, you eventually come to see you're the enlightenment you've been seeking." Like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz, the answers are already within you. How cool is that?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!