Before you try to find a spiritual teacher, it’s important to be clear about what you need help with. Do you want to cope with a trauma, do you want to master your emotions, do you have psychological problems? Then perhaps a psychologist will serve you better. Do you want to be more successful, more productive in your work, or manifest abundance? Then a business mentor or somebody familiar with the law of attraction is a better choice.
Do you want to get rid of bad habits, enhance your communication skills, and be a better person in general? In that case, you should look into personal development instead. Do you want to heal a disease, live more healthier, and have more energy? Then an energy healer can serve you perfectly.
Only when you become interested in the deepest questions of life, in finding truth, in realizing your full potential, should you turn to a spiritual teacher. Becoming enlightened will help much with the things I just mentioned, but it won’t solve them automatically. You’ll still have to work on the physical, psychological and financial aspects of life.
Even among spiritual teachers, there are many categories. Some can help with your meditation practice, some in becoming more conscious and mindful, while others can teach you the secrets of working with energy. It depends on you, what you’re interested in, and you can try many teachers, and use their teachings as stepping stones on your spiritual path.
But again, if you really want to know who you are, if you strive to achieve enlightenment, you have to go beyond these categories. Then you need a spiritual Master, and not just a spiritual teacher. Teachers are many, but Masters are few. I regard somebody a Master if he or she attained enlightenment, and then strives to share it with the world.
A Master is teaching about the highest forms of spirituality, about pure unconditional love, about self-liberation, about non-duality and oneness. A Master not only experienced them once, but also embodies these qualities in everyday life, so he or she can speak with authenticity and authority.
While many spiritual teachers fill your head with more knowledge, a Master strives to take away all your knowledge, and instead motivates you to experience things for yourself. A Master is a spark who can light up the flame of your innermost being, who inspires you to become a Master in your own right.
Finding a spiritual teacher or even a spiritual Master is much easier nowadays in the age of the internet. While in the old days you had to rely on rumors, and travel to faraway countries, in this day and age you can simply make a quick search online. You can also compare various teachers very easily, get a taste of their teaching style, and see who you resonate with the most.
Finding the right spiritual teacher is almost like finding the right romantic partner. Sometimes you instantly fall in love, and sometimes you need to go on many dates. Sometimes you find someone through a friend or just by accident, and sometimes you try online dating. Sometimes you change your partners, and sometimes you stick with one. No matter how it happens, always choose somebody who touches your heart, not just your mind. Somebody who transforms you deep within, not just on the periphery. Somebody you can love, not just respect.
I had many teachers on my path, both alive and dead, both online and in-person. But my breakthrough happened when I met my spiritual Master live, this kind of setting had the most effect on me. So if it’s possible, try to find a spiritual teacher you can meet personally, because that special kind of energy and vibe is hard to reproduce online. It’s even worse if the teacher is already dead a long time ago, because there’s a high chance that the students misinterpreted the teachings, and you only get a watered down version of the real stuff.
However, being a perfect spiritual student is more important than finding the perfect spiritual teacher, because as they say: when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I can attest to this statement, because that’s exactly how it happened for me. A good student can learn much even from a bad teacher, but a bad student will get nothing out of the teachings of even the most enlightened Masters. A sponge absorbs even the slightest drop of water, while a ship remains intact even when it’s immersed into the ocean.
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