Spiritual Teachers in Contemporary Times


The main role of a teacher is to point you toward your own inner teacher.

It was when I learned to look within that awake awareness showed me its capacities of clarity and love.

It is important to have mentors and teachers who have traveled farther along the path to offer guidance. From psychotherapy studies, we know that transference, idealization, and projection are normal parts of our psychological relationship to a mentor. However, failing to recognize transference or over-reliance on a teacher can keep you dependent. Those of us who know people who followed gurus into cults are aware of this potential trap.

Although teachers can share supportive energy, awake awareness cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Awake awareness is invisible and equally inherent within each of us. Whereas energy can travel from one person to another, awake awareness is already every- where, so another person can only point it out to you. It needs to be discovered and realized by you.

A well-trained teacher can provide detailed instruction and cautions for avoiding traps, and he or she can help with an occasional checkup or tune-up. We can move from authority-based ways of finding truth to learning to look within and seeking methods of mutual exploration and support. Although a teacher can give you a good map and point you in the right direction, only you can make the difference by prioritizing your own growth daily.

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