People ask me why spiritual teachers and guru’s do not usually talk about the darkness, the pain, the anguish, the hardship, the emotions…of spiritual awakening. Some do, most do not. Why don’t they talk about it? Because they haven’t been through it. Why don’t they warn their students about it? Because they haven’t been through it.
I can’t say strongly enough that you will be drawn to the teacher or healer who says what you are meant to hear for your learning. I also can’t say strongly enough that what your teacher, healer, guru is doing while working with you, is meant for their healing as well. Strip away the titles of student, devotee, guru, healer, client, teacher and what is left? Two beings on a path to wholeness who are interacting in ways that will, one way or another, lead them to greater clarity. Do not presume that your teacher is clear and without issues of their own. Do not presume that you will not catch them being oh so incredibly human. Perhaps that will be their most powerful lesson to you. No one is here to “teach”. No one is here to “heal”…or to be a “healer”. Behind that whole show, we are all just working on the most basic level of learning how to exist in relation to unity and love. As long as we perceive ahead and behind and up or down in comparison, then we can know that we are still learning.
What I find is more and more common right now, is that teachers do not teach from their personal experience. They speak of awakening. They speak about oneness. They talk about these “things”. But rarely do they relate to their students using themselves as an example of how they personally experience grounded day to day living. I often get invitations from clients for me to check out some other teachers videos or writings or sayings or satsangs. Sometimes I take a peek. But mostly I don’t. I experience most teachers and guru’s not being grounded in authenticity. If authenticity is defined as the ability to be vulnerable, to speak plainly about your hurt, to share about your life in the center of the mashup…then I honestly can find more authenticity speaking to the grocery store clerk or my mom, or my clients. I am not being glib. I see a great whitewashing happening with the proliferation of teachers at this moment. As the upsurge of awakening occurs and unfolds, awakening happens in the mind first. The heart of vulnerability is usually the last door to open. This translates to people sharing honestly about how awakening is unfolding for them and being very excited to do so, but it is still a “mind” awareness that is not at the root level. And I would not want to stop them. Or discourage them. What I am writing about here is naming the learning curve. First comes awakening…then the teaching…then the grounding…then the humbling…then more awakening deeper than you thought it could possibly go. I name this because what I “work” with a lot are people who work with “teachers”…and the teachers are sure that they (the teacher) are clear and have let go of their issues, their emotions, etc. They are not being deceitful…it is a part of awakening, just the beginning though. And then the student is left at a loss when their own awakening is much deeper and challenging than that of their “teacher”. And when it includes emotions, and attachment, and anxiety and fear and many dark nights…they feel that something has gone wrong with them. The teacher may also feel something has gone wrong. Because after all…perhaps their awakening didn’t look like that. So they do not know what it is. This leaves the client literally in the dark, alone and suddenly unsupported. This is part of the learning curve at work for all of us. And it is what many well intentioned, but newly minted teachers do not yet teach, because they do not yet know. They, and their students do not know that we are collectively at the crux of the dying off of the illusion that spiritual awakening is meant to feel good, cause us to live in bliss at all times, bring about monetary prosperity, eradicate uncomfortable emotions, engender peace within our hearts. These oft promised things that your teacher may speak about…if they aren’t telling you about the long road ahead…if they aren’t telling you about what lies in wait…it may be because they haven’t been there. And if they are not sharing about how it all fell apart and how their life ended…will they be able to support you when you do? Most “teachers” do not talk about this process because they have not encountered just how deep the river cuts into the banks of illusion. Yet, without them, your awakening might have never sparked off.
I love how life works. I love this whole thing. But the thing I love the most is honesty and vulnerability alive in the same person. And more and more I see that spiritual seekers have more of both, than most of the teachers that they spend their time with. For me, anyone who is vulnerable and honest is my teacher, in that moment. Someone who is unafraid to share the whole thing is a rare thing to find. I think of healing work more and more as a cocoon where two beings meet in the most truthful way…where they both show up without artifice and respond to the present truth right there in the room. My first “teacher” in the lineage sense was not always vulnerable. But she always taught that it is the love that heals and that nothing else matters. When I listen to teachers today what I hear them saying is that love is all there is…and hardship and emotional pain and suffering does not matter. And you know what…that is a lie.
Letting go of something doesn’t bring lasting peace, but loving what you wish to let go of can.
It is always the love that heals. And vulnerability is sharing how love wraps itself around your existing hurts. So, find a teacher who speaks about how they learned and still learn to love themselves…and compare how you feel around them to how it feels to listen to someone talk existentially about how you can awaken to a sense of no-self.
Good luck out there-