|Spiritual teachers seem to be everywhere these days. All
too often people select one based on the wrong criteria. Because we live
in such a deeply materialistic (ie, physically focused) society, we are susceptible
to being severely misled when it comes to spiritual matters, as many
people have little experience when it comes to these things.
It's one thing to be misled into thinking a low quality fast food
restaurant will provide nutritious, wholesome good food. It's quite a
different thing when it comes to what you "eat" for your
spiritual life. In this aspect of one's life being misled can, in the
worst case, send you over the edge into insanity. At the very least you
will have wasted your time (and possibly lots of money), and delayed
your spiritual growth for a period of time. (But then there are those
who would say that you will have then learned a valuable lesson!)
In short, choose your spiritual teachers and guides very carefully.
Question everything. Examine what is going on around you, and in
yourself. Make sure you remain in some sort of control (bearing in mind
that some genuine spiritual; paths involve surrender!). Above all, look
to your intuition, your inner vision to guide. But be on the watch for
your own weaknesses that can lead you astray.
Signs of a genuine spiritual teacher:
- Pure humility; and this humility is not talked about, not faked, not self-affected
- No ego
- True spiritual teachers are often genuinely surprised that people think
they have something to teach. Their first reaction is, "what do you
people want? I don't know anything"
- Won't accept money for their teachings. Will accept the means to live, but
no payment in excess of that.