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Are You A Guru Junkie?

Are You A Guru Junkie?

What is a guru? We hear the word used to describe anyone who is the best in their field, whatever that may be, such as business, the media or the internet, but in the Eastern tradition a guru is a spiritual guide or teacher who helps us remove darkness and confusion: in Sanskrit gu means darkness, ru means to remove. Those longing for a deeper meaning and happiness in life seek out such gurus for guidance.

However, today’s search for a guru, at least in the West, has become similar to visiting a shopping mall. Never before have we seen such an array of teachers saying they will bring ever-lasting happiness and proclaiming their path is the only way or the best teachings, that if we do their particular technique we will be free, transformed, changed for ever, happy as never before. We can even become a teacher or master ourselves: we once received notice of a Guru Training program where we could become a guru in all of two weekends after which, the brochure assured us, we were guaranteed to receive endless adoration, wealth, fame and happiness, or our money back.

We were bemused when we were recently sent an invitation to a conference on Altered States of Consciousness: Enlightenment, Entheogens, Shamanism and Peak Experiences. There were forty-six headlined speakers, all of whom had endless credentials, books, teaching centers and followers. Subjects ranged from Cracking Open Consciousness to How to Tell Your Friends From the Apes, Gender-Specific Altered States of Consciousness and, thankfully, The Miracle of Ordinary Awareness.

Do you go to a workshop and think the teacher is the best, until you meet the next one? How addicted are you to the bliss that arises every time you meet someone who says they will save you? Are you a guru hopper, jumping from guru to guru, thinking that in this way you are climbing the ladder of enlightenment? Do you believe in the guru who stares into your eyes, hugs you, tells you how wonderful you are, or says they will give you everlasting peace and happiness? It might feel good for a while, but does it truly anything?

When people are in need or suffering they are susceptible and vulnerable to outside influences, easily believing that the latest, most persuasive teacher will save them. There appear to be three main reasons why someone goes window-shopping for a guru:

1. Life does not easily satisfy our needs. We get something but always want more. More becomes the mantra. But from constantly wanting more materially and emotionally, we then apply the same principle to spirituality: more teachers and techniques must be better than just one, surely? Each is more enticing than the last: surely this one will finally solve all those nagging difficulties in my life? Or maybe it’s this one?

2. We want to be happy. Like the musk deer in India that has a beautiful smell in it’s anus but looks throughout the forest for that smell, so we look for happiness outside ourselves and come up short because whatever we find never lasts. This is the truth of impermanence: happiness comes but happiness also goes. Not wanting to believe this, we continually search for that elusive promise of foreverness.

3. We yearn to be at peace. Religion has lost its allure and there is little to replace it. We long for guidance, to be told what to do and how often to do it. And in the process we forego our common sense, we forget our own wisdom and truth, that deeper inside we do know best, and so we put another’s beliefs ahead of our own.

How do we find our way through the plethora of teachings on offer? When we dig for oil we have to dig deep to reach it; if we dig too many shallow pits we will never get to the source of the oil. In the same way, if we keep guru hopping we will never get to the essence of the teachings. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

As the great Indian teacher Ramana Maharshi eloquently said: The guru on the outside is there to turn you on to the guru within. True teachers show us that it is possible to wake up and be free, but ultimately the truth is already within each of us and can never be given by another. Through meditation we connect to that inner guru, to the brilliance and radiance of who we truly are. Which is why we brought together 32 wise and compassionate meditation experts who, collectively, create a map for you to find your own hidden treasure.

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Be The Change Meditate e-Conference will uplift and inspire you. It includes Marianne Williamson, Congressman Tim Ryan, author of Mindful Nation, Sharon Salzberg, Gabby Bernstein, Gangaji, Joan Borysenko, Seane Corn, neuroscientist Richie Davidson who proves how meditation affects the brain, and us, Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of the conference companion book, BE THE CHANGE: How Meditation Can Transform You and The World. Expect your life to never be the same again! Register now and be ready for lift-off March 4-8.

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You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

33 comments

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1:15AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

great article ty. Andy my thoughts on that is this thing I teach young children so they learn about money and how it works even in business.

You earn or get pocket money for things you know or are asked to do within the family or to make some money one way or the other for personal satisfaction in business or for a boss. Whatever.
So you earn money, you save a % which is greater than the % you spend and there should be some left over. That small bit that is left over is called Tithing as in Tie...thing. This is what you give back to the Universe or in other words giving to someone less fortunate or even freely without asking for money back in return. The kids thought this made sense and off they went and returned to tell me their tales of how they went. All saved money, paid for something freely and gave some to charity. They thought it was so cool.
If a person keeps on getting you to return over n over again and you arent getting a balance of goods or treatment or so then move on. I just did that to my physio for one reason and another.

giving money away as in Tithing, with no strings attached, you will be surprised that if you wished for something and forgot it, you actually might get your wish like I have numerous times,

9:43AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

thanks

10:29AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

GURU .........darkness---remove . The light from the creator is the source works of our spiritual nourishment. The egocentric element of the corporeal mind divides and separates us from nature.
Realization of oneness is the goal. The journey on earth is the souls' quest for advancement in the spirit world. We return to the mortal host body life after lifetime seeking the higher truth.

6:57PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Andy K - give to those that are in need is the way!

3:33AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Thanks

3:32AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

ty

1:34AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

There is no single great secret that a teacher can reveal - only what he or she can help you find in yourself. Not "only one true path" to enlightenment or to god or the Tao, but as many as there are people. May you find happiness and help others to find it.

10:47PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Andy K - it is always better to give than receive - to serve others brings happiness!

10:15PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

One of the problems with Gurus is that they make themselves rich from their disciples money. Jesus Christ taught us to give our money to the poor in order to get God's favour. Which do you think is the right path?

9:58PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Nope.

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