Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

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Salem
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Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by Salem » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:54 am

I feel like I might need a teacher to help me on my quest. How does one go about finding one? Adyashanti said he had a teacher at one point, whereas I don't think Tolle did, outside of crushing depression and anxiety.

In stories it almost sounds like a person has to shave their head and became a monk on some mountain somewhere. Do people nowadays just seek teachers not personally but via large groups during retreats and so forth?

Also, teachers can only be guides, but what a person experiences for themselves, they know. Yet, often we need help from others. My second question is how do we know when we are relying on teachers, therapists, friends, etc too much? When does the crutch become the way of life?

Sometimes I feel like reassurance is almost like when the answers are in the back of the book but the teacher says, use them only to check your work. Yet they are there and it's so hard not to cheat and just go right too them. And then before you know it you have a bunch of answers that aren't really yours, just someone else's.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by Sighclone » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:34 am

Tolle actually did listen to Barry Long and study with him for a while. If you are feeling the need for a teacher, definitely go find one. But any teacher who says "do it my way" is suspect. Your spiritual growth will depend on your internal work -- teachers can provide suggested sadhanas, techniques, reading, and ask good questions. But you are the boss of your awakening. Where do you live? Perhaps someone on the forum could point you to someone in your area.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by James » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:22 pm

I agree with Andy, follow your inclinations. The important think to remember is that you are actually meeting with your Self, the embodiment of truth in what appears as another; so there lies the sacredness.

Yes there can be a trap of depending too heavily on a teacher/guru. But there is also a trap of human arrogance that thinks "I can do it alone, I know all the answers already." The best guides will bring one to a place where the guide is no longer needed anymore, although one may still enjoy their company and presence.

Technology can make it easier to find a teacher. Check out the many free videos, clips, audio downloads, writings on the internet. Some websites compile lists of teachers with some info about them and links. Sample a number of different teachers until you get a sense of which one resonates with you the most. Then visit that teachers website if they have one. Some are available for phone or skype conversations. Then from there if you feel really strongly about it, you could go see him/her in person one on one, or at a talk or retreat. There could also be worthy guides in your community, they may or may not advertise. You may be fortunate and find someone through word of mouth, or networking.
Questioner: Krishnamurti says that Guru is not needed.

Nisargadatta: Somebody must tell you about the Supreme Reality and the way that leads to it. Krishnamurti is doing nothing else. In a way he is right - most of the so-called disciples do not trust their Gurus; they disobey them and finally abandon them. For such disciples it would have been infinitely better if they had no Guru at all and just looked within for guidance. To find a living Guru is a rare opportunity and a great responsibility. One should not treat these matters lightly. You people are out to buy yourself heaven and you imagine that the Guru will supply it for a price. You seek to strike a bargain by offering little but asking much. You cheat nobody except yourselves.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

runstrails
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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by runstrails » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:51 pm

I've found nature and this forum to be good teachers.

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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by Mouse » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:34 pm

Find a teacher or preferably a master that you resonate with, go and see them as much as you can, and live their teaching for as long as it works for you.

The presence of the master is very important to you as it will reflect to your own consciousness that which the master has realised without you having to do anything (except surrender your preconceptions and opinions and be present). Also if he or she is truly a master, which means they have realised God and have no self other than a self that loves God then they can actually take the past out of you. This was my experience though the master would never admit that he did that, because it is done by grace.

So you can have a master or teacher to reflect to you the truth but it requires that you live what you know to be the truth, which will be their teaching. They must not be believed, you have to know in your own experience if what they say is the truth and then live it, or go.

Many people jump from one teaching to another and thus avoid facing the death of their self.

For the really intelligent ones who have a great intrinsic love of truth perhaps a guru/master is not needed, but that happens by the grace of God.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by Sighclone » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:49 am

Wise words, James and Mouse...and I also agree with runstrails...I have seen many colors in the rainbow of grace refracted through this little blue island...I have notebooks and Word folders full of the wisdom from here and other internet sites.

But there is no substitute for a personal contact with an awakened master. It is said that Ramana did his best "work" withe people in silence. There are numerous testimonies from the 30's and 40' from people who were in his presence only...Nisargadatta is not the first teacher to have praised the merits of his guru.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by James » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:23 pm

That was very well said Mouse, you echoed much of what I was thinking on the subject. Agreed Andy and Runstrails. Nature is a wonderful teacher, I love to observe and contemplate the natural world; and it is the deep silence (that underlies all sounds), ever-present emptiness, that is the essence of transmission. So it seems it is those truth lovers that already sense this inner silence that are likely to sense its depth in someone such as Ramana. Those that are not truly ready or are only seeking the fruit of awakening (the after effects), may not benefit much; or if they do benefit it would be short lived. As Nisgargadatta put it above, those that are just coming to a teacher to "get", and not offering anything in return; those that are not ready to "offer up" the personal sense of self.

Another possible trap in spiritual circles is the reliance only on older texts for interpreting truth without the benefit of a living teacher. This is how fundamentalism begins. While these traditional and classic works may be beautifully profound and of great value in pointing to the truth, the downside is that mind can cleverly construct its own subtle interpretations of teachings and call it truth; this can happen in any tradition. And since the authors of those teachings are no longer around to explain or clarify what they meant, then the delusion can go unchecked; and that can appear as "spiritual egotism" masking as enlightenment. So a skilled teacher in this case, may help one see through the false.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by runstrails » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:28 am

James, good caution on the interpretation of older texts. I often wonder about that when I read translations. Two translations of the same text can be so different sometimes.

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Salem
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Re: Finding teachers and seeking reassurance

Post by Salem » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:47 pm

Apologies that I can't reply in a more timely fashion.

I currently live in the northern part of Peru while working with the Peace Corps. I don't really expect to find anyone here, nor am I looking closely since I spend most of my time in a very rural area. However, in November I finish my stint and will then move back to the USA, although I'm not sure where. I'm from Nebraska, but I am almost positive I'll be moving somewhere else...It's hard to travel around and then move back to a small agricultural community! :-) I might also end up going to Europe as I have some friends there and I have enjoyed living there as a student in college.

During my time here I have become more seriously interested in my inner-development. And I agree, this forum has helped me as much as any other resource, but sometimes personal and immediate feedback help significantly.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

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