Why A Spiritual Teacher?
I used to live life as though it would go on forever — never ending.
When I see people I love, I now remember that perhaps this may be the last time I see their face.
I ask myself “Are you truly present when you are with everyone you meet?”
“Are you simultaneously enjoying the moment while being aware that it is sacred because it will never happen again?
Life continues to evolve. Yet it is impermanent. A paradox….
I am finding that the practice of living in the present with all of the uncertainties of life, takes courage.
The courage to be aware of the fragility of life while embracing every moment as though it is the last.
Humanity appears to be experiencing one of the most challenging times on our planet,
making a spiritual teacher to guide us at this pivotal time a PROFOUND gift.
In truth, a spiritual teacher appears in our lives by our personal silent invitation.
I was conscious ( as many are) of the specific time when through prayer, I asked for the appearance of a spiritual teacher.
With others often the invitation is more an unconscious one.
When I met James, my spiritual teacher, I intuitively knew he was the sacred presence
I had been asking for to guide my spiritual journey.
There was an immediate trust with his presence.
I looked into his eyes and saw the light of infinite wisdom.
Thankfully, and ironically he appeared at the most challenging time in my life.
*See “Why the Peacock Solution.”
He has since graced my life with many scared gifts –physical healings, compassionate blessings for family and friends, harmony with difficult relationships, providing peace through my grief over loved ones passing on and consistently translating ancient teachings into practical application for my everyday life.
During the past few months, I have read two extraordinary books that have deeply strengthened my devotion and renewed my commitment to this spiritual journey.
“The Autobiography of a Yogi”, the compelling story of Paramhansa Yogananda’s path to self mastery and “The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita”, an extraordinary book of deep ancient wisdom written by one of Yogananda’s few remaining direct disciples Swami Kriyananda.
“The Autobiography of a Yogi” weaves the story of Yogananda’s sacred experiences with his own spiritual teacher Swami Sri Yukteswar. These experiences and the feelings they evoked reminded me of my journey with James. This personal insight has been transformative for me, confirming how profoundly blessed my life has been and continues to be through the grace and patience of a gifted and compassionate teacher.
Yogananda shares his love of teaching in nature and this reminded me of the incredible times in Sedona when an intimate group of students would arise early morning and hike with James, sit with him during lunch and have spiritual talks by the creek for hours.
These were magical days for me hearing the teachings about our Oneness with nature, seeing images of the “ancient ones” in the face of a mountain as well as intuitively learning to feel the energy and vibration of the land, the significance of a heart rock found along the trail, and ceremonies honoring the four directions of the earth.
We experienced so many miraculous moments and healings.
Another parallel that surfaced throughout “The Autobiography of a Yogi” was the forthrightness of Yogananda’s teacher Swami Sri Yukteswar, while addressing the “ego” personality of his students.
It was clearly understood in his culture that being forthright with a student was the sacred responsibility of an authentic spiritual teacher.
“The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita” states “Very few human beings are ready for the highest spiritual blessing: the help of a true spiritual teacher. That all human beings need whatever help they can get, however, is surely very evident to anyone but the most errant egotist.”
I was mesmerized reading Yogananda’s biography. It helped me to completely understand why forthrightness has been one of the greatest and most loving gifts I’ve experienced with my own teacher.
In the beginning of our spiritual work together I had many moments of anger and frustration with myself as James forthrightly addressed my “ego” during a session. Sometimes when feeling tears with my ” imagined victimization” these emotions helped me to acknowledge and heal deep seeded issues which I was completely unaware of before working with him. However, looking into his eyes during those moments I always had a knowingness that I was experiencing a healing process. The more I allowed the power of his love to pierce my ego, unnecessary suffering was dissolved.
After the storm of emotions cleared, the process of surrendering in meditative silence brought feelings of gratitude and freedom that is indescribable.
How many people in your life love you enough to tell you the truth?
The truth about your shadow AND your light so that you can be assisted in your conscious growth and evolution?
Is there a willingness to accept this deepest form of love into your heart?
To take the risk to prioritize your life journey with the intention of Self Realization and Self Acceptance?
Will you have the courage to begin the journey of awakening when you recognize your spiritual teacher or will you walk away?
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions.
It’s simply a choice.
My truth is that I know I am a better person and my life is happier and deeply enriched because of my spiritual work with James.
I also realize that I am not alone and I am loved.
I know who will take my hand when the time comes and walk beside me through the veil to the other side.
For me, with a heart overflowing with love and gratitude, I choose to continue my journey of awakening, fully appreciating The Gita’s advice in “accepting the highest spiritual blessing: the help of a true spiritual teacher.”
The choice is yours. Which path will you choose?
I look forward to hearing your comments.
In Part Two of “Why a Spiritual Teacher?” I will continue to share experiences about my journey with my teacher and new insights from “The Autobiography of a Yogi” and “The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita.”
With folded hands,
*“Why the Peacock Solution.” http://thepeacocksolution.com/