finding a master teacher in traditional shamanism

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  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    Finding a Master Teacher in

    Traditional Shamanism

    THE ROLE OF THE TEACHERTHE TERMGURU IS NOTwell understood these das! The

    notion deri"ed #rom the ancient Sans$rit term

    Kalyana mitra. Kalyana means "irtuous% Mitra

    means #riend! Ta$en together% the term

    denoted a &erson who was a "irtuous #riend!

    ' associating with such a &erson% one

    de"elo&ed &ositi"e s&iritual (ualities which

    could not )e ac(uired through an othermeans! This term did not a&&l to *ust an

    #riendshi&s #ormed along the s&iritual &ath! +e

    should ta$e care not to o"eruse the word

    Guru. +e must understand at what stage a

    master actuall )ecomes our Guru% and what(uali#ies him to )e $nown as a Guru! I ha"e

    noticed% ma)e some o# ou ha"e too% that

    these das when &eo&le go to see and hear

    "arious mas,ters% the discuss their (ualities

    and decide which one the would li$e to

  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    choose as their Guru! 'ut this is not what it is

    all a)out! +e cannot &ic$ and choose% merel

    )ecause we are attracted to someones&ersonalit or charisma% or )ecause o# their

    re&utation or #ame! Such criteria are merel

    emotional! The are too shallow to )e the

    )ases #or a long standing relationshi&! O#

    course% it is natural #or newcom,ers who lac$$nowledge or guidelines to )egin their search

    #or a Guru ) loo$ing at such su&er#icial

    (ualities! 'ut in order to esta)lish the essential

    (ualities o# a Guru% we must rel u&on the

    scri&tures! It is im&ortant at the outset to &oint

    out that the term Guru is not a general

    'uddhist term! It is used #re(uentl in

    Hinduism% )ut within 'uddhism its use is

    restricted to tantra! It a&&lies onl in the con,

    te.t o# esoteric doctrines and teachings! The

    &erson who gi"es Re#uge to ou does not)ecome our Guru! Neither does the &erson

    who ordains ou! Similarl% the &erson who

    gi"es ou the 'odhisatt"a "ows is not a Guru!

    None o# these "ows in"ol"e /a*raana or

    esoteric doctrines! 0 &er,son who has taught

  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    ou during numerous wor$sho&s and

    meditation sessions is not a Guru! He is a

    teacher% &erha&s also a s&iritual #riend!Etmologicall s&ea$ing% the word Guru

    deri"es directl #rom the Sans$rit word

    Guhyarucita. Guhya means secret% rucita

    means holder! So the entire word could )e

    translated as holder o# secret $nowledge! 0&erson cannot )e our Guru until he &asses on

    to us secret $nowledge in the &rescri)ed

    manner! 0t this &oint I would li$e to discuss

    the reasons wh we need a Guru! E"en in

    e"erda li#e there are man things we must

    learn #rom others! +hen we em)ar$ on the

    search #or enlightenment we are see$ing

    secret $nowledge not *ust #or our own )ene#it%

    )ut in order to )ene#it others! It #ol,lows that

    we must #ind a &erson with the highest

    creden,tials to teach us! E"en #or mundanematters such as re&airs to $itchen &i&es% we

    will want to ensure that the &erson who does

    the re&airs is a registered &lum)er! 'ut man

    &eo&le dont seem to )other a)out credentials

    when the choose a Guru! The o#ten decide

  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    sim&l on the )asis o# a &ersons re&utation or

    a)ilit to attract crowds! This is not to sa that

    one should not attend teachings ) &o&ularteachers! 'ut here we are re#erring s&eci#icall

    to the role o# Guru! 3It is on the )asis o# the

    Gurus guidance that one will gain s&irit,ual

    &ractice% s&iritual $nowledge and s&iritual

    realisations! +hen we tr to ac(uire$nowledge or &ractices #rom )oo$s% we are

    not &re&ared #or an ensuing e.&eriences

    which ma arise! Man students )ecome

    con#used )ecause the ha"e a Guru on the

    other side o# the world! whom the rarel see!

    The cannot de"elo& a close relationshi&!

    The ha"e a merel emotional lin$% or &act i#

    ou li$e! The do not ha"e the closeness to

    learn detailed $nowledge a)out &ractices and

    meditati"e e.&eriences! I# ou ha"e certain

    e.&eriences and ou cannot tal$ to a teacherwhom ou regard as our Guru% the

    circumstances are not in &lace #or a Guru,

    disci&le relationshi&! 0 great danger in

    searching #or a Guru is the tem&tation to

    search #or someone who is high and #amous!

  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    Followers o# such a Guru ma #eel as though

    the are &art o# something im&or,tant% )ut the

    will not get much out o# it )ecause he is noteasil accessi)le! One does not get close

    enough to learn the )asics! It is said that ones

    teacher must )e someone who is accessi)le%

    with whom one can do e"erthing% not *ust

    s&ir,itual things! There must )e man ears o#)uilt u& #riend,shi&! +e are tal$ing a)out a

    master who will assist% encour,age and guide

    us% not do the o&&osite! One who does not

    assist the student is not a Guru! One who

    does not continue to ins&ire is not a Guru!

    One who is not a"aila)le is not a Guru! He

    must not )e *ust an o)*ect% a mere idol! He

    must )e a (uali#ied master! He must himsel#

    ha"e )een a dee&l dedicated disci&le at

    some time! He must ha"e a &ro"en record o#

    disci&leshi& with a li"ing master! He must con,tinue to see this master as we see our Guru%

    and continue to emulate his! There is

    a danger when &eo&le rel solel on non

    human guidance! Some &eo&le ma tal$ a)out

    recei"ing transmissions directl #rom some

  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    mstical )eing! 'ut as long as their

    relationshi& remains &urel on this mstic

    &lane% with someone the ha"e ne"er dealtwith on the human le"el% the will not de"elo&

    the res&ect and o)edi,ence that a disci&le

    needs to show! Such &eo&le ha"e no e.,

    &erience o# disci&leshi& with a human teacher!

    One must e.&erience the wea$ &oints o# theGuru *ust as much as his s&iritual (ualities!

    +e must )e a)le to #ind the golden ring amid

    the &ile o# manure! The &oint here is that one

    must )e a)le to a&&reciate the gold along with

    its accom,&aning manure% not *ust the gold!

    Those who deal onl with the gold will not

    de"elo& a dee& relationshi&! Nor will it endure!

    It will tend to remain at the le"el o# out,er

    Guru% when what we reall need is to de"elo&

    our inner Guru! This is what ha&&ens when we

    grow u&! 'ut we can,not do this without thehel& o# a s&ecial &erson acting as a model and

    guide! +e need this s&ecial hel& to de"elo&

    our )udding inner s&iritual sel#% which we

    realise is a lot saner than the ordinar sel#!

    +hen we ha"e de"elo&ed a real Guru,disci&le

  • 8/13/2019 Finding a Master Teacher in Traditional Shamanism


    Finding a Master Teacher In Traditional Shamanism

    relationshi&% the Guru will ins&ire us to

    de"elo& our inner Guru! +e will #ind that the

    "oice o# this inner Guru is no di##erent #rom the"oice o# the outer Guru! O#ten at some le"el

    we $now what we should do% )ut we do not

    listen to what that gentle inner "oice is saing

    to us! This means that our outer Gurus

    in#luence has not et )een #ull recei"ed! Untilwe ha"e the a)ilit to listen to our hearts and

    act with true maturit% we will continue to

    re(uire the &resence o# the outer Guru! The

    outer Guru &las a "er im&ortant role! 'ut he

    is not a li)erator! He does not rescue us! +e

    ha"e to learn to rescue oursel"es! Otherwise

    we might e.&ect the Guru to do e"erthing #or

    us7 we &ra% and he acts! This is "er much

    li$e )elie"ing in an all,&ower#ul god! The

    (ualities o# the Guru are listed in the

    scri&tures! The list is "er long% and some o#the (uali,ties included ma not ma$e a lot o#

    sense to us )ecause the are highl technical!

    The #irst ste& is to )e con"inced that we need

    a s&ir,itual teacher% *ust as we $now we need

    a teacher to learn to &la &iano% #or!