By definition, the word ‘guru’ is a Sanskrit term for teacher or master. However, in today’s world it’s become a somewhat tarnished and definitely misunderstood reference. It’s not uncommon to hear it as a derogatory term referring to anyone who knowingly or unknowingly promises what they cannot deliver in order to take advantage of sincere seekers of knowledge, personal growth, healing, enlightenment or spiritual wisdom.
For Westerners, it’s very hard to think of having a guru, or a Master without extreme distrust. The notion usually conjures up images of subjugation and subservience or being duped via fraud.
But in the east, a true guru is one who has learned to discipline their thoughts, feelings, and imagination. They are no longer at the effect of them. They have become the master of their own mind – and can show you how to do it too.
It’s a hard concept for most westerners to fathom for we normally have no distance from our thoughts, feelings, and imagination. Instead, we are ruled by them, often without any awareness of the fact; and usually end up defining ourselves by them. Good thoughts & feelings → good person. Bad thoughts & feelings → bad person.
Yet, if you’re interested in personal growth and spiritual transformation, you must look somewhere for the answer to that fundamental question: ‘Who am I and what is life all about?’
Unfortunately, we don’t come into life with a handbook tied around our wrists that reads ‘Tips To Who I Am & How To Live A Happy & Purposeful Life’. All the guidelines we get are the perceptions of our parents, extended family, religion, culture and time frame that have been colored and even distorted by misunderstandings about how life truly works – and what it’s all about.
Although we are in a phase where external gurus are highly suspect, the reality of the inner teacher or guide hasn’t changed. Nor has the need to master our own thoughts and feelings and imagination. In this time, many processes are emerging to help us help each other; wonderful tools to help us facilitate our transition from being sleepy, unconscious beings, to more awake, conscious, compassionate and loving participants in creating a different kind of world.