Following a Guru

Q: I found your article on the Guru Disciple relationship very misleading and off-putting: The idea that you can do it by yourself using life as a teacher is just not something most of us would agree with on the path of Yoga and depiction of the stereotype of a guru: "...the existence of one who seemingly knows what's best for us better than us! One who sees what we don't see, and is is so far beyond us that we can only surmise the magnitude of their attainment," as an unrealistic romantic ideal, I also found upsetting.

You have crearted a kind of caricature of that relationship which makes the bond with the Guru seem only for idiots

Yes, a relationship with a spiritual teacher must not be blind, but our culture is so leery of this rich tradition that we forget all the scriptures we are all studying come from lineages of Guru/Disciple without which we would not even have a Yoga tradition extant --We our so cynical and so worried about giving our power away --why? We go through surgery with trust and have our teeth drilled with trust but we cant trust ourselves to know true and false teachers? --It makes no sense and is a disservice to the Yoga community to speak like this

A: Thanks for your feedback. Your points are well taken and there is much truth in your statements. Nevertheless, we do feel, based on 55+ years of being around Spiritual Teachers, that a certain type of cultural overlay which arrived in the West along with the core teachings, doesn't quite translate unless certain provisos are put in place. Also, the "guru," model doesn't take into account the various levels of development among students. Beginners (and virtually just about every yoga student is a relative beginner these days) are literalists and we feel that it is a mistake to impose certain ideas, models, or mindsets, which are actually more applicable and relevant way down the road, in terms of one's Spiritual growth. Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Self-Reliance and we prefer to give people the tools to foster awareness and growth rather than trying to make them dependent on someone's ostenstible special knowledge. We believe that self-empowerment is the best path. We believe that Teachers should be facillitators, not overlords. Simply because a person is talented or knowledgeable in one area, doesn't mean they have mastery in all areas of life. If you hire a plumber to fix a leaky pipe, it's not necessary to give them your house in return. "Gurus," are people too! No more, no less.

We wish you joy, health, and many blessings!