spiritual teachers do present as much more divine than they really are! Many novices think that spiritual life means trying to be perfect or God-like and they earnestly make all efforts to suppress their so-called "lower" traits by acting as they would one day like to be. But personally, I find this somewhat dishonest - as well as pointless. It is also known to be a subtle trap which blocks the necessary karmic purging which the process of meditation will gradually stimulate. However, that is not to say that we should not express our highest nature whenever and however it truly arises - just that we should always be careful to be, what in fact we really are.
Through our own efforts, along with the spontaneous grace of nature, God or Guru, we can experience periods of that transcendent oneness as represented by Sahasrara. This state is not to be confused with the unconscious nothingness of a repressive, sleepy or
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fantasy induced meditation session which people often fall into. Rather, through properly instructed meditation, focussed devotion, daily sadhana for the body, regular selfless service, intensive enquiry, all mixed in with a balanced way of living, we can truly enter this realm of beyondness, each time enveloping ourselves deeper and deeper into that reality. And then, upon return to our so-called "normal" reality, that experience will remain established at the soul level, the mental level, the emotional level and at the physical level.
I know that many parents find their children to be one of the closest and easiest reminders of that divine experience. One of the great challenges we face as parents and as yogi-meditators is to discover for ourselves the many levels of existence the great masters have revealed to us, and then to integrate this knowledge into our daily lives.
In the most general sense, we all need help from time to time in learning different things in our life. Not one person would disagree. But when it comes to so-called spiritual guidance, or matters which relate to our inner life, a lot of people immediately go into a massive rejection of this very same truism. Whilst on one hand, we willingly submit to tutelage in engineering, medicine, mathematics, language, sport, fitness exercises and all things exoteric, there is a great reluctance in people to admit to being ignora-muses when it comes to our spiritual apprentice-ships! Learning such mundane topics as mentioned above usually involves the taking-in of information and the practise of certain prescribed skills. This kind of learning rarely challenges our deeply held mindsets, life views or our ego. But in the area of personal growth, many people are too afraid, self-protective and / or arrogant to seek guidance. Whilst this is understandable, I believe it is rather unfortunate, unnecessary and ultimately self defeating.
The purpose of any good teacher, any true teacher, is not to push in learning, but rather to awaken understanding,
inherent knowledge wisdom, unique talents and the common spiritual sense each of us possess. The very word education comes from the Latin educare which means "to bring out". I often reflect on how, somewhere along the way, our education systems got it all back to front! In this light, one should therefore be able to see the true purpose of the spiritual student-teacher relationship as far less personally threatening.
I should point out here, the difference between a normal yoga teacher and a spiritual teacher. A yoga teacher of the most common variety, is someone who passes on the theory and techniques of yoga to students who come to them for instruction. The student and teacher usually have a commercial arrangement for this instruction. Classes may be taken once or several times a week, but there it ends. The link is purely functional, professional, secular, impersonal. The teacher sees their role as helping others simply through popularising the philosophy and practices of yoga. This kind of relationship suits many yoga students and teachers as it is clear cut, demands no commitment for the student