Choice of a Spiritual Guide

From our e-book “We are Here to Celebrate”

gold colored heart pendant necklace beside two glass mugs on table

Recently, there have been more and more news appearing about scandals involving religion. A friend shared a story with me about her niece who gave her gold pendant to a spiritual head upon being told by him that the gold pendant was possessed. The spiritual head promised to destroy the gold pendant for her. When her parents found out and later confronted the spiritual head, they were informed that the gold pendant had already been destroyed.

These stories create anger and disillusionment but in this world of duality, nothing is completely bad. Such incidents shake us and make us question our beliefs and conditioning. For instance, we start to question our conditioned belief that the teaching of a person who dons a robe for many years is superior to that of a wise householder. We
start to question if a spiritual head that has a ‘title’ is really more advanced than a compassionate, kind and loving homemaker.

We start to take responsibility for our wisdom and think through all our beliefs that had caused us to reject teachings that could have helped us live a happier life. We start to put more effort in our own practices and deepen our spiritual understandings. We put lesser emphasis on ‘spiritual knowledge’ and the ability to quote spiritual texts but put more effort on those that brings us inner-peace and harmony.

When choosing a spiritual guide, we need to transcend our limiting beliefs and conditioning. If we hold on to an image of how a ‘guru’ should look like, we will miss him/her when he/she walks pass us and does not look like the ‘guru’ we envisioned. Our spiritual guide does not necessarily be a monk, swami or so on. There is no guideline for the choice of a spiritual guide because guidelines can be easily imitated. It just takes good acting skills. However, the use of temptations and fear, such as the example above, is a red flag we should look out for. Temptations and fear disturbs are inner-peace and does not contribute to our spiritual progress.



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