The groundswell of wanting to know, of needing to know, of wanting to mix only with that which is Divine – hearing a constant commentary in your inner ear of what is right, what is wrong, what is real and not, what is Divine and not. In time, you come to know enough to realize that this voice is often out of control, like a two year old throwing a tantrum when the TV is shut off and he realizes the characters were just playing make believe.
But you live in a contemporary world, so you try to play nice. Because even the most spiritually seeking among us likes to have friends, to “succeed,” and appreciates a cozy bed and ice cream. So, with one ear listening to the barrage of that booming inner voice of seeking, and the other trying to pick up the language of its peers – this mass of a person wanders while looking stable, successful, normal, healthy, and OK. Still, you are without a teacher, and the more you read the sacred books of spiritual teachers, the more you seek a teacher who can make sense of your spinning mind.
It’s 2010, what are we to do?
The tradition of Gurus and Teachers does not exist in the US. Do we make the pilgrimage to India or Tibet – seeking our teacher? Study the Bhagavad-gita, Tao Te Ching, Rumi, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Koran, the Bible? Do we attend the occasional US teaching given by the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Han – one of thousands trying to get some attention, adding a “real teaching” to our Seeker’s Itinerary of Getting to the Awakening?
Here is where I am today.
It seems to me that all the spiritual and/or religious doctrines say over and over that the truth is found within, that the separation between me and you and everything is artificial. Given this, it must be that my teacher is everywhere, everything, every person, every experience, every thought and every impression; the way the wind moves the trees, the rise and fall of the stock market, the voice on the other end of the drive thru microphone, a high-flying hawk, the flow of a river, the ebb of the tides, a marriage, a divorce, high school graduation, jumping rope, hammering a nail, cleaning out the cat litter, milk in coffee, freeway exits, airport security, dandelions, weed killers, people I don’t like, email, Facebook, Google, the kindness of strangers, feeling unknown, being misunderstood, alone while at the same time surrounded by love, compassion and good fortune. These are my teachers.
And all teachers know that they cannot make a student study or come to know what is being taught. Teachers are only guide posts, reference points, road signs. Teachers are not the road, the path or the destination. The whole deal falls on the student. I’m trying to learn from all of my teachers – known and unknown, obvious and obscure.
“From this awakened perspective, there isn’t any separation anywhere – not in the world, not in the universe, not in all the universe everywhere. The truth is anywhere and everywhere, at all times, in all dimensions, for all beings. It is a truth that is the source of everything that will ever be experienced – in life, after life, in this dimension or any other dimension.”
-Adyashanti, from his book, The End of Your World