The way you keep growing is by adopting a beginner’s mindset… Come every day eager to learn and with an open mind. Be a beginner never an expert.
― Guru Tua
Our culture promotes the idea that the best teachers are well-known celebrities. This isn’t further from the truth. Often those who are the best teachers are not those who seek public acclamation or endorsement.
Similarly, people seek experts because they believe experts know what they are talking about. Again, this isn’t always the case. You see people in places of power, not because they are good leaders or teachers, but because they amass a following.
Always be a student. The more you learn, the more you understand. The more you understand, you realize there is much more to learn. It’s when you put on the garments of an expert, celebrity and high achievement that you cease to grow intellectually and spiritually. ― Guru Tua
A beginner mindset is an asset in life. This is especially true in spiritual matters. It’s important to be willing to explore new methods and learn new ideas.
The above contrasts with the expert. The expert knows it already. This is an attitude that is a hindrance to learning.
People with a beginner mindset are curious, humble, and help others. They come ready to learn. This is the mindset that keeps you open to learning. It enables you to connect with people where they are. A beginner asks a lot of questions instead of stating their opinions. And, it enables you to learn as much from others as you give. A beginner’s mindset is an asset no matter how long you’ve been on the path.
If you are a teacher, this mindset is indispensable. A good teacher asks a lot of questions too. A good teacher often learns as much as the student. As a guru (teacher), you’ll gain a deeper understanding of any subject through teaching. This is especially true with spiritual technologies of seated and moving meditation and energy collection.
Characteristics of a Great Guru or Teacher
Guru is not the goal. Anyone who establishes himself as a guru to be worshipped is not a guru. Guru is like a boat for crossing the river. It is important to have a good boat, and it is very dangerous to have a boat that is leaking. The boat brings you across the river. When the river is crossed, the boat is no longer necessary. You don’t hang onto the boat after completing the journey, and you certainly don’t worship the boat. ― Swami Rama
If you are seeking a spiritual teacher, seek someone who projects competence because of their humbleness and willingness to be of service. Find someone selective about who they teach. This shows they want to give quality individual guidance. Also, seek a teacher that has isn’t seeking followers. You want a teacher that makes other teachers.
Characteristics to Avoid in a Guru or Teacher
Avoid those looking for followers. Beware of those who want to treated like a celebrity. Look out for the self-proclaimed expert. The most advanced teachers are those who keep learning. Trust your gut instincts. For example, if someone says they’ve discovered a new way to meditate or anything in the spiritual realm, be skeptical. The human nervous system hasn’t changed in eons. Generations and generations of people have been investigating how to alter, expand and reach higher states of consciousness. In our experience, this is probably a ploy to sell something.
One last point. No matter how much you learn or how long you study, if you have an eager-to-learn beginner’s mindset, you’ll go further.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia