Engage teacher: Coaching and mentoring

If you wish to know the road up the mountain,
ask the man who goes back and forth on it.

The Guru (Master) is absolutely necessary.
The Upanishads say that none but a Guru can take a man
out of the jungle of intellect and sense-perceptions.
So there must be a Guru.
—Ramana Maharshi

Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which
we have not yet developed tools that make an average person
capable of competence and performance.
In teaching we rely on the “naturals”,
the ones who somehow know how to teach.
—Peter Drucker

If you are interested in the deepest spirituality possible, you will recognize the need for having a teacher. The purpose of this Universal Vortex is to make you appreciate the need for the relationship and, more importantly, to let you gain the value from having the relationship.

If you are serious about acquiring spiritual depth you will quickly realize that you cannot do it alone. In fact, the idea of going at it alone is one of the big delusions about the path, mostly entertained by Westerners scared of losing their independence—another big delusion.

The point to having a teacher is that his or her mentoring and coaching will help you accomplish what you want to accomplish efficiently, with the least pain possible. In fact, finding a competent spiritual teacher is the only real shortcut on the path that has no shortcuts.

This has been known for centuries. That is why a guru-disciple system exists in all societies where serious spiritual practice is valued. Negative beliefs about gurus are born of ignorance and suspicion of serious spirituality.

The guru-disciple system is not a uniquely Hindu or Buddhist concept. But theirs is perhaps the most developed and visible example of the system. Wise people in India, particularly along the Ganges valley and in the Himalayas, recognized the requirements necessary for effectively reaching for the deepest spirituality possible. A significant element of Indian society is serious about authentic spirituality and, therefore, does not play games with spiritual progress.

The key reason why the guru-disciple relationship is essential has to do with human nature. When we aspire to go beyond the false view of ourselves and wish to work with spiritual realities, our mind is both an obstacle and a helper. The mind’s cleverness is both good and bad for you. To discern what is good (or bad) is difficult for the mind because it is, let us say, built in—it is your personality, it is you. Everything gets filtered through it. This is how people make mistakes—what feels good at the moment may not feel good in the future. What seems to work for you now may have unintended consequences, may not work later on.

Some authorities say that having a competent teacher is the difference between failure and success—keeping in mind that on the path of spirituality failures frequently look like trendy success. The mind has a great capacity to muddle things up. This is particularly because the mind has evolved as a short-term planning mechanism focused on survival as a tribe, not on what is best for you individually.  Or for your spiritual evolution, which almost always is in opposition to the apparent needs of any society. Having a teacher who is more experienced, more spiritually developed, and emotionally more mature helps to navigate the way.

Life coaching and mentoring are two ways a modern guru serves you. As a mentor, he or she instructs you, and guides you in the direction you desire to go. As a life coach, he or she encourages positive action, which is the only way to discover who you are. The guru also creates space where you can experience yourself and let that real you inspire what you should do next in life.

Since a personal interaction between teacher and student should start early in the relationship, we suggest that students participate in group coaching or even start on personal coaching, beginning at Phase I.

Phase II students are recommended to participate in group coaching and are encouraged to benefit from individual coaching sessions. Phase III students are recommended to be coached individually and are encouraged to continue their participation in group coaching.

Both group and individual coaching sessions usually last 45-60 minutes and are conducted over the phone or in person. The commitment of twelve sessions is the recommended minimum to create a lasting change in your life. (More than 12 sessions may be necessary at times).

Action: A person serious about his or her spiritual evolution instinctively seeks help on the way. Take advantage of mentoring and coaching!