adventures of a fearless (mostly) globe trotting seeker...
wondering, wandering, barefoot, nomadess

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am in love with my Guru


Guru-disciple relationship

This is a highly charged topic. Many people believe it is sacriligious or just plain superstitious to have a guru. I think it is an inner experience which is difficult to share let alone justify. there are many moon-eyed guru followers who look to their gurus for salvation instead of being spiritual grown ups. On the other hand, there are many people whose egos are too big to surrender to the intimacy of this kind of relationship and so they cannot understand why others would do it.
I could go into a lot of intellectual explanation about the psycholigical advantages of this relationship built on archetypes, but I don't feel like it. Finding a guru is like falling in love.


Who can explain it? Love is often sillyand blind. Yet it calls us to give more of ourselves, it is a high enticement to stretch ourselves and to grow and change. Love itself is an altered, trance-like state. When someone is first falling in love, they have that secret smile, all knowing and shpinx-like. They are forgetful but they do not care. The are enraptured in their inner experience.

Altered States
Altered states are very useful in healing the psyche from traumas which often limit our development. that is why Frued used hypnosis in psychotherapy. altared states tap into the subconscious and if navigated skillfully, this can bring about awareness and harmony between the conscious and subconscious. It is the separation and lack of syncing between these two consciousnesses that cause a great deal of human psychological suffering. So potentially, the love between a guru and sisya (discipile) can be an incredibly powerful and transcendental tool for self-exploration and spiritual awakening.

Magical thinking
i do not expect my guru to magically fix my suffering and problems and enlighten me. I feel his compassion, his unconditional acceptance of me, and that has created a bridge that allows me to find healing in myself. Traditionally, a guru becomes your mother and father. My own mother and father had their own struggles. There was abuse and this was painful to me. It made me protect myself and be in survival mode. at around 25, i realized i wanted more to my life. i wanted to stop surving and to feel more and grow. Still, i carried the hurts of myself as a child into all my adult relationships, an inherant mistrust and fear of being hurt again. When i met my guru i felt so loved. i felt him as my ideal parent. at first i hid in that comfort, but over time it has forced me to grow. if i had not felt loved, i do not know how i would have begun that process of opening myself, of exposing my shadows.

"How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise we all remain
too frightened."
-Hafiz, sufi poet

Healing the Inner Child
Over the years i have spent with my guru, i have been gently nudged out of my nest and pushed to grow. to take responsability for my choices on my path, to become more aware of myself and my motivations. to see how the places i felt unloved or abused by my parents had driven me to extremities, be it drugs, sex or spiritual practices. and that ultimately the healing and acceptance i seek i will have to find by holding that hurt child myself.
Love Heals
It is often the intimacy with another that spurs our growth, inspires us to risk and grow. There is a love we can only get from God and there is a love we can only get from human relationships. In the past I used my spiritual practice as a way to hide from human intimacy and vulnerability. My burning longing for god was in part because I did not trust the love of other people. I hope my love for God opens me to people and my love for people opens me to God. My love for guru walks both those worlds.

Can a Guru give you samadhi (enlightenment)?
When I arrived in India a week ago, I sat with my teacher. we were in a room full of people laughing and visiting. I sat on the floor as is the custom in india. after a few minutes I felt a waterfall of blissful energy running through my whole body. No, that not quite right. I felt more life running through my body, I felt more ALIVE. If i said i felt bliss it would convey only one emotion. I felt every emotion and yet complete stillness.

Why does my energy activate when i am near my teacher?
There are mystical explanations that would require some faith, like saying that my guru can activate and switch my levels of consciousness through the power of his own awakening and through the connection of our guru-sisya relationship. if that is too far out for you, it seems that we can all agree that we affect each other, that there is a sympathetic response to another person's energy. In the most obvious example of this, if you walk in the room and there is a very sad or very angry person, it immediately affects your own energy even if no words are exchanged. Some kind of emotional osmosis. Perhaps it is because of the nature of our relationship, the closeness, surrender and intimacy that i feel with my teacher that allows the energy to pass or resonate so easily between us.
Personal Practice and Initiation
Of course, there are also the personal practices of yoga, meditation, prayam and bandhas that charge the system and stimulate the brain. i am sure the many years of pranayam have changed the wiring of my brain and the amount of energy i am charged with. from my own experience though, it is invaluable to personal understanding and deepening of yoga to have a close relationship with a living teacher, especially if your practices involve initiation.

8 comments:

  1. Psalm, I just got back from India, and I feel you, I love this post, this is so true for me as well! Beautiful girl, keep writing, Om Sat Nam, Valinda Cochella, South Bay Yoginis.com

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  2. oh YES! YES!! YES !!!
    I am in love with my Guru.
    And I am not ashamed of it.
    You know the song "I got it bad and that ain't good?"
    well, I got it bad, and well, it seems pretty good.

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  3. I found that was my final criteria for finding the guru too - that I love this person unreservedly...

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  4. Thank you for your honesty and courage in writing this. There's some deep truth in what you write. Wishing you a blessed and safe journey. I am inspired by what I have read here, and by the fact you have chosen to share in this way.

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  5. Your essay warmed my heart. I have been questioning my own love for my guru and my lack of trust simultaneously. The Hafiz poem captures my state. Keep writing and sharing. You are helping others.

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  6. I know I love my guru. A gentle, simple, softspoken, and caring person with electrifying energy. I am unable to express my feeling about this individual. God has put patience, righteousness, energy, motive, inspiring qualities, and the look of a stallion in one body. What a blessed soul.

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  7. Thank God I found this conversation. Every time I even look at my guru a sense of profound aching love washes through me and moves me to weep. At lease now I know I'm not the only one. Thank you for posting!

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