Meditation, Success & Teacher:
Daily practice of meditation can tremedously improve your chances of succeeding in life. The main reason for this being the self-introspective way of learning meditation offers. Meditation is a scientific way of exploring your life to know your strengths and weaknesses fully and use it to your advantage. One of the trickiest aspects of learning meditation is finding a right teacher. Whether it is finding a techer online or in person, there are few things to consider before choosing a teacher. Let us explore this further.
As far as getting the basic guidance of meditation is concerned, you could get that from a lot of people. All you have to make sure is that the person you are learning from has spent more time in meditation than you–plain and simple. At the basic level, that is all that you should be looking for.
The reputation of a meditation teacher does not come from numbers; it comes from the guidance. You’ve got to take a chance with a teacher; you have to approach, you have to start learning, and within a matter of a few days you will know if you’re headed in the right direction. If you are with a teacher who’s really willing to guide you, it is not that difficult to see, “Okay, the wisdom that he or she is sharing is really helping.” Another big pitfall in trying to find a teacher is trying to find too perfect a teacher. You know, trying to find a teacher who, according to you, is perfect. If you go on searching for the perfect teacher, it is a futile search, because there are no perfect teachers.
The difficulty in judging people, in judging teachers, or in finding the right thing in life, is really not about choosing the right and the wrong. The difficulty is choosing between the wrong and the more wrong, because everyone is flawed. Everything is flawed.
Teaching is a mechanism of transferring knowledge through the symbolism of language. Language is a symbol; it’s not an absolute truth. When you’re trying to teach using symbols, you can never be perfect. It’s like when I say, “Awakening is like swimming in the open ocean for the first time.” It is nothing like it; it’s an absolute lie! But, that is my way of saying it. When I say, “Meditation is difficult, meditation is painful, meditation is a torturous process initially,” that is just my way of saying it because it was like that for me, because of the way I approached it.
It might be easy for you. A teacher can, at the most, express what he has experienced, using the language of the world, using the expressions of life. There is no perfection in this process. Again, how are you measuring the perfection of a teacher if you’re not comparing him with another teacher?
If you’re looking for the perfect teacher, then you have an idea of perfection in your mind, which has to come from some other teacher. That is where the problem is. When you try to compare one teacher with another, you will obviously make a mistake. It doesn’t matter if your comparison is very critical or very analytical; it just doesn’t matter, because two teachers are completely different.
That is why meditation is such a tricky affair; you have to judge based on your intuition, based on your comfort level with the teacher, based on certain inner signs, which are not readily accessible. You “just know” this is the right teacher. You “just know” that you want to learn from this person.
Sometimes, you just want to play it safe; you just want to make sure that there are a lot of students around this teacher. You think if so many people are being misled then it’s perfectly fine; “I’m going to be one of them.” Sometimes it’s just safety; you think if a teacher has a lot of students, he has to be good. In meditation, it doesn’t work that way.
A teacher who has a lot of students could be a good marketer–or he has a group of students who market for him. It doesn’t mean that he’s not a good teacher, so there’s really no way to judge the teacher based on external qualities that we normally measure success by—The number of people, amount of money they’ve made, or the number of years they’ve lived, their experience. He could be a young man, or he could be fifty he could be sixty, and you could be forty or fifty—age doesn’t matter.
When you meet such a person, if he has spent time in meditation, you will know—this is something different. Irrespective of the external flaws, there is some wisdom that I want to have, wisdom that I don’t possess. That is all that you should be looking for in a meditation teacher. You don’t have to complicate things, and you should also understand that a teacher is human.