Do you know the saying: When you are ready the teacher will appear”?
That has been certainly true in my case. I met my first spiritual teacher at a time I decided to quit a job I felt I could not do any longer. This decision involved a physical move and many other decisions in consequences and I was at a true crossroad.
At the time I had practically no knowledge or any viable experience regarding spiritual matters. Then a friend told me about her teacher and suggested I go and see him. That I did and what happened at this first encounter I will never forget. It was like I had returned home after a long absence and I remember sitting on a sofa, in tears, completely confused but at the same time completely understood.
This master showed me the ropes. He teaches an interesting blend of Kabbalah, and Kundalini Yoga, he gave me some books and we met a few times for consultations. What was unique was that he never would tell me much. I asked questions and he gave me some answers, but neither did he tell me what this was about nor what I was to discover. I got a few meditations and mantras, some kryas and that was it. He taught me an interesting healing method which I sill use once in a while, but other than that, we often spent the time in silence.
When I returned to Vienna it did not take long until I met my second teacher. This time it was a young Tibetan Lama who primarily taught the ancient and powerful energetic movement exercises from the Tantrayana and Bön tradition. I was not a Buddhist – and never became one – but I went to his retreats and teachings over the next two years, picking up quite vigorous practices like Lu Jong, Tsa Lung, Tummo and Tog Chöd. I was exposed to the teachings and listened with interest, but I did not really understand what it was about. I had private conversations with the lama, but like my first teacher, he would not tell me anything. Just gave me some meditation practice or suggestions readings. However, I think in this time of intense bodily practice which included holding one’s air while doing vigorous exercise, I must have puffed out much of my painbody , before I even knew I had one.
One day in late January of 2009 the Lama sent me away. I did not understand it at the time but accepted. Three months later I came across Eckhart and suddenly everything made sense. For many months I immersed myself in the teachings to support the insight and the unfolding process – and basically to learn the vocabulary.
Then I met my third teacher who is not a formal teacher at all, but someone who allowed me to project on him what I was looking for in myself. It was someone to hold my hand in the process and reminded me to turn to myself each step of the way. Also this teacher kept in the tradition of the other two in terms of silent teachings. With him I really understood what a spiritual teacher really is all about.
Love, devotion and faith are the pillars of spiritual development and it is so much easier to generate these feelings for someone else, before you can turn to yourself and recognise that you do not really love anyone outside of yourself. A spiritual teacher allows the student to develop these feelings and then gently turns them to themselves. Only my teacher was never that gentle with me, but that’s another story…
There are teachers who open the door and then there are others ho guide you through it. There is a karmic relation between a teacher and a student, they agreed to help each other in this life so that they can help themselves and others.
The love between a teacher and a student is of the highest and purest kind, because it is all about learning about loving oneself. And that is what true love is all about.