One of my University professors used a lot of words I didn’t understand in his lectures, and I constantly had to look them up. I imagined he used those words to show off, and I didn’t like having to go to the dictionary so much. Because of this, I thought he was a bad teacher.
Looking back, I believe I was mistaken in my assessment of him. His job as a professor was to get me to learn, and he did. I learned a lot of words I didn’t previously know; words I still know and use, and he motivated me to use the dictionary.
At that time, I didn’t have a clear idea of what makes a good teacher. Since then I’ve had many experiences with teachers, especially spiritual teachers, and I hope that I know a little more now. This article is to share some of what I’ve learned with the hope that others who are looking for a true spiritual teacher will benefit.Add a comment >
One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925-1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in Northern India, he was raised from early childhood by the Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master, he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally in 1969, came to the United States where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best known work, Living With the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.
"Fears, if not examined, will develop strong roots, though they are often rootless. Fear invites danger. Self-preservation is the instinct that remains always vigilant to protect the body. This instinct is useful up to a certain extent, but it should not become an obsession in life. When fear becomes an obsession, all spiritual potentials become dormant. Fears are never examined—that is why they are able to control human life. They should be examined boldly. Fear has two faces: I might lose what I have, and I might not gain what I want. These two thoughts should not be entertained, and cannot be when you remember your mantra or the presence of the Lord within." - Swami Rama, The Essence of Spiritual Life> Add a comment >