Thursday, February 21, 2013

Toxic Gurus?

 Federal marshals escort Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh to a bail hearing in Charlotte, N.C., in November1985 following his arrest while attempting to leave the country. He was indicted on federal immigration charges. 

The tale is stranger than fiction. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru from India, gathered 2,000 followers at a remote Eastern Oregon ranch. 

Arriving in search of enlightenment, the Rajneeshees became a political and social force that collided with traditional Oregon. Ultimately, the conflict led to attempted murder, global manhunts and prison time.  

Twenty-five years later, long-secret government files and now-talkative participants make it clear that things were far worse at Rancho Rajneesh than many realized.

Are You a Guru Junkie?

What is a guru?

 In the Eastern tradition a guru is a spiritual guide or teacher who helps us remove darkness and confusion: In Sanskrit, gu means darkness and ru means to remove. Those longing for a deeper meaning and happiness in life seek out such gurus for guidance.

However, today's search for a guru, at least in the West, has become similar to visiting a shopping mall. 

Never before have we seen such an array of teachers saying they will bring ever-lasting happiness and proclaiming their path is the only way or the best teachings, that if we do their particular technique we will be free, transformed, changed forever, happy as never before.
Do you go to a workshop and think the teacher is the best, until you meet the next one? 

How addicted are you to the bliss that arises every time you meet someone who says they will save you? 

Are you a guru hopper, jumping from guru to guru, thinking that in this way you are climbing the ladder of enlightenment? 

Do you believe in the guru who stares into your eyes, hugs you, tells you how wonderful you are, or says they will give you everlasting peace and happiness? 

It might feel good for a while, but does it truly do anything?

When people are in need or suffering, they are susceptible and vulnerable to outside influences, easily believing that the latest, most persuasive teacher will save them. 
Three reasons why people shop for a guru:

1. Life does not easily satisfy our needs. 

We get something but always want more.

More teachers and techniques ...
Each is more enticing than the last...

2. We want to be happy. 

 ... we look for happiness outside ourselves and come up short because whatever we find never lasts.

This is the truth of impermanence: Happiness comes but happiness also goes. 

Not wanting to believe this, we continually search for that elusive permanent happy state.

3. We yearn to be at peace. 

We long for guidance, to be told what to do and how often to do it.

And in the process, we forgo our common sense ...

Indian teacher Ramana Maharshi  said:

"The guru on the outside is there to turn you on to the guru within." 

True teachers show us that it is possible to wake up and be free, but ultimately the truth is already within each of us...


Definition of GURU

1: a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism
2  a : a teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern
    b : one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent
   c : a person with knowledge or expertise

Examples of GURU

  1. He has been a guru to many young writers.
  2. She's a self-proclaimed financial guru.
  3. Fitness gurus call it the hottest new exercise trend of the year.

Origin of GURU

ultimately from Sanskrit guru, from guru, adjective, heavy, venerable
First Known Use: 1613


Ed and Deb Shapiro: Are You a Guru Junkie?

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