I was introduced to my Guru when I was twenty-four. That’s almost three decades ago. I was introduced by a man whose demeanor shone and whose speech reflected ideals that were in alignment with my own. His own teachings reflected those of a powerfully aware learning at their core and I wanted to meet that source.
At the same time, I was motivated to find my Guru from a very young age and so was always on the lookout for signs of where I might find Him. The synchronicity of my meeting with another of His disciples one day in the middle of a Japanese township did not take me by surprise, but rather encouraged me forward.
So, here are two answers to the question.
- Following your heart
Introduction to a Guru or spiritual advisor by someone you trust, respect and would model your own learning after is one valid and safe approach. When this is aligned with your own personal vision and mission, the quest finds its mark.
Next, pilgrimage. Difficult from within family life so I put this out there for the unattached.
I traveled the deserts of the Middle East and the mountains and forests of Japan, seeking in holy places and from passers by a validation of my spirit. Ramana Maharishi is famous for advising His followers to simply rely on the Self, but that is only possible once someone has become acquainted with the Self – once they have remembered. Hence the place of Gurus and guides. On my quest, in my late teens and early twenties, I met all manner of magician and monk, learned through many traditions and never settled on any one particular path even as they all had something valuable to offer. I meditated in the Buddhist temples, studied with Kabalists in Jerusalem, danced with shamans, learned how to heal with herbs and read a lot of books. And when all was said and done, I had a good appreciation of what my Guru might look like when I found Him.
So two more answers to support the search:
The application of your mind, with conscious intent, on the path that you would follow, sends out a reciprocal vibe to Nature who in turn sends back to you all that you need.
But check it out. In my case, I was ready to drop everything and travel the world. When I found the man I was looking for, that relationship itself did not get established immediately even after being formally introduced. I spent ten days watching Him, listening, and when my heart rang like a bell, I spent the next three months writing Him letters. Three months. Daily. Sometimes twice a day, such was the depth of my passion and need at the time.
Sometimes it happens faster and easier, I guess. But if you think Sadguru is your man because you are just completely captivated by the guy and he resonates with you on every level, then you better get yourself over to India and camp out at the Inner Engineering facilities until he shows. Same can be said for anyone. Be prepared to put in a good deal of effort. not saying you’ll have to, but you get what you give. And you get what you’re ready for.
Oh, and just keep in mind, the good guys are not going to ask you for money but will give you the shirt off their own back. They will remove your fears immediately. That is absolutely the first job. They will give you your freedom, first, never shackle you. You will feel joy with your Guru. Peace. Not hesitation and reticence. They will tell you the whole truth within minutes of your meeting and send you off to enjoy your life, even though you might want to use that life to remain and drink of their wisdom a bit more. In my case, I used seventeen of my years in that way. And they were good years.
So hey, it’s a big question, and guru has a lot of connotations, but that’s what I can offer from my experience. Best of luck to you!
…is a Jnana Yogi in the lineage of aghor-nath, direct disciple of Vinayagananda Babaji, and founder of UmaMaYA (Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda), the legacy of Uma Maheshwar Ashram. David has an M.A. in Semiotics and Ph.D.(c) in Eastern Philosophy and works in learning and development as a coach and mentor. He lives in Japan with his family and devotes his time to exploration of the human condition, in order to develop science-based tools, programs and products that help humans reach their fullest potential by delivering optimal body/mind health, abundance and joy.