You absolutely can and must practice by yourself!
It’s Self that’s calling you to meditate and Self that will be discovered in meditation when all that mind chatter has quieted down.
Guru takes you from the dark to the light. He/She shows you something when you needs to be shown. When there is some guidance, then a small push only. A suggestion. Guru is very big stuff – He/She has walked the path before you and attained the goal – so Guru. The Guide.
But meditation is a solo quest, for a solo goal and anybody, anytime, can settle into meditation and commune with the divine, as you yourself are a child of the divine. Everyone is the same.
Guru knows some tricks to make the journey easier. Sometimes can point to guideposts along the way, help mitigate various challenges that would otherwise take you some time to figure out, until your own gyan shines.
Guru is the very best friend to have on the journey of the spiritual seeker – He/She was once a seeker, too! He/She sought, and found! So, yes, of course, very good idea to have a Guru in your corner.
But absolutely not necessary! You sit. You go inside your own Self. You! You! You are that very same Self that is Guru. That is me. That is He. That is She. Tat Tvam Asi. Aham Bramasmi!! You are that!
And even you do not need to know that at this moment, only take faith that your question has been answered. You need no one and nothing to guide you to the divine as you yourself are divine.
Only these days there are so many paths, so many ways, so many schools, so much this and that and this and that. Everybody is a master of a path. Raja Yoga. Kriya Yoga. Gyana Yoga. This and that. Bhaktivedanta… oy. It’s too much.
Trust yourself. Before anybody else. Trust you. If you are able to sit in meditation and discover all – bas. It is far enough. Even Ramana Maharishi, well respected in your country says no need for a Guru in human form for anything at all.
So yes. I introduce a Seven Steps to Samadhi Program. And Sadhguru has His Inner Engineering Program. And Sri Shankarji has His Life of Joy program and in this day and age there are many masters with many good programs and even an entire masterclass.com! But the answer to whether or not one needs a Guru is a definitive No! You do not need a Guru, a school, a path, a university, a program – nothing – if you are able to do all that on your own. Look at Ramana Maharishi – self-realized all on his own. But then again there is Buddha who had the finest gurus in the land.
Personally, I was very happy to have found my Guru. Took away my confusion, relieved me of my fear and made the path clear – but it was still I who had to walk that path with my own two feet. Same for you. Even if you find your Guru, it is you who will have to walk the path.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.