I got an email from someone today, someone I’ve met, but not yet really worked with. I mistook them for someone else, so I wrote back with a longish email that doesn’t apply to their situation at all. This person has been around for quite a while, and we’ll have further correspondence.
Yet this letter, directly or indirectly, does apply to many who’ve written me over the years, and will doubtlessly apply to some who read it here, so I’ve decided to present it as written.
Dear Recently Awakened,
Thanks for writing. I will answer with the same blunt truthfulness that this teacher employs.
I am still offering teaching sessions – I currently have four students – but I only offer them to steady, currently participating, clear students. I don’t think I’ve heard from you since your single session with me.
Here’s something to watch out for: The nature of awakening is that when it happens, the happy victim will feel as though “they got it,” and “that’s that.” That’s what I thought, back in the day. I was wrong. I’ve had tons of clients feel the same way. They were wrong, too.
I very much appreciate the fact that you’re writing, because it’s an indication that you’re noticing the limits of your own clarity. That’s great, it really is. The letter itself is more important than anything you said in it.
I’ll make the suggestion that you might want to look at being a student for a good while before trying to become a teacher. It was four years from the time I woke up to the time I really started teaching locally, and five years before I went on the internet. I didn’t have a teacher for most of that time, so I went in circles, confusing activity with actual progress.
I’m not saying that it has, or that it has not, but be careful: ego can creep in the back door and catch us, especially early on. It caught me – like a bear trap! In the weeks and months after “my” awakening, I (unknowingly) operated as an “enlightened ego” for quite a while and drove people around me crazy.
The single most important quality for a spiritual teacher is humility. It’s even more important than great clarity. We can be helpful to someone even if we are not particularly clear, but we can be harmful to people, and can paint over our own clarity, if we try to be helpful without much in the way of humility. Just a thought.
Come to satsang sometime, if you feel like it. It would dramatically help you start to clear.
It’s been twelve years since awakening occurred here. After working with many hundreds of students and having been an apparent factor in more than a thousand awakenings, I find I’m still clearing! There’s no graduation from authentic spirituality – ever.