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How to Relate to a Spiritual Teacher

Shambhavi and Students at Kashi House
Episode No. 87

Shambhavi describes how students can use the teacher-student relationship to wake up and talks about the alchemy that happens in the process. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

First Words from the Podcast

I was asked to talk about today is how to relate to a teacher. There are many different ways of getting into that subject, but first you have to understand that you and the teacher arise together as one phenomenon. This reality is expressing itself by creating experiences of limitation, and then having the experience of releasing itself from limitation — aka waking up. The kind of natural spiritual technology for that process is often a teacher and student working together.

The first thing to understand about teachers and students and the process of waking up is that it’s just part of nature. There’s nothing weird about it. Some people have a natural feeling for being in a teacher-student relationship, like I do. I’ve always loved to learn from teachers. I’ve always had a natural feeling of devotion for my teachers and a kind of natural feeling of gratitude and excitement about working with teachers.

But in our culture, there’s more skepticism and mystification about working with teachers. We have this pattern of independence, where we think that the best way to do things is on our own. This is really not true. First of all, it’s not true because it’s not a reality, and we don’t do anything on our own. We don’t even pick our nose on our own. In order to pick your nose, somebody has to be keeping you alive. There’s infinite numbers of people, plants and animals keeping you alive. So you really don’t do anything on your own. This idea that we’re trying to be independent in that gross or crude way is really entirely based on a false view of our real situation.