Why is a spiritual teacher important? And how can we find an authentic one? Easwaran addresses these questions and more in a newly released audiobook, Spiritual Teacher, Earnest Student.
The spiritual teacher’s role is to embody the virtues that shine like jewels in the depths of consciousness in every human being
Spiritual Teacher, Earnest Student
In this new publication, available only as an audiobook from Audible, Easwaran tells us that to make real progress on the spiritual path we need encouragement, inspiration, and practical guidance from someone who has made the journey before us – an experienced guide who can show us a safe path up the spiritual mountain. Drawing on advice from the Indian sages and the example of his own guru, his grandmother, Easwaran describes the qualities to look for in an authentic teacher.
Of course, Easwaran says, it’s not enough to have a good teacher – we also need to be good students. He gives us practical advice on how to cultivate the earnestness and enthusiasm that we all need to deepen our spiritual life.
is not enough to have blind faith in spiritual ideals, based on the testimony
of the scriptures or spiritual teachers. We must realize these truths for
ourselves, in our own life and consciousness. As the Buddha was fond of saying,
the spiritual teacher only points the way; we must do our own traveling. The
personal example of others may plant the seed in our hearts, inspiring us to
meditate, but faith can develop fully only when we begin to reap the benefits
of meditation in our own lives.”
– Eknath Easwaran
In the fall of 2017 the BMCM published the Blue Mountain Journal entitled “Teacher and Student.” This rich edition was packed with beautiful stories from Easwaran about his grandmother and his own spiritual practice, as well as contributions from meditators around the world, sharing their reflections on their relationship with Easwaran as their teacher.
We heard from our friends how much they appreciated this edition, and how it answered questions they had about the role of a spiritual teacher, or guru. In conversations we heard how useful this message was, not just for Easwaran’s own students but for spiritual seekers everywhere.
Inspired to share this part of Easwaran’s teachings more widely, we made some changes to ensure the audiobook would be relevant to a broader audience, and also introduced some new material that had not been previously published. We hope this makes the audiobook a fresh and enjoyable experience also for our regular Journal readers.
We hope that you enjoy hearing these teachings as much as we do!
We’re pleased to share two excerpts from the audiobook – the first comes from the opening chapter, and the second is the closing chapter. As with many of our audiobooks, they’re read by passage meditator Paul Bazely.
Lighting the Lamp
“Spiritual awareness,” Easwaran says, “is really not taught; it is caught.” By practicing our spiritual disciplines with earnestness and enthusiasm, and with our teacher’s guidance, over time we can come to see within ourselves the source of all wisdom and joy, our highest Self. And then, Easwaran tells us, “Every one of us can become a little lamp that shines like a beacon for all around to follow.”