Jack Kornfield talks about teachers and gurus. He expounds the importance of independence or spirituality and truth; in order not to fall astray into cults.


This mindfulness talk by Jack Kornfield sheds light on the relationship between teachers or gurus and their students. He explores the various types of teachers and gurus and their teaching practices, illuminating some of the benefits and pitfalls that might exist in these relationships. His talk stresses the importance of listening to the heart throughout our personal spiritual journey – of discovering our own truths – whether working with a teacher or not, and of finding meaning in everything that happens along the spiritual path, even if we become disillusioned by our teachers.

Teachers and Gurus

There are various roles of teachers and gurus. A primary one is to help their students transition through the dark waters that rise when they are transitioning, whether spiritually, emotionally, or physically. When we are on the spiritual journey, we are required to surrender deeply to what is true. Teachers can facilitate this process, but the real work must be done within. Our source of truth must be internal.

Finding Spiritual Independence

In order to find spiritual independence, we need to find the sacred space inside of ourselves. When we are working with a teacher, practicing on our own, or perhaps training to be a teacher ourselves, honesty, compassion, and continual reconnection to what is true in any given moment is crucial. Remembering that truth does not reside in one particular person or belief system helps us to understand that truth is everywhere – that we can find it within.

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