Someone you'll listen to no matter how crazy you are.....

This is a clip from session 7 of the Then and Now series. I find that the last thing I want to do when then sense of "I" baloons into crazy proportions is admit it, let alone talk about it; but I've learned the hard way that this is exactly when it helps to swallow that pride, that shame and listen...

No matter how crazy (from TAN07: Then and Now (class) 00:55:10.00 - 00:58:42.00)

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Ken begins by reading from Jewel Ornament of Liberation:

Of these four, who is the greatest benefactor? When we are in the obscuring darkness of the karma of afflicting emotions, we have no opportunity even to see the face of a superior spiritual master. So, how could we attend one?

In other words, you are stuck with ordinary beings.

By meeting ordinary spiritual masters, receiving the light of their teaching shining on the path, one will gain the opportunity to see the superior spiritual masters.

This isn't like you're going to see people and astral bodies and things like that. It means that you move into a deeper and deeper relationship with your own mind. But it is a person that we interact with. For most people, that provides us with what we need to begin this path and that’s why it says here that the ordinary human individual is the most important one. There's a great deal written about this. A lot of people have asked me to tell them how to find a teacher.

Well, it’s one of the great challenges of the spiritual path and it’s not straightforward. I don’t think there’s any rules or, you know, there’s the old saying: "When the student is ready the teacher appears." Well, that's nice, that just makes it very easy. And some people look for years and years and years before they find someone and some people happen into one seemingly by chance, or as Trungpa says, "the illusion of accident."

One thing that I have come to appreciate is that of the relationships you have in your life, the relationship with the spiritual teacher is one of the most important and it's probably easier to replace a husband, a wife or a boyfriend or a girlfriend than it is to replace the relationship with a spiritual teacher. That’s not universally true, but generally speaking it’s a very important relationship and there are many, many things which make it difficult to form. So, if you have the good fortune to find someone that you feel you can actually work with, then that’s something to take quite seriously.

How do you know who is your spiritual teacher? I've put it into one sentence. It's someone you will listen to, no matter how crazy you are.

It's someone who can cut through--the relationship is such that no matter how completely nuts you are on some emotional issue or something like that--when you have interaction with him or her, something in you wakes up and you step out of that craziness. So, that is why I say it's someone you will listen to no matter how crazy you are.

Now let's go through the various kinds...