"A teacher, a really good sensei, is never a giver of “truth”; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that the student must discover for himself. A good teacher, therefore, studies each student individually and encourages the student to explore himself, both internally and externally, until, ultimately, the student is integrated with his being." ~ Bruce Lee
The best teachers are those who point you deeper within yourself. They guide you to trust your inner guide, they show you useful road maps, practices, ideas and tools to excavate your own unique diamond. They are way showers directing you within.
I repeat this several times a week for one reason: there are so many self-proclaimed spiritual "masters" who claim to have answers for you. NO ONE has answers for you but you.
The role of a guide/shaman/teacher is to introduce you to yourself.
It's hard for many people who WANT there to be an outside answer for an inside job. Many people project onto their teachers that the teacher will have some magical power to fix their life. But NO ONE moves past our own karma without doing our own work. NO ONE!
And truthfully, many great teachers out there are NOT proclaiming to solve the problems of the masses, but it is projected onto them because many people hope they can avoid doing their own work. When they realize that's not going to happen, they often run off in search of a new teacher, a new system, in hopes it will tell them exactly what they want to hear.
In my Life Path Manifesting class, one of the things I repeatedly focus on is this: NO ONE is more privileged, special, unique or gifted "at the spirit level" than anyone else. Some people have done more work, some are truly struggling, and that's where guidance and teachings on the outside can become a profound reflective mirror for you to examine the inside.
But ultimately, each and every person comes from the same source of creation, regardless of the multitude of dogmas on earth at this time. That makes us ALL a spark of the divine. What you choose to do with it will manifest in 7 billion different ways, each as unique as the 7 billion people on this earth.
My personal guidance for knowing which teachings and teachers are legitimate and resonate with me comes from my ultimate teacher/shaman/guru which is my father who taught me:
1. A true teacher will say things you don't necessarily want to hear, things that make you uncomfortable, and things that may anger you because you will have to look in the mirror in the presence of a real teacher. Yes you ARE perfect at your core, but if a teacher is not helping you look at your stories, and teaching you how to hold yourself accountable for how your stories cause yourself and others pain, RUN.... it's a "tell you what you want to hear" feel-good charlatan.
2. Be wary of anything that claims to free you of personal responsibility.
3. Be wary of anything that is discouraging you from looking at your own shadow.
4. Be wary of anything that is "spirituality lite" and pretending that deep pain does not exist.
5. Be wary of anything that blames others.
6. Be wary of anything that tells you ego is a good thing and we can do what we want without surrendering to God.
7. Be wary of teachings that claim to be complete encompassing everything. No such thing exists.
8. Beware of the pain of unhealed teachers from wounded childhoods that haven't been cleared. These unhealed wounds will manifest as projections like "the world is just a negative place" or "things are just difficult" or "we need to struggle". They go beyond acknowledging that yes, many people do suffer, into the realm of teaching you that is NEEDS to be that way, and that YOU too must suffer. Recognize those statements as expressions of a "barnacle" a piece of gunk on the vessel of the teacher that simply hasn't been fully healed yet.
Remember, at your core you ARE love. You need no ones approval, no one's validation, and no one's permission to be you. It's harder when you realize you must do your own work, but the rewards are heavenly. Surround yourself with teachers and a tribe who advocate that you LOVE YOURSELF, which includes not judging yourself, but ALSO includes holding ourselves fully accountable for EVERYTHING showing up in our lives. That's where true Divine Alchemy happens.