Om Namah Shivaya (written)

Your Greatest Teacher is Within

I’ve never had one primary yoga or spiritual teacher with whom I’ve worked. There are many I’ve studied with, but at times I wonder if I need to find one “guru” and stick with that person for a long period.
This weekend I leave for a week to start a meditation training program with Deepak Chopra.  I’ve been following his work for 2 decades and feel trepidation and excitement, coupled with lots of expectations, about what it might be like to spend time with him.
Three times this week I heard the same message from different sources, so believe me, I sat up and took notice.
First, I am walking my dog listening to a pod cast by Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher who found his guru in India. The gist of the pod cast was that most of us in this life won’t find one primary teacher or guide, and that is because we must look within.
Then I got an email from someone named Kelly Blaser who I don’t know and have no idea how I got on her email list.  It’s miraculous I opened the email at all because so often these get deleted immediately.  She writes: “Our inner guru is trying to pull us into its magnetic field, but the powerful voice of our inner teacher often gets drowned out by the twisted messages of our conditioning.”  Again…a sign that that the teacher is within.
Finally, I open an email from a dear friend who knows I’m going on this retreat.  She shared that she had been thinking of me and wanted me to know that “whatever you hope to learn and whatever you do come away with, you should know that it is already there with you, inside you, belonging to you, created by you. Layers may be peeled away that make your access easier.  But it is not literally from Deepak that you will learn because you already have the knowledge deep within.”
Three times I heard that the wisdom and guidance I am seeking is not in Deepak Chopra or any other learned teacher for that matter.  My answers, my wisdom and all that I most need to know is inside of me.
IMG_5988The ironic part of this is that in the past 3 years it has repeatedly been shown to me that I need to quit seeking outside myself and go inward.  For the past 3 years every morning I meditate to the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”, which translated means “I bow to the true teacher within.”  This mantra has had such profound impact on me that I even had it tattooed onto my wrist last year.  Despite my daily practice and forever inking my physical body with this reminder….I still got swept into my belief that perhaps Deepak would have the message, teaching, and guidance I most am seeking.  When will I remember it’s never outside myself????
My perspective has changed as I approach this trip….instead of excitement over studying with Deepak, I am grateful for a week to look inward.