Vector8 Journals

Thursday, December 30, 2004

What are the Qualities of a Spiritual Guide?

It's two days ago. I've been thinking about Rigpa, the Tibetan Buddhist name for the Christ Mind. I need to re-read part of the book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. My copy is currently in storage. I set off to my favourite library, I mean, bookshop. (smile)

On the way, I watch a performer in the square in Covent Garden doing acrobatics which delights his audience until he asks them for money, then the crowd melts away. I dart in and out of post-Christmas shoppers chasing after sales.

At the bookshop I find the book I want. The only comfy chair available is in front of this young man. He grins at me, his smile redolent of the radiant Inner Light. I note that he is reading a book about awakening the Buddha. I get the information I want from the book and leave.

It's the next day, yesterday. This time I'm off to the same bookshop to re-read another book I have in storage called Embraced by the Light by Dannion Brinkley. On the way a couple ask me if I know the way to China Town. I tell them I'm walking in that direction so I can take them part of the way. They are from Germany. They tell me they're staying in a town outside of London and are in London for one day only. I take the opportunity to give them a whistle-stop tour of Covent Garden, pointing out places of interests as we walk along. I know this area inside out so I take shortcuts so we can avoid the crowd and arrive at our destination in the quickest time possible.

I also enjoy chatting to them. The girl has been to London before. She studied for a year at Kent on an exchange programme. It is her boyfriend's first visit to the UK. They tell me they are surprised to see so many shoppers. In Stuttgart, where they are from, people are not buying much because of the economy and people's fear of losing their jobs. I get them close enough to China Town, point the rest of the way and say goodbye.

Very funny Mr and Mrs Universe! Maybe I haven't made myself clear. When I wrote in the article How We Can Be Each Other's Guides, I meant spiritual guide not tour guide!

I arrive at the bookshop and find the book I want. To my amazement, the only comfy chair available is in front of the same man I saw yesterday. He's asleep. When he wakes up he's surprised to see me sitting in front of him, again. They are even playing the same CD they were yesterday. Talk about déjà vu! There is obviously a reason why we've been drawn together again. I ask him what he's reading. He's still reading the book about awakening the Buddha. I share with him my experiences of meditation and the Buddha within. I tell him I attended a Tibetan Buddhist meditation group for a short while. While I no longer follow any spiritual discipline, I recommend meditation as a way to experience one's Buddha nature. We spend hours chatting and sharing experiences.

The above experiences are a reflection of what I believe to be the qualities of a spiritual guide. Let's take the first example of the couple I guided to China Town. I already knew various ways to get there using the scenic and slow route or the quickest route possible. I used the quickest route to get them to their destination. Similarly, a spiritual guide is one who has traversed many "paths" and is aware of various "paths" to get to the same destination.

There was my friend at the bookshop whom I shared my experiences with. Now, while I can give him guidance about meditation because I've been there, I cannot insist on the right way for him because I know the Inner Light/Rigpa has already decided which way is suitable for him. In any case, he already knows what discipline appeals to him, this is why he's drawn to Buddhism. He said he often goes to listen to Lamas teach. My role is to encourage him to meditate, to put the teachings he's received from Lamas and the book he is reading into practice.

I believe a spiritual guide is one who is familiar with various spiritual "paths." A spiritual guide knows the final destination because he has experienced the Light/Buddha/Christ Mind using whatever path that has worked for him. Because he knows the destination, he is the evidence that this goal is achievable. A spiritual guide is also aware that the "path" is tailor-made for each individual and is therefore not interesting in imposing his way on another but to encourage the other to persist on the "path" that he has been inspired to follow.

Yes, I think I'm going to love being a spiritual guide. It's a lot of fun.

I am Spiritual Guide,

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