Is it necessary today to have one specific teacher in order to evolve? There are traditions that go back thousands of years, all over the world, which suggest that the way to have genuine awakening and genuine evolution of consciousness is to be in relationship with one particular teacher.
And yet, particularly in the last 30 or 40 years, as we've seen many Oriental teachers coming to teach in the West, we've also become aware of the possible perils of a student-teacher relationship: we have witnessed one scandal after another, whether it's sexual, financial, abusive, etc. Even in the absence of scandal, there is still the question of whether a relationship with a teacher can be disempowering: instead of focusing on yourself and your own true nature, you may begin to focus on the teacher as the benchmark for what being truly awake is, and who you think you need to be.
Simultaneously, we gave seen the emergence of an eclecticism that works for many people, where nature becomes the teacher, the gathering becomes the teacher, or many external people and groups become a buffet of teachings.
Is it a good idea to be in an exclusive relationship with one teacher or not?
Join Arjuna Ardagh and his friend Mariana Caplan as they debate the value of having a teacher, the multiple possibilities of genuine evolution, and the practice of cultivating discernment. In previous discussions, it has become clear that Arjuna and Mariana don't agree on all points, which insures that this dialog will be a deep and intense conversation.
Arjuna Ardagh is the founder of the Awakening Coaching Training and Awakening World Seminars. He is the author of seven books, including the 2005 #1 bestseller: The Translucent Revolution. He has been training facilitators of awakening since 1995 in more than 18 countries, and has been a speaker at many international conferences on business and consciousness. Arjuna teaches the “Deeper Love” seminar with his wife Chameli. Together they live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, along with their two teenage sons.
Mariana Caplan, PhD, is the co-founder of The Center for World Spirituality. She is the author of seven books and numerous articles on cutting edge topics in Western spirituality, including the seminal book: Halfway Up the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment and Do You Need a Guru?: Understanding the Student-Teacher Relationship in an Era of False Prophets. Her recent release, Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path, won four national awards for the Best Spiritual Book of 2009, and the COVA Visionary Award for best Book of the Year. She is a psychotherapist specializing in spiritual issues and somatic and body-centered approaches to transformation, and a professor of yogic and transpersonal psychologies. Mariana resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has a private practice in counseling in Marin County. She is a lifelong student and practitioner of yoga. She can be reached at: www.centerforworldspiritualty.com and www.realspirituality.com