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Mentors vs. Gurus

Dear Yoga Student,

In yoga, there’s an ancient tradition of gurus and

… you’re to search for a teacher that really
resonates with you, and then you follow him or
her with steadfast determination, trusting the
guru more than you trust yourself.

I love the idea. It’s wonderful. It would be so great
if we could all find someone to play that role in
our lives.

But it’s damn-near impossible to find someone
balanced and evolved enough to fill that role.

So for most of us, it’s much more productive
to look for mentors. A mentor doesn’t have to
be perfect, or balanced, or forever.

A mentor just needs to be someone who is a
little bit more advanced at SOMETHING than
you are (could be yoga, could be finances, could
be parenting).

And when you catch up or surpass your mentor,
that’s wonderful. You find another.

It’s not a religious relationship, it’s just a learning

Personally, I spent many years trying to find a “guru”
in the West and then in Asia; and the day I stopped
looking for perfection and just started looking for
mentors, it was a personal revolution.

Because teachers are everywhere. Mentors are
everywhere. Some of them are downright lunatics,
but you can still learn a lot from them, and their
life doesn’t have to define yours.

So here’s the question: “Do you have a mentor?”
If not, go get one!

Stay bendy,

Yoga Swings for Spine Strength & Pain Relief

p.s. I don’t know Jack Canfield personally (I read a
few of his books years ago) but I posted this video
because I think it’s excellent.

p.p.s. I’d love to hear your comments/feedback about
this guru vs. mentor debate… please post below.

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  1. ruth wrote
    at 7:54 am - 16th April 2010 Permalink

    There is an old saying in spiritual circles “when you are ready the teacher appears” That applies to mentors, gurus, and most of life. When you are ready the universe will send them, when you go out and search you can get waylaid and yes, learn something, but at what expense. I have a saying “we all have our destined lessons to learn, but free will gives us the choice of hwo to learn them, personal experience, read the book, or see the movie” I would prefer and have preferrred to learn some experience thru the book, movie, or vicariously, instead of personally making the mistakes. There is no special knowledge from hard knocks that benefits in all situations. And not all is necessary to be experienced. I would certainly prefer to learn that fire burns by seeing the movie than being in the fire and living with injuries

  2. David Lawrence wrote
    at 10:01 am - 21st April 2010 Permalink

    Yes, the advice to search for a guru would be bad advice. Read carefully, the ancient scriptures actually just say you must & shall have a guru when (karmically) “ready,” as Ruth’s comment says. So, this Yogabody article about seeking mentors seems just about on the mark. In Buddhism, too, the saying seems to be that Sangha is a good enough place to start, rather than Guru (Buddha). Wherever you can learn more Dharma, and how to apply Dharma.

  3. SL wrote
    at 11:57 pm - 14th June 2010 Permalink

    Wow! This is just what I needed to hear… It seems destiny is knocking at my door. Thank you!!!

  4. Reyes wrote
    at 3:31 am - 12th August 2010 Permalink

    So true, the bad thing is that guru’s are so hard to find but the good news is that teachers and mentors are everywhere, you just need to look beyond to find a good one. In my opinion too I think it is better not to stick to one mentor or teacher only, its best to have number of mentors for building up references of what really is the best! Do you guys agree or disagree?

  5. Sylvia Wagner wrote
    at 11:29 am - 10th November 2010 Permalink

    One of the reasons you should find a mentor is that they can help you set and achieve goals!