Guru or Teacher?

I have been studying, teaching, healing and reading professionally in the metaphysical community for 20 years. I have watched as gurus rise and fall. Fame and devotion develop and fall away. 

We are human and life is challenging, sometimes we want someone to tell us how to live. In the moment it seems easier, someone who knows what’s right can tell me what to do, so much easier than figuring it out for myself, right? The problem is, gurus are human too. They change, they fail, they disappoint because they are fallible, just like everyone else.


As a teacher I see my role as much different than a guru. I share my knowledge and skill, I encourage independent thinking and practice, I inspire and empower. I am human and admit that all the time as a teacher. I share my perspective, knowing that it is my own and may not resonate with everyone. 

Over the last 10 years I have taught hundreds of people to do Reiki with a system I developed out of my own practice and experience. I have watched my students develop into all different kinds of healers, using my system as a jumping off point. It is one of my greatest personal joys to watch those I have taught succeed and develop on their own. I know my job is to give my students the tools to develop themselves and then get out of the way so they can grow.


Here are a few things to consider regarding gurus and teachers:

-Teachers inspire independent thinking, gurus expect compliance with the rules they create

-Teachers and students have a mutually respectful relationship, gurus expect devotion

-Teachers encourage intelligent conversation and are not afraid of respectful disagreement, gurus expect total submission to their beliefs

-Teachers see themselves as human and fallible, gurus see themselves in a deity-like status

-Teachers develop expertise in specific areas, gurus see themselves as all knowing

-Teachers expect their students to move on, gurus hang on tightly which limits growth

-Teachers admit when they are wrong, gurus mask mistakes with accusations of lack of belief/devotion


I love new age thought and metaphysics because it is so freeing. I left mainstream religion for many reasons, but a big reason was that I was tired of being told what to believe. I want to work that out for myself, and I want everyone else to have the same chance. Consider that you are the expert on your own life, you know what it best for you. Seek out teachers who help you learn and grow in your own direction.

I went deeper with this topic on Kindred Spirits


Watch the show here!

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