Spiritual Guidance in Confusing Times
In these uncertain times many of us are becoming disillusioned with the usual mundane sources of security, fulfilment and pleasure, and long for a deeper sense of happiness and meaning in our lives. The idea that there is a spiritual path that can take us totally beyond our ordinary world and painful limited sense of self is becoming increasingly attractive. It is easy to find information about many spiritual paths, but choosing one path to follow and then walking this path ourselves is a different matter. One problem is that there is so much information available these days, and much of it seems contradictory.
Amidst all this, how do we find a clear path we ourselves can actually follow? Even if we do manage to choose one valid path we are happy with, inevitably we will come across obstacles. What sounds straightforward in theory can be much more challenging in practice. The spiritual journey involves facing and going beyond the darker and more confused parts of our own mind, and there are so many opportunities for discouragement and self-deception. It is also a lot longer than we probably expect – our potential for spiritual development is literally limitless. In Buddhist terms, we all have the potential to achieve full enlightenment, but full enlightenment far transcends what we are currently able to imagine. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone who has already taken this journey give us guidance along the way?
If we wish to follow the Buddhist path to enlightenment, how important is it to follow the guidance of a spiritual guide? How do we recognize who is a valid spiritual guide for us? How can we develop that relationship and how can we ensure that it is authentic, healthy and truly nurturing of our extraordinary inner potential? In this day course Kadam Mike will delve into the purpose and qualifications of a spiritual guide, and will guide meditations on how to rely with wisdom and maturity on a qualified spiritual guide. Sharing stories from practitioners of the past, as well as reflections on his own spiritual guide, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadam Mike will help us to appreciate and deepen our experience of this most meaningful relationship.