RYAN ALTMAN

💐 The Guru’s Gift

In my late 20’s and early 30’s I spent 7 years living in Abu Dhabi.

I had an awesome teaching job there.

It offered a steady tax-free income, good benefits, and allowed me to travel home for a few months every summer.

The job was great, but the biggest reason why I stayed so long in Abu Dhabi was that it was close to India where my spiritual teacher, Rajivji lives.

Of all the things I value in life being able to meet and study with Rajivji in-person over the years is by far one of the most precious, and sacred opportunities of my life.

Being close to a teacher puts you in the fire.

This was something I witnessed time and again with Rajivji.

In his presence, longtime patterns and attachments I had would bubble up and be exposed, however subtly.

That is the real “work” that happens with a genuine spiritual teacher.

Our false masks and illusions cannot stay hidden–they are exposed.

We are invited to shed layer after layer until all that remains is our core.

Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight.

It can be immensely challenging to our deeply-rooted sense of self and identity.

But isn’t that the ultimate spiritual crisis and opportunity we all face?

To be stripped of our mistaken perceptions so that we can realize and live from our true nature?

A skilled teacher walks this razor’s edge with us, applying the precise nourishment or pressures we need to keep evolving.

Counselors help us with psychological challenges, doctors and physical trainers help with physical challenges, coaches and teachers of all kinds help us in every way imaginable.

Of all the guides we may have, the spiritual teacher holds a unique role–someone who has realized their own true nature and can help illuminate that path for others.

I guess what I want to share with you in this email, is that spirituality isn’t as trivial as its made out to be in our modern world, and the one who teaches it, the spiritual teacher, has an important role to play for us.

Your spiritual journey is the main highway, and all the other avenues of life are scenic side roads.

You, your spirit, your soul makes all the difference, and its the spiritual teacher who helps us to connect to that most essential element.

As a final word, I extend deep gratitude to my spiritual teachers both living and dead, and especially Rajivji for his guidance.

May we all be fortunate enough to have a teacher who can help shed light on our true nature and the path to freedom from suffering.

After all, is there any greater gift?

Go fearlessly,
Ryan

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