Some people think to show respect to their spiritual teacher they have to bow down to them, treat them as higher beings, shower them with gifts and blindly follow every word they say. I do not think this sycophantic way of acting is giving respect. If you truly want to respect your spiritual teacher then listen to their teachings, ask questions to clear up any doubt, meditate on the teaching and then, finally, put what they have taught into practice. Now what better way to respect anyone?
If your spiritual teacher has a title or calls himself a higher being, I would suggest you check him out very carefully. In the Anguttara Nikaya Gautama Buddha stated five qualities to look for in a spiritual teacher:
“The Dharma should be taught with the thought, ‘I will speak step-by-step’… ‘I will speak explaining the sequence’… ‘I will speak out of compassion’… ‘I will speak not for the purpose of material reward’…’I will speak without disparaging myself or others.’
Does your spiritual teacher have these five qualities? It is up to you to check. Do his actions match his words? Do his student’s actions match his teachings?
There are some wonderful spiritual teachers out there, but you have to look very carefully to find them.
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