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Topic: Spirituality      Comments: 9   Life Student

Why do I need a teacher?

It's said that, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Meaning, the student must go through an internal spiritual preparation process, and when they are ready, the truth will become known. So then, why is a teacher necessary?

Answered by Ilchi Lee

In the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear," readiness means that the teacher appears to those who are ready to receive his guidance, not that he appears to those who already know the truth.

The key component of the process of internal spiritual preparation is having an extremely pure, earnest heart toward growth and awakening. Those who truly, earnestly seek the truth and want great understanding concerning life, often end up searching for a teacher who will help them.

A teacher for a spiritual path is one who has walked the same path before us, and who has obtained spiritual awakening by overcoming countless challenges on that path, and so can help us move toward self-realization. The teacher is, so to speak, a person who can play the role of navigator on a spiritual voyage.

A teacher is someone who, when we are struggling with ceaselessly changing desires and emotions, helps us see our shining true, changeless nature beyond the world of transient phenomena. He or she is someone who constantly reminds us that the moon is still shining, even when it is obscured by clouds in a dark, nighttime sky. A teacher can give you a push, enabling you to turn your outwardly directed gaze inward.

Is a teacher absolutely necessary for traveling down a spiritual path? In response to this question, I'd like to give you the following example. Let's say that you have had the dream of making beautiful watercolor paintings for a very long time. Naturally, you would probably be interested in information on watercolor painting. You would buy books, do research on the Internet, join a watercolor painting club, and go see exhibits by watercolor painters. If your passion for watercolor painting grew very deep, you would probably find a teacher who could inspire you and help you paint wonderful watercolors. The process of finding a teacher to guide you on a spiritual path is no different.

A teacher isn't necessary for everyone. What's important is what you want and how earnestly you want it. If you can get what you want for yourself, then you probably don't need a teacher. If you have a thirst for the growth of your soul, you will find a teacher naturally when you can't satisfy that thirst yourself.

There is a saying in Asia: "When the time comes for an egg to hatch, the chick pecks at the shell from the inside, and the mother hen from the outside." I'm not sure whether this really happens when a chick hatches from its egg, but this expression is often used as a metaphor by the spiritual traditions of Asia when describing the relationship between a teacher and a student.

Those who genuinely seek spiritual growth and completion and who earnestly wish to transcend momentary, sensual satisfaction to discover what is truly important in their lives, discover a being to guide them on their journey, a teacher. The teacher also recognizes a student who has such an earnest heart. Then, regardless of who goes first, if you and your teacher, from within and without, break away the hard shell of fixed ideas and ego, a new realization will appear in your life.

Ask Ilchi Lee Disclaimer
Ask Ilchi Lee is not a substitute for regular medical or psychological care. The use of Ask Ilchi Lee is specifically for addressing the underlying spiritual issues that may be causing stress. Ask Ilchi Lee consists of self-help coaching techniques and tools and should not be construed as a prescription, a promise of benefits, claims of cures, or a guarantee of results to be achieved.

9 Comments Tell us your thoughts
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user
Master Ichi Lee, I want to thank you from my entire being for listening to your heart in regards to Sedona. I just came from my experience at the Sedona Mago Retreat  and it was an amazing experience. The experience is still with me today and I want this amazing feeling of transformation to continue by my continual training and never giving up. There is so much I want to say and my hope is to meet you one day and tell you myself.Thank you very much 
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user
And most of all, thank you Master Ilchi Lee, for dedicating your life to helping us figure out how to heal ourselves. I understand now the quote... Physician heal thyself. I was always so puzzled by this one before. Thank you for bringing Light to the World. Merry Christmas, Master.
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user
I am so thankful for the many spiritual teachers I have had already... especially for Ann M. who really helps me get through the worst times. She is my angel.... well one of them! Also thankful for Ginny WJ, Sincere SB, Chunpah, and everyone at Dahn Yoga who has helped me so much... Also, the Regional Director, but I don't know his name. He did Shim Sung with me twice... and I really began to understand more and more after that. And also thankful for my boyfriend, Greg, and my family. Merry Christmas.
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user
Hello. I like this article because though it may be more popular in Asia, having a teacher I can see is becoming more widespread in America too. The gift of life is more wonderful with the help of a teacher! Thank you so much and with all of my heart I am happy to be a student of Ilchi Lee.
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user
I Am definitely one that needs a teacher at this point in my life.
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user
Thank you for helping me to see this relationship with better understanding! Its a real match made from heaven!
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user
Thank you. I think I am one if those who needs a teacher. This was really helpful.
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user
Great points! I love the analogies, they really help
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user
Thank you for your insight. Shanon-nim
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