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In the Company of Sages: The Journey of the Spiritual Seeker
In the search for inner awakening and self-realization, a spiritual mentor can be key to advancement. Yet the process of finding an authentic spiritual teacher who resonates with you can be daunting, especially for anyone who has had a negative experience with a guide. Exploring the emotional nuances of mentoring relationships, Greg Bogart details the nine stages of spiritual apprenticeship, from choosing a teacher to teaching others, and explains how to successfully navigate each. The author explores how to gauge your inner response for trust and resonance with a teacher and then how to approach them for initiation. He explains how the teacher-student relationship affects the student's state of consciousness over time and how most students eventually need to become independent from their teacher. Describing emotional conflicts that can arise at this stage, he shows how wise teachers accept our need to separate and graduate while immature teachers try to thwart and control us. Openly sharing his own interior journey, the author illustrates the lasting resonance of his encounters with several provocative spiritual mentors, including Swami Muktananda and Dane Rudhyar. He shares stories showing how unpredictable 'crazy wisdom' teachers cause us to confront doubts and sharpen our commitments and how 'fierce' teachers expose our fears and lack of confidence, rousing dormant energies and expanded states. Examining practices in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist Yoga, Sufism, and Jewish and Christian mysticism, he also explores the deeper mystical aspects of the guru-student relationship. Describing nine stages of the spiritual seeker's journey, the author affirms that a direct path to self-liberation is still attainable through initiation in the company of sages.