I recently finished two amazing books: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and The Journey Home Autobiography of An American Swami by Radhanath Swami. Both books were great in different ways. However, I wanted to focus on one common theme: finding a guru. Radganath Swami searched for a guru pretty much the entire book. Paramahansa Yogananda found his guru early on in the book.
When I finished Yogananda’s book, I posted a photo of the book on Facebook, asking where is my guru. I was being factious, but it was interesting to see my friend’s reactions. Quite a few said the guru is within. Ironically, though, some of them have a guru.
Honestly, I don’t want a guru. After all the recent hoopla about John Friend and Geshe Michael, I don’t think I would ever trust a “guru.” What I’m really looking for is a community. I would love a satsang, a place where like minded people gather together to talk about karma, ahimsa, spirituality. When I heard the Anusara community had a Facebook page where teachers communicated with each other, I felt envious. Yesterday, a friend told me she had joined a new synagogue, where there were thousands of members. A mutual friend of ours decided to organize a subgroup; she put 8 families in each group and every month one of the families hosts and has everyone come over their house. I was seriously salivating.
I’m also not one to bitch and moan. I have tried many times to form a community. I organized a Moms Without Moms support group in my community, but after 5 years of organizing the meetings, speakers, etc. I got burnt out. No one else wanted to take it over, so it died. I organized lunches with health and wellness practitioners. I organized a spiritual book club, which is wonderful. I even reached out to local yoga teachers to see if they wanted to get together to talk and do community work. Only a couple responded to my emails. It never worked out.
I’ve mentioned to local yoga studios about my desire for a community gathering. They agreed with me and said it was something they have thought about as well. Alas, it hasn’t happened yet.
The other day after I meditated, I realized that everything is ok. My life is fine, without a guru or without a community. If it happens, great. If not, great.
Do you feel part of a community?