Sunday, 3 November 2013

You can be your own guru

Last night I watched a documentary film made by  Deepak Chopra's son called, "Decoding Deepak". The description read,

"In this documentary, filmmaker and journalist Gotham Chopra embarks on a year-long road trip with his father, Deepak Chopra, to reconcile the spiritual icon with the real man known to his family."  

I have always had an awareness that our perception of people is directly affected by our starting point. Deepak's son, a successful journalist in his own right, wanted his Dad to spend more time at home as he and his sister were growing up - but Deepak was driven to spread his spiritual knowledge to as many people as he could through book writing, seminars and TV talk shows.  The flip side was that people who were searching for a Guru found Deepak. He was telling them exactly what they needed and wanted to hear.  His family often travelled with him, leading a chaotic life, feeling confused as they witnessed strangers idolise the man who was their father.
At several points in the documentary I could feel the strain between father and son - but equally there was a mutual love and respect there too.  Gotham remarked to his father that a lot of what he does must be great for his ego - to which Deepak responded by saying it had nothing to do with his ego.

I don't think there's anything wrong with "feeling good" about doing something well and having a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction about our personal achievements.  I also believe there's a fine line between that and becoming arrogant and self righteous about it.  Ego is involved, and there should be less shame and embarrassment about admitting that. I think and feel that some of the new age and religious movements have managed to demonise the ego, and yet it is simply another part of being human.

We certainly should practise keeping any self righteousness in check, and keep an eye on allowing the false belief to creep in that we're in some way special or better than others.  I'm no Deepak Chopra, but what I do know is that when a client of mine gets well I feel great about it!  Without doubt it is the most lovely and heart warming feeling when the mother of a client says, "You've given me back my daughter!"  or a client on returning to health asks , "What would my life have been like if I'd never made that first appointment with you?!"  I thank them for their kind words, and enjoy the sense of joy at seeing them well, but I only facilitated their journey to health.  They did the work - and their healing was always something within their grasp.

If you feel as if you're "searching" for guidance or support by all means get reading and researching, but remember that within you is the capability to take what you need from the authors and apply it to your own life.  Guru's are just like you and me - they may be expert in their field but they also have the same vulnerabilities and human frailties as the rest of us!

“No one and nothing outside of you can give you salvation, or free you from the misery. You have to light your own lamp. You have to know the miniature universe that you yourself are.” ― Banani Ray from Awakening Inner Guru


  1. You make some interesting points, all of which I agree with. To recognise that the guru lies within us is a very Zen thing to do. In fact, guru only means 'teacher' so, in all honesty, what's the big deal? Deepak Chopra is an interesting case. I have read most of what he has written and, whilst I adore him as a personality and a character, in the latter years I feel he has started to lose his own way! Teaming up with Oprah was, in my opinion, a mistake and has led to his ever increasing commercialism. A lot of what Deepak now writes is regurgitation of earlier refreshing ideas. How many ways can we say the same thing? Lots, as it turns out. There's an interesting conflict between man and ego going on here. To say that it has nothing to do with his ego is a misguided statement to make. Of course it has. Even the Dalai Lama says he's human and reflects on the past and some of his own actions with a mixture of joy and sadness. What are we, after all, without our ego? One of the most profound Buddhist meditations is to consider the nature of 'I'. Where is it? What is it? What happens to it when the body disintegrates? The problem, I find, with today's alternative health forums is that the whole industry - I use that word purposefully - depends on people not realising they have the a guru within themselves... Thanks for the thought provoking read!

  2. This topic needs to be talked about more in the world of spirituality! There is way too much of this guru stuff... At the end of the day, the thing that people need support with is the ability and space to hold acceptance for themselves and others. And nobody can really teach us that. We should all learn how to accept our personal responsibility as well as our personal power.

    As that quote goes, ''You can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink it''.

    Very true, Jools, in regards to Deepak Chopra. It is getting very repetitive unfortunately, even though I love the ideas he has.

  3. if only We could trust more and think less...