There is so much inspiration in the article 'Selling water by the river' by Adyashanti. For example in the full-length version Adya says;
Maybe I can point you to the great Reality within you.
Maybe you will awaken to the direct experience of Self-realization.
Maybe you will catch the fire of transmission.
But there is one thing that no one can give you:
the honesty and integrity that alone will bring you completely to
the other shore.
These are wise and cautionary words given that teachers are popping up like mushrooms. Would-be devotees need some criteria to sort the wheat from the chaff – a sort of Guru Standards Institute charter!
This verse from Adya will certainly be included in my Guru Standards Institute charter!
Below is an extract and a link to the full piece
Selling Water by the River
In speaking regularly with spiritual seekers, it dawned on me one day how
addicted so many of them are to the power of charisma. They swap stories
about how powerful this or that teacher is and compare experiences. They get
a charge from it, many mistaking charisma for enlightenment. Charisma
attracts at all levels: political, sexual, spiritual, etc., and it feeds the ego's
desire to feel special. The ego loves getting hits of power—it's like a form of
spiritual candy. The candy may be sweet but can you live on it? Does it make
Freedom is not necessarily exciting; it's just free. Very peaceful and quiet, so
very quiet. Of course, it is also filled with joy and wonder, but it is not what
you imagine. It is much, much less. Many mistake the intoxicating power of
otherworldly charisma for enlightenment. More often than not it is simply
otherworldly, and not necessarily free or enlightened. In order to be truly
free, you must desire to know the truth more than you want to feel good.
Because if feeling good is your goal, then as soon as you feel better you will
lose interest in what is true. This does not mean that feeling good or
experiencing love and bliss is a bad thing. Given the choice, anyone would
choose to feel bliss rather than sorrow. It simply means that if this desire to
feel good is stronger than the yearning to see, know, and experience Truth,
then this desire will always be distorting the perception of what is Real, while
corrupting one's deepest integrity.
Enlightenment has nothing to do with states of consciousness. Whether you
are in ego consciousness or unity consciousness is not really the point. I have
met many people who have easy access to advanced states of consciousness.
Though for some people this may come very easily, I also notice that many of
these people are no freer than anyone else. If you don't believe that the ego
can exist in very advanced states of consciousness, think again. The point isn't
the state of consciousness, even very advanced ones, but an awake mystery
that is the source of all states of consciousness. It is even the source of
presence and beingness. It is beyond all perception and all experience. I call it
"awakeness." To find out that you are empty of emptiness is to die into an
aware mystery, which is the source of all existence. It just so happens that
that mystery is in love with all of its manifestation and non-manifestation. You
find your Self by stepping back out of yourself.
to read this excellent article