I have been carrying this list around…this list of teachers who are helping me understand this Path:
Gautam-ji has a cutting wisdom, his understanding of scripture and literature and the way he’s able to just state it bluntly (as if the whole world overlooks the obvious) is perfect for the way my mind works. He is my master of Jnana yoga.
Mooji says the same thing over and again, in a thousand diffferent ways, and each time it’s as if it is brand new. How fresh is this Truth?! He reminds me over and again that the Infinite is now and never separate; if I ever planned on seeing God in some future time then I would wait forever. God is Always — Present in Everything and when I know this for myself, I can work within this world in peace and love. Mooji is my master of Karma yoga.
Amy Oscar implores us to find the love in every moment. She has no doubt, nor do I, that Love is always present, so it is up to us to choose it. Amy is my master of Bhakti yoga.
Osho was brilliant. His command of spirituality seemingly knew no bounds…he was as at home waxing philosophical about Taoism as he was Zen as he was Christianity as he was Islam, etc. This is because there were no borders within his mind, he understood the One thing and was able to see it in all religions. But maybe his greatest gift was being able to share that wisdom with others. I am thankful his teachings were recorded and written down because each time I read and re-read his various works, I am Enlightened. Beyond these things, Osho reminds us that there is nothing special about this spiritual life or the Path — it is the most ordinary of things. Maybe all of his words and works can be summed up in the often stated Zen quote: “Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water.” Osho is my master of Karma yoga.
And there’s Rumi. My main man. My dude. My teacher from beyond the grave. Either parts of me were parts of him in past lives, or all of our molecules came from the same exploding star because Rumi just gets me. Anything I want to say, he has already said. And believe me: he said it beautifully, skillfully and in such a way that no one needs to say it again. When Rumi said “a lover doesn’t figure the odds; he figures he came clean from God as a gift without a reason, so he gives without cause calculation or limit,” he was TALKING TO ME! And I don’t mean in a general sense. I mean he sat down one day and looked out over centuries of time and saw a little brown boy growing up in a chaotic time. He saw this boy question everything, and begin to wonder what it is all about. Then he whispered those words, just loud enough for his disciple to write them down, and smiled knowing I would get the message.
I hear you loud and clear Rumi. My master of Bhakti yoga.
Each of these beautiful souls have offered their singular expression of the One truth to whomever should choose to receive them. And this is what’s so wonderful about these teachings: they must be Earned. No one is born into following Guatam or Mooji or Amy, Osho or Rumi. You must choose to go beyond the walls of established religion and cultural philosophy. You must choose to build upon whatever you’ve been told is true or right or just. You have to wade through a lot of would-be prophets; you have to listen to and set aside those excellent prophets who just don’t do it for you (sorry Eckhart, you’re wonderful and I love you but we must have come from different exploding stars); you have to pick up a lot of crazy notions, maybe get lost in the woods of spiritual materialism, before you kind earn a collection of teachers and teachings that are suited for your specific temperament. You have to put in diligent work to get these treasures.
Those are the teachers I earned along my Path.
But this message is really about the Teacher that was given to me.
Before I knew of karma, bhakti or jnana yoga; before I heard of the word guru, or introduced to spirituality; and long before I would learn Sufis and Dervishes. Before all of these things I was born into wealth. I grew up in the southern baptist church where you don’t take the Lord’s name in vain and people would start dancing and shouting if you said it at just the right moment with just the right inflection in your voice.
In that tradition, they say God is the Father — and because He loved the world so much, He gave his only son so that if you believed in him, you would have eternal life.
Let me tell you about my inheritance — Look What My Dad Got Me:
They called him the lily of the valley. The bright and morning star.
He walked on water, healed the sick, and calmed the seas with his presence.
He defended a prostitute who was legally condemned to be stoned and dared her accusers to pass judgment on themselves before they do so on another.
He shed tears for a dead friend, then stood at the foot of his grave and commanded him to live again.
And he did.
Son of Man. Son of God. Brother, Teacher, Master, Counselor, Comforter, Healer, and Deliverer.
The way maker, the Prince of Peace, the Light of God.
Almighty God. The Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the ending. The Author of my Salvation. Bread of Life. Lamb of God. Emmanuel. Endless. Faithful and True. Good Shepard.
The I AM!
The man from Galilee. The Just. King! Living Water. Mighty God. Minister. The Only Begotten.
Redeemer! Rock of Heaven! Servant of Jehovah! Son of Righteousness!
Wonderful! Worthy! Blessed wisdom of God!
He Who Is Worthy:
I have spent time on my knees in despair, calling on his name. I sang it in choirs and still carry each and every tune in my heart.
It is not unusual for me to be walking and humming:
“Jesus keep me near the cross.”
“What A Friend we have in Jesus.”
“Jesus on the mainline, tell him what you want.”
“Jesus Paid it all, all to him I owe.”
Whatever you need — He is that. Wherever you go, He is with you.
Right now, in between the spaces of these words.
As I live and as I breathe:
Where can I go that You will not be, even within my movement?
There was a time when I turned my back on this inheritance — but I realized it was the not the man who once lived that I needed to part ways with — it was the institution, the conspiracy, and the indoctrination that forced me out and led me to find teachers of my own.
But Jesus is awesome, and I’m proud to show this inheritance off to my friends.