Dude, where’s my Guru?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series How to find your guru
See all articles in the How to find your guru series here.

Where's my Guru?

Where’s my Guru?

Last week’s article, Dude, where’s my teacher, totally surprised me.  I didn’t expect people to resonate with it so much. There were all kinds of comments, as it flitted around the social media sky.

The weird thing was, I’d written it on the Sunday night, exhausted, out of time, just wanting to go to bed, and I thought it had sucked.

I knew I hadn’t captured the most important  nuances of my search for a Real Yoga Teacher.

So I’m back to dish up those nuances and set the record straight. Or at least, add another crook.

First, some relevant history.

When I returned to New Zealand in 2004, and began searching for a Real Yoga Teacher, that search was motivated in part because i’d had a Kundalini Awakening.  I suspect it began in 2000 after a series of past life regression sessions with a Maui-base healer called Dennis Prince.

Dennis tried his damnest, but never got any past lives to show up during our sessions. He did however get my body to jerk spontaneously underneath his hand (which was held a few inches above my solar plexus), and my heart to blast wide-open.

I walked out of that particular heart-blasting, spine-jerking session feeling like I was on the purest MDMA possible (these were my drug-using party days). I was blissed out to the max. From that point on, whenever I totally relaxed – like in the shower, or smoking weed, I’d get these energetic sensastions of jerking and popping rising up my spine.

Fast forward to 2004. My drug-taking days were getting further and further apart, but I was still dabbling. Especially in the consciousness-expanding hallucinogenics like mushrooms and acid.

I was also meditating and practicing yoga.


Was (and is!)


And in my case led to an intensely trippy experience of blissed-out oneness that culminated in psychosis… not before I’d spontaneously performed all kinds of yogic kriyas and spoken in ancient Egyptian.

At least, that’s what my fiance thought it sounded like as he drove me down to Lion’s Gate Hospital and admitted me to the Acute Psych Ward.

So… when I came back to New Zealand… I’d wasn’t looking for a Real Yoga Teacher that was super bendy and knew all about how to do the best triangle pose ever. Nope, I was looking for a teacher who’d had experiences of Samadhi (bliss), knew about Kundalini and could help me put my experience into context.

Fat chance your average yoga teacher could fit that bill.

Hell, most yoga teachers don’t even know about Kundalini.

So I didn’t find a Real Yoga Teacher and last week I wrote about how I’ve resigned myself to accepting that Life is my Teacher and the Guru lives Within.

Which is only PARTLY true. And if I hadn’t been writing under a self-imposed deadline on toddler-exhaustion… I might have written about the rest of it.

Which is that I could sure as hell do with a Spiritual Master.

Some might call this a Guru but that word kind of freaks me out, so I’ll just say Master.

Like Dr. Lawrence Edwards, president of The Kundalini Research Network, as well as the founder of a kundalini support website,kundalinisupport.org does in this illuminating podcast interview on SoundsTrue as he talks about WHY we need a relationship with a master:

When our spiritual pursuit gets to a certain point, we must work with the confines of the ordinary ego-mind. And the ordinary ego-mind would like to say, “Oh, I’m the master! I can be in charge of this; I can teach myself. I can learn this.” That’s all the ego-mind speaking.

To get beyond the ego-mind, you’re going to need help. And that’s always been true.

Yup – and that’s exactly why I do wish I had a relationship with a Master. Because I’m been beyond the ego-mind, seen what it’s like and as a result, understand intimately just how wily, defensive and attached the damn ego/mind is.

From the inside looking out, it can be devilishly difficult to know when you’ve been suckered into an ego-defense.

Just ask any fallen Master. Especially those who’ve had on-going sexual affairs with their students.

So I don’t need someone to teach me yoga postures, I need someone to prick my ego with a pin when it gets inflated and self-important and full of BS.

Then, while musing upon this, I twitted upon this great article by Rupa over at The Yoga of Living – The Truth About Guru.

She simply, and clearly, demystifies the Guru Principle:

These should all line up:

  • The guru within you
  • The guru instructing you
  • The opinion of the wise in your tradition

The teachings of the instructing guru must resonate with your own heart. If it makes you feel uneasy, don’t do it.

Likewise, the instructions of one’s heart should be corroborated by the wise and by sacred literature.

This is so nobody does something stupid and claims to be divinely guided. Puh.

This is great stuff. It makes total sense to me. I like it. A lot.

And so I find myself right back at the beginning again wondering, Dude, where’s my teacher? Or Guru? Or Master? Or Yoda?

Who’s my go-to-guy-or-gal when I need to make sure that it’s truly my heart and bestest self talking and not just the ego-mind?

Because I am serious about the spiritual path. I get this whole awakening thing. It makes total sense to me.

Over here in New Zealand Gurus & Masters are in short supply, especially accessible ones not too hung up on particular religious traditions… so what are we Kiwis meant to do?

If we’re serious about walking a path not just of the Bestest Triangle Pose ever, but of Spiritual Awakening… who do we look to?

Which got me to a’wondering, anyone got a line on a Master down here in New Zealand?


Read more: How to find your guruDude, where’s my teacher?!Dude, Love is the Guru


  1. Emma Furness says

    So there with you darlin’!
    Thinking of trying to get to Adyashanti at the end of the year in the States and have asked Mark Whitwell to pop down to Dunners if he has some spare time on his facebook page… lol! I will strive to get to the teachers who emphasise not striving!
    And the confusion of trying to sort out the hunger for Truth ( I will stop at nothing blah blah!) from the desire to look outside of myself and have someone make the whole thing easier. When the student is ready…
    Meantime a Hafiz poem I keep turning to:

    Is God talking
    Why not
    be polite
    And listen.”

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Emma,

      Great poem!

      As for “When the student is ready the teacher/guru/master appears’… I’m beginning to think BULLSHIT. I’ve been ready for years, so why no appearance? And what does ready mean anyway?

      Keep striving to not strive and don’t starve yourself for Truth 😉


  2. says

    True Masters will often hide themselves – the last thing they want is worldly attention. As one Master was told by his Master when given the authority to initiate disciples “when you find disciples it is like you row out into the middle of a lake and see who swims past.”

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      You mean I can’t just google one up and expect him to appear on command?

      Guess I better start swimming…


    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Liana,

      It seems the most obvious thing to do eh? Right now, even if I had the financial backing to do it,, I also have a 15 month old toddler to consider!

      But I also feel like I don’t have to go to India, that a guru doesn’t have to be Indian, nor does he or she have to be in the Yogic traditions….



  3. says

    Which got me to a’wondering, anyone got a line on a Master down here in New Zealand? –< if you find out a way to answer that let me know b/c I'd like to find the same up on this side of the globe. A mentor would be heavenly but until I find the right one I'll just keep on keeping on here.

    And yes, India sounds magical, but my husband would probably feel differently if I left him home for a month with our 5 and 7 year old. 😉

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Ah the life of a householder yogi/yogini… complete with children, partners and jobs.

      As a result of the reading, connecting & reflecting I’ve been doing this week… I’m still questioning the ultimate need for a Guru.

      Does one reach a point where Truth is so heart-felt that and external mirror is no longer needed?

      Or is that in and of itself a delusion of the ego?

      Truth does have it’s own energetic imprint…



  4. says

    “not before I’d spontaneously performed all kinds of yogic kriyas and spoken in ancient Egyptian.” I know this was not funny, but it kind of cracked me up…:)

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey YogaDawg,

      Come on – it’s sooooooo funny! I just wish someone had’ve videoed me! So I’m real glad it got a few giggles out of you!


  5. says

    I, too, shy away from the word “guru.” I like the term “spiritual friend,” from Chogyam Trungpa and Pema Chodron. I have been practicing yoga for over half my life but always without a guru. For a long time, I would ponder and fret over what lineage I should join, what teacher I should follow. Now, I practice and teach yoga schmoga and read plenty of books from the yogic and Buddhist masters… Still, I can’t help but wonder if and when I will be ready and willing to have a guru. Thanks for this illuminating post.

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Michelle,

      I LOVE the term spiritual friend. And this week, I’ve just experienced the power of having such friends in my life. They do hold the mirror up tp me and help me to see the ego.

      Love the term Yoga Schmoga too…. wonderful!

      Thanks for stopping by,

  6. Sunshine Donk says

    The path to bliss is calling me having only woken up after many years asleep. i fully relate to many things said on this page. looking for my Guru also although i know my work has barely started. love and light to all. Sunshine.


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