I hear this all the time.
I have to find a "teacher" to guide me! If I don't have a good teacher I will lose my way! I need help!
In my opinion you don't NEED a teacher.
You may WANT one. It may make things easier for you. It may give you the confidence to go further on and explore new areas that without the prop of a "teacher" you wouldn't think of venturing into.
All those things are true, I admit that.
But my slightly irreverent answer is this.
If your bladder is full will a "teacher" p_ss for you?
If you are hungry will feeding your teacher make you full?
No, it won't. And I think you probably already know that.
Don't you have two eyes yourself...why try seeing with someone else's eyes?
Don't you have two ears yourself....why would you think you would hear better with someone else's ears than your own?
And most importantly....don't you have a head you already use to think...so why would you even think you need another head to put on your shoulders to guide you around?
You are like the hungry man who lights a candle and goes looking for fire to cook his food...because you don't realise the true nature of what you carry about with you in your own hands.
Yes, you wll make mistakes.... but they will not be permanent. If you find yourself going in the wrong direction, and you realise that, just turn around and go another way. That is the way it's always been, and most likely always will be.
If you simply learn to see every day that you get to live as a new lesson...and learn to examine and try to undersand the lessons that you get on that new day... then you have a "teacher".
That teacher is YOU.
That is all a teacher can really teach you anyhow.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach