When I experience a student with sincere fearless interest in the Dharma, much transpires in that relationship which transcends the simple meeting of two humans. It is like a doorway to the vast expanse opens and makes that space seamlessly available. This spiritual friendship is unlike any other relationship but few people take advantage for fear they may be offered an opportunity to stretch beyond the limited self.
Walking with a spiritual friend, greeting whatever arises, is a most amazing journey. The one who takes the role of teacher becomes a mirror into the hidden qualities of the student. If the agreement is strong enough, any obscuration to the wisdom mind surfaces and the good qualities become enhanced. Over time, as the relationship ripens, the student will see only the positive qualities as the obscurations become liberated. Thus, the teacher is a mirror to the hidden light of the student and remains steadfast until the light fully manifests.
We can live lifetimes without recognizing the true teacher or spiritual friend. Even when the teacher is recognized, the student may run and hide once more. If the motivation is strong and the relationship blossoms, the dividing line between student and teacher dissolves. Then we see the teacher everywhere—in every situation.
One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.
There’s a bankruptcy that’s pure gain.
The moon stays bright when it
doesn’t avoid the night.
A rose’s rarest essence
lives in the thorn.
From: Soul of Rumi
by Coleman Barks