I have said many times the Vajrayana path is for anyone, but it is definitely not for everyone. It takes a lot of personal growth just to approach the path let alone experience any meaningful benefit. If we have not done a bit of psychological work, we will tend to reinforce the core fixation of our personality style through the way our ego adopts our spiritual inclination. When the spiritual mentor points this out, we may scream and whine that we are misunderstood.

I have experienced this in my own life and now that I appear to be in the role of a teacher, I am on the receiving end of some screams and whines. I never make myself out to be anything special in the spiritual game but I accept the importance of how “the teacher” works in surfacing what we most need to liberate. If we cannot be at least a little tolerant when we have our fixation exposed, we will probably not be able to receive what a spiritual teacher has to offer us.

The whole point of guru yoga, the fundamental practice of non-dual awareness, is to expose and liberate our ego fixation, the self-identity that insists on existing separately. When the teacher helps us clearly see the mask we have been wearing for so long, we may feel humiliated, burned, or broken. My spiritual mentors would rejoice for me when I experienced this auspicious arising. When we are broken open we have the opportunity to see, for the first time, our true nature. 

But this is only helpful if we are ready for it. Otherwise, we may experience the opposite effect and retreat more strongly into our fixation. Our karma will dictate if we are able to approach the dissolution of ego identification. This is why the Vajrayana path is not for everyone. It is a particularly direct path to liberation and does not suffer our foolishness. My Vajrayana teachers never had an ear for my dramas. They only listened to what was truly in my heart.

The spiritual mentor’s only purpose is to mirror our original nature, to help us quiet the noise and hear “a bell ringing in the empty sky.” If we are able to experience the stillness of our spacious heart/mind, we recognize the “the teacher” everywhere and we are continuously exposed. We cannot hide in our fixation because it no longer has a place to land.

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