From an early age I can remember people saying “Jai Guru Dev”. I grew up in a community that practiced an Indian meditation and philosophy of life. On our parents’ walls was a portrait of a wise. golden and venerable man, whom I assumed to be God.
At 5yrs old it made sense that you would have a picture of God on your wall. Of all the pictures to have on your wall, God seemed like the most important. Later I learned that this wasn’t God, but an enlightened man named “Guru Dev” or “Divine Teacher”.
Everyone would go around saying to each other, “Jai Guru Dev”. Which meant “Glory to the Divine Teacher”. It was meant as a way of greeting and honoring a tradition of wisdom. It was a tradition of self-realization. It was a tradition of waking up from the illusion of separateness.
For me, the saying was confined to a certain man, or tradition of teachers. It took me most of my life to hear “Glory to The Divine Guru” in a new way. When I was 35 I attended a retreat called “The School” in Ojai California. It was led by an American woman who spoke the same wisdom as the Indian man on my parents’ wall.
On day 1 of The School, the woman leading the 9 day retreat explained to us that this was not her school, and that it was ours. “The School of You” is what she called it. Like many spiritual organizations, she was thought of as a teacher, as an enlightened being. Almost daily one of the participants would express their appreciation for her; and again and again, she would point out that she was nothing other than our own inner wisdom projected on to her.
This theme continued throughout my experience at The School.. I heard her say, “You are the one you’ve been waiting for”, “Life will give you everything you need”, and “Everyone in your life is there to wake you up”. Everything curved back to my self. I was the teacher that I had been waiting for, it seemed.
Actually I don’t believe that I am the teacher I have been waiting for. Not precisely, anyways. Simply because “I” and “teacher” are concepts fabricated by an infinitely creative source that some call “mind”. The teacher I’ve been waiting for is Reality. And I hadn’t actually been waiting because it had always been right in front of me. Enlightening me. Setting me free. Albeit slowly.
Life is reality. Reality is all there is. In this way, reality is divinity. Reality is the teacher. Reality is the psychedelic journey of every so called mundane moment of our lives. Whether I thank God, Reality, my spiritual guru, my father, my mother, or myself, they are all faces in the greater play called Life.
Jai Guru Dev means “Glory to The Divine Teacher”, and the divine teacher is your life right now. More good news, it’s hard to mess this up if everything is there to help you graduate. So relax, attend to what your teacher is saying, and enjoy.
Jai Guru Dev :)