You are here
User's Guide to Spiritual Teachers: A wise and practical quickstart guide for anyone who wants—or already has—a spiritual teacher
The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers is a necessary book for anyone who has, or wants to have, a spiritual teacher—regardless of faith or tradition. This book addresses concerns that many of us have on the spiritual path, including how to find a spiritual teacher, how to manage expectations about what they can do, and what to do when you realize you’re in a dangerous relationship with one. Spiritual teachers of all traditions will themselves find this book incredibly useful as they reflect on how they benefit their students or may be overstepping their boundaries and actually creating harm. This is your place to look for information, inspiration, sanity, and words of caution.
“This concise handbook belongs in the hands of every new spiritual seeker. The author clearly outlines the joys and pitfalls of establishing a student-teacher relationship and clarifies numerous questions that beginners have as they enter this new terrain. There’s a quality of respect for our spiritual longing, and a sensitive guide to finding our way. This is an indispensable companion for anyone on the spiritual path.”—Pat Enkyo O’Hara, abbot of Village Zendo
“An important resource for both beginners and more seasoned practitioners—presented with wisdom, clarity, and lightness.”
—Zuiko Redding, Cedar Rapids Zen Center
“A wonderful resource. This guide is down-to-earth and offers a broader perspective about what to expect and what not to expect from spiritual teachers.”
—David Rynick, author of This Truth Never Fails
“Finally, a well thought-out, easy-to-read guide to help folks assess whether a given teacher may be prone to abuse his power over them or is genuinely interested in empowering them.”
—Tim Burkett, author of Nothing Holy about It
“Scott Edelstein helps us to stay wide-awake to the obstacles on the thorny path of spiritual companionship with another human being.”
—Melissa Myozen Blacker, coeditor of The Book of Mu
-ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Scott Edelstein has studied happily and productively with several spiritual teachers, including Toni Packer, Dainin Katagiri, Tim McCarthy, and (currently) Steve Hagen. As the friend of several spiritual teachers, he has also spent much time with them “off duty,” sometimes serving as confidant. He is a longtime practitioner of both Buddhism and Judaism, and a committed proponent of serious spirituality in all forms and traditions. Scott’s short work on spiritual topics has appeared in Shambhala Sun, American Jewish World, The Writer, the anthology What About God?, and elsewhere. He is also the author of 15 other books on a wide range of subjects.