The new guru

Gurus these days cannot be the same way as in the times of, say, Sivananda, the world is a different oyster.  Remember that the word guru means "he or she that leads us from the darkness to the light" (or you can get the wiki version), so seen like this, it is any teacher that is helping us become closer to spirit, to the "one" we all are.

I noticed some of the ones I follow, which I consider modern gurus or teachers of different traditions, and made a list of what they do differently these days,  here is what I came up with:


  • Is available, responds to questions from readers through forums or bulleting boards online  (of course he does not have time to respond to everyone, but he or she tries)
  • Has a website
  • Blogs at least 3 times a week
  • Shares the iluminations she/he gets throughout the day in Twitter
  • Has a facebook fan page, or not
  • Travels teaching
  • Directs traffic to websites that help when natural disasters strike so that people will focus their energy where needed
  • Is a bit of a Robbin Hood.  Conducts fund-raising events among his or her famous friends to gather resources for those who need them
  • Lives well, but only with things he or she needs, uses the money that flows through her or him efficiently
  • Publishes books, Cds, dvds, gives videoconferences, streaming video, etc.  

What am I missing, what do you see modern gurus doing?


  1. Ha, good list. Of course being snarky, I would add: Is on the cover of Yoga Journal magazine and owns the new hip yoga shala in town...:)

  2. I don't think I could have a "guru", as the word still implies (to me) too much of a giving up of rational thinking in favor of blind faith. I think of C as a mentor...

    He's a bit behind on the self promotion but is getting into the swing of things.

  3. Every Buddhas are my Gurus and they teach me that "the best Guru is in Me", not outside.

    I am not a monk, nor a buddhist, but I now know that what it really means.

    May all beings be happy.

  4. Hi Yogadawg, "snarky" is a new word for me, did not have it... cool... and yes, snarky indeed :)

    B, I am with you, I am not sure I am ready to surrender to a deep level like that to a guru, but I appreciate the modern ones, the ones that sort of "point in the right direction towards spirit"

    Nataraja, true, the Guru is in Me, I agree, I just have trouble seeing that from time to time, I hope eventually to get to that stage.

  5. Claudia, I have always a faith on this : "When the student is ready, the teacher appears!".

    You received the buddha's teaching during your course in Vapassana. The seed is planted in your soul. It's up to you now.

    The Guru only can point you out the path. It's you who should walk on it.

    May all beings be happy.

  6. Nataraja, very true, I nurture the seed :)

  7. I really liked your response Nataraja
    "The Guru only can point you out the path. It's you who should walk on it."


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