Podcast 065: How To Not Be A Guru

Things are complex, and there are many factors. But guru syndrome is bad for the teacher and for the student, both. And believe it or not, active measures are required if you want to know how to not be a guru. Because humans have these tendencies: as students, to seek a guru; as teachers, to seek that status.

When the student believes their teacher is a guru, it may be comforting, but it’s also disempowering. It makes the student feel & believe that they have to depend on the teacher. But it’s important for students to make their own experiments, and express their own experiences!

When the teacher comes to believe they’re a guru, they start to think everything they’re doing must be right, down to finer and finer detail. But it’s important to question yourself first of all, otherwise you stop learning – and to step back and see the big picture, on the regular.

So here are some ways we’ve come up with when working out how to not be a guru in our own work, that we do our best to live up to.

As teachers – and as students, because we’re that, too – this is something we think about a lot. We know a lot of teachers and students who feel the same way! We hope that this discussion spurs some spark of recognition, as we’ve been gratefully sparked by plenty of others before.


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