When the Guru says No, Go Away, You are Not a Student, and Definitely Not a Teacher

5 min readDec 14, 2022
Photo by Pete Longworth

Let the words from the guru pierce your heart.

This is what I do.

Or rather, it’s how I orientate to this email from the guru. From the teacher.

I read it again, taking time, letting each word, and the energy behind it, penetrate my depths.

Time slows down.

The rain sounds louder.

I stare out the window.

The colours brighten.

Stillness arises. Spaciousness. A whiff of grief. A thought.

‘Am I really so wrong?’

The thought doesn’t have much traction though, and it dissipates like fog in the bright morning sunlight.

The email is from a person I considered a teacher, a guru, telling me it is not so after all, and ended any thoughts/illusions/delusions of it being so.

They do not want to teach me.

They do not want me as student.

I wonder — can I still work with someone as a teacher, even when they reject me as a student?

Is it rejection though?

Not really.

Only the I-self perceives through that lens.

This teacher / guru is not rejecting me but rather asserting their boundary, and their choice.

Within the construct of teaching/studenting as they know it, how I show up does not compute. Does not fit.

This cycle began four weeks ago, on a new moon eclipse. I’d completed my first retreat with this teacher and it felt like I’d come home.

After decades of searching for a ‘teacher’, for a ‘guru’, in the sense of a person with a level of realisation able to offer transmission… I’d finally found someone.

Every time I went to ask a question, or interact, with this teacher over the four days of the retreat, I’d burst into tears, or strong sensation would arise in my body.

The overwhelming feeling was of coming home, recognition, grace, and love.


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