This is a very tricky subject, which is often misunderstood by many spiritual aspirants. This interesting article is posed to Buddhist teachers and it results in interesting answers. Here is an excerpt of one of the answers from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche:

When working with Western students, who have a lot of problems with the notion of a teacher, I’m sensitive not to immediately expect they should do everything that we as teachers tell them to do. However, one of the important dynamics of guru yoga is to come to a place in yourself where you have to say, I’m going to trust somebody. I’m going to listen to somebody rather than try to be in charge and in control all the time. I’m going to listen to somebody because I need help. Of course there is a process of coming to that place in yourself and of finding a teacher whom you trust. But once you do, you make a decision: I’m going to listen, even if what he or she says goes completely against my will. I know my usual patterns are addictive—clinging to emotions and negative situations, so I trust this person to guide me. My teacher is guiding me and I have to be totally open to saying yes rather than discussing, negotiating, and then going against the advice.

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