HEALTHY LIVING

How To Find A Guru

06/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Inspired in equal parts by the book Eat, Pray, Love and the new Mike Myers' movie "The Love Guru," a writer from the New York Post set out to find her own spiritual guide, and shares a few of the things she learned along the way.

Lesson No. 1: Get over your stupid conceptions. "It's not about being super new age-y," explains a friend, who is Indian and regards the idea that this could be considered a "trend" the way someone might view taking a college class from a professor as a fad. "A guru serves as your guide."

Lesson No. 2: Find an Indian friend who won't roll her eyes at you when you say, "I want to find a guru." Thankfully, mine is being very patient with my millions of questions. Should I have to pay for a guru? No. Do people "worship" or "believe" in a guru the way they do, say, Jesus or Buddha? No. Can anyone, regardless of religion, have a guru? Yes. Do you have to actually meet the guru to call him or her your own guru? No. Does the guru even still have to be alive? No. Should I just Google the word "guru"? For the love of Jesus and Buddha, no.

Lesson No. 3: It's kind of like finding an amazing hairdresser - you have to trust the source. For the past two months I've asked every yoga teacher, acupuncturist and Indian friend I have to give me their best recommendations. From this list of dozens of names (everyone from the little-publicized "Eat, Pray, Love" guru Gurumayi Chidvilasanada to Sathya Sai Baba), I decide to investigate three as possibilities: Amma (amma.org), Dada Vaswani (sadhuvaswani.org) and Swami Parthasarathy (vedantaworld.org).

Lesson No. 4: Best to have a thick skin. "We cannot set out in search of a guru," chides Vaswani. Transfixing in his eloquence, he lists marks of a true guru (read the entire interview at nypost.com), but what captures my attention the most is his philosophy regarding life. "He wants nothing for himself," he says of spiritual enlightenment. I try, just for the hell of it, wanting nothing. Suddenly, my frantic headache is gone. So far, Dada is ahead.

Keep reading the NY Post article for more tips.

Or read Deepak Chopra's defense of "The Love Guru":

The best-selling author and spiritual teacher is defending The Love Guru, a comedy in which Myers plays an aspiring self-help guru who aims to achieve Chopra's level of popularity. Chopra posted an essay online in response to those in the Hindu community who say The Love Guru is offensive and mocks important tenets of their faith.

"The premature outcry against the movie is itself religious propaganda," Chopra writes, noting that the protesters based their views on the film's 2 1/2-minute trailer. "As viewers will find out when the movie is released this summer, no one is more thoroughly skewered in it than I am -- you could even say that I am made to seem preposterous."

Keep reading the Time magazine story on "The Love Guru".

Or watch "The Love Guru" trailer here:

Do you have a guru? How did you find him or her? And if not, do you want one?

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