The User's Guide to Spiritual Teachers

About The Book

A wise and practical quickstart guide for anyone who wants—or already has—a spiritual teacher. 

The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers is a necessary book for anyone who has, or wants to have, a spiritual teacher—regardless of faith or tradition. This book addresses concerns that many of us have on the spiritual path, including how to find a spiritual teacher, how to manage expectations about what they can do, and what to do when you realize you’re in a dangerous relationship with one. Spiritual teachers of all traditions will themselves find this book incredibly useful as they reflect on how they benefit their students or may be overstepping their boundaries and actually creating harm. This is your place to look for information, inspiration, sanity, and words of caution.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (March 21, 2017)
  • Length: 182 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781614294184

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

“In this short handbook, Edelstein (Sex and the Spiritual Teacher) guides readers through choosing and working with spiritual teachers. Drawing on his four decades of experience working with spiritual teachers as an editor and agent as well as a student, Edelstein addresses a surprisingly wide range of topics to help readers make the most of their relationships with spiritual teachers.”

– Publishers Weekly

“This small book has a big message. May all seekers find their way to one of the many teachers of pure heart and embodied realizations waving no red flags whatsoever.”

– Kathleen Dowling Singh, author of The Grace in Living

“This concise handbook belongs in the hands of every new spiritual seeker. The author clearly outlines the joys and pitfalls of establishing a student-teacher relationship and clarifies numerous questions that beginners have as they enter this new terrain. There’s a quality of respect for our spiritual longing, and a sensitive guide to finding our way. This is an indispensable companion for anyone on the spiritual path.”

– Pat Enkyo O’Hara, abbot of Village Zendo

“Scott Edelstein’s guide is simple, practical, and useful. It cuts through most of the confusion in seeking a spiritual guide with the clarity of someone who has been through it all. I recommend it to anyone embarking on the spiritual path, or thinking maybe they should be looking for a spiritual guide.”

– James Ishmael Ford, Zen priest, Unitarian Universalist minister, and author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break

“The publishing of this book is very timely. The last few years have been ones in which spiritual teacher after spiritual teacher has been “outed” for taking advantage of students or parishioners in one form or another. Finally, a well thought-out, easy to read guide to help folks assess whether a given teacher may be prone to abuse his power over them or is genuinely interested in empowering them.”

– Tim Burkett, guiding teacher, Minnesota Zen Center

“An important resource for both beginners and more seasoned practitioners. Edelstein addresses the topic of relationships between practitioners and their teachers with wisdom, clarity, and lightness. This little book is a conversation about what to expect from a teacher and how to deal with the ideas and emotions, both useful and destructive, that grow out of that relationship. He invites readers to be awake to this ever-changing connection, learning from it as well as from the teacher’s formal instruction.”

– Zuiko Redding, resident teacher, Cedar Rapids Zen Center

“Anyone who is seeking a spiritual teacher, or who has a relationship with one, will find this little guidebook helpful. As he did with his previous book, the invaluable Sex and the Spiritual Teacher, Scott Edelstein helps us to stay wide-awake to the obstacles on the thorny path of spiritual companionship with another human being.”

– Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, co-editor of The Book of Mu and guiding teacher of Boundless Way Zen

“A wonderful resource for any student setting off in search of a teacher. Edelstein offers wise and practical advice for navigating the pitfalls and potentials of being in relationship to a spiritual teacher.  This guide is down-to-earth and offers a broader perspective about what to expect and what not to expect from spiritual teachers.”

– David Dae An Rynick, Roshi, author of This Truth Never Fails and guiding teacher of Boundless Way Zen

“In addition to being a handy guide for beginners, this is also a nice review for seasoned students…This book has you covered. Everything from basic qualifications, to expectations, to red flags… It’s written in a concise, practical style, which manages to be casual and yet give you all the info you need. There’s no filler here. And it’s arranged in such a way that it’s easy to come back to if you have a specific issue you need addressed…This book packs a world of information into a small, handy, accessible package. Mr. Edelstein’s wisdom and maturity are obvious, and his guidance is sound. I highly recommend it.”

– The Tattooed Buddha

More books from this author: Scott Edelstein