Everyone on a Spiritual Path wants to know: What (who) makes a good Teacher or Guide?

For a post that goes into some detail about this, please click here.

Please consider this list of guidelines, if you ever feel like you’d like to verify your own ideas, or those you receive from others.

  1. No true Spiritual Guide will ever ask you to harm another living being.
  2. No true Spiritual Guide will ever ask you to take anything that does not belong to you.
  3. No true Spiritual Guide will ever tell you it’s okay to have sex with someone else’s partner (unless everyone affected explicitly agrees to it).
  4. No true Spiritual Guide will ever tell you that war is a necessary or good thing, or that it’s okay to kill your ‘enemies’.
  5. No true Spiritual Guide will ever abandon you.
  6. No true Spiritual Guide will ever threaten to abandon you.
  7. No true Spiritual Guide will ever threaten you in any way, whatsoever.
  8. A true Spiritual Guide will always have your best interests in mind and at heart.
  9. A true Spiritual Guide will never let you starve to death nor die from exposure.
  10. A true Spiritual Guide will always encourage you and acknowledge your progress.
  11. A true Spiritual Guide will always be there when you need help, even though you may feel alone.
  12. A true Spiritual Guide will always treat you with respect (unless you ask him or her not to, but that’s not a good idea).
  13. A true spiritual guide or teacher has no need to proclaim themselves as a teacher.

(Many thanks to Sidewalk Bends for #13)


We mention many Enlightened Beings in the book “All About Enlightenment”; some brief descriptions offer a closer look at some of Their characteristics. You may also find larger illustrations of each of these here.

a. CHAKRASAMVARA (Heruka & Vajravarahi): Chakrasamvara personifies the realization of the union of Great Bliss and Emptiness. They appear to lead Enlightened Beings (since many enlightened beings personify here on earth as ordinary beings) by showing examples for others. This way, others will remember that attaining enlightenment is possible for everyone.

b. LHAMO DORJE (Lhamo Tindley Kalinga Dorje): Lhamo Dorje emanates from Manjushri and Vajravarahi. Her name means “Great Fully Enlightened Goddess, Bringer of Supreme Enlightenment”.

c. GREEN TARA (Mother Earth): Green Tara emanates from Vajrayogini and Mother Earth. She keeps the forces of nature balanced. When people abuse the earth, Green Tara takes matters into Her own hands and causes earthquakes, fires, thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes. Although mankind causes earthquakes, Green Tara allows this to happen in order to relieve pressures in the earth. The earth heals herself quickly; man does not. Green Tara relieves the suffering of people in places where negative karma has ripened overwhelmingly and She brings swift healing to those who have faith in Her.

d. WHITE TARA (Mother Wind): White Tara emanates from Manjushri, Vajrapani and Vajravarahi. She is the swiftest of all Buddhas. She gives everyone who has faith in her the ability to take on much suffering without experiencing pain. She also gives relief from suffering to all living beings and swiftly eliminates many obstructions to omniscience. White Tara sends powerful healing energy, especially when requested, and brings swift help to those who are ill or near a sudden death. Life does not end with death, and White Tara travels with everyone from lifetime to lifetime, doing things (even in the In-Between Time) to allow people to make the swiftest progress possible towards enlightenment.

e. VAJRAPANI (Father Fire): Vajrapani is a Buddha-son of Akshobya. He is a Buddha of spiritual power and protection and helps everyone use their wisdom to find the spiritual path best suited to them. Vajrapani emanated Heruka and Vajravarahi so that people in this world could see examples of paths to attaining enlightenment that appear as part of ordinary life. Chakrasamvara shows that union between two people can lead to Full Enlightenment.

f. VAJRAVARAHI (Mother Fire): Vajravarahi personifies the female aspect of Chakrasamvara (Heruka is the male aspect). The three names (Chakrasamvara, Heruka & Vajravarahi) apply when going out into the material world. No matter how often we try to give one part of Chakrasamvara a separate identity, we always find that there is only the Union of Great Bliss and Deep Emptiness.

g. HERUKA (Father Wind): Heruka is the male aspect of Chakrasamvara. Vajravarahi is the female aspect of Chakrasamvara. The three names (Chakrasamvara, Heruka & Vajravarahi) apply when going out into the material world. No matter how often we try to give one part of Chakrasamvara a separate identity, we always find that there is only the Union of Great Bliss and Deep Emptiness.

h. MANJUSHRI (Father of Wisdom): Manjushri makes sure that we understand our lessons correctly. As a Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri encourages everyone to take advantage of Divine Guidance in their daily lives.

i. AMITABHA (Another Father of Fire): Amitabha gives all living beings divine light for functioning in this world. He emanates Amitayus, the Buddha of Long Life.

j. AKSHOBYA (“Father” of All): There are no words for Akshobya. Akshobya emanates all beings.

k. NAROPA (Master of Dreams): Naropa, as a Mahasiddha, taught Ghantapa. He lived in India and taught many Mahasiddhas. Emanated from Manjushri, he adeptly knows the meaning of dreams. He teaches us how to practice enlightened actions while dreaming.

l. GHANTAPA (Master of All Emptinesses): Ghantapa lived as a Mahasiddha in India and studied with Naropa. He directly emanated from Akshobya and gave many examples of how to live as an Enlightened Being.

m. KHANDAROHI (Mother of Protection): Khandarohi gives great spiritual protection to those who call Her name. Her white depiction indicates her ability to cheat death.

n. VAJRAYOGINI (Mother of the Realization of Emptiness): Vajrayogini’s dance of bliss surrounds this World in a circle of protection. Always watching, she acts to help delay the ripening of negative karma. Sometimes She allows negative karma to ripen so that people can learn lessons and move on with their spiritual lives. She emanates Khandarohi.

o. PRAJNAPARAMITA (Mother of the Realization of Emptiness; Mother of Fire and Earth): Prajnaparamita is the most powerful of all the female Buddhas at dispelling negative energy. Clapping summons her. A single clap made while thinking of Emptiness can dispel even the most persistent “evil” spirits and beings.