Title: The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers
By Scott Edelstein
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. You can find it at other online and offline book sellers, as well.
Summary of The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers
If you have — or are looking for — a spiritual teacher, regardless of faith, religion or tradition, this book will guide you on that journey. It provides tips for finding the right teacher for you, what pitfalls to avoid, what warning signs to look out for, and how to discern when it is time to move on or continue on with the same teacher.
What I liked about The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers
This book is very straight forward and can be applied to any form of spiritual teacher — from Catholic priest to Buddhist monk to New Age Guru. Much of the guidance can be applied to non-spiritual guides and teachers, as well.
The book in compact and easy to read. It is divided into thematic chapters, so it is easy to use as an ongoing guide. You can easily find the piece of advice you’re looking for in a wide variety of situations. The question and answer format makes the content easy to scan.
What I didn’t like about The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers
This is pretty much a nit-pick, but sometimes the information seemed to be receptive. Some questions seemed to be merely re-wording of another question. However, this might actually be a good thing because not all people will ask the same question about a spiritual teacher in the same way. It just made reading this like a regular book a little awkward.
What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition
Since this book was so thorough, it is hard to come up with suggestions. However, I think, perhaps there could be questions that people may ask that aren’t answered in this book. I’m not 100% sure what those might be, though. The purpose of this User’s Guide seemed to be all things for all types of teachers, but I think adding sections about specific faiths might be useful.
Perhaps a glossary of “spiritual teacher” terms would be helpful. What are “spiritual teachers” called in different traditions? What do these different terms mean? Are they nuanced differently? For example, in the Catholic world, you don’t really go to a “spiritual teacher,” to seek guidance from a priest who provides you with spiritual direction.
If you have embarked on a spiritual journey, this is a really good guide to help you choose wisely and avoid the potential dangers along the way. If you know someone who is a seeker, this might make a good gift, as well.
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you’ve read past book reviews, you’ll know that I don’t pull my punches when I believe they are warranted. I also try to provide balanced information so you can make your own decision to read or not read the book, even if you disagree with my opinion.