Finding a teacher who has skill is common. Finding a teacher who has profound knowledge is seldom. Finding a teacher who has wisdom is rare.
When I was first studying Yoga and Buddhism I looked for teachers who had skill. There seemed to be so many to choose from.
Then a few years later I searched for teachers who had knowledge. And with some effort, I found them as well.
But now, these days, I am mostly interested in studying with teachers who have wisdom.
Now, this is a mighty task.
By wisdom, I am not speaking of just relative wisdom in terms of how to live well, or how to practice your particular tradition or how to align oneself with beneficial principles. But rather, wisdom teachers who have experienced the deepest insights into the nature of what we consider the more fundamental teachings that the great Eastern traditions espouse such as Vedanta, Yoga, and Buddhism. Someone who has had at least sustained glimpses into the base nature of temporal existence, non-dual awareness, the complex inner workings of the ego, and unshakable compassion and love.
This is what I mean by wisdom.
The few great wisdom teachers I have met, have changed me fundamentally. Not my practice. But me, by which I mean how I see and experience and view the phenomenal world.
Some are public. Many are private. Some are public but would rather be private.
I think more practitioners need to search or invoke these human jewels, even outside their own particular tradition. Because these are expressions of our greatest human potential—a greater potential that I, all too often hear other teachers suggesting is almost a lost cause for us meager beginners to even entertain.
However, I would greatly question someone who looked at you not as a future Buddha or Jivamukta or Arhat or Bodhisattva. Is this not just a reflection of their own limited view and not the view of some of our more exquisite teachings, that were at least ideally, transmitted by much more enlightened minds?