From time to time I come across people who want to know how to identify if somebody is the right teacher for them. With that topic in mind, I want to share how my first meeting with Wolfgang (my teacher) went. This was truly one of the most significant moments of my life, but before I can describe it I believe a little bit of contextual information is in place.
When I reflect back on my early youth, I can say that I was born in a family of ‘seekers’. I remember quite clearly that my father was always studying either some religious texts or some scientific articles, and that my mother often had fundamental questions and doubts about religion; and this was well before they were introduced to spirituality.
It’s my guess that this atmosphere of looking for meaning and answers in life is why I felt a great attraction towards spirituality in my early teens. For about ten years (from the age of 12 to 22) I was slowly, but rather unsystematically, studying spiritual philosophies. I sometimes think of this period as a long flirt. I was reading some books, watching some recordings of discourses, listening to discussions and even attending workshops on spirituality, but it never became an integrated part of my life.
That changed when I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. That break-up strongly awakened the desire in me to be free from mental suffering and to be truly happy. Barely one or two months later I met Wolfgang.
My parents had organised a gathering at their house on that day. Swami Veda and Amit Goswami were going to enter into a dialogue with each other on, as I recall, the relationship between the findings of quantum physics and of spirituality. Several people were going to attend this meeting, among which Wolfgang.
When Wolfgang entered my parents’ home my mother introduced him to me. I somehow became a lot more alert and aware of everything when we were introduced to each other. What stands out to me now is how clearly I am able to remember those first 30 or so seconds of our introduction, and what I find interesting is that Wolfgang remembers them quite clearly as well. I remember where we shook hands, how we shook hands and what we said to each other. One peculiar thing is that I somehow managed to, in my very first sentence to him, blurt out that it would be great if I could learn from him. I was not wanting to learn from him before we had met, but it is the first thing I said when we did meet.
Of course, I wanted to speak with him some more, but he was quite busy that evening and I did not really get a chance. In hindsight that was a good thing, because if I would have been speaking I probably would have missed a clear sign that he was the right teacher for me: Whenever I sat down on the chair next to him, while waiting to say something to him, my mind would go blank. And that ‘blankness’ would be there for as long as I would sit next to him; when I got up before having said anything to him my mind became active again. I cannot explain why it happened like this (and to be honest, I also do not find it interesting to know), but it was something I could clearly observe.
Finally, at the very end of the evening, I had a chance to talk to him. He told me that he was willing to teach me, but I would have to pass a test first. I will speak about that test in my next article.