The Guru and the Wealthy Man

The fact is, until you are ready, no matter how many people try to help you move forward, you won’t be able to do it. Intellectually, I knew the basic premises of my current coaching 40 years ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t take it seriously.

For me, it took losing everything in life I originally thought was valuable before I was willing to consider the possibility that my approach to money, career, and life in general must have been off the mark.  I had followed all the rules, I had worked my butt off, I had the American Dream, a great marriage, and a successful company. It was only after accomplishing all this that I came to know that money and success alone do not make a person happy. I had both and I was miserable.

It got to the point where I was willing to do anything to find out the real truth.  I had spent my entire life deeply mired in the illusion of what I believed would make for happiness. And I was definitely NOT happy.

There a was wealthy, man, a pillar of the community who came upon a guru in a stream talking to his disciples. The man yelled out to the guru, “ I want you to give me enlightenment.”

The Guru invited him into the water to learn with his other followers.

The wealthy man said indignantly, “I am a pillar of the community. I cannot lower myself to stand in a dirty stream and waste my days listening to you.”

With that, the Guru said, “Go your own way then and we will continue here.”

A few days later, the rich man came by and spoke again, demanding that the guru show him enlightenment. To that the guru said, “Put on this harness and go into the city and beg for alms for the poor.” 

Of course, that was way beneath the man’s dignity and he made no attempt to conceal his distaste for what had been suggested.

When he came by and made demands again, the Guru pulled him into the water and held his head under as the man thrashed about trying to break free. When he was finally allowed to come up for air, he sputtered and gasped for breath. Finally gaining his composure, he looked straight at his captor indignently.

The guru said only one final sentence. “When you want enlightenment as much as you wanted that breath of air, you shall have it.”

I could compare my past self and others who determined to hang on to our old beliefs to that man. We may protest a long time. But… when it finally hurts bad enough, we will, at last, be ready to look squarely in the eyes of the truth.

And, the truth will set us free.

______________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at

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4 Responses to “The Guru and the Wealthy Man”

  1. Brett Dupree (@joyousexpansion) Says:

    beautiful post. Good reminder of the important things in life.

  2. Karen Lee Banks Says:

    Happy July 1st – dropping by from the UBC and Facebook group! 🙂

    What a wonderful, thought-provoking post! Thanks for sharing it.

    I have actually gone through some of this type of introspection recently, as well, facing unpleasant truths about myself and realizing I’m not moving forward until I stop looking backward!

    I have begun making some positive changes in my life and look forward to where my journey leads me.

    • dinadove Says:

      Karen, thanks for your kind words.

      About those unpleasant truths…. What happened yesterday is over. Today is a brand new day to start over. The truth really is that you are beautiful. You might have just forgotten that sometimes. Now that you remember who you want to be, here you are.

      On your facebook I noticed you are from Guilford, NH, and it took my mind back to many vacations to Brattleboro, VT. If I remember correctly, it’s right across the river. And now you live in Maine, my favorite vacation destination. Lucky you!

      Considering your looking forward, I think you might enjoy my daily posts at Check it out and let me know what you think. Dina

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