Becoming a spiritual guru is not as difficult as it may seem.
- Appear knowledgeable about at least one ancient philosophy and way of life. Hinduism and Buddhism have been milked by numerous stalwarts already, so you might lose the race if you start afresh now. Try Mayan, Incan, or Aztec. Find your own niche if you want to be popular, just like in blogging.
- Appear to be calm and serene at all times. Vent out your frustrations and anger in private if necessary, never in public.
- Detach yourself from current affairs so that you appear to be living the myth that this world is a myth and you’re already “beyond” it.
- You may wisely make rare exceptions to #3 to take advantage of marketing opportunities in case of popular public concerns. Claim that your way of life can cure whatever the current malady that has caught the public unawares and is at the center of media attention – AIDS, bird flu, swine flu, etc.
- Veterans in the field have gone beyond #4 to claim cures for non-existent maladies, but you are advised not to follow in their footsteps unless you are already an acknowledged guru.
- Do not contradict or blatantly deny any scientific theories. Rather, subtly suggest that there are limits to what science can understand or achieve. If you appear to be against a scientific approach, you risk losing a lot of followers.
- Do not focus heavily on God. If your followers were God-obsessed, they would already be flocking to religious leaders. Those people are not your target market. Instead, focus on other abstract “stuff”, like cosmic events, natural elements (fire, water, etc.), meditation, yin-yang, energy, oneness, etc.
- Conduct workshops, seminars, retreats. Your followers have busy, stressful, professional lives. These breaks rejuvenate them, but the reason behind the rejuvenation would be your spiritual guidance, not the breaks themselves.
- Use the power of music. In your seminars and workshops, use hymns, chants, and mantras. Hypnotic, stress-relieving, soothing powers of music are well-known and are not the exclusive privilege of spirituality, but your followers don’t know that.
- Research conspiracy or doomsday theories and exploit one to your advantage. You can use the Polar Shift, Nostradamus’ predictions, 2012, or whatever. You need a tangible, real, FEAR of something to attract people to you. Of course, don’t tell them that fear is a real human emotion.
- Your doomsday event should be sufficiently far into the future but not too far. It should be towards the end of your followers lifetimes, or better still, right in the middle of their children’s lives. Before that time, you should be sufficiently rich to be sunbathing on your own private island.
- Embrace, integrate, mix concepts from various disciplines, philosophies, and civilizations, even if they were developed independently of each other in vastly different geographies and eras. Your predecessors have built a wealth of resources that you can reuse. By mixing them all up, you appear “holistic”, show that everything is “connected” to everything else, and that you are the sole person able to understand it “all”, whatever that means.
Do you have any other tips to share?