The teacher/student relationship
I have studied intensively and for many years with two teachers, one Western and one Eastern. I have also been involved for a number of years with several other teachers in different parts of the world.
I have seen first hand the remarkable transformative potential of this relationship, and also its dark, tragic underbelly. Choosing the right teacher if that's what you decide to do is of the utmost importance.
An unwise choice can waste years of your life, alienate your family, and possibly cost you your money and career. Even more devastating, you can suffer serious trauma at the hands of the wrong person through all kinds of exploitation including but not limited to financial, sexual, emotional and psychological.
Some individuals are so scarred by their experiences with a guru, they turn their back on spiritual life for good, and the precious possibility for liberation is lost.
Engagement with a teacher is a serious undertaking and must be approached with caution.
Observe carefully. Go slowly. Research well. Retain your autonomy.