Our culture is far too shallow and superficial. It is only interested in the outside. Moreover, it directs us to the outside so that the inside for us becomes over time a lacuna leaving us with a growing sense of loss. We don't look within for truth because we believe there is nothing there like that. As we might expect, we feel a sense of alienation (i.e., depression) because we are living too, externally, always withdrawing from our true locus of being. As a result, we are clueless as to what the inner life is — but this is where the treasure is, that is, our Buddha-nature. It is to be found only in the most primordial depths of our being. The outside search will always be in vain.
Sure we can go to India or Nepal to find our Buddha-nature. But this is almost a kind of perfect deception. We are still going outside of our inner self while make believing we are looking within because India is a spiritual land, or so we've managed to tell our self. Sorry, it is not that easy to give up old habits. The odds are always stacked against us. We are not the first to deceive ourselves by looking outside of ourselves for a new world or a brave new world. The same goes with any teacher or guru.
Especially, in the example of a guru or Zen teacher we are still deceiving ourselves going to the outside for answers that we hope will change us. We imagine they will somehow be able to pour wisdom into our sad brains. This great teacher can liberate me! But teachers are more like spiritual coaches. That's it. The best teachers only teach us to look within on our own; finding the answers to our spiritual questions also on our own. Still, because our culture is far too shallow we manage to find ways to direct our search, outwardly. We can join a Zen center or a chant room. This is still a subtle delaying action.