In my early days of hatha yoga, I kept looking for a teacher I could really look up to. I pictured someone in perfect health, eating only raw vegan foods, practicing hours of yoga a day, using perfectly conscious language, never getting upset, and blessed with the ability to cure incurable diseases with one smile.
And of course, teacher after teacher would disappoint me.
Looking back, I think I was looking for someone to follow. It didn't occur to me until years later to just be the person I wanted as a teacher.
I'm not saying it's wrong to have a teacher—in the sense of someone who shares their research, wisdom, and values with you—for, how else would we learn? I'm saying that there is no substitute for deeply knowing our own self. And that, no one can teach us. People may teach us techniques for forging this connection. It is not the same thing. They cannot do it for us.
To repeat the very-similar-sounding words of so many teachers...
"When you don't go within, you go without" ~SSS Yogi Bhajan
"The answer is you" ~Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith
"Know thy self" ~Plato
"He who knows others is learned; He who knows himself is wise" ~Lao-tzu
and so on...
And so we meditate.