Re: Being your own teacher
The kakejiku that we use in our group (AKI - Aikido Kenkyukai International) was brushed for our teacher, Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan by a Buddhist monk friend of his. (I think this kakejiku usually appears on my posts to akikweb...) When he received the scroll, Takeda Sensei asked why it only contained the characters for Ai Ki. His friend told him it was because each person must discover their own Do.
I always liked this story and continue to find the idea inspiring in my practice. I'm not certain it applies exactly to the question of the original poster, but it's one way I understand it at this time in my life.