Sadly, it is a common misconception that spiritual studies are offered as a channeled or divinated process. In other words, taught without proper study and a serious, and even rigorous frame of schooling. In recent years, many so-called teachers have been offering training in healing modalities and many forms of energy work such as “transmission”, “clearing”, “alignment”, “activation”, “shamanic” and other buzz words to imply spiritual teachings.
However, the study of the spiritual arts is a profound science and requires years of training and discipline. You wouldn’t open your mouth for someone who had a dream of becoming a dentist. You’d require them to study, in a school, get certified, tested, and operate under a very strict and specific environment. Why would you then, study the intricacies of your soul with someone who “channels”, “dreamt” or had a “kundalini awakening” with little to no former training.
We do so, because of the innate human need to touch the unknown. To heed the calling of our spirit to expand, evolve, and find solace. All spiritual arts come to quench the thirst of our hearts. A longing to feel connected to this mysterious force we call life. To find within us a knowing; to touch a place of meaning that answers unanswered questions we live with, every day of our lives.
To teach in the field of spirit, requires first and foremost, a tremendous dedication to the study of self. We need to understand the hidden motives of our ego, the need to feel special, the craving for power, the hidden patterns which cause us to disempower others, and fulfill our selfish agendas. It requires a profound dedication to remaining grounded, to doing our own healing work, here, in this world, before we attempt to open to spirit and the realms of the unseen.
No matter how mystical an experience we’ve had might be, it is not enough as to permit us to start teaching others. It is important to have a structure of checks and balances when we choose to teach others. If we wish to teach, we have to be receptive to be taught. If we wish to instruct, we need to be instructed. Even within such an abstract field of teaching as the realm of spirit, there are structures that ensure the healthy approach and attitude a teacher in this field is required to have.
With the recent rise in spiritual awakening, we can see so many so-called spiritual schools and academies run by untrained practitioners. If you choose to follow a spiritual teacher or school, I recommend you observe the following traits:
It is of crucial importance that the leading teacher has an alive teacher which they study with, can consult with, and are under their observation. Practitioners within spiritual modalities should welcome spiritual guidance, correction, and even discipline as they understand the importance of their own healing in the process of choosing to offer healing for others. When you approach a teacher or a school, enquire who are their teachers, where do they study, and how frequently.
Years of Study
To be able to truly offer a healthy environment for spiritual development, years of study, and dedication to a path are definitely required. A weekend-long training or even a month-long course and not enough for someone to have the proficiency of training others. It takes years to study the intricacies of the mind and spirit to be able to offer a safe and healthy environment for others to open up to esoteric teachings. In such an abstract field of study, so much trauma, fears, and emotional triggering might occur.
The Study of Suggestive States and Emotional Support
As we approach teaching matters that are spiritual in nature and rely on faith and practice, we have to study the psychological implications of offering such material. It is very common that these materials will bring about doubt, fear, and even anxiety. To teach in these fields requires an understanding of the proper articulation and the way to offer wisdom without influencing others to follow blindly and lose their critical thinking and ability to doubt. In a way, you want to ensure that this teacher will allow you to question their words, actions, and teachings, giving you space to think differently and relate to the teachings in your own way.
The Lack of Defense
One simple way of discerning a teacher in this field is their response to questioning and doubt. If they hold on to a defensive stance, requiring you to blindly follow or believe in their teaching, it is a clear sign they are not qualified or ready to be offering such work. As stated above, a teacher in the realm of spirit had to go through rigorous training themselves and under an alive teacher who would question them and help them center so their response would be openness and not fear.
The Receptivity to Other Teachers and Modalities
A teacher within the spiritual realm should not be disempowering you to renounce other teachers or teachings to follow explicitly their own. This is a sign of immaturity and a lack of study. They should be confident in what they offer and not be threatened by other points of view. Esoteric schools are inclusive and open-minded and do not disregard other teachings as a way to empower their own.
Facts and Fluff
Be observant of the materials taught. Though dealing with abstract matters, spiritual studies are logical and should make sense. Often, unqualified teachers hide behind a wall of fluff, speaking in circles and masking their ignorance with lots of words, examples, and personal stories. The fact you are studying materials that are not directly material in their essence, their impact, and gravity should not be taken lightly and should rely on serious studies and other spiritual traditions or teachers.
Though I do not condone receiving a monetary exchange for spiritual studies, as in our days to go through courses, often traveling to different countries for training and such can be very expensive, it is important to have a direct correlation between the exchange to the value received. Many of the masters who walked this path before us have offered their work as charity and asked for little to nothing for teaching. One of the Buddhist vows, as you initiate within their orders, is – May I not use these teachings for material gains. The emphasis is on – gains. Monetary exchange is obvious but it is only a means, not the end. Chico Xavier, one of Brazil’s greatest mediums, worked tirelessly his entire life, teaching, sharing, writing while living in absolute poverty, offering all proceeds to charity and the elevation of humanity. So in conclusion, take note if the price-tag offered for the teaching truly reflects the quality of the material offered and is congruent with the virtues of charity and generosity.
Contracts, Promises and Their Like
As you enter a study within this field, because the nature of the teaching is abstract, there should always be a way out. Any other form of constriction, forcing you to continue the study due to monetary obligation is a huge red flag. Of course, there should be certain guidelines and rules around payment, and methodology but since we are dealing with matters of spirit, those should be generous and open-ended, allowing you to change mind and choose differently at any given moment. The main reason for this is that you might find that this specific teacher or teaching are not in alignment with or that you simply do not resonate with the style of teaching. If the intention of truly for spiritual growth, binding you to continue a program which does not fit your spiritual needs is an action taken out of integrity.
And so, as you approach a new spiritual teacher, a school, or an academy, please take a moment to review and discern, do I feel empowered within their requirements? Do I feel they have the proper years of study and discipline to offer this kind of teaching? Do they truly walk their talk and offer the value they advertise? Who are their teachers? And of course, at the end of the day, ask yourself this guiding question, in choosing this teacher, or course, do I feel more empowered? More alive? More in tune with my own heart. One of my friends, Monique Darling teaches – if it’s a maybe, it’s a no. As we open ourselves to be taught in spirit, there should be no maybes… only a deeply resounding yes. Never forget, you are your own healer, you are your own guide, you are that which you are seeking.