True spirituality is a very simple, but fun-type quality and it should be reflected fully in your spiritual teacher. With the rise in number of spiritual coaches, and the increasing numbers of people feeling more fear than frolic, it is essential to ask these questions before you place your faith in a spiritual teacher or guru:
1. Does this person feel like he or she could be my friend? There should be an easiness of dialogue and a comfort which will make you wish to remain in this person’s welcoming company.
2. Does this person make me laugh? Think of one of the most spiritual people of our times: the Dalai Lama, who is always ready to giggle, sometimes helplessly. Other fun people are Nelson Mandela and Desmond, Bishop Tutu. In addition to easy humour and their ability to laugh, there is also warmth and sincerity.
3. Am I being asked to sign up for very expensive courses? Some of these may well be valid and, perhaps, involve visits to sanctuaries or expensive course venues. Expense does not necessarily equate ‘bad’, but you should feel you are receiving value and that you are not being exploited.
Spiritual coaches need to pay mortgages and rent and will have families to support and need to earn a living too, but if you feel what is offered is going to stretch your finances, it may be prudent to look elsewhere or just ask how things could work for you. Many good coaches will have various tiers of service to suit a variety of pockets!
If you wish one to one, detailed help, and wish to progress in the shortest time, don’t be shy about asking for a discount for a group of sessions. If you are willing to pay for a lump sum of private sessions in advance, some coaches may be open to suggestions and flexible in their terms.
Ask before you proceed, not half way through! You may also be able to organise a group in your area, and could use the services of your guru via skype. There is often a way where there is a will!
4. Do I feel inferior, afraid, apprehensive or out of my depth? You should not. Good teachers will appear on your level and not lofty at all, but the best will be those who make you feel and believe what you are: special and capable of great things with or without them. Your teacher is no better than you are and can also learn much from you. If you can work together as a team, rather than as a your being a subordinate, you will succeed far more quickly.
Finally, do ensure your motives for learning are good ones. We are programmed to love and care for each other but sometimes lose our way. Learning the beautiful art of spirituality means:
Alignment of mind, body and spirit and looking at others as your brothers and sisters and wanting the best for them.
Losing as much of your ego as possible and losing the need to be always right.
Diminishing criticism and being cogniscent of the feelings of others and the reactions to your actions.
Working towards light always; there is no need to ‘balance’ with darkness, which will hold you back. Always seek ONLY light!
Monitoring your thoughts and deeds and always striving to do your best for the benefit of all.
Working with integrity and love even if no one can see you.
True spirituality works mainly around LOVE and in empowering ourselves, our primary motive must be to do so for others too; learning this wonderful quality must never place us above anyone else for in disempowering others so that we can shine, immediately negates all our progress in one fell swoop.