*Edited from an original post published as “Who is a Spiritual Teacher?” February 25, 2016 on a blog I had to shut down due to a major hack.
In an age where spiritual teachers have come to hold the status of celebrities, it feels like most are after the fame. It is an ego thing. Some are claiming the title, without walking their talk.
This is not to generalize every teacher out there, rather to understand and bring attention to celebrity status spirituality.
Spiritual teachers are like the rest of us, humans. The one thing that distinguishes them as teachers of spirituality is that they have been gifted special talents for helping individuals move through areas in their life they feel stuck or stagnant. Do such gifts mean that they are now able to judge the rest of us as being less than they are? How does one even determine this test of consciousness? Does a teacher embrace a student or shut them out because “they see everything as something?” Or because they cannot evolve as fast as the teacher would like?
I learned from my teacher Almine, that all perspectives are important, that is, all levels of consciousness are of value. One is not less or more. We must embrace them all as seekers of truth and light.
Every spiritual teacher requires: equanimity.
We are all at different levels and different stages in our life, with different levels of trauma, and emotional baggage that needs to be processed. When a spiritual teacher claims to embrace non-duality, how can they ostracize you by judging your level of consciousness? Or what they perceive to be your degree of mindfulness? Wouldn’t that be projection? And if we are all one, why cut off your finger and tell it it’s less than you are?
Isn’t the job of a spiritual teacher/leader/seeker/mystic actually to embrace all levels of consciousness? All the saints, prophets and ascended masters through history have taught this.
When we reach enlightened states we must remain humble. There is a high price to pay with arrogance. Human suffering is real, trauma is real, grief is real…yes, yes, I understand that in the greater scheme of spirituality it is all an illusion, but we live this illusion. Every day we wake up in it, unless we go hide in a cave somewhere. We are here on earth, and in this dimension for a reason. Experiencing our life with all its facets is a necessity for soul growth. Claiming to be someone you are not is the flip side of authenticity.
A spiritual teacher is here to help in this process of growth. Anything less would not qualify them for such a position.
Who is truly a spiritual teacher?
A spiritual teacher is not looking for growing a business, or a name, he or she are not in it for the money or the fame. They are in it because they truly want to facilitate and assist a person’s growth. They have an invested interest in a person’s evolution for no reason other than compassion, love, and the call to service.
A spiritual teacher is someone who has embraced his/her shadow publicly, and privately. Someone who is not afraid to say what their struggles are, what they are working on, and where they are at with it.
A spiritual teacher is someone who values all of humanity. A seer who knows that we each have a role to play regardless of where we are on our path, regardless of what path we choose, regardless of what life we choose, regardless if we are still trying to move past the illusion, regardless if we are heart centered, head centered or gut centered.
A spiritual teacher has wisdom. This wisdom comes from experiencing life. You cannot teach that which you have not experienced. Otherwise you would just be regurgitating what someone else had said or written about and if it is not your experience then the teaching will remain shallow.
You can travel between worlds all you want, and communicate with beings, ascended masters, monks, and star races in alternate dimensions, but if you lack equanimity, and wisdom, the ability to embrace all stages of human conscious evolution, I am sorry, you cannot call yourself a spiritual teacher. You would qualify as a fraud.