Questions to ask when selecting a spiritual development program
Choosing the right spiritual teacher or school is critical. With plenty of teachers and programs to choose from, proper diligence at the outset will go a long way to ensure a successful and life changing experience. Just as you would ask questions prior to buying a car, a house or selecting a doctor so should you do prior to committing to any long term spiritual development program or teacher.
Answering the following questions will allow you to make a more informed decision.
Does the teacher teach from fear or love: Does the teacher focus on increasing abundance, success and happiness in all areas of life: business, health, relationship and studies? Or does the teacher focus on limiting beliefs, such as protection, staying invisible or under the radar? Would the teacher be genuinely pleased if you surpassed his or her knowledge, or would this be perceived as a threat and met with jealousy?
Does the teacher continue to work on improving his/her self? The best teachers are internal students themselves, they strive for knowledge and personal growth and as they move along their lives journey, they bring additional knowledge and wisdom to their students.
Does the teacher speak kindly to everyone – her students, staff and strangers? When she talks, do you feel love and empowered or do you feel small and unworthy? It does not mean that you will never hear difficult things, sometimes the truth can he hard to bear, however a good teacher will never criticize or put you down. A good teacher will communicate without judgement or aggression.
Where has the teacher received her training? How long did she study with others before assuming the role of a teacher? Does she apply her knowledge to her own behavior?Teaching Style: Does she teach the way you learn? Do you feel like she teaches in a way that is easy for you to understand – even if it is a topic that is new and may take you time to fully comprehend.
Does the teacher look healthy, happy, young for her age? Living a conscious life and honoring your spirit can heal many diseases and even restore youth. When a person in in touch with her spirit and guides she is genuinely happy and it shows.
Lead by Example:
Does the example of how the teacher lives her life demonstrate what you wish to become? What are the teacher’s strength and weaknesses and how does she handle the weaknesses? Is the teacher overly attached to material possessions or power and fame? Or does the teacher view money as the source of evil. Neither extreme is healthy.
What are the other students like? Do you admire them? Do they demonstrate behaviors and abilities you would like to have?Non-promoter: Is the teacher interested in selling books, tapes, CDs, seminars more than she is interested in helping you achieve your highest potential? Humor: Does the teacher take herself too seriously? Or is she willing to laugh, have fun and enjoy the many dimensions of experiences our life has to offer?
So the big question is: “How do you answer all of these questions about your prospective teacher?”
If the teacher is involved in social media, this is the best place to start. Facebook posts, twitter updates as well as blog posts will give you insight into how your teacher thinks and how she responds to life. The next option is to attend workshops where you can sample the teaching style to see if it speaks to you and resonates with you. If the teacher has published articles, read as much as you can. And don’t be shy, go and meet the teacher in person. Talk to her, ask her questions and tune into yourself to see how you truly feel about the journey you are about to take together.
Keep in mind that no matter how good the teacher is, she cannot learn for you. You must be willing to commit, do the work, grow, overcome obstacles and have a genuine desire to live a conscious life. Find some quiet time, ask yourself these questions and answer as honestly as you can:
Am I Willing to Commit? Will I make the best effort to attend every class, do my homework and stay present?
Am I ready for the responsibilities that come with living a conscious life? Am I willing to see the truth no matter how ugly and painful. Am I willing to take responsibilities for my own actions, behavior?
What is my intention, am I truly looking for a teacher or am I looking for a parental figure. Am I willing to step into my own power and take charge of my life?
Is this something I truly want? Or am I doing this because I think I should? Are my heart, soul, mind on board?
The more you can learn about the teacher, her teaching style, and your intentions and desires, the better prepared you will be to make an informed decision. Remember that the teacher for one student is often an inappropriate match for another and it is unlikely that any single teacher will meet all of your needs, so you will need to figure out which considerations are the most important for you. This requires self-reflection and honesty with yourself. And remember, even the best teacher-student relationships require effort.
In order to get the most out of your program, make sure that you are holding up your end of the bargain. Always behave professionally and courteously. Come to your class on time, be prepared, participate in class discussions, and remember your intentions for going down this spiritual path.