Before I write, I will lay my credentials on the table:
I started my training as a spiritual healer in 1999 under the watchful eye of an elder of the Christian Spiritualist Centre in British Columbia. I continued it here in the UK. First with the Corinthian Church from 2000, with the Lancashire and District healers and finally with the National Federation of Spiritual Healers. All in all, I probably did over 2/300 hours of hands on training plus studying the appropriate texts. I did a healing apprenticeship if you like, over a five-year period during which time I worked as a volunteer in healing centres across Lancashire, alongside dozens of other healers of varying degrees of experience. I also undertook some Shamanic training in the Norse tradition and became a practising dowser. Ten years down the line, I trained to Reike Master level and discovered that I could read the cards as a means of counselling those in need of help. I became aware of angels as I studied comparative religion at degree level and found an affinity with the basics of buddhist philosophy, although I am not a practitioner of any religion.
Let me tell you up front. None of the above taught me how to heal or how to be psychic.
What they did teach me were the skills I needed to develop my gifts and to use them to help other people in a safe, respectful and professional manner: Self control, empathy, discretion, a grounded attitude to the energies flowing through me and the knowledge that I was only the channel for, not the originator of, whatever the person in front of me was experiencing. That what I was experiencing was only my interpretation of reality, not what others could or should be experiencing.
Given my interest in the Universe as a co-creative healing partner, I now prefer to call myself a natural healer. Keeping it simple. The three core values that I aspire to are honesty, integrity and love. Values that today are needed more than ever as we deal with the confused society around us.
So with all this behind me, I am confident enough now, some 17 years down the line, to speak out about what seems to be the rapid growth in what I call ‘spiritual inauthenticity’ this last year or two. Something I fear will only increase as people look to find answers in the midst of the current chaos of Brexit and Trump.
Politics aside, what has got me worked up enough to write this blog is the recent emergence of self appointed ‘western masters’ of spiritual practice who offer ‘personal transformation’ at very high cost. Some of them are people who I knew when they were just ‘Joe Bloggs’ only a few years back on the spiritual path. They now offer ‘transformational’ activities that I would really like the trading standards people to start looking at more closely. In my world view, they are not ‘masters’, they are ‘experiencers’ on a spiritual path with the rest of us (but with less transparency). They remind me of the American religious channels, all shout but no substance. At a time when connectivity with all of our own kind and the planet is the key to our very survival, their way is not the only way, despite the slick marketing.
I would say truthfully that all that can be done for the person wanting to follow a spiritual path is to hold for them a space that can support them into their own learning. That holding takes more time and effort than a course or a workshop can offer. Spiritual transformation is personal development and no-one can give it to you in a couple of hours, or in a weekend or even on a retreat. You have to do the hard work yourself and it is a forever thing. There is no fast track to success, no matter whatever beguiling theory or spiritual practice that anyone tries to sell you. It is the journey that matters, not the outcome.
I live in hope (literally in Hope Street) and hope is ‘that beautiful place between the way things were and the way things are yet to be’ (source anonymous) and I believe the time has now arrived when all of us who are aware of our spiritual gifts are beholden to help others do the same.
Such interactions should probably no longer include money changing hands and if we are to be authentic practitioners, we must now expect other methods of being rewarded for giving of ourselves. Of course we will still need to have money coming in to pay the bills as long as we continue to live in a consumer based society, but my experience over the last few years is that non-monetary exchanges are already becoming the norm, in many alternative fields of endeavour.
Willingly putting myself in the flow of such abundance, by giving so much of it away, has more than been matched by a sufficiency of funds to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. In addition, I have gained an unexpected richness to my life that is increasingly important to me as I gently slide into my retirement years.
How wonderful would it be if the ‘western masters’ remembered that it is act of the giving that fuels their own spiritual development and personal prosperity.?