The world of spirituality is such an interesting one!
For most people in our modern world, it starts out as a discovery of things such as meditation, crystals, oracle cards and so on. Sometimes that’s as far as it goes.
Others seek deeper knowledge and self-awareness and this is where the spiritual world can become a bit of a jungle.
There are a lot of people calling themselves spiritual teachers, healers or coaches these days. And that’s cool. We need those who will lead in order to help everyone who wants it, to reconnect to their spiritual nature.
However, the tricky thing about this is that spiritual teachers are there to teach you about the unseen world.
This can be an issue if the teacher is:
A) Making things up to seem more advanced/spiritual
B) Teaching based on what they’ve read rather than direct experience
C) A teacher may actually be an expert in their field, but they’re also teaching/sharing on topics beyond their scope, and/or offering up harmful opinions as fact
C) Working with beings in spirit that are not who they claim to be, and the teacher has made agreements with those beings in exchange for power or abilities
Unfortunately, spirituality is now a commodity in the business world. It gets “sold” to unsuspecting and otherwise trusting people – especially to women – by those who seem to know what they’re talking about.
But they don’t always!
Sadly some people who use the mantle of “spiritual teacher” may be doing so as a way to bypass dealing with their own wounds, or gaining power to feel better about themselves, or validate their own belief system.
Others may be living with mental health issues such as narcissistic personality disorder.
Most people who come to a spiritual teacher are eagerly seeking more knowledge, and can be prone to believing what they are told, right or wrong.
It’s the responsibility of all those who work with the unseen to manage their integrity, spiritual hygiene, spiritual intelligence, boundaries, and to stay firmly in contact with grounded reality.
As we progress along the path, there are many ego pitfalls for both the teacher and student alike. It’s very easy to fall into delusion and stay there.
It’s a major game of trust for students to be guided by a spiritual teacher
And it’s a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
As a student, it’s important that you develop and cultivate both your inner wisdom and your discernment. So you’re always able to check back in with yourself, instead of only relying on external sources of wisdom.
Otherwise you may find yourself unwittingly open to manipulation, verbal or emotional abuse and more.
If something doesn’t feel right, or you’re not okay with the actions or words of the teacher, honor your feeling. Don’t excuse bad behaviour just because you like everything else the teacher has to say.
For those seeking a spiritual teacher or if you’re already working with one, I present the following…
9 Red Flags to consider when working with a spiritual teacher
- Exclusivity – this teaching is superior to all others
- Don’t be involved with people who think differently to “us”/other people won’t be able to relate to you like we do
- No one else can help/understand you the way I can
- Criticism of the teachings/teacher is seen as a personal attack
- Extreme loyalty and admiration are an unspoken demand
- Concrete/absolute statements are made about the universe, as in ‘this is the way it is’
- Attention/inclusion from the teacher can quickly shift to discarding if you are not compliant
- Other teachers, teachings or modalities are put down/discouraged
- The teacher takes credit for your progress, awakening experiences, or anything else…as something they caused or did
There are definitely more I could’ve included but these are a good starting point!
Other issues can include the teacher:
- Displaying a lack of humility
- Suggesting they are generally more right/correct than others
- Acting dismissively of your contributions
- Positioning themselves as “spiritually superior”…
These are really big stinky red flags.
If your teacher is displaying one or more of these traits, it’s worth checking in with yourself and perhaps reaching out to another person you trust who is not involved with your teacher, in order to debrief and gain some clarity.
Need some support or advice?
I offer spiritual mentoring as part of my Kinesiology work. You’re welcome to book a session – online or in-person – if you’d like to discuss your concerns around any red flags you might be experiencing.
P.S. Feel free to share the image below!
Ambha Amanda Roberts is a Kinesiologist, Intuitive Healer, educator and facilitator based in Mullumbimby, Australia. She offers Kinesiology sessions both in-person and via Skype/Zoom all over the world.
Ambha Amanda is the co-creator of Adventures of Staria, which includes a series of Staria cards, and an upcoming book for children (including inner children).