STANDARDS OF SPIRITUAL FACILITATION: THE STORY OF THE WOULD-BE SURGEON WHO NEVER WENT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL
The Path of Spiritual Facilitation is a very specific one. It’s not just about having an interest in Spirituality, or being spiritually attuned, or having psychic gifts, or intense experiences, etc. It’s also about handling yourself and managing all of this whilst you work towards a space where you can help another, if so called. There’s a lot of discipline, rigor and focus that this path involves, and we’re not talking about that enough. It’s been on my mind these past few days – so here goes.
When I wrote, a few weeks ago that Jupiter was teaching us to find ‘The Guru Within’, I immediately got responses from people wanting to see themselves as Teachers, without doing the work – in the same way that (shockingly) people commonly refer to those who do yoga as yogis (the sages who sit in pure meditation in the hidden caves and forests of India) …. When I wrote that I would support a facilitator irrespective of their gender, race, or sexual orientation – as long as they did the work – I read a comment that found my ‘conditional’ support as a negative thing.
And it’s so unpopular to talk about ‘conditions’ and ‘standards’ in Spirituality, these days … but hey, it’s still relevant.
Let’s put it this way: I wouldn’t support someone who wanted to perform a surgery because s/he really liked the idea of being a surgeon but had no medical expertise. In the same way, I wouldn’t support someone who claimed to be a facilitator but had no experience, training, or guidance on that path except for an interest in the subject.
And now I’m not talking about getting certified, having a title, etc. There are so many workshops (paid and free) by so many, some of whom have titles, some of whom don’t – and the results are really mixed. Spirituality is such an open book that many are choosing to define its standards of facilitation for themselves, and that doesn’t always end well.
It’s not just about ‘newcomers’ to this collective spiritual re-awakening, there are those who have been practicing for years with very strange ideas and results of facilitation. So the issue is not only to do with experience, but with the need to create some kind of standards or ethical guidelines.
Either way, this Path is not to be taken lightly. When people look to a facilitator for guidance and counsel, they are in fact entrusting you with a certain degree of their well-being. People believe in what the facilitator says, rightly or wrongly.
What I find most sad is when facilitators change their tune, and then completely wash their hands of the consequences of guiding someone to a place they did not need to go to. (And if we claim that Spirit misdirected the facilitator, then that raises even more tricky questions).
There are so many of us who are awakening to our gifts now and are excited by their prospects. Being a ‘facilitator’ sounds awesome, seeing yourself as Lightworker out the Save the World is heroic, epic and man it feels good! Coming together under the Rainbow Umbrella of Love where all is One and all are Equal is absolutely Life-Affirming, Celebratory and Joyous! Getting messages directly from Spirit, from Earth, from the Cosmos is so so mind-blowing! And I get the excitement 🙂 – Why wouldn’t one be excited about it?
In practice, however, what I’ve seen is that the lofty rhetoric of spiritual ideals and desires needs to be met with certain standards of practice, codes of ethics, and an internal compass that needs to be checking itself and what it’s doing. It’s so easy to fall in love with the Idealism of Spirituality, but easy to forget the details and necessities of its Practical Manifestation.
Those of you who are looking to become Spiritual Facilitators, in particular –
Whilst I encourage you all to find your own Path, to discover your own Soul’s Gifts – please do not discount the need for training, guidance and proper mentorship. I’m not talking about the guidance you receive internally, but from people who have trained in a similar field, and achieved a certain degree of competency.
I’ve seen too many people caught up in very very strange ideas of themselves based on hearing ‘guidance’ that does not match up to any observed reality. There is the danger of solipsism masquerading as Self-Knowledge.
It’s a constant process of growth, and it takes time and effort to find someone who can really work with you, as you evolve – but even that search is important. There is always someone whom we can learn from, but that doesn’t make that person ‘superior’ or ‘dominant’ over us – it just means that we can grow through the exchange.
I hold myself up to the same need for constant self-reflection, and seeking guidance from those I believe have the integrity and wisdom to guide me further. It’s a never ending process because our journeys are never-ending. There’s always something to learn, and always someone you can learn it from.
I hope that my words will not be read as judgment, but rather an invitation to reflect. I’ve seen firsthand, and through those close to me, what damage one can do by jumping into the role of facilitation without proper training… like the would-be surgeon who never went to medical school.
With Love, as Always,
Image: Utagawa Kuniyoshi – 水滸傳 – 安道全.jpg (Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)