People in the metaphysical fields can take this whole spiritual experience so seriously!
I know this because I used to be this way too and sometimes I still do.
In the past I have met many who love their labels and their titles.
Titles like Reiki Master, Past Life Regressor, Angelic Atuner, Cosmic Re-Balancer... the labels go on. And I get this now. When I first wrote this post in 2007 I was totally pissed off with the new age community, but I get the need for labels now, marketing our unique experience is a valid thing in today's retail market, but this doesn't mean identifying with a label so heavily is a good thing or healthy.
It's especially appealing to workshop addicts, having lots of names to be known by, but you could say 'I have a Masters in candy floss' for all the sense it makes to your average Joe on the street.
I know when I first began waking up to the bigger picture I looked for the labels. I wanted to belong and I wanted to matter. I believed labels meant I was important, but I now realise that my wholeness (my whole self) is where my value lies.
Guru In Ego-less Clothing
It's been an interesting experience meeting people claiming to not need the title of guru over the past 16 years, people who when I took a step back from the group or decided to go walk a different path it felt like the need for ownership of the student took over from the teacher in question.
So many attachments to self-important labelling.
I Did Something Against Reiki Conventions
In 2001 I attuned myself to Reiki, yes you heard it right, I attuned myself.
At the time I was travelling around Australia and really felt drawn to Reiki, I didn't have the cash for an attunement so I bought a wonderful book to help me.
While on my own in a youth hostel I attuned myself to Reiki 1,2 and Reiki Master level, those levels you can sometimes pay hundreds of pounds for (and one Reiki Master in the my city charged £1000 for each level), I did it in one night. It felt wonderful, my hands were tingling and really warm, I felt so relaxed. I sent myself to sleep with my hands on my heart and the next day practised channelling this healing on a friend in the hostel. It took her tooth ache away, I was amazed at this beautiful energy called Reiki.
On Being Told I Was Wrong To Attune Myself
For around a week I could not get enough of reading up on healing and I telephoned my friend Melinda who introduced me to healing. Melinda however, had a very different view on what I had done, she said I will had totally screwed myself up doing that and that it would cause me to go into an emotional mess.
Well, as you may have guessed it, the power of suggestion is indeed powerful, and after the phone-call, this relaxed, peaceful, natural experience I had been having turned me into an emotional wreck.
I know looking back it would not have happened had I trusted myself and trusted my instincts and intuition. So I found a Reiki Master, who re-attuned me to Reiki 1. It was a wonderful life changing experience. I don't disagree with the attunement process, but I do disagree that we need the attunement process if we have enough self-trust and faith in healing energy and the nature of the universe. I later was physically attuned to Reiki 2 and within a couple of years Master level because my hands were already attuning people on my healing couch so that ability was already awakened, but also because to practise professionally certification is necessary.
I still stand by the fact that pure 100% trust and belief can awaken our natural latent abilities, but obviously this needs to be balanced with wisdom, correct attitude and knowledge of our own experiences (i.e: to be healing and clearing any blocks within ourselves first).
Reiki Attack From Reiki Masters
When I returned to the UK I began posting on a message board and found so much reaction from the Reiki community about what I had done, some quite shocking. I said to many of them I could attune a melon, give them that melon and if they believed it could open them up to their healing ability it would.
I know this was not conventional (smile), but I have never been one for convention.
I know this was not part of the Westernised Reiki view, but I felt whole-heartedly (and still do), that if we trust and believe strongly enough it is so.
Much like the belief and trust the followers of Jesus had in his healing abilities.
They felt if they were touched by Jesus they would heal and they did. What actually happened was that Jesus saw the pure soul and wholeness of the other human across from him and triggered an awakening to their own healing ability and truths.
But alas, from 'The Reiki Community' I was told what nonsense my beliefs were.
For the people overreacting it depended on how attached they were to the form that their healing expression takes, the identity they are deeply involved in.
Spiritual ego can often comes in through the back door.
Gurus Needing Validation Through Their Students
Many a time I have allowed myself to be drawn into workshops where the teacher/facilitator has claimed to simply facilitate, to watch and to observe and thought not to be a guru needing validation through their students.
In my early years of my spiritual journey when I originally wrote this post in 2007, I joined a few workshops ran by a lady in the UK who claims to step back and be the observer, states how separateness is all an illusion. What I discovered from this teacher was if you dared to step outside of the circle she had a few choice words to say often shrouded in sugar coating, but the energies were still the same, resentment for leaving the flock.
After each workshop we would be asked for feedback and I would honestly give it via email. After leaving her group because it didn’t feel right for me anymore, my partner at the time attended a class and was not asked for any feedback. My ex partner is very upfront and won't put up with any spiritual bullshit no matter how nicely painted. I guess that was why he wasn't asked for feedback, but I was
Afterwards we both felt it was probably because this teacher preferred nice feedback the kind that makes you feel really good, but not constructive.
Putting Spiritual Teachers on Pedestals
She had many followers as do many spiritual teachers/facilitators and in the past I put many spiritual teachers on pedestals, my fault really I didn’t have enough self-esteem to recognise what I was doing at the time.
What I discovered though was that when I realised the people were coming from ego more than love I stepped back and received all kinds of reactions.
One of my ex Reiki teachers said to me when I said I was detaching from her “nobody detaches from me without my say so!” well there you go, pretty much a huge ass ego.
Or alternatively if you leave a group and they don’t get why you have stopped pouring wads of love their way after taking them off their pedestal they project assumptions onto you. In my past at one group I left I was told “I feel, you are running away and hiding”. Incidentally I got the feeling this particular guru thought I didn’t do any kind of self-reflection on my own and that I needed a group to do it, particularly her group.
When we are first beginning self-development and reflection work we can sometimes be naive. It takes an awful lot of discernment to see what is behind a teacher's teaching. Sometimes it takes a good few workshops and an email saying “this is the most powerful healing modality in the world” to realise they are all still human and can talk as much bullshit as the next man or woman.
I know personally I used to get carried away with the love and attention I got in these groups. Having had a co-dependant personality in the past, sometimes I slipped into that without realising it and it takes a jolt to get me out of it.
Many people need a group to feel they belong and I can see why in the past I had grown attached to group work, however, it's not healthy. Maybe it's necessary in the beginning, but after a few years it's more necessary to self-reflect and use these workshops as seed planters, not the 'be all and end all' of self-awareness and understanding.
So if you are joining a group, a circle or a workshop, remember that the person leading it is human and spiritual ego can come in through the back door at anytime. But in the end remember that your own truth always lies within you.
Sometimes we need experiences like this to teach us our own value so we no longer look to others for answers. And we often reach a time when people needing to instruct us and guide us begin to irritate rather than support, so much so that we move away from other teachers and go within.
This is what I did and what I still do. I no longer feel the need for answers from others, I access my wisdom from within, but remain open to other perspectives on different topics.
The best teacher creates more teachers and masters and the greatest compliment is when you don't return to the group because they have done their job, you have flown the nest and are ready to soar!
What experiences have you had on the 'new age' highway?
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