It can be confusing embarking on the quest to find someone to teach you about an energy practice or to lead you on your spiritual quest. There are many individuals out there who are in the business of obtaining students to whom to impart their knowledge. If you are just beginning your quest, you may not know how to discern who is the best teacher for you. For those individuals, below we present a list of questions to ask to help you decide.
First, you need to recognize your interest and your resources. There are many, many books out there that can be obtained prior to ever finding a living, breathing teacher. Look around and peruse these books. Get familiar with some of the names of modalities and see what appeals to you. Are you drawn to hands-on healing techniques? Do you want to develop your psychic gifts? Want to learn how to read Tarot cards or become a practitioner who performs readings for others? Rocks appeal to you much?
While it may seem silly to you, this is an important step. True, many people don’t know where to begin, but before you step into a Mind Body Spirit Expo, or the local Woo Woo store event, go online and get familiar with what could be waiting for you. Knowledge is power and going into these types of events will only cause confusion and possibly end up with you committing to an expensive session or class series because you became overwhelmed and decided to just make a decision. Just be aware that there is TONS of misinformation out in the Web and you need to take everything with a few grains of salt!!
During an expo or an event, you might be introduced to either a free service or a short session to draw your interest. These are designed to bring people into the circle, to allow their curiosity to peak and to generally, want "more". Energy practitioners believe in an energy exchange. For many, if not most, that means a financial exchange. You may find some who will trade their service for either a service you can provide or an object of value – it all depends upon the person. This can be a very beneficial arrangement for some people, and I personally know several situations where this worked out quite well for all involved.
On the other hand, if you do not have a skill or objects you are willing to trade, you need to know what kind of resources you have at hand to obtain education or services. Experienced teachers/practitioners have spent years, possibly decades developing and honing their skills and abilities. It is unfair of you to ask them to teach or provide service at a discounted amount or for free. Each practitioner sets their own fees, so don't be shocked when they tell you theirs. Plumbers, electricians, garage door repair people will all charge you for their services - sometimes very expensive amounts because they know you are trapped and need the work done. The ethical practitioner will have evaluated their skills and experiences and balanced that out against their financial needs to make a living. Many of us do this as our sole financial support, so while we may developed our "gifts from God", this does not mean we give away our services for free, except by choice.
If you have some local woo woo shops in your area, you can always call and ask the going rate. Sometimes there are only one or two practitioners and sometimes they have multiple practitioners that rotate. Even then rates may be different. In general, the more experienced individual will charge higher rates because they may be bringing a multitude of skills to the table at that point. If there is no local shop, look online. Use the Contact Section to ask the questions if their info pages don't provide you with the answers you are seeking.
Start your conversation with the practitioner by asking the following questions in a neutral, curious tone of voice. Many of us are sensitive and we don't appreciate being disrespected for the skills and abilities we have. Most will be happy to discuss their own journey of how they got to where they are now, but if you are speaking with someone who is introverted it may be a slightly more difficult conversation than with a naturally gregarious individual. Please remember some people will be cautious answering until they understand that you are serious about seeking a long-term mentor, teacher, or service provider and not just asking for amusement value.
I have heard the phrase “highest and best good” – can you explain what this means to you? (This gives them the opportunity to explain what this phrase means to them. Throughout the rest of the interview, you can see if they live the ideals they express here.)
What was the first modality you learned?
How did you figure out what you wanted to learn? (This is a leading question to help them explain their path to you. This may or may not be pertinent to your own path, but how they explain themselves will help you in understanding their mentality towards energy work.)
What types of energetic protection do you use daily and with your clients/students? (This is a trick question. The majority of energy workers still do not use protection which leaves their clients and students vulnerable. It may be that you still follow through with this teacher, but at least you know upfront you will be responsible for your own energy protection.)
I am trying to figure out what classes/sessions to take for myself. Can you help me point me in a direction? (This is a semi trick question. Most all in the energy field will recommend meditation to begin with in some variation (breath work, yoga, etc.) but then if they are interested in YOU, they will ask you questions about what you are experiencing and any signs of Abilities that may be present. If they don’t, and just immediately launch into a litany of what they teach or services they provide, you may want to consider a different teacher.)
How long have you used/practiced (desired) modality?
Can you explain to me why you decided to help others with (desired) modality? (The way they answer will help you understand their character and ethics. Yes, we all need to earn a living; however, some people are there to make a buck and others want to help people develop their own self-identity and spiritual self. You want to make sure you find a competent teacher who is interested in your highest and best good above making a dollar.)
What other modalities do you use personally? (If all they are is a one trick pony then you may want to definitely find someone else. No, not everyone is a Master teacher, but usually everyone who is teaching employs a few things in their personal life to keep them balanced – i.e., meditation, crystal work, art, music etc.)
What Gifts do you possess? [There exists universally acknowledged Gifts: *Clairaudience (hearing) *Clairvoyance (seeing) *Clairsentience (sensing of energy and information) *Claircognizance (sense of knowing) *Clairgustance (sense of "taste") *Clairsalience (sense of "smell") *Empathy (ability to sense emotions of others - which has two categories: receptive and projective} Note – while Empathy falls under the clairsentience family, there is a significant difference between clairsentience and empathy to warrant its own Ability slot]. THIS IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF WHETHER OR NOT TO OBTAIN THIS PERSON AS A TEACHER. Most practitioners strongly develop at least one Ability during their lifetime, but just because someone else may have 3 or 4 Abilities developed does not mean they are better. All it means is that they have developed their abilities inherent to themselves.)
Can you recognize/identify the Abilities I possess? (Abilities are incredibly special and wonderful and each person’s Abilities are tailored to their individual blueprint. Gifts are not the same as Abilities. No two people will experience their Abilities in an identical manner. Harry Potter this is NOT. Don't expect them to just spout off your gifts either - this is a simple yes/no question.)
Do you know how to develop your student's Abilities? (This is a question that needs to be asked. It may be that this practitioner does not have the ability to actively do this, but may know someone who does.)
Do you believe in Angels, Guides, spirits, animal guides, etc.? (This question is pertinent in that it allows the practitioner the opportunity to begin to explain their spiritual background.)
Can you teach me how to communicate with my Guides? (This one is simple and should be in every teacher’s repertoire! Meditation is the absolute best, first step every person should take and will help everyone communicate with their guides even if their Abilities are completely undeveloped.)
Have you learned only human teachers or have you been taught by Guides, Spirits, Angels, etc.? (This is the question that may get you the strangest looks. Reference back to where I stated some people have the certificate, so they know it all, right?! It is quite possible to be taught by the Angelics and Guides and those you encounter who are not open to that are not likely to allow you the freedom to explore that either. Seek elsewhere.)
If there was one take-away you wanted me to have from this interview, what would it be? (Semi-trick question. If they launch into a marketing spiel versus what you can do for yourself, then you know this is not the correct person.)