Respecting and Honoring your Spiritual Teachers,
As a teacher I try to teach good boundaries. I try to hold good boundaries as well. I expect students to be aware that they are coming to be part of an event which is highly interdependant. Even if you go through an entire course without getting to know your colleagues, your actions and presence have great effect on everyone else. Please consider the following before attending a Littlelight Ceremony or class.
A spiritual class is not a commodity. It is an offering of time, space and love, crafted by someone hopefully with a deep well of life and spiritual experience to share with you. Your payment is an exchange of effort and commitment back to this person who is thinking of you in every step of their workshop preparation.
Your preparation is as important as the teacher's. How you approach the class you are signing up for makes a big difference. Everything counts, both ways. Please be aware of how your approach towards your spiritual training affects your teacher and your fellow students.
Sign Up On Time
It can be such a huge effort to determine if a class is running or not running based on who has signed up, that sometimes the effort of juggling time, people and managing a space is not worth the class to the teacher. When you wait to sign up until last minute, unless you just heard of the workshop, you are being disrespectful to the teacher. Spaces that are rented have cancellation policies and other students who are yearning to be part of a shamanic training are waiting to know if the class will run.
Informally telling the teacher you are coming is not signing up, even if the teacher is your friend. People who run workshops know that the most confident-sounding people are liable to change their mind until they put some money down. By paying a nonrefundable deposit you are putting an investment in that shows strong likelihood of your attendance and some compensation towards running the class for other people if you drop out. If a class is cancelled on the last minute because the teacher was waiting for the inevitable last minute sign-ups that never came, it becomes a huge waste of effort for everyone who has arranged the time off and to the teacher who has spent many hours preparing.
The teacher is only one person, not a big company that can take losses of time and money.
Show Up On Time
Spiritual classes are pockets of sacred energy built up for transformational work. They are places where people also build trust so that they can do personal work in a public venue. Every person is a vital energy to the nature of this container. Many times, class does not start until everyone participates in creating sacred space together. Showing up late is disrespectful to everyone, including yourself. It is not being aware of your own value and how your absence affects everyone else.
Teachers will treat people who are late with love and understanding, but as a student you should be aware that no matter what the reason, you lateness has affected the circle.
Show up Prepared
Shamanic classes and circles are strong when we are all focused. No one can carve out the space to give full attention to your practice but you. Altars at my classes are always open to anyone and always, you are expected to bring something to the altar. This can represent a power animal, a prayer or an offering. When we all add to the altar, the circle is strong. Consider the beginning of your commute to class as the beginning of circle for you. Perhaps, play music that contributes to a grounded state of mind and consider what your intentions are for the session.
Be Present to Sacred Space
Your do not need to put your insight and wisdom on a shelf just because you are in class. Everyone needs you to be fully there! Though it may not be appropriate to function as though you are in a working circle while in a class, your knowledge of energy still can be applied to the tending of the circle.
Apply your full heart and effort into the calling of the spirits as if you were home doing it on your own. Don't rely on the teacher's spirits to form the containe if you have deeper experience. Shamanic teachers always create a container for you but you want to be strong with your own spirits when you do your practice. We also want to be active in our community by earnestly praying for spirits to come and support the work of our colleagues.
Try to notice the things that contain or deplete the potency of the container and support the container. Keep irrelevant chit chat to a minimum when in the altar room.
As we know, Spirit speaks to people in their own language, so there is no way any one person can interpret another person's journey. We hold space for each other and encourage our circle-mates to see their own wisdom, listen to their own intuition. If we learn a great lesson, we speak about our experience without 'preaching' to the circle. Telling others 'how it is' creates barriers, whereas sharing our own path creates intimacy, the basic ingredient for deep work, deep love, deep transformation.
We also don't try to 'take care' of each other. If someone in circle is going through difficulty, we may ask what we can do to help. We perhaps offer ideas but with always with respect for the boundaries of that person, the circle and ourselves.
Do Your Homework
When we are given big messages or blessings in shamanic time, a crucial part of the practice is to bring the medicine home. This means carrying out the message of the journey in our lives. How this manifests depends upon the circumstance and journey. When this work is done between circles, our spiritual lives continue. We are becoming practitioners rather than students. When we return to circle having done this work, we come bearing new wisdom and presence to the circle. When we give to ourselves, we inherently give to our spiritual support network as well.
These things are staples of being a spiritual adult.