Selling the teachings ($300 sweat lodge ceremonies and “Weekend Spiritual Retreats) Why I don’t like the idea of selling what I know.
On speaking with several people lately I am concerned with what the Native spiritual world can give of itself. Much of how we choose to connect to the world around us has to do with ceremony of various kinds. That is also a big part of other religious and spiritual pathways too. Because of the spiritual hunger many people are facing, they are willing to pay to try to have someone help them achieve another step forward. And of course it is a great temptation resulting in the sale of ceremony and sacred teachings. So how does one allow others to experience these things? I would say it must be given freely. To allow others the opportunity to look for the way that gives them the connection to Creation they seek one must be simply available. Rather that means the student has to travel to the top of a mountain someplace or to come to a lecture, who knows. Lately I see many attempts to offer spirituality for a price. It has been a problem for most spiritual disciplines. Even though sometimes the information, ceremonies, etc are correct or helpful, this leads to jealousy, contempt and more distrust.
Because of this, true spiritual teachers are sometimes ridiculed, scorned or choose to hide away from the public. Real spiritual knowledge is both priced and sought after by so many that if someone has some of it, it is likely to be viewed as a commodity rather then a gift. The absurd part is that if someone is willing, they can develop the gifts themselves. All of the world’s many enlightened know this. Even the ones that do decide to sell a way towards it.
I think a better way to help people find their way is to share. To exchange what we know (or think we know) and do learn from each other. I don’t know a single teacher, who is worth much as one, that doesn’t also consider themselves students as well.