Finding a teacher that is balanced and experienced in what you want to learn is important. But from the teacher/facilitator´s perspective, finding a student who has the capacity (i.e. energy-body) to handle what you have to say or do – is equally important.
It doesn´t matter what subject, skill, philosophy or perspective you´re a teacher or facilitator of. It can be astrology, tantra, kundalini work, shadow work, priest/essing – the same thing applies.
Now this applies more to to one-to-one cases or small group sessions. It saves both student and teacher a lot of time if both take a little time to suss out the energy-body of the other.

From the student´s perspective, the following questions apply:

– – Does this teacher have the knowledge I want?

Be specific in what you want to know and ask the teacher if they specialize in what you´re looking for. Someone who gets offended by the question is probably not someone you want to work with.

– – Is that what s/he is offering to teach or facilitate for me?

Again, specifics help.

– – What do I expect to learn or benefit from the experience?

Ditto. The clearer you are about this upfront, the better it will be for both student and teacher.

– – Is this teacher coming from the right place (Heart or Spirit Centered, etc.)?

That is a harder one to suss out. Take the time to learn a little more about your intended teacher/facilitator and raise questions in a respectful way.

– – Why does s/he do what they do?

A complex question. Some teachers work in the public eye, others in private – and all for motivations that resonate with they own soul´s karma, or needs of learning and unlearning.
That being said, if you feel that your teacher has no other interest in you beyond making you their piggy bank, source of ego-bolstering – or worse – some kind of sycophant – head in the opposite direction …. and keep on walking.
When you find teachers who want to draw you into their organization, their world (in which they sit in a hierarchy) – you face a more complex set of questions to navigate.
Ideally, (and I find this when I am drawn to others, and when others are drawn to me) – there is an instant ´click´, and you know that someone just does something because that is what they are. No other agendas. Try not to project any unto them either 🙂

– – Why am I drawn to this teacher, and not others?

The recommendation of a friend? Was the closest in the area? Why this person, in particular – and at this time?
– – Do I like their work?
– – Do I trust him/her to teach or facilitate with integrity and competence?

– – How do I honor the energy exchange and the teacher/facilitator´s boundaries?

For some it´s barter, for others it´s money, for some it´s nothing at all. As long as the teacher works with either from an inner code that resonates with you, go for it. I´ve seen some who work with cash without issue, and others who are deeply hung up on their own wounds and issues when working without exchange. You just cannot generalize.
I use a mixture and follow my own flow. I suspect others do the same. There are some people I could not (and would not) want to take anything from, and others I know a ´free´ session would not do much for. It´s about the honoring of energy – and that does change the terms of the dynamic when un-met.
Tune in, and see what you feel. Bear in mind though, that spiritual services and facilitations are grossly undervalued (still) owing to far deeper and older collective programs we´ve been told to imbibe. That is a different story for a different time.
That being said, when you´ve got ´that click´ with someone and have a deep sense of trust in what they do – trust them equally to value their work in an appropriate way. That´s what I do when I chose to work with someone.
Many facilitators can organize a payment plan for you if money becomes an issue. If in doubt, ask – and if it´s a fair request – a decent facilitator will help you work something out. And if it´s not, they´ll call you out on it 😉

Can I handle what this person has to say or teach?

Be honest with yourself. The better the facilitator, the better the mirror s/he becomes.
And allow the facilitator (if so inclined) to make the same assessment before starting their work with you.
( I´ve seen it a few times now, when the image a person has of themselves in their headspace does not match up with their energetic reality. And that makes for ´interesting´ sessions – part of the work, really – but it helps to know it before beginning.)

And from the teacher´s perspective, these questions:

– – Why do I do what I do?

Deep question, but one that is useful to return to from time to time. Always be cautious of your inner games of projection. It helps to sit with other facilitators whom you can bounce off from.

– – What do people think I do?

Not the same as the first. Be clear on who you are in cases where you may feel misinterpreted or projected upon (be in in a flattering or unflattering light).
This is why I have an article posted up called ´Why What I Do Isn’t For Everyone (a.k.a something to read before booking a session with me)´- and if anything that has really helped me represent my energy and the work I do with clarity.
It clears up a lot of this discussion from my end and gives those who want to work with me a chance to think about their expectations -and if the two match.

Is this student ready to hear what I have to say, or learn what I have to teach?

If you´re not willing to make that call, especially if you do very deep or heavy energetic-work – reconsider your profession.

I kid you not.


I´ve seen too many cases where over-eager teachers have activated stuff in their student, leading to years and years of energy burnout or imbalance – especially when it involves the kundalini, or deeper forms of shadow-working.

Certain teachings or traditions have prerequsities that both teacher or student must fulfill before beginning their explorations. In an age where a couple of days of a course can give you a certificate that says ´ Kundalini Yoga Instructor´ or ´ Akashic Healer´ — those requirements are not being met, en masse.
I know I´m going to be touching a nerve with this, but it´s needed.
Call me judgemental if you like, but no holds barred here.
I find that in the rush to become a teacher or facilitator, more and more individuals have the paperwork that says so – but without the skillset required.
And with it one of the most important lessons:

Sometimes the best teaching you can do is to simply say – no. I don´t think this is a fit for you at this time. Or no, I´m not the right person for you to work with.

There are of course teachers who lord that over their students due to their own insecurities – but that is a different kettle of fish. In that case, student – reconsider your teacher! (or .. run, run, fast!)

– – Why does the student seek this knowledge or experience?

Let´s say you teach hypnotism and have a student whom you know will use it for an unethical purpose. The ball is in your court. You make your choices with the knowledge that your wisdom may be misused. And the karma that comes with that. Another thing to consider.

– – Why have they come to me, specifically, at this time?

Was it a case of need, or long-standing interest in your work? Were you the closest / most easily accessible facilitator? Those questions play a role in gauging the depth of interest and investment your student will make in the energetic exchange between the two of you.
– – What expectations does this student have of me, and are they realistic?
– – Do I have the energy or other resources this student or session will require of me?

– – Am I the right person to fit their needs and level of development? If not, do I know others who might be?

It´s useful to have a network of buddy-facilitators you can direct people to if this is the case. 🙂
– – Is this student able or willing to honor fair terms of exchange and the nature of my work and energy? Are my terms, indeed, fair?
– – Do I have alternative methods of exchange/payment/barter, if appropriate?
– – Can I articulate my needs and boundaries in a way where I will not be exploited?
(Same goes for the student.)

Am I able to honor the energy and level of knowledge this student brings and to build upon it in a useful, balanced way?

That last question is a little tricky, particularly if your mode of working is more Kali-esque (i.e. creation through destruction, rebirth through the breaking down of the old). So, your understanding of ´balance´ would be expressed differently from a teacher who was gentler – not necessarily less powerful, just using a different modality.
Whatever your understanding of balance is and the ways you take to arrive at it – ask yourself if it is what your student needs, and if it something they can work with and benefit from. Let your student know the general dynamic of the process in advance. 
Food for thought. You might also want to refer to previous articles of mine that address the student-teacher dynamic and the topic of spiritual facilitation, in different ways:

  • Wounded Healer, Wounded Teacher: Questions for Reflection –
  • Standards of Spiritual Facilitation: The Story of the Would-Be Surgeon who never went to Medical School –
  • Standards of Spiritual Facilitation: Being Accountable for what you do & Transcendental Perspectives –
  • On False Teachers, and False Students and the Narcissistic Games of Projection between the two –
  • The Many Roads we take to Spirit (an astrological piece on Pisces-Sagittarius, but the archetypes hold true) –
  • And my own piece for people who want to work with me – Why What I Do Isn’t For Everyone (a.k.a something to read before booking a session with me) –
I am planning to put it all together as a book, and hope you will support that effort. Please cite accordingly if using this in your teaching/instructional materials.
And – if there´s some other aspect of the teacher / faciltator – student dynamic you´d like to see more about, do let me know and I´ll see what I can do.

Blessings, Love and Hugs!

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2016.
Image: HealBleedingWoman.jpg – Christ healing a bleeding woman
Photo from Catacombes of Rome Source: — (I wonder what kind of bleeding it was…hmm..)
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  1. I have read your points with great interest because, working with and for a very skilled and experienced teacher, I have seen this process of student-teacher-finding many times. I’ve also seen “teachers” whose qualifications by their own admissions are nothing more than that they have read a few spiritual self-help books and are now charging thousands for a 2-day weekend seminar, a mass event with no personal access to the so-called teacher whatsoever. I have to admit, it is beyond me how so many gullibles actually fall – and pay – for this charlatan scheme. Then again, when you see Trump supporters being interviewed, you might get an idea which segment of the population these kinds of “teachers” target…
    I have only two days ago had a conversation about this with my teacher. It certainly is an interesting insight in the human psyche – and successful marketing schemes. But beyond all superficiality, a serious student needs to do their own research and ask questions, and so does the teacher. Having a (group of) student(s) he or she can actually effectively work with is just as important. The work of a teacher is not an easy one at the best of times, albeit a very rewarding one, if this truly is your calling.
    As a student, I cannot recommend too highly that you do your research, ask these questions and really pay attention to your intuition about a teacher. The most skilled and honourable person will not be the best choice for you, if you don’t feel you can open yourself up completely to him or her, do a complete emotional striptease – no holds barred – and feel safe, not only throughout the process, but also afterwards. And you just have to plain click with the person and their (methods of) teaching.
    Great article! Thank you. 💖


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