The following are common topics, concerns, and frequently asked questions (FAQ) that people have about working in a session. Below I’ve offered some insights to prepare you for connecting with me as a spiritual teacher. Hopefully, you’ve already read this blog about “How to Work with a Spiritual Teacher” as well as my “About Me” and “Sessions” sections. If not, please check them out after reading this FAQ.

How can I get started working one-on-one with you?

Sign up for my newsletter and send me an email with 2 to 3 paragraphs about yourself.

What Does a One-On-One Session Entail?

I offer a variety of sessions, depending on the student.

These include:

  • Inner work sessions
  • Re-imagining your life after ego sessions
  • Realizing spiritual freedom and choice sessions
  • Relaxation sessions, and more.

A session is a fluid and intuitive connection where we connect and do whatever needs to arise. It totally depends on what you need and what I have to offer in that moment as to what arises. Relaxation and focused breathing are central tools to a session, and through relaxation a student opens so that they can see what arises in the present moment.

Additionally, we talk about whatever needs to be talked about. I may answer questions or I may not. I may be very talkative or very silent. You can bring questions that you may have, but oftentimes, they become less important once the session starts and the ego lets go of its incessant need to fill itself with information as a form of safety.

In general, I ask you to trust the process. It’s not trusting me so much as what we’re joining together to create in the moment. 

At times, you may feel very comfortable or very uncomfortable, but this is a sign of what you are already carrying inside of you.

I will often bring your attention to your discomfort so that our focused awareness can unearth what the unconscious ego is doing That’s part of how dissolving the ego goes. We inquire into your responses to see where the unconscious ego program comes from to help you release it and be free of its thought patterns, emotional patterns, and behavior patterns.

After an intense session, it is critical that you maintain a practice and take care of yourself. Discipline in-between sessions is crucial. Of course, some people feel amazing after a session too, but they still should go slowly to integrate any realization or expansion that has arisen.

What May I Feel in a Session?

Obviously, everyone feels differently in these one-on-one sessions, and I would point you towards my “Testimonials” post for thoughts from past and current students.

Because difficult topics may come up, a session can be intense; many people initially feel uncomfortable. The discomfort can range widely, although increased body heat and sweating seem to be fairly common. Communicating what you are feeling is crucial so that we can investigate what is arising together.

As we combine our attention to a particular source of discomfort, things often move. This may increase the discomfort, but when an issue or blockage releases, there tends to be the movement of several feelings and sensations as things come out. Often the student comes to rest in a sense of expansiveness and relaxation after a big release. At which point, these sessions often feel very comfortable, connected, and loving (loving in the more pleasurable sense, but ultimately, the whole session is an expression of love).

Some sessions can also feel comfortable and loving in general. If a student needs to learn about true love for example, the connection can be extremely warm.

That said, each session is brand new. Each session is an embracing of the present moment and the teacher and student as they are in that moment. So the experiences tend to vary.

How Long Is a Session?

Typically, the session is 1 hour.

What Timeslots Do You Have Available?

My sessions are held at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and occasionally 6 pm Pacific Standard Time.

How Long Have You Been Teaching?

I’ve been teaching since October 2010. I’ve been blogging a little longer.

How Does the Session Take Place?

For most people, I do my sessions via video conferencing tools for people not local to Central Oregon.

For Video Sessions, Does It Matter Where I Am?

Generally speaking, it’s important to be in safe space where you feel like you can be open and vulnerable. Vulnerability is our greatest strength, but it’s not one that most of us know how to be with. Additionally, having a session with me while you’re at work or in a cafe with WiFi probably isn’t the most conducive place to going into to deep sacred places.

How Long Until I Am Spiritually Free?

This cannot be measured. In general, years of dedication and work are necessary to break through all of people attachments to their minds, egos, bodies, energies, and emotions. It doesn’t have to go that way, but that generally is the case.

Those who have a spiritual awakening are pushed faster towards spiritual freedom. But few really continue that trajectory even as the initial years of intensity die down. In short, I can only help as much as a student truly wants spiritual freedom and as the Divine allows.

Do You Help Resolve Trauma?

A lot of healing does happen in my sessions, but I strongly encourage any one with trauma such as war trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse, serious neglect, narcissistic abuse, abandonment, and other traumas to work with a trained professional. The spiritual work I offer is not meant to be a resolution to trauma, and spirituality should not be used as a bypass to one’s trauma.

Using a Spiritual Teacher as a Therapist

What Will I Get From an Inner Work One-On-One Session?
This is a problematic question because it comes from the ego. The ego always wants to get something. On the broadest level, you are embracing your freedom, but that often involves a lot of letting go. So at times, you may feel like you’re losing stuff, not “getting” anything, per se. 

Are You Adding or Subtracting Ego?

Consequently, working with me is going to require a new mindset where you aren’t focused on what you’ll get, achieve, fix, or improve. Instead, it’s a focus on how to simply be you, and I can offer any number of tools and suggestions to meet you where you are. However, that may not be what your ego wants or expects.

For those in awakening specifically, the energy connection can be the most important because the newly awakened individual often has trouble being with their awakened energy. It’s kinda like there is running water, but running water is going everywhere. In this way, I am a being who shows how to be with awakened energy. I also offer tips and techniques to help with this as well.

How Often Do You Do Sessions With a Student?

For those who are making a long-term commitment with me, I typically work on a biweekly basis with a student, i.e. every two weeks. You can read more about the importance of regular sessions here:

The Importance of Regular One-on-one Sessions

Do You Work With People Who Aren’t Ready to Make Long-Term Commitments?

Absolutely. I do single sessions with people all the time. However, I encourage people to always see the spiritual path as a long-term commitment, not necessarily to me or any specific teacher, but to themselves.

How Much Does it Cost?

My recommended investment is $250 USD/hour video call session. For an in-person walking session, it is $300 USD. For a seated, indoors session, it is $350 due to space rental.

If you want to offer a different amount, please email me.

When Should I Pay?

Please only pay AFTER we have agreed upon a day and time for our session. DO NOT pay money for a session before discussing whether we are working together and before we have finalized a time to meet.

Once we have finalized a time to meet, then you can pay any time before the session.

Shouldn’t Spirituality Services Be Free?

My answer to this is that spiritual teachers have always had some kind of reciprocity and support from their communities. In other times, food, clothing, and shelter was all provided. Tithing and donations have long been a custom to support spiritual teachers, and hence, I’ve created a flexible system that also honors that the way Western Society offers most of its reciprocity is through money.

Do You Ever Not Work With Someone Who Wants a Session?

Yes. I follow my inner knowing. If I am guided to not work with someone, then I don’t. 

What’s Your Refund Policy?

All ebooks sales and session donations are final. However, I am happy to entertain requests for refunds and most likely would provide a refund when kindly requested for one. By and large, I am not interested in money as much as helping other people. The refund policy is part of setting an appropriate boundary for those who may be upset that they didn’t get what they thought they needed from a session or an ebook. Oftentimes the most important lessons we receive on our spiritual paths are the uncomfortable ones. So for the sake of general policy, I don’t do refunds.

Can I Reach Out to You if I Have a Spiritual Emergency?

Occasionally, I hear the term spiritual emergency, but more often than not, it is simply the ego having a big tantrum. I won’t say that it is fun, but I do encourage you to keep breathing and relaxing into whatever is coming up. I can schedule sessions on short notice for those of my regular students, but I am otherwise not set up for this kind of impromptu work. Instead, I would simply point you back to the importance of building your local spiritual community to support you when things get challenging.

Suicide and Spiritual Emergencies

Other Important Topics for Working with a Spiritual Teacher

Preparing for a Session

Generally speaking, all you need to do is to relax and be yourself. If meditation and other practices beforehand help you center and ground, I recommend that you do them. I do advise against adding in mind-altering drugs or substances. Many people believe that drugs like marijuana make them “more spiritual,” but instead, they add another layer of illusion on top everything else. A body clean of substances is the most open and receptive vessel to the deeper spiritual truths that are within you.

For more thoughts on how to prepare, please read this blog post from my students:

Student Perspectives on Working With Jim Tolles

Getting Angry With the Teacher and Falling in Love With the Teacher

This topic is actually two sides of the same coin. In one aspect, the teacher is hitting on a story the student doesn’t like. In the other aspect, the teacher is connecting with a story that the student does like. In these instances, it is important to remember that the student is projecting themselves on the teacher. In the instance of being angry, they’re projecting their upset feelings onto the teacher. In the other, they’re projecting their love onto the teacher.

Additionally, as a teacher, there is only one way to truly teach…with love. Because so many people don’t understand love, when they connect deeply with me, they may confuse wanting a sexual-romantic relationship with the feeling they are experiencing. Consequently, a lot of work is around helping the heart to mature and the mind to open up to different forms of love. This deep love with a teacher is actually a gift because it’s helping the student to tune into the vastness of his or her own love.

For more about this sacred relationship, you can read this blog post:

The Spiritual Teacher and Spiritual Student Relationship

Post-Session Self-Care

After a session, things may move internally. That can mean lots of stirred up emotions. It can feel really good for awhile, or it may get really messy and confusing for awhile. It’s important in especially the 2 to 3 days after a session to be really mindful of your self-care (meditation, coming back to awareness, journaling, breathwork, yoga, or whatever you are doing for yourself). Not being mindful can break the momentum of the inner work that you are doing, and it can make life more uncomfortable.

As I often remind people, things are likely to get messier before they get clearer in this ego dissolving process.

Becoming My Friend

Because of the deep connections that often arise in this work, one off-shoot is that people try to categorize me as a friend, a soul brother, or some other term. The nature of this work is in part to help you understand the nature of deep connection within you, and when someone feels deeply connected in a session with me, I encourage them to see that as simply discovering how much love they already have within themselves. It should be used as a basis for sharing that depth with others and sharing love appropriately in your life.

It is rare that any students become friends of mine, and I have my personal preferences as to whom I add to my personal spiritual community. As such, this work should be considered to be strictly as a student and teacher relationship, and any attempts to fit me into other parts of your life no matter how well meaning are unlikely to be shared by me.

Self-Sabotaging the Work

Because self-sabotage is so common in this work, I wrote a whole blog just about this topic. It truly is important to learn how to go into difficult moments, especially in sessions with me. By leaning into discomfort, many students have released big issues and come into deeper levels of love and spaciousness than they’ve ever known before.

For more on self-sabotage, you can read this:

Sabotaging the Healing Process and Running When It Gets Tough

You may also want to read:

5 Signs You’re Ready to Work With a Spiritual Teacher

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I'm a spiritual teacher who helps people find freedom from suffering.

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