There are many reasons that people become interested in working with a spiritual teacher, and part of the journey to truly be “teachable” involves understanding why you’re even interested in the spiritual path.

When you know why you’re really on the spiritual path, that makes it so much easier to figure out what kind of teacher with whom to work. You understand the deeper goals–not necessarily the goals you have in mind–at work. When you can relate those deeper interests to a teacher, then they know if they can support you or not.

So let’s investigate these deeper goals next as I help you to see if you’re interested in working with a spiritual teacher as well as where your interest derives.

Why Are You on the Spiritual Path?

In a blog post called, “What Is the Spiritual Path?” I outlined 4 main goals that people have for their spiritual journeys. They include:

  • Happiness
  • Safety
  • Healing
  • Freedom

There is certainly some overlap between these goals, and I am not saying that they’re the only ones. But if you really investigate what you want, you’re often going to find yourself landing back on one of these four.

For example, many people are interested in working with a spiritual teacher to help them find purpose. It’s currently something many teachers assist with, but what does purpose really get you? When you have purpose then what? Do you feel safe? Do feel happy? Do you think purpose will help you feel healed and whole?

Investigating purpose, the search for a soulmate, the search for a dream job, ideas about abundance, the search for freedom from suffering, and other goals will help you to clarify what it is you are really after. Then you can look for spiritual teachers that focus on that.

Appreciating Different Kinds of Spiritual Teachers

The above topic sets the stage perfectly for this next reality: there are many types of spiritual teachers. The term spiritual teacher gets used to encompass a lot of different people with a lot of different abilities. In my “What Is a Spiritual Teacher?” blog post, I delineate different kinds of teachers to help you better understand the types of teachers that are available as well as their limitations.

To be sure, all human spiritual teachers have limitations. Even those spirit spiritual teachers (meaning someone is working with a being not in a human body) have limitations. Any being that operates from separateness is going to have limitations. It’s just how it is, and angels and ascended masters are still at a level of separateness since they are distinct entities.

In general, the goal should not be finding a “perfect” spiritual teacher in a body or not. Really, you just need to figure out what your next step is and go from there.

Understanding Your Next Spiritual Steps

I know this is a little bit of a chicken-and-the-egg scenario. Sometimes you need a good teacher to help you figure out what kind of teacher you need. However, do your best to be honest with yourself. Are you still learning a lot of things intellectually? Then you need a teacher who can help you orient your mind appropriately. Are there lots of emotional issues weighing on your heart? Then a teacher who has a strong open heart will be helpful. How about stuff going on with the body?

There are a lot of areas of the human mind, heart, body, and spirit, and typically at the beginning of our spiritual journeys we are far more fractured and under-developed than we realize. So, of the many different types of teachers that are available, you’ll likely benefit from many of them as you get to know all the pieces of you.

Self-honesty and Unmasking Delusion

Signs You Are Ready for a Teacher

The path to figuring out if and why you are interested in working with a spiritual teacher should also help you in preparing to work with one. The more clear and honest you are with yourself, the more you can be honest with a spiritual teacher. That allows them to serve you better. Some other important signs of student readiness include:

  • Humility
  • Vulnerability
  • Willingness to communicate
  • Willingness to do the work
  • Willingness to face both the light and dark within yourself

In general, the more powerful the teacher, the more you have to have the above characteristics to handle what may come your way. Powerful teachers don’t coddle you. They just want to help you clear away the ego and be free, and generally, the most powerful ones are primarily interested in your spiritual freedom.

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

Powerful Teachers and Spiritual Freedom

As I said, the most powerful teachers focus on spiritual freedom. Happiness and safety are ephemeral things–they come and go, and healing has an end. When someone is whole, they are likely to go no further on the spiritual path if they only wanted healing. Of course, life can still bring future hurt to us even after we heal, and so long as a person operates from an ego, they can get emotionally hurt again–as emotional hurt is primarily a wound we inflict on ourselves.

In short, the truly sane choice and point of the spiritual path is freedom, and there is something about that focus on freedom that forges very powerful spiritual teachers.

To be sure, not everyone is ready for this kind of teacher, and most spiritual teachers aren’t really focused on spiritual freedom nor should they be. Everyone is a plant in the wilderness, and they have their function to serve in our overall “spiritual eco-system.” However, for those who do truly desire spiritual freedom, it’s important to understand what you’re actually interested in and the intensity of stepping into connection with a teacher focused on freedom.

Working with Me

For those who may want to work with me, here are a couple of things I recommend:

If you have any doubts about me and the way I guide people towards spiritual freedom, then keep reading and watching my work. It speaks for itself, and at the time of this posting, I’ve been doing this work for over 8 years.

If you are ready to work with a spiritual teacher like me, then you can click on the Contact page and follow the instructions there:

Click Here to Talk to Jim Tolles About Sessions

Getting What You Truly Want Spiritually

In my time as a spiritual teacher, I’ve found that whatever someone truly wants–if they are sincere–they get. In the space of regular sessions, I’ve seen people learn to end a relationship that needs to end, move to a new area, heal a core issue or trauma, expand their hearts, build spiritual community, let go of a dead loved one, and other very practical things. Sometimes the person knew this was what they needed, and but many other times they don’t. It’s just what arises. After that issues is resolved, they stop working with me because that was what was needed in our work together.

So while the deeper goals that I mentioned earlier are important to be aware of, some of these simpler things often present themselves in the course of sincere spiritual work. That’s okay. That’s what wanted to happen.

In general, a lot gets revealed in the work between a teacher and student. The way to revealing those things requires work, honesty, and vulnerability among other things I’ve mentioned. When you come to spiritual work in this way, your true spiritual interests can be revealed, and your deeper aspirations can be achieved.

The importance of Regular Spiritual Sessions


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

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