Should Spiritual Teachers Charge Money?
Learn whether spiritual teachers should charge money for imparting their wisdom and knowledge to you in this opinion piece.
Why Not? Even Spiritual Teachers Have To Eat
This is an interesting dilemma because on the one hand spiritual teachers, by their very nature, should be less materialistic than most of us. But on the other hand, one still has to live and exist in the world into which we are born.
So, is it right that spiritual teachers charge money?
How Do Spiritual Teachers Charge Money?
Many spiritual teachers will work on a ‘donation’ basis. For those that belong to large organizations, such as the Christian Church, or even Monks/Nuns in a monastery/nunnery the organization may receive donations from the wider public in order to function.
Being a Pastor of a church is a full time occupation, generally speaking. And being a full time occupation means that the Pastor does not earn money from another job (usually) and so must be paid, by some means or other, by the church. They may live in a home that is owned by the church and have little or no rent to pay. But they still need to eat, even if all the other bills are paid.
Even individual spiritual teachers will often accept payments on a donation basis. Some of my spiritual teachers were free, some were a fixed fee per session, and some were donation based whereby they asked me to pay what I could afford and what I felt the session was worth.
Remember Where We Live
It is important when considering whether a spiritual teacher should charge you for helping you grow, that we remember where we live. By this, I mean, we need to understand that our society, at this point in its growth, requires that goods and services be paid for using currency.
If a spiritual teacher lives in this world and they clearly do (unless your spiritual teacher is not physical but you’re actually referring to your spiritual guides, which are a separate source of knowledge and wisdom) then they need to function within the system we have set up as a society.
This means, they require currency.
How does one continue to provide teachings when one cannot devote their own time to learning the things they teach? If one’s spiritual teacher has to be caught up in 9 to 5 jobs it becomes more difficult for they themselves to grow and advance in order to be able to teach you better.
Thus, due to the constraints we humans have placed on our societies, it is not only acceptable for spiritual teachers to charge money to impart their wisdom, it is necessary.
Should A Plumber/Electrician Charge Money?
This question is almost certainly guaranteed to elicit a positive answer from just about everybody. A plumber, electrician, gas heating engineer, carpet layer, carpenter etc. etc. Everyone understands these tradespeople need to put food on their table.
They exchange their skills and time for money, in order to feed their family and have a life. No-one expects these trades people to do their jobs for free.
Why, therefore, is it so with Spiritual teachers? Spiritual Teachers train and learn to gain experience, wisdom and knowledge in much the same way as tradespeople do. When a spiritual teacher charges you, they are likewise exchanging their skills and time for money. You gain spiritual advice, in exchange for currency.
Do All Spiritual Teachers Charge Money?
Not all spiritual teachers need to charge money. Some may have organizations behind them that are registered charity backed, or they may have generous donors who believe in their cause and will underwrite the spiritual teachers time and skills.
But do beware and make sure you research such organizations before you become involved. Sometimes spiritual teachers that work for free will require something else from you instead. Such as joining a group and making weekly donations – is this a legitimate way of you contributing or will you end up funding a cult, for example. Note that we’re not saying all free spiritual teachings are cults – but do research your prospective spiritual teacher thoroughly before accepting their services freely. Sometimes, if it looks too good to be true, it actually is.
If Something Is Free Do You Value It As Much?
This is a question that also needs to be considered. If you receive your spiritual teachings for free will you assign as much value to the wisdom and knowledge you gain. Or will you lose interest in your development because you don’t value the service you’re receiving as much as you would if you had a vested interest in making it a success.
If something is free, it is natural human behaviour to assign it less value in our minds. Some spiritual teachers may charge purely for this reason alone.
The key takeaway from this is that yes, spiritual teachers should charge money – if they want to. They have to live within the currency system we, as a society, have set up and in order to do that they need money to survive.
How much they charge and how much you’re willing to pay might be two separate things. But as with other trades people and professional services you’re going to have to decide if the price is right for you.