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How to choose a Master for your teaching? The importance of both Earthly and non Earthly Guides and

By:Rachael Setford-Berry
Date: Tue,13 Mar 2018
Submitter:Rachael
Views:4280

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How to choose a Master for your teaching? The importance of both Earthly and non Earthly Guides and Mentors. A General 12 point check list! Plus Reiki Workshop Specific Check List.

I’ve gone to finish this blog a few times.

It’s hard. Every Master works differently and teaches just as differently. We can only teach what we know. And if we totally accept everything we have been given to us, then it isn’t always going to be what actually makes sense to us.

When it comes to many aspects of my life I have questioned it. Why do we die and not reincarnate? Why is one Christian church any more right than any of the others? Why is any religion any righter than the other? And I got myself on what I would call my active Spiritual path.

Part of that was Reiki healing and training.

As you go through your journey we all go through different Masters and Guides; earthly and non earthly. One of my non Earthly Master Guides, a funny little Oriental man named Lao Tsu, (you may know him for writing the Tao De Ching) posed me a lesson; one of many. ‘The first thing you need to understand is that nothing matters’. So I set about trying to understand why nothing matters. But I couldn’t get my head around it. For me everything matters. So I set down and wrote to him and explained that I didn’t agree; for me everything matters and this is why. When I finished typing I had a very clear image of him. He chuckled and said ‘Lesson learned’ and wondered off into the ether.

When it came to the Spiritual work, as my pathway had always had rules and strong guidance, I doubted much of what I was doing and struggled to trust myself. So I always looked outside of myself for guidance. And stuck with that, until my understanding was shouting me in the face.

And I think that is so of many of us. We presume that what we have been taught is firstly correct and secondly is still relevant for today.

But it often isn’t. Which is why for me, what the Reiki Federation and many other industry bodies also agree with, why continuing to develop yourself and your understanding is vital if you are to call yourself a Master.

I hate the term Master, but we have this strong urge to label, and so there it is! It is crucial that we understand we are all Masters. But at the same time we all must embrace the term Master. Think about what ‘mastering’ something means.

It means the eptiome, heady heights, the climax of your career. Not just a thing to do this weekend. And with the beautiful awakening that is happening in the West, this needs to be nurtured and cherished.

So with that comes great responsibility. One that I hold in high importance. It is important that I keep up to date with changes to our energetic system. It is important that I research what I have been taught (God bless the internet!), and talk it out with others in the industry to ensure my understanding is correct. And ensure that the info is correct. And also listen to my gut. Energetically does this support how I understand energy to work?

As I always say, this is my opinion. Everyone will feel differently when it comes to this work and my friends who teach and I will often disagree on the details. But the fundamentals are what we come together one.

I feel it is vitally important, to choose a mentor that is the best for you. And also one that has the ability to teach you what you need. When I say Mentor, Master or Teacher, I don’t just restrict that to you going and actually doing a course or workshop. I also mean someone who is going to help you and guide you with a reading or who may heal you also.

When I started my journey, outside of me sitting in my lounge with Tarot cards, spending quiet time, or reading, I stumbled across my first mentor. Not literally, but you know what I mean. The slightly odd lady in the office (she won’t mind me saying that I’m sure!), who of course I spoke to.

Started with a healing which blew my mind and opened me to a whole new area of energy work I hadn’t even considered. Progression to Meditation, interacting with those pesky Spirits which weren’t related to me and teaching me to heal. She pushed me when I needed it. Did I want to read Spirits who I didn’t know and weren’t Angels? Hell no! Was I going to read cards for anyone bar friends and family? I don’t think so. Sooo did I think I was capable of being a Reiki Master? That would be a negatory ace.

So I needed someone that believed in me and pushed me even when I couldn’t do that for myself. That is a very personal need for me. You may not need that. So make sure, that your personal needs are always met, no matter the logic behind the decision.

Over the last few years I have really stepped into my Mastery. I had to come to the conclusion, myself, that I had to let go of an old Spirit guide, in order for me new one to be able to step forward fully. It didn’t even occur to me that he wouldn’t be part of my whole journey this time round.

So sometimes we have to let go of those who help and mentor us at different stages because, as my Big Cat Guide said ‘I’m not the right person to take you forward’. Different people are meant for different parts of our journeys. And if you hold onto those apron strings too long, something is going tear them out our hands! The Universe has a way of pushing you along, especially if you have committed to a Spiritual pathway.

My current guide stands to one side and allows me to work. I have enough experience and enough strength to stand in my own power with someone supporting my space. And so that has also happened in my real life.

Different Masters and Teachers for different times in your life is certainly something to think about.

Personally I try to lead by example. I don’t profess to be perfect, anyone who tries to pretend they achieve a constant state of Zen like tranquillity are either lying or able to spend much time in meditation and choose to be around people when they want. I can’t do that, nor am I meant to for that matter. I know I am supposed to draw others in to take them forward. In a logical, yet spiritual way. A balanced way (I hope!). I can’t do that and not be around people!

So I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’ll tell you how I work and live. How I’ve seen others work and live. What I feel maybe right for your path. I’ll give what messages I may get. But you’re supposed to figure out the middle ground. I am not you. I cannot tell you to do anything (coming back to the reason I don’t go in for organised religion per say). And that’s what I believe this chapter in the West’s Spiritual development is about.

We’ve had figureheads, leaders, Gods and Goddesses before (I’m not talking about the Great Creative Source, we call God). How well has that worked out . . . ? This time we are supposed to be figuring it out for ourselves.

Does that mean that I’m wishy washy, and answer every question with a question, or tell you to use your gut and float off? Nope to that either. I’m a firm believer in getting the basics right, so you can wander off course and do your own thing. But you must know and be adept at the basics – I don’t want you getting yourself into mischief!

I try to give as much information as possible; I’m not one for holding back. The information should be out there for everyone. Does this mean I occasionally get taken advantage of? Yes. But I’m all for prompting ideas in others, and if this means they use my ideas or teaching to spread the word of love and working in service of others, (including yourself!), then I bloomin’ love it!

The Source of my information, in the majority of cases, is just that; from Source. I get a lot of information through myself, and have learned to trust my instincts and work with what I’m given. So, I would like to think I give out something different when I teach. If I get that verified from others, that’s just bliss! (It’s amazing what others share, or get through, in person or online, and it always blows my mind when it’s something I have had through Spiritually) Does that mean that I throw all the old stuff away? Heck no! Those basics are good and proper and there for a reason. I’m all about bringing the Old and the New (or in some cases, so old’s it’s actually been forgotten!) together.

Would I have been the right Mentor for me? I don’t know.

But that’s ok. And I hope I have brought together enough points to help you when you are looking for guidance.

As is the way, and what is right I think, I have both Spiritual and Logical points for you to think about. After all, we need to always have this balance, of the Divine and Science, of the Feminine and Masculine within each of us, in all we do.

It is also important to say, these are pointers. A guide to help you use your gut and not just your logic and vice versa. Personally I would use my gut and then apply the logic, but that’s just my way of working and why I have laid it out as I have done.

And I know what it’s like when you’re chomping at the bit, all excited about the next step of the journey you’ve actually decided to make. But if you waited 30 years to make this step, what is a couple more hours in research or contemplation going to cost you.

The Spiritual

Draw – do you feel drawn to that person? I would always recommend that you meet them, or at least have a chat with them on the phone. How do you feel about them? And don’t mistake draw for gift of the gab (with Irish blood in my veins I can bona fide say that!), a good photo shoot or a flashy website. So feel not to make a decision on the day you meet them or get offered a course. If you are looking for a reading now for example, you’ll know your drawn to them for that reading. If you are looking for someone to develop you, you may need a little more forethought, but if the thought out in the Universe, it’s a pretty sure sign. If you are drawn to them and you are unsure why, keep that in the back of your head. It maybe that they are about for a part of your journey, it may just not be the part you’re going through now. I always say think about it, walk around the fair once more, sleep on it, before you make a decision. For me this is a big influencing factor. As I said previously – different teachers for different times.
Philosophy – especially if you are considering imparting a lot of money to that person (and the term ‘a lot’ can vary from person to person. £30 to some. £200 to others), make sure that the person’s philosophy on life, and teaching reflects yours. Talk to them, read some work online if it’s available. Always look for someone who is going to push and stretch your understanding, but does not oppose it entirely. No point in working with someone who believes that healing, for example, is not a highly spiritual thing, is just logic and methodology based, when in fact you believe it, or know it, or have experienced it to be exactly the opposite. In fact seeing that someone who is supposed to teach, has any sort of philosophy, is a good thing.
Synchronicity – Another big one for me, and one I love! Do your paths keep crossing? Does their name keep cropping up through friends, events, online etc etc. The Universe wants your paths to cross for you to make a connection. You just need to figure out which area of your journey they are meant to help you with.
Trust – Again, this is about gut. Do you trust this person to have the knowledge, to impart it to you in a way that resonates with you, or to let go of you when you need it. Too many Tutors hold on for too long (that’s a bit of the parenting Ego) and too many students do just the same (trusting yourself is a very difficult thing sometimes!).
Ask the Universe – it maybe that you know what you want to do, but don’t know how to do it. It maybe you know you need to do something, but don’t know what or how. If you consciously, or unconsciously, put the thought out (I fell into the latter category all those years ago!) and see which of the above points fall into play!
Right Teacher, Right Course – as I mentioned earlier, you maybe drawn to someone for a reason which isn’t obvious now. They maybe someone to help on a certain course or workshop, or someone who can help you in your early stages, but cannot support you in the way you need in future. So check if there are people who better specialise in what you are looking for a workshop in. Or you may want to do the more advanced parts of your course through someone else. And that’s good. It’s no insult on anyone’s ability and any teacher with the correct mindset won’t mind if they offer a course and you go elsewhere. And if they do, you know they are not someone you want to work with.


The Logical

Reputation – has this person been recommended? Do they have good reviews? In the Spiritual Community are they well respected, not just for being a nice person, but for being good for the type of guidance you are looking for? I won’t even start on people who do take advantage of others, not just in this industry, but others.

Knowledge – how long has this person be working in the field? What qualifications do they have? What experience do they have? No point in asking a healer to develop you Spiritually, even if they say they can do it.

Work and Teaching – what’s the old adage, those who can’t do the work, teach it? Ok, this is coming from someone who teaches, but my point is if someone doesn’t do the work, doesn’t go out and heal, how can they possibly teach? They won’t keep up to date with what is going on, they won’t develop themselves further enough to teach you anything special, and they certainly don’t feel passionately enough about the topic to feel it is worthy of their time on a day to day basis. If it’s not worthy of their time, is their guidance worthy of your hard earned money and time?

The Style of Teaching – There is no point in you going to a big workshop, if you are shy and self conscious and will struggle walking into the room alone, let alone feeling free enough to make the most of the day. Don’t go to a lovely, glossy spa for your teaching, when you feel at home in an Earthy environment. If you’re not big on reading, does their workbook give you enough pictorially to go on? If you’d rather do it one-to-one, then check if your teacher offers that. If you’d rather have a big group then go for that too. Would you be happy at someone’s home, or at a venue? Personality is important too; do you prefer a relaxed environment, a professional one, or one where you can have a laugh? All is important, and another reason you should talk to your potential tutor.

Pricing – Ok, if you’re spending money, it should always be best value. What you value in one person, is not what someone else would value. But what I’m saying is, don’t get ripped off. It’s easy to do. Look at what other people are offering in the area and compare. Remember certain things are going to add cost; do they hire or run a venue, do they throw in lunch, is it over 2 days or 1, what extra do they offer or how great is their reputation? You may wish to pay slightly more because you just know you have to train through someone. Additionally is the price too good to be true? £70 for a Master training where normally £200-£300 is expected, does that ring alarms bells? Ask why it is so low. Are they trying to establish a new teaching practice? Are they feeling very charitable but next month it will triple? Or do you think they have little experience, poor teaching themselves or no connection with the industry? Will they not provide things like workbooks or ongoing mentorship? Either the reason will make sense or not, feel right or not. Make your decision based on the genuineness of it. And remember , you get what you pay for.

6. Wait – don’t make your decision straight away. Any teacher will understand that you may need to think about something. If they don’t; you don’t want to work with them. The next morning is there something about them which in retrospect doesn’t quite feel right? It’ll give you that vital time to do some research and get the right teacher for you.

7. Ongoing support – Are they easy to get hold of, even by email? Do they offer Reiki Share or Healing Share? Are they friendly enough that you can go back to them with questions?

Reiki Specific

As many of you know, the basis of my healing comes from Reiki, which I use as a vehicle to bring higher energies in on (once you know how to channel energy, you can use it what ever way you need to). These are the basic points a Reiki Master should offer in my opinion. I really feel, unless I say otherwise, that unless you are given this, you are not being properly Reiki Attuned. Unfortunately I have seen enough where the label Reiki is sadly put on top of, what is actually, people teaching out very basic healing techniques with no true Reiki content. We can heal by being shown how to channel energy and apply and direct it through the hands. You need the attunements on top to ensure you are channelling strong energy, stepping up your vibrations significantly in order to provide effective healing. Not giving your own energy which is both tiring and you don’t want to risk that you are passing on any of your own stagnated energy with that.

Reiki Lineage – ask to see the Masters Reiki lineage. Anyone who is authorised through a body such as the Uk Reiki Federation will have had their lineage checked. Some people will not agree, but unless your Reiki comes from Usui, the Great Master and developer of Reiki, then you are not tuned into the correct channel. Compare it with other people’s lineage online to see if it makes sense. Looks at the dates. Would someone who learned themselves in the 1930s be teaching someone in the 70s? (I have seen this on made up lineage). Now just because someone has a shorter lineage or likes to think they have an amazing lineage, doesn’t make them any better than anyone else.
Certificates. Ask to see Reiki 1, 2 and 3/Master & Teacher. Ensure that somewhere on the certificate it says specifically Teacher. Check out all of their Masters online if you feel like it, maybe asking on industry forums if you need to.
Hands on Attunements – there are plenty of courses and workshops that are online. All which issue certificates. Even free attunements passed out online! (who doesn’t like a freebie ey?). But for me, this will only work on the energetic and therefore only the Spiritual layer of the aura. The emotional and certainly not the physical capability will be less effective. Something my guides always drum into me, we are HUMAN. We spend too much time only focusing on the Spiritual. We must embrace both to function well here. So ensure you and your Master have hands on attunements. This is something the Reiki Federation really focus on. Also in a day and age where you can do online courses with no attunements or receive free attunements online, you have no idea if people have been taught properly, or by someone who is even able to offer out attunements.
Length of Healing – you may want to go with someone who has been a Master for a long time, or a short time, but for me, how long have they been healing? Someone may have been a very effective and well loved healer for 10 years and only done their Master/Teacher recently. That’s fine. As they will know how to heal. Many learn just to teach, as, let’s be fair, that’s where the greater money is. Unless everything else checks out, and the Master has not been healing and teaching very long and you have a great feeling about this person, go for it ( I in no way want to hold new masters back). But if you have an iffy feeling or a couple of other things don’t match up, and they have been healing and teaching for a short period (for me 18 months or less), then you may want to step away.
Openness – How open is this Master to being asked for their experience and credentials. Maybe even a reference. If there is an Ego flash, then step away, quick. This for me is a no-brainer. Anyone who’s Ego is bigger than their desire to share knowledge, really doesn’t have the right mindset.
Insurance – sounds basic but you’d be surprised. Sometimes people don’t think of it, but a Master should be instilling practising in modern society to their students. If they can’t produce an insurance certificate, you need to step away. Either they don’t see it as important, which is frankly worrying in this sue happy society (which also means they aren’t grounded enough in this reality), or they can’t get it. Which draws their credentials and experience into question. You can get insurance from £50 roughly so there is no excuse.
Ask for what you get in the workshop, if they don’t automatically offer this information. (I always do, but not everyone thinks the same way as me. I embrace my logical straight forward side, as well as my flowing spiritual side). What you would expect, in my opinion, to be included in a workshop:

Reiki 1st degree

Four Attunements – the purpose of them should be explained and also the 21 day clear out process including how vital self healing is.
Where does Reiki come from? The Hisory of Reiki.
Lineage showing their line back to Usui himself!
Two day or One Day workshop – just make sure that the extra stuff you get in the two day is worth the extra you will invariably pay for it. It also works perfectly under a long enough evening course.
Workbook for the day
How to channel energy
How to interpret the energy and information while you are treating.
Hand Positions to treat friends and family to give you a good basic grounding
Self – Healing Hand positions and information and the vital importance of it.
How emotions are important in Reiki.
Basic anatomy
Practice on a patient not student from the teaching group.
For Friends and Family Only
Next Steps.
I believe there should be a break between Reiki 1 & 2. Not every Master does this, as people are keen to get to 2 so they can heal professionally and get paid for what they do. The Reiki Federation does not say there should be no break, but supports a 6 month wait between attunements. If you do both through me, I will work with you and your agenda, as long as you show commitment. And there is an argument that as the solar system has moved into a more energetic part of the Universe, people are progressing at a far quicker rate as well as the general awakening, for many reasons. That is why I work with my students providing Reiki Share and Healing Circle and general support. Foe me, there is no reason why a dedicated student can’t progress within 3 months.

The reasons for a break are:

The attunements raise your vibration substantially. If you have 6 attunements, over too short a period, it will literally blow your socks off (or should do if done right). It can make you ill as your body rapidly detoxes all it needs to physically and energetically (remembering emotions are energy). I wouldn’t want to put anyone through this. Life changes which may have been done over several months, are catapulted into weeks or days. Friendships and relationships can break down dramatically, as you and others move onto significantly different pathways, in a short period. You have no time to nurture your non-spiritual friends and relations into a new phase of your spiritual journey. I have seen relationship breakups over nothing (both people now on dramatically different pathways overnight), businesses falling apart or redundancy after redundancy (well you wanted to do this professionally didn’t you? says the Universe) and healing crisis, where the detox is severe and can send people into depression and energy lacking illnesses. This often puts people off their spiritual pathway, as how can we understand why Spirit and the Universe are putting us though this at the time. It is generally hindsight that gives us the perspective as to why we go through this. Please see below for a fuller understanding of my personal experience with this.
Many students like to have the ‘apprenticeship’ period. ‘Here’s how you do it, now toddle off!’ is not how I would approach my students. I am not in their face, but there when they need me. I know many people learning other healing modalities with no previous healing experience, feel in limbo and not confident at their healing abilities. Most of it comes with time and practice, as with anything. Everyone works differently and it is essential that you understand how you work. The last thing you want is for people to loose faith in themselves and turn from their spiritual path.
Equally, many patients don’t like the idea that after one weekend you are a bona fide healer. People like experience and with Reiki being given out the traditional way, your patients will feel confident.
Showing your commitment, allowing yourself this learning time (as they say, don’t run before you can walk!), also shows the Universe that you are ready and dedicated. That way they know they can entrust you with more information, energy, skill and opportunity.
Like I say, this is very much each to their own on the gap. If you are progressed down your journey and your vibrations high enough, you maybe more than capable of receiving both, very close together. But certainly after a minimum of your 21 day clear out period.

Reiki 2

Two attunements preferably, although one is also normal. (From experience, and considering the length of time it takes to do the attunements, it seems silly to me not to offer two).
One Day Course
Symbols – their origin, their meaning, how to use them and practice with them.
Distance Healing Symbols – again it’s origin, how to use them, practice with them and when it is appropriate to send distance healing. Maybe how they link to previous life and this life healing.
Practice on a patient not a student from the teaching group.
Professional information such as insurance and professional bodies, how to prepare a client for a treatment, what treatment length or course to recommend, after care for a patient, how to prepare the environment for a treatment, the client consultation and disclaimers and client records. How to develop a business even. (this does not have to be the focus of the day, and it isn’t for me. But we must acknowledge it’s importance in this day and age. It’s foolish not to).
Next Steps.
Again, a gap of at least one year is expected between Reiki 2 and 3. But again this depends on the commitment of the student.

Reiki 3 Master

At least one Master Symbol, although I give two. It is not unusual to give out more.
Master Attunement
Discussion about what is means to truly become a Master.
Touching again on the professional information.
Practice on a patient not a student from the teaching group.
Next Steps.
Reiki 3 Teacher

Hui Yin Position
Raku Symbol.
How to Pass attunements for Reiki 1, 2 and 3.
Practice the attunements for Reiki 1, 2 and 3 on a person.
How to design your own workbooks.
How to design your own workshops.
Student Records.
How to develop your Business.
Touching again on the professional information.
Next Steps.
I teach these out both separately as two 1 day workshops, and together as a 2 day workshop, depending on the student.

I personally feel not everyone who wants to Master, wants to teach, or is ready to. And the course lends itself to being split up very easily. Plus it allows people to progress at their budget too!

Not everyone feels this way and many people feel that it is important to have these together, to want to Master, it to want to teach. I truly respect that philosophy. So it is normal and good to find people who will want to teach out both together. So choose someone who will work how you want to take it forward.

I hope this provides some guidance and direction for your own journeys and feel free to ask if you have any questions about choosing a teacher for yourself.

Love as always

Rachael
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