PART II: Should Spiritual Teachers - Healers Charge a Fee?
Working with a Healer: The Currency of Spiritual Services:
A Commercial, Cultural, and Individual Reflection on Paying a Spiritual Healer Teacher
Spiritual Guidance Series (PART II)
by Ronda LaRue
Those of you who read Part I of this series on “How to Find and Work with a Spiritual Healer or Mentor”, will recall the woman who emailed me with an interest in a 2 month phone counsel followed by a 3 ½ day private soul quest retreat intensive at my Ojai Center for SoulArts artisan home. Quickly and as a refresher, the woman, after a couple of free introductory dialogues where we addressed her specific interests, unique needs, and alternative options for working together – and right at that critical moment of commitment – had a freeze-brain. She just sort of had an e-meltdown, where she blasted out a most amazing tidal wave of fear, distrust and frustration with what she called an overly commercialized spiritual community. It was quite the e-mail. And it led me to consider what has become this 3-part series of articles about seeking, working with, and paying for spiritual guidance in today’s global culture. (Refer back to Part I here.)
So here’s the question that many of us (both as healers and as ones seeking spiritual assistance) have likely asked and grappled with:
Should healers and spiritual teachers charge for their healing gift, and if so how much is right and appropriate?
I, myself, have been to healers who charge nothing or take only donation, to ones who charge the equivalent of a new car (the extreme being a Shinto priest who was charging at the time I saw him $8,000 for three 60-minute sessions (you do the math!) to two Ukrainian brothers who refused any money or smallest of gift whatsoever, not so much as an apple or a used pair of shoes …and they put me up in their home besides!
People seem to be fairly opinionated on this subject of charging for spiritual services. Many people seeking spiritual guidance think that one should not charge a fee for these kinds of sacred services. They say that when it comes to matters regarding healing of mind and body, it is the work of God/Spirit. Therefore, no healer, as a conduit or servant in this universal force, should charge a fee for something that comes from and serves Spirit.
Others, and most people I believe, realize that a spiritual mentors abilities and gifts are a deeply valuable offering that should be blessed with the honoring of exchange. While money has become our common currency of exchange for the procurement of goods and services of value, this was of course not always the case.