Class Protocol: Respecting and Honoring yourself, your Spirits, your Teachers, your Community.
We all know that what we put into something is what we get out of it. We can't buy wisdom or healing; we have to participate. The best way to approach spiritual training is with the same discipline that you might expect would be required in a college program. Because if you want results, that is what it takes. Your teacher can't make you apply yourself - only you can. Many teachers feel they have to charge higher prices in order for people to show up ready to do the work. I try to be accessible, and I expect the same level of intentionality.
I try to teach good boundaries. I try to hold good boundaries as well. I expect students to be aware that they are coming to participate in an event which is interdependent. Even if you go through an entire course without getting to know your colleagues, your actions and presence have great effect on everyone else. Please consider the following before attending a Littlelight Ceremony or course.
Shamanism is about relationship. A spiritual class is an offering of time, space and love, crafted by someone with a deep well of life and spiritual experience they are eager to share with you. Your payment is an exchange of effort and commitment back to this person who is thinking of you in every step of their workshop preparation. If you commit, you are committing to being in relationship with everyone who attends in some way.
How you approach the class makes an impact on everyone else. Please be aware of how your approach towards your spiritual training affects your teacher and your fellow students. Please do not treat the class like a commodity that you can take or leave.
Sign Up On Time
Please make your decision about a class as timely as you can, so you can sign up. When you wait to sign up until last minute, you are putting stress on the teacher and other students who may be turned down if the class does not fill. Spaces that are rented have cancellation policies which require 2 weeks to a month notice.
Informally telling the teacher you are coming is not signing up. By paying a nonrefundable deposit you are putting an investment in that shows strong intention of your attendance and some compensation towards running the class for other people if you drop out.
Show Up On Time
Spiritual classes are pockets of sacred energy built up for transformational work. They are spaces out of time and place where people hold trust together so that they can do personal work in a public venue. Every person contributes vital energy to the nature of this container when sacred space is created together. Missing this opening alters this energetic pocket. Habitual lateness is disrespectful to everyone, including yourself. It is not being aware of your own value and how you are important to the medicine of the circle.
Teachers will treat those who are late with love and understanding, but no matter what the reason, your lateness has affected the circle.
Show up Prepared
Shamanic classes and circles are strong when we are all focused. You are expected to complete any homework so that we can progress as a circle to the next material. Please bring something to contribute to the altar. This can represent a power animal, a prayer or an offering. When we all add to the altar, the circle is strong. Consider your commute to class as the beginning of circle for you. Perhaps, play music that contributes to a grounded state of mind and consider what your intentions are for the coming session.
Be Present to Sacred Space
Apply your full heart and effort into the calling of the spirits as if you were home doing it alone. Shamanic teachers always create a container for you but you want to be strong with your own spirits when you do your practice. We also want to earnestly call to the spirits for assistance in supporting the work of our colleagues.
Try to notice the things that contain or deplete the potency of the container and support the container. Your awareness will grow, as well as your skill. Keep mundane conversation to a minimum when in the altar room.
Honoring Other's Boundaries
Spirit speaks to people in their own language, so there is no way any one person can interpret another person's shamanic journey. We hold space for each other and encourage our colleagues to hear their own wisdom, celebrate with them when the road becomes clear.
Journeying for others without prior and explicit permission is not acceptable in our circles. On rare occasions, we are given information in our journeys that we did not ask for about someone else, but we do not seek it out. Even in this case, we can ask our helping spirits, "Why am I being shown this?" or "What does this have to do with my journey question?". To deliver messages about others without permission can make people feel violated and unsafe in our circle.
If you are learning great lessons from our journey, please be mindful and speak in the first person, rather than hiding behind "you" language, which feels and sounds preachy to the listeners. Telling others 'how it is' creates barriers, whereas sharing our own path creates intimacy, the basic ingredient for deep work, deep love, deep transformation.
We try not to 'take care' of each other, but rather support each other in finding our own divine wisdom and light. If someone in circle is going through difficulty, we may ask that person what we can do to help. We perhaps may offer ideas but with always with respect for the boundaries of that person, the circle and ourselves.
Do Your Homework
When we are given big messages or blessings in shamanic time, a crucial part of the practice is to bring the medicine home. This means carrying out the message of the journey in our lives. How this manifests depends upon the circumstance and journey. When this work is done between circle meeting times, our spiritual lives become a constant flow. We become practitioners rather than students. When we return to circle after having done this work, we come bearing new wisdom and stronger presence to the circle. In this way by giving to ourselves, we inherently give to our spiritual support network as well.
These are Staples of Being a Spiritual Adult.