Heart Ki

Asking Monetary Compensation For Spiritual Work

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Someone playing tennis with his friends isn’t the same thing as a Nadal or a Federer playing competitively. No matter how competitive you are at playing with friends in your backyard, or, for example, doing something as a hobby, there’s a quantum leap that is necessary when you commit to do something professionally. The stakes are much higher if you’re earning a living though what you do. Your independence, your monetary sustainability, your image and reputation, your career, all of this is laid on the line.

Someone who devotes professionally to an activity is far more focused, competitive, prepared, and went through the tials and ordeals of succeeding in an environment. Considerable investments of time, training, practice, and preparation, are involved, which often aren’t visible or even conceivable for someone casually looking from the outside.

For this reason, someone who asks for monetary compensation for spiritual work is not the same thing as a person who does it for free. A person who offers free Reiki sessions is not the same thing as someone performing Reiki professionally. A person who uses their clairvoyance and intuition in their spare time is not the same thing as someone who relies on it for a living. Why? Placing your hands over someone, practicing your skills and gifts, is one thing; putting yourself out there, going all the way with your life, and dealing on an everyday basis with others within said context, is quite another. Making spirituality your living, rather than a peripheral or auxiliary element, is the great trial by fire.

To think true spirituality must be free, is to dismiss the specialist who has come in to perform specific, specialized work.

It is to believe that the work of the carpenter, of the lawyer, and of the businessman, are all deserving of monetary retribution, but the work of the spiritual facilitator isn’t. It is to believe these occupations deserve to earn their sustenance, but the spiritual practitioner must have a ‘job’ on the side, or depend on donations and charity. The practitioner must “rely on God to earn his sustenance” – but not earn that sustenance by working on precisely what he came here to do.

Using the same analogy, what if God wanted you to come to Earth to provide your gifts and service? Wouldn’t it be silly if you came down and once here you said ‘sorry, no, I can’t ask for money for doing that’.

Your personal inner connection with Spirit, without intermediaries, is free; the services and expertise of a professional aren’t. There is need for monetary compensation for spiritual service, much like with any other form of service. Asking for monetary compensation is how the service is properly valued and honored by society and other individuals.

It’s true money is often a catalyst for lack of integrity, deceit, corrupting the intention of individuals and the purpose that is intended to be achieved. It’s easy to act outside of integrity or deceit to earn money at the expense of others. However, this doesn’t imply truthful, well-meaning practitioners are to be subjected to clandestinity. Just because Prada handbags are replicated and fakes are produced all the time, doesn’t mean Prada should stop their business. Prada is not accountable for those who fake their work, nor does it mean that all Prada in existence is fake. Both situations co-exist.

A practitioner who committed to living from his spiritual tools has taken responsibility not only for the service he provides to others but also for his own personal growth and staying in spiritual integrity at all times. It’s the practitioner’s responsibility to stay in integrity, and it’s the responsibility of those being served to assess if the service is truthful, useful, and indeed offered in integrity. Spiritual skill and gifts are only the tools. It’s always really about the person performing them, his or her level of consciousness, and responsibility.

You might observe that the systems by which our society is designed to work – such as the concept of money, and/or how money is created, shared, etc – might not function properly, ideally, or be in balance. You might observe that imposing on the human being he must work for its own basic sustenance and existence, or letting him suffer the consequences of lack of said sustenance, might often bring out the worst of mankind – cutthroat competition, lack of integrity, stealing, deceit for the sake of getting money, and so on. I have no objections against such considerations. Society in many ways is very far from balance.

However, from the moment society agrees in working with money – a concept representing one’s personal worth, usefulness, and resources at any given time – and for as long as it does, you can’t hold the perception truthful spiritual practitioners and teachers offering legitimate service are by principle obligated to offer their service for no compensation, and are instead meant to rely on charity, offerings, handouts, etc. Maybe they’re supposed to, maybe that’s part of their path; or maybe it isn’t. If that’s the model that best fits with the purpose an life contracts of the Soul, then it is. But not all Souls come in with that purpose.

Perhaps you’re perfectly willing to pay for a smartphone, a loaf of bread, or a house – but not for spiritual guidance, healing, or to facilitate knowing who you really are. Perhaps you’re willing to give your money in exchange for the normal and material, but not for what’s deep down most important above all. This type of perspective essentially sees the spiritual as either so ethereal and pure that it shouldn’t involve money, or so ephemeral and subtle that it has no practical worth in the real world. And when adopted by the spiritual practitioners themselves, such perspectives can be extremely dangerous, as they can obscure the ways they were meant to earn money through their service in an appropriate manner. Such beliefs might very well – and often do – lead those in spiritual service to spend entire lifetimes providing their sacred gifts to others without ever leaving a context of permanent financial struggle, poverty, physical exhaustion, disrespect for their service, serving beyond their own physical limits, etc.

It is perfectly possible to offer a service, any service, and do so in balance, without necessarily being “corrupted by money”, in other words, engaging in any kind of behavior that’s self-centered and lacking in integrity. It is like this with any service, and it is like this with spiritual service as well.

The idea of money being evil, inadequate, and at odds with the spiritual, often comes from past memories and experiences. Perhaps you were once corrupted by money, engaging in lack of integrity, or you were deceived by someone doing so. Perhaps you felt everytime money was involved the human lower beliefs, deceit, and sense of survival, competition, etc seemed to take over. So you blamed money. However, while understandable, blaming the thing causing the lesson is ultimately an illusion. The true, real issue is not money itself, but the integrity of the person performing the service in exchange for it.

As such, don’t label the practitioner requesting money for their service as being intrinsically out of integrity. There’s nothing spiritual or righteous about this perception. A practitioner might be in integrity, might not be, or lie somewhere in between – but whether they are in integrity or not, or to the extent they aren’t, relates first and foremost to the choices and awareness of the person, and their own sense of spiritual responsibility.

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