Spiritual Teaching and Money

latvia-beach-september-2016-150-8172Every now and then I receive a question about spiritual teaching, counseling, guidance and money. It usually goes something like this;

“Why do you charge money for your workshops, audio programs, teaching, counseling or guidance? It is spiritual, it should be free”.

There are a number of answers I give but this one is the clearest and simplest to me:

“Because the supermarket, clothing store, tax authorities, utility companies, doctors, insurance companies, gas stations, airlines, hotels and all the other merchants and service providers I have to deal with do not accept spiritual teaching, meditations or my guidance as payment”.

I would love to teach, counsel and provide all the tools I have created for free. I love helping others. It is my purpose in life. I have often given of my talents for free but when I do it too often then I cannot go to the supermarket any longer and I get very hungry. There is not a church, priest, monk or guru that can live without physical sustenance. Some churches charge for membership, some ask for donations. Some even tell their members that if they give a donation they will have a better welcome in heaven or will achieve enlightenment sooner. Some warn of dire consequences for not donating. And some tell their members that they will be rewarded 10 times over for what they donate. There are gurus who do not charge for their teachings, but their organizations ask for donations or charge fees. There are also some very wealthy benefactors who donate to various spiritual groups or teachers so that they can support the betterment of humanity and the world as a whole.

In this world everyone must have the means to trade for what they need. In most cultures this means of trade is money.

If you go to a doctor to help heal your body you understand that either you or the insurance company or the government is going to pay that doctor. If you wish to have a home built then you will pay numerous service providers for your house. You will pay the tax authorities as well. Is the service of the doctor more valuable than having guidance to the experience of enlightenment or feeling inner peace and contentment?

So my suggestion is to let go of this idea that spiritual teaching should be free or it is not spiritual. If you are uncomfortable with paying for the services or teachings of a spiritual teacher or meditation instructor then find another teacher who will provide you with what you desire for free. But do not fault the teacher for charging a reasonable amount of money for their services and wisdom.

My personal philosophy is to give as much as I can for free. Then charge a reasonable amount of money for certain services and products so that I can eat, have a warm place to live, travel, have websites, email and phone, pay all my expenses, enjoy life and share with others if inspired to do so. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and euros in the process of learning all that I now share. I have spent at least 50 years studying and learning from every source possible. I am told that my teachings and wisdoms are helpful and have been life changing and life saving. My meditation audios, music, books, nature recordings have helped thousands of people. I am not seeking a return on my investments but I do require a certain amount of money to live. If some individual comes along and donates enough money to support my work so that I do not have to charge then I will be extremely happy about that. But, for now, I must charge for some of the services and products I provide.

Thank you for your understanding and your support.

I deserve a wonderful life by Jon Shore