"Never arrive at a gathering empty handed."
"There is a toll road in Kundalini Yoga. You pay first, then you enter. Itarashtam tithar kashtam . If you ever come empty handed, you shall go empty handed. It's a law which should never be broken. You should share freely, but never receive the student empty handed—that's the law. A student must not come to you empty handed. He may bring a leaf, or he may bring a million dollars. But he must not come to a teacher without an offering. If a person shall come empty-handed, he may sit there for six hours and do all kinds of yoga, but the moment he goes out of that door, he'll go empty-handed. That's the only condition, and it's not up to you or me." - Yogi Bhajan
The relationship between master and disciple is a sacred covenant that is agreed upon in pre-eternity and at the moment the master accepts the novice as a student. There must be an exchange of something of "value" that is symbolic of an offering one gives in exchange of a blessing. It is a conscious acknowledgement, "I need you. I value you. Humbly accept me and my offering." One would never ask a Doctor for a freebie or a discount. The agreement before you even step foot in the Dr.'s office is: You are ill. He gives you a prognosis and/or medicine. You will take your chances on whether his medicine will work or not. And you are prepared to pay for your visit after you are seen knowing this, correct? A spiritual exchange is no different: you need healing from your human condition and the teacher/master provides the tools. The path that lies ahead is unknown but the desire for Self-Realization is so great you proceed anyways. It is a sacred agreement...a Divine exchange.
Money is symbolic of this agreement although the exchange doesn't always have to be in money. It can be mutually agreed upon "barter" exchange. Whatever the agreed method, "payment" is your offering. The point being: it must be discussed, agreed upon and followed through to make the circle of healing complete. When it comes to exchanges of a spiritual nature (instruction, transmission, guidance), this exchange should not cause discomfort, pain, or suffering. If it does, one should question the intentions of the transmitter and possibly find another teacher.
For teachers, it is important put a value on your time, your knowledge, your experience. If you do not value what you transmit, how do you expect others to value it. To be fully present, it is necessary to be aware of all of your incarnations, your present life condition and dharma, the investments (both literal and figurative) you have made in your Self and the work that you have put in to arrive at this very moment. All that having been said...it puts things in better perspective when putting a value on one's work, energy and time.
In the past, I struggled with the idea of payment especially when dealing with spiritual work. I did not feel comfortable with charging for the transmission of healing energy or my counsel. I would accept a donation or symbolic gift in exchange. It worked for me initially but after years of giving to a fault, I found myself, depleted, imbalanced, ill, resentful and homeless. Not a positive place to be in if one has the intention of healing and being of service. But after years of transmitting, tempering, evolving and expanding as a healer and guide, I have come to realize:
1) Not all that arrive are Chosen.
2) For healing to transpire one must honor the medicine and the Giver/giver of the medicine. 3) Although "it" runs through you, it is not of you.
4) This is the way the Creator provides for you. It is a gift.
5) Know your worth.
6) Remain humble.
I pray these words provide you with the validation you need.
<3 Mama Luz