The Wrong Question to Ask About Spiritual Workshops

So often people ask me: Jan, what would be a good workshop for me? With so many different spiritual workshops being organized, for example the Crimson Circle already offers over 10 different workshops, this question may sound logical, but actually it is the wrong question to ask. Why? And, what would be the right question to ask?

There are no good or bad workshops

Every workshop has value, in its own way. However, depending on where you are on the spiritual path, depending on your level of consciousness, the same workshop may be very appropriate for you but not for someone else.

It is like with normal education. We find it perfectly natural that a student first attends a number of years in elementary school and then progresses to high school and finally university. The lessons offered to the students in 3rd grade are appropriate for them but are no longer appropriate or of interest to the 5th grade students. But, that doesn’t mean that the 3rd grade lessons are of lesser value then the 5th grade lessons. At the same time, it wouldn’t make sense to offer 5th grade teachings to the 3rd graders, right?

One of the reasons why people ask for a “good” workshop is because they want to jump ahead quickly, as if they are on their way to a spiritual finish line.

A workshop can be ill timed

When I look back at the workshops I did, or even the books that I read over the years, they all  provided valuable information and experiences and they were very appropriate for me at that particular time. But, it would have been useless and even counterproductive if I had tried to jump ahead. There is only so much that our mind and system can handle. That is the reason why spiritual schools often have a certain sequence, or different levels, in their teachings.

I once had a student who was very enthusiastic about my workshops and she took a friend with her to the next workshop. This friend politely agreed but was totally out of sync with the information and didn’t enjoy the workshop. Afterwards she qualified the information as totally useless. The same happened with a wife who took her husband with her because she thought the workshop would be “good” for him. He was bored for three days. There was nothing wrong with the workshops that they attended, it simply wasn’t a match with their consciousness.

Which brings us to the questions you do want to ask.  

The 2 important questions to ask

When you are considering to attend a certain course or workshop, you may want to consider the following questions.

1. Do I feel a connection, a resonance, with the materials?
Simply feel if you are triggered or intrigued by the information which is being offered. If you don’t feel enthusiasm or a pull, don’t waste your time and money, the workshop is probably not for you, at least for now;

2. How does the energy of the teacher or facilitator feel?
Having trained teachers myself, I know that every person has a unique, energetic signature and this may make a difference for students when they want to attend one of their workshops. I therefore always advise students, before signing up for a course, to connect with the facilitator and to feel his/her energy. Do you feel comfortable, do you feel save, do you feel a connection with that person? If not, consider attending the workshop with someone else instead. There is nothing wrong with the person, it is simply looking for the best possible match for you.  

Perhaps there are also other things to consider when choosing between workshops, but I personally feel that these two questions are the most important. If you feel that other things are important too, don’t hesitate to share your comments and suggestions.

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5 Responses to The Wrong Question to Ask About Spiritual Workshops

  1. Irma says:

    Thanks Jan for this. Indeed those two questions are the most important.

    One more thing I usually tell any prospective student to ask themselves, is the question “How ready are you to open up to the experiences that are coming to the surface from within?”

    Spiritual workshops are often, albeit not always, about your own experiences, and sometimes they can be so painful that you might not want to face them. That’s why it is so important there is a safe space in the workshop. Opening up to new dimensions might also be scary for some.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Irma, Yes you are absolutly right and that’s why it is so important for students to connect with the workshop facilitator because they need to feel comfortable and safe to allow the experience to unfold, especially with workshops that are potentially very sensitive such as the SES and Aspectology workshops of the Crimson Circle. Thanks for your insights.

  2. Krasna says:

    Well said, Jan. This agrees with my experience very closely.

    For me, the best question is the clarity of the feeling of choosing to go. The workshops I’ve gotten the most from are those I’ve felt strongly about but have been unable to explain why, or even thought I had reasons not to go. So it’s all about feeling.

    I know what you mean, but I wish there were ways to talk about the differences in what resonates for specific people without using words like “level.” It’s so human, but so hard, not to turn this language into comparative measurements. The analogy to school grades is similarly sticky, as are terms like “readiness” and “advanced.” It’s another example of how words confuse us!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Krasna, thanks for your observations. Indeed, words like “level”, “advanced” or evem “readiness” suggest a certain judgment where non is intended. We all intuitively feel this but our human conditioning very quickly turns this into a black and white comparison. You may like to read my new post “Do You Measure Up, Spiritually?”

  3. Reinis says:

    Those are really good questions to ask about anything that’s in front of us! And Irma has a very good question as well.

    Regarding the words ‘levels’, ‘advanced’, ‘readiness’ -- I know what you mean. Using them from a place of judgment is not a very uplifting experience. Then again, just by saying this I am judging others judging.

    And really… this judgment of categorizing in levels… where did it come from? Is it really mine? Or did I pick it up from somebody else?

    Because, there ARE levels in life, with everything. And no, ‘higher’ or ‘more’ does not mean ‘better’, just ‘different’.

    But just because others are giving a judgmental-vibe to categorizing in levels, doesn’t mean I have to buy into that drama.

    For one, I know I am constantly going through levels of experiences in my life. A spiral-like motion, I’d say. Today I know more than a week or a year of five years ago.
    Of course, trying to jump ahead is part of the ‘lesson’ of learning to live fully in the now moment, but that’s another discussion.

    Perhaps, a better label would be ‘awareness’. A broader level of awareness. Expanded awareness. Not better, just broader.

    I believe (more and more) that we are really not becoming ‘more’ or ‘better’ or anything… we’re just becoming more aware of who-we-already-are.

    Thanks for your article, Jan! 🙂

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