What Is a Spiritual Guide?
By Lynn Tosello
A spiritual counselor and guide is someone who listens with insight, intuition, and empathy. It is someone who reaches to the root of a problem to find a soothing and perfecting solution. It is someone who uses the spiritual aspect of life to enhance your experiences. It is someone who gets to know you and cares about your experience of being. It’s me, and all others like me who have combined nonmaterial gifts and scholarly training for the advancement and enlightenment of our clients.
A spiritual counselor and guide is part teacher, helping students to grasp new ideas and understand concepts that are far larger than the individual. We are also part librarian, helping seekers find the books, tapes, films, and websites that will hasten clarity and elicit the radiant, sometimes whispered, epiphany, “I know; I understand.”
Because spirit is the core of our work, a description is due here. I defer to Emmet Fox, author of Sermon on the Mount and many other books that give a great deal of spiritual insight. In his book Alter Your Life, Fox explains:
“You are Spirit. Your body is spiritual, but you are Spirit. Spirit cannot die and was never born. Your true self was never born and will never die. You are eternal, divine, unchanging Spirit, in your true nature. The whole universe is spiritual creation but we see it in a limited way, and that limited way we know as matter.”
Being from spirit, we innately possess the seven aspects of God as enumerated by Fox: life, truth, love, intelligence, soul, spirit, and principle.
Integrating spiritual principles into every aspect of our lives results in wholeness and the peace that surpasses understanding. The teaching of a spiritual counselor and guide incorporates the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Black Elk, Lao Tzu, and the ancient Essenes. It is holistic in the greatest sense, embracing the whole in all of its forms.
It is the exploration of the dichotomy of love/fear, good/evil, light/dark. It is discovering where we fit into the cosmic scheme of life and how these seeming opposites work in our lives. It is looking at life itself. In the heart sutra, we find the paradox of life and existence: “O Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form; that which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness, form. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, formations, and consciousness.” God/creator/original life force is part of life, though, from our limited perception, the concept is difficult to fathom. Carl Jung was reminded of it daily by the saying in his office that read: “Bidden or unbidden, God is present.”
Whatever way you seek peace with existence, exploration and discovery on life’s journey are fun, exciting, frustrating, inspiring, cathartic, and renewing. Spiritual exploration excites and inspires me and I want to share the journey with as many fellow explorers as I can. Consider me and all those like me as your Kit Carson of spiritual exploration. If you’re on the journey, or would like to be, we can travel with you. We’ve been over the territory before; we can help you chart your course.
Lynn Tosello, Chico, CA, 530-342-3740