It’s a very fine line between being a self-promotionist and following your True path.
Take for example the teacher and author, starting out small, with a kernel of an idea to help others.
A few people follow his path and become successful.
Eventually a friend convinces him that it’s time for him to put his system on paper, and duly his course arrives for home-study.
People love it, but they want more.
His publishers want more too, so between them they decide on a publicity tour.
The phenomenal success of his book, means that people would like the chance to work with him too.
Clearly, working One-to-one with people isn’t the best use of his time, so he thinks about a hall.
Now he can work with 80 people at a time.
But hundreds of people are clamouring for this teacher to help them.
The rooms get bigger and bigger. The Auditoriums that are being booked for him now hold six thousand people at a time.
Why travel all over the world, with all the stress, just hold the retreats in Hawaii or Fiji.
Everybody will travel the globe to be with you and you can spend your time in Paradise.
You discount the courses to former attendees, and then they become your acolytes who help others on the course. How could you possibly hope to rangle six thousand people a day for a week at a time?
There are plenty of people who see a price tag of $10,000 as a great investment. I have a friend who attended just one such course three times in a year — $30,000 and still good value according to her.
For the person running the show, perhaps they might make $10–20m dollars in a hit.
Possibly two or three times a year.
It’s not a bad way to make a living..!
Tour like that for a few years, sell your books and courses.. you could see your way to becoming a Billionaire..
But are you still helping people? I guess so..
But what about yourself?
We hear the stories about Mastery, the oft quoted ten thousand hours to mastery. I passed that mark a long while ago, and still feel like a complete beginner.
One of my teachers used to remark, “if you have to call yourself Master, then you really aren’t there yet!” (It was deemed to be fine if somebody else called you that though..
I suppose the idea was to say to your top students, “Please call me Master but don’t tell anybody I asked you too, and encourage the younger ones to do it too…”)
In ancient Chinese times, the stories were always told of young students brushing the steps of the Master’s house for three years, before they would even receive one lesson.
True devotion was required.
Even I served an apprenticeship during the 90’s to Master Lam.
I attended his class of about 18 months, without him so much as glancing at me. My apprenticeship was rather costly too.. with your devotion, you had to bring your hard cold folding too, once you’d paid enough tribute, he would eventually deign to show you a few moves..
In these days of Social Media, when it’s possible to connect with anybody at the drop of a hat, and you are able to access information that would have never been possible even twenty years ago, has some of the value gone?
We are so used to getting exactly what we want, the moment we want it. Has this devalued learning and experience?
Once a year my Chinese teachers used to tour through Europe, we’d grab them, and they’d teach a wonderful ten day retreat for about thirty people.
These days I can’t get them off Zoom! Every other day they are offering to present a new course.
Interestingly, it seems that my students are now tiring of the torrent of information, and like us all (in our third pandemic lockdown) are craving face to face teaching once again.
There are astonishing levels of egalitarianism created by online teaching, anyone anywhere can learning anything! But, truly, I feel like something’s been lost.
I also have to question the “North American publishing model,” that sees healers and teachers turned into rockstars.
There has to be some envy mixed in there too!
What happens when my book deal comes through, when the Documentary that I’m trying to get funded finds its home at last on Netflix?
Where is the line between staying true to yourself, and helping as many people as you can?
I ultimately believe that the line is drawn deep in your soul.
How will you behave when fame comes knocking?
Can you walk the walk of The Dalai Lama, will you become Youtube Superstar or even a Guru like the famed guru Osho? (Who amassed a huge collection of Rolls Royce’s and estate worth £2bn and a string of Rape claimes..)
To date I’ve not had the chance to test this theory. I do however see some of my teachers getting a bit lost in the maze of this question.
To add a further layer of difficulty, often these wonderful teachers are a) bad at any type of promotion, and b) rarely tech savvy..
Outside forces seem keen to help them, but another of the great questions is “how do you find out how your audience REALLY perceive you..” when you are surrounded by a huge team who “loves and worships you?” Are they aggressively marketing you to the world and in so doing, destroying your message and standards?
Would you rather help 500 people broadly, or 30 people deeply?
What a conundrum!
The only possible word that can be applied is “Humility” — but how do you square a marketing campaign with humility?
I guess the only possible approach is to stick firmly to your own path..
Keep checking if you and you alone are in total control of your journey, or have you seeded it to somebody else who is now driving you.
It’s a tricky one..
Sorry folks, NO Answers here today!
Watch this space, and please offer your opinions!