Group vs. Individual Teaching: When Enlightenment seems to be a Long Way from Home

Sun, 10 May 2015
By Dave O.


Many consider Enlightenment to be Home. Enlightenment means returning to your Self. Your Self resides in the source of everything, which is Consciousness, your eternal Home. However a person who considers that they are only a human body will consider Home to be somewhere on Earth. Thus they will seek their eternal Home on Earth but will never find it – not unless Heaven comes to Earth (which so far it has not).

As human souls we find ourselves in two worlds, the worlds of spirit and matter. These worlds have a high degree of overlap and interaction and yet they have differences (which at this time are extreme). The material world can supply some but not all of our needs.

Enlightenment is being at Home. An Enlightenment Teacher’s role is to make that Home perceptible because Enlightenment has already arrived - it simply has to be noticed. The classic way to bring a seeker’s Enlightenment home to them is through one-to-one interactions in both private and group settings.

A spiritual group is not just a collection of seekers – it is an entity in itself. Whereas group teaching involves both verbal and non-verbal teaching interactions with and between individuals, these interactions include the group’s needs and thus diffuse the focus upon a seeker’s individual needs. Some of the benefits of group teaching are efficiency, sharing, mirroring, community and mutual support. A participant may recognise their own questions and issues when witnessing another’s teaching interaction - and a group can absorb, contain and circulate the Enlightenment Transmission, which brings awareness and energy in order for Enlightenment to be recognised. Thus a group is both a battery and memory storage device. A group could potentially extend and develop the energy and information, which it downloads from the Enlightenment Transmission.

The group teaching model may seem to be a ‘long way from home’ from the one-to-one teaching model but the two methods are complementary. Individual differences and issues can cause conflicts of interests, which delay a group’s ability to be work well together as personal conflicts inhibit group integration and distract a person way from having unity consciousness. But fortunately, when an individual seeks to serve the good of the group by taking the Enlightenment Transmission’s higher view, harmony within that group can be achieved. Such an unselfish attitude is a prerequisite for Enlightenment since the individual identity will be subsumed into the Consciousness of Everything.

In contrast, individual teaching seems like a selfish, indulgent luxury wherein a few individuals get all of the Enlightenment Teacher’s limited time. Personal issues between participants may seem unimportant, inappropriate or too private to raise in a group, especially when group teaching seems too diffuse for an individual’s specific concerns, questions or confusions. But avoiding interpersonal interactions will prevent interpersonal conflicts, hence allowing their causes to remain hidden.

Should a potentially Enlightened person be isolated from others? Traditional models for Enlightenment stress a model of solitude. Coincidentally this suits those who want to withdraw from the world, for whatever reason, typically to live like a monk. (Monks have had a major hand in modifying spiritual ideas to create institutionalised religions, so it is no surprise that seekers expect personal teaching). But why would a soul seek to be born into the world and then avoid it? The Enlightened heart is open to the whole of existence and regards everything with compassion. Isolation would deny that essential relationship to life and the benefits that it confers, therefore isolation is incompatible with Enlightenment and life.

Stepping on the path to Enlightenment is involuntary. Whilst an individual cannot choose to step off, they have the freedom to choose how they will travel. A person can go as slow as they wish. But if they claim to want to go faster then they should explore what their resistances are.

The Oshana Enlightenment Transmission Teaching is a ‘take it or leave it’ proposition: a participant is free to attend or leave whenever they want. However some activities require preparation and commitment, especially since travelling the Enlightenment path requires openness, honesty and vulnerability. The group teaching process provides an opportunity to understand and practice these qualities in an environment wherein the encountering of unpredictable Ego interactions, which happen in the world, can be supported by the Enlightenment Transmission and Teaching. Not engaging in this process when in a group, may delay the progress of the group and the individual.

How to make the most of the group teaching process? Inevitably interpersonal conflicts of interest will arise. These can be considered more useful than problematic because they bring an opportunity to practice love, compassion and harmonisation. Seemingly intractable cases can still be seen from a higher perspective and integrated into the warp and woof of life.

In conclusion, whereas interpersonal interaction between spiritual seekers gives rise to conflict, they are an unavoidable part of life. Such conflicts take time and energy to resolve, which makes personal teaching more attractive. However personal teaching itself takes time and might not expose interpersonal issues. Group teaching is recommended because it is time-efficient and relevant to being in the world. Individual teaching should be related to the group teaching experience to make the most of both teaching modalities.