As I mentioned in a blog post last week, Ken McLeod has a talent for using precise language and creating formulas in his writing. This makes him good at creating lists. In a recent piece on the Huffington Post, “Nine Types of Teachers,” Ken breaks down a list what he sees as nine different critical “roles” that people can perform in helping us with our spiritual development. The list, which covers roles such as “Guru” and “Consultant,” is useful because it makes clear that there are many different aspects and approaches to spiritual growth, and, depending on your personality and circumstance, different qualities and capabilities are required from your (multiple) teacher(s). An example from the list:

Priest A priest is a person who, by virtue of his or her training, symbolizes a relationship with the spiritual, or, if you wish, the divine. Interaction with a priest is frequently highly ritualized, the ritual setting and roles providing an environment in which the patterns and prejudices of daily life are set aside and the priest can function for you as a representative of what you aspire to, spiritually or religiously. Change comes through your trust in the ritual forms and using them to access what is in your heart.

Read the complete list here. It’s noteworthy that Ken ends each “role” description with a sentence on how this particular type of teacher will help to “change” you—whether you need to be challenged by a teacher or supported by them, the important part is that you understand that these are just different methods being used to change negative habitual patterns. There appears to be some overlap between a few of these roles, and Ken notes that the list is not comprehensive, but it is a worthwhile read if you are thinking about your relationship(s) with either an existing or potential spiritual teacher(s).

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