The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers℠ (APST) was founded in 2018 by Craig Holliday, Jac O’Keeffe and Rick Archer with input from many valuable friends, peers and students along the way. The APST arose out of a deep need to address the numerous scandals and confusion involving spiritual teachers, their students and communities, over the years. The APST aims to deepen the conversation and become an evolving force in education so that there is greater integrity and professionalism within the modern spiritual landscape.
The intention of the APST is to grow and evolve as a community of spiritual teachers and prevent these unfortunate events by empowering teachers to become fully educated on the ethics and dynamics of working with students. The APST team believes passionately that now is the time to fulfill the fundamental need for establishing education, transparency, responsibility and ethical standards within the spiritual teaching community. The APST is not a judging, policing or mediating body. It seeks to create accountability and support teachers professionally so that they may better serve their communities.
While Jac, Craig and Rick are founding members of APST, they are as equally accountable to the Code of Ethics presented here as every other member. We all are “works in progress”, and will continue to explore the realm of ethics and spirituality and improve the Code. Nobody receives “special privileges” within APST. We are in this together.
Craig Holliday is a gifted Meditation and Spiritual Teacher trained in both the Yogic and Buddhist traditions and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) offering mindfulness-based therapy and nondual therapy to individuals and couples. Craig travels frequently offering Nondual Meditation Workshops, Retreats, and Satsang. Craig presents on spiritual topics at the Science and Nonduality Conference, yoga festivals, churches, and dharma centers. His work is dedicated to the discovery of our innate Divinity, and the expansion of compassionate action on the planet. He works in a way that addresses our everyday suffering as a doorway to our inherent freedom, empowerment and as a catalyst for social change. https://craigholliday.com
Jac O’Keeffe is a spiritual teacher with a unique style. She flies in the face of spiritual concepts and exposes taboos that are usually avoided in spiritual circles. Her teachings cultivate wisdom, honesty and integrity. Students who are drawn to her are close to, or already awakened. Jac’s deep knowing that awakening is only the beginning of wisdom ensures the continued discovery of her own edges of evolution. She walks her talk. Jac is a sage hidden in plain sight. https://jac-okeeffe.com
Rick Archer created the website Buddha at the Gas Pump in the Fall of 2009 and has since interviewed over 470 “spiritually awakening” people, from the well-known to the unknown, and from a variety of backgrounds and traditions. He conducts a new interview each week. Rick learned Transcendental Meditation at the age of 18, was trained by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a TM teacher in 1970, and served in that capacity for 25 years, teaching hundreds of people, lecturing around the world, helping to train TM teachers, and serving at the international headquarters of the TM organization in Switzerland. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vedic Studies from Maharishi International University. Rick is no longer associated with the TM organization, having become too eclectic and independent in his perspective to affiliate exclusively with any one organization. https://batgap.com
Marian Caplan, Special Advisor
Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, E-RYT 500, is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and the author of eight books in the fields of psychology and spirituality that have been translated in more than a dozen languages, including: Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path (Sounds True), The Guru Question: the Perils and Rewards of Choosing a Spiritual Teacher (Sounds True), and Halfway Up the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment (Hohm Press). As a psychotherapist, she consults, mediates, and provide psychological services for spiritual teachers, spiritual emergences and emergencies, and individuals and spiritual communities both in crises, as well as those in spiritual leadership positions seeking preventative psychological support for their communities. She has been teaching workshops and trainings in universities, major retreat centers around the world, online, and in yoga studios since 1997. Dr. Caplan also developed innovative programs as a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Naropa University, John F. Kennedy University, and Sophia University, and she is the founder of the Yoga & Psyche Method and the Yoga & Psyche Conference.http://www.Realspirituality.com and http://www.YogaandPsyche.com