Thursday, June 21, 2007

Looking Good ≠ Good Guru

File under: Blogs of Note and The Siddhi of PR

Recently, real writer Marta Szabo sent a link to her memoir, published serially on her blog, The Guru Looked Good. It's all about her time spent in the SYDA yoga ashram of faded former hottie guru Gurumayi. We dug a bit but found nothing we'd call dirt on the missing devi, and a request to the author for this material went unfulfilled. However, it does provide a good look at the interpersonal psychodynamics of ashram life. In other words, it's pretty fucked up:
Gay couples didn't exist on the ashram's radar. Any homosexuality was deep underground, almost too deep to see, easy to gaze past. Now and then the subject surfaced for a moment at a lunch table, how two women had been asked to leave because their relationship was “inappropriate.” You could tell just by looking around you that being gay and the ashram didn’t go together. I just tossed it onto the pile of things that were discouraged or not allowed – all things that seemed worth giving up if it meant getting free of absolutely everything, being liberated.
Besides the ignorance about the Gays, the last sentence equates liberation (moksha) with a freedom from "things." Common thinking at an ashram, and probably the number one reason people subject themselves to that particular house of horrors.

One day they'll learn that liberation has nothing to do with anything but itself. It comes in an augenblick, unbidden and not in response to anything, including someone's adherence to a set of ignorant rules about what things are "spiritual" or not. One of our favorite things is our dog's lovely ass, which constantly reminds us that the truth of our being is at once, always immediate and also utterly transcendent of all things, those Gurumayi proclaimed to be spiritual and everything she said that was not.

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6 Comments:

At 6/21/2007 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, blecch. Ever since I left SY many years ago, I have been unable to use the words "inappropriate," "discreet," "positive," "negative," and "pure" without cringing. Perhaps only other exes will grok this. Siddha Yoga is euphemism central. Even without knowledge of its abundant abuses, a place so rife with pretty code-words for dirty doings ("We invite you to take advantage of this blessed opportunity to deepen your sadhana" = "Send lot of money so that Gurumayi can buy more diamonds and send top staff people to fancy rehab hotels") should have been apparent to the stupidest among us. D'oh!

Marta's story is rather polite, but so vivid it still gives me the chidvilasandandas. The lady is a class act. Brava!

 
At 6/22/2007 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marta's story is rather polite, but so vivid it still gives me the chidvilasandandas. The lady is a class act. Brava!


Ha Ha and Snort with laughter..the "chidvilli...sanandas".... kind of like a combination of: the willies, the chillies and a bad toothache! excellent!
(but VERY "inappropriate" and "out of alignment with the shakti"...lol!)

Varahi Devi

 
At 6/24/2007 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a load of nonsense. Siddha Yoga is full of gays, and they are treated the same as anyone else. They do seva and they are treated as valuable members of the community. Don't believe everything you hear about Siddha Yoga. The people who perpetrated the negative stuff are the very same people who now complain about Siddha Yoga on the internet. Thank goodness we got rid of those people out of the organisation. It is a much nicer place to be now! :)

 
At 6/25/2007 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"inappropriate," "discreet," "positive," "negative," and "pure"

Same exact words used in the TM movement.

 
At 6/25/2007 12:59 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Jody's original posting:
> One day they'll learn that
> liberation has nothing to do
> with anything but itself.

There's one pure and clear thing in front of us this moment. Ideas come and go without affecting it.

SYDA, like any other school of thought, offers ideas that some people like. It's not that this is bad... but it's nice to also make clear that the Truth that's already appeared doesn't depend on believing in this or that Guru or dogma.

> ... not in response to anything,
> including someone's adherence to
> a set of ignorant rules about
> what things are "spiritual" or
> not.

Likewise with all ideas of what's spiritual or not: "Holy and unholy are empty names." When I encounter people who talk a lot about the spiritual, I generally enquire exactly how they define spiritual and un-spiritual, how they draw the line between the two.

And more important... WHY draw that line? Maybe it's OK sometimes. Maybe just as a young child needs to be told, "This is good, but that's bad," there are some people who benefit from ideas of spiritual and un-spiritual. And maybe others just cling to these ideas out of cultishness.

The response I get from "spiritual" people when I bring such questions up is often hostility and avoidance. This makes me suspicious that they haven't looked into the matter very deeply.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/mypage.htm
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 6/27/2007 7:24 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Jody, I couldn't help noticing that you have described Gurumayi as "faded former hottie guru". Now it wasn't so long ago that she was just plain a "hottie". Could her looks have gone down that far in that short a time?

I just took a look at her and was startled to see just how much she looks like my boy Chuck JR's wife. As I told you he has married a reformed hooker. They have moved back to Dime Box now and are livin with us. I have moved my own bedding across to momma's and Chuck JR is workin summer janitorial at the local JR High, hopin to get the top spot there as a permanent job.

My point is how much Chuck JR's wife looks like this Gurumayi. If you take Gurumayi and age her, because Chuck JR's wife has done a lot of partying in her 42 years, smoke her over a very low fire, chemically tan her so her natural skin tone looks like sunset in Tiawana, Mexico and make her 4 months pregnant with Chuck the 3rd, then you can barely tell these gals apart!

 

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