Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Instant Enlightenment In Eight Months

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We just clicked on one of the ads that come up on this site, leading us to the website of Stephan Bodian, author of Meditation for Dummies and founder of The School for Awakening:
The School for Awakening is an eight-month “enlightenment intensive” sponsored by the International University of Professional Studies. The intention is to create a small-group environment led by an awakened teacher in which the direct experience of true nature or unconditioned mind can be nurtured and deepened. In addition to group sessions, participants will be supported in exploring silent sitting and self-inquiry on their own. (Participants have the option of crediting their involvement toward an advanced degree at the University.)

The format, consisting of two intensive periods of participation linked by biweekly group phone sessions and individual mentoring, invites people from around the world who might not otherwise have regular access to a teacher to gather and share in the process of investigating and realizing the truth together.
We like Stephan's track record and are intrigued at this more comprehensive approach to self-realization counseling.

But what really tickles us about Stephan is that his image is about as low key as can be expected of a public teacher looking to fill seats at his retreats. We get the feeling he's not trying to come off as divine, just in knowledge of what it's about, and we're happy to report that for the moment, we have no problem believing that.

Labels:

48 Comments:

At 12/05/2007 3:05 PM, Blogger jody said...

Apparently, there's been some trouble with the comments feature here. Reader Alex Brookes sent this comment into the tip line. Comment in italics, my responses in plain text:

Hi Jody

It is all very well that Stephen has, so far, a good track record, however in this blog post there are some serious beliefs that seem to be unquestioned. What exactly is an 'awakened teacher', 'true nature', and 'unconditioned mind' for example?


Some folks know what they are talking about due to their experiential understanding. I call these awakened teachers. 'Unconditioned mind' and 'true nature' are pointing to the same thing: who we really are behind who we believe we are.

Now, like the girl next door, and I'm sure you as well, I have had some pretty extra ordinary experiences and, for sure, have met some seemingly pretty extra ordinary people. But let's get down to the nitty gritty, what exactly is enlightenment? Awakening? Truth?

Actually, Alex, I've chucked all of my extraordinary experiences over the fence with my dog's poop. In my world, those experiences are meaningless with regard to the deeper issues of identity. It's just more brain noise, which may indicate that transformation is occurring, but other than that, extraordinary spiritual experiences are pretty much worthless, imo.

In terms of defining enlightenment, let's put it this way: some folks know what they are talking about from experience, and some just don't know what they are talking about at all, regardless of how many books they've read. Those I regard as knowing experientially I also regard as qualified to teach. How I know which from which isn't easy to explain. All I can say is there's a flavor to their rhetoric that resonates. Yours (and others') mileage may vary here regarding my antennae's accuracy.

I'm open to suggestions. Maybe you and I could have Stephen Bodian round for dinner some time? Let's test the hypothesis of 'Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely'. Isn't that the way, eventually, for all Gurus and so called 'awakened teachers'? Have a peek at Andrew Cohen, for example, he started off with a good track record.

I haven't met Steven, so I don't know what he's like. I haven't met Cohen either, but from the description in his mother's book, I'd say he's got some kind of personality disorder working for him (and against those of this students who have been abused by him.)

 
At 12/06/2007 6:46 AM, Anonymous Yogi Bonsette said...

I must confess I was unsure of the tone of this blog post. It does not read like the others.

Like your reader Alex Brookes, I have reservations. ["get on the plane and go then!" shouts the audience. ;-)]

What is an "8 month enlightenment intensive"? This smacks of bollix in a great big bun to quote my favourite advaitin.

What indeed is an "awakened teacher" and why on god forsaken earth would that teacher waste his/her time with a 'group' session?

Why would one desire crediting one's "enlightenment intensive" involvement toward any degree, advanced or otherwise?

I get the impression there is a claim to divinity and that anyone who sets him/herself up as an "awakened teacher" has ego issues.

Just ma two cents worth. Please disregard and self destruct as you please. ;-)

 
At 12/06/2007 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$2,500.00 for "enlightenment"! Hey, that's cheap ,considering that you get a "degree" and "colllege credit" as well...and probably a certificate to put up on the wall of your office/meditation room. Then, if anyone questions your attainment, you can just point to your "certificate of enlightenment"! great idea! But, i need to know..is it a "money-back GUARANTEED enlightenment"?

lol, what will they think of next?

signed,
been at it far too long

 
At 12/06/2007 9:16 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

This fellow has the happy cock-eyed look of a true Texan but is it real? Could this homely galoot really have been born in the lone star state? I know for sure that Da Free Jack was! This is somethin I have to know for sure before I sell my double wide and move to Austin to participate in this here Stephen's satsang!

 
At 12/06/2007 2:18 PM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

Somebody said....Let's test the hypothesis of 'Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely'. Isn't that the way, eventually, for all Gurus and so called 'awakened teachers'?
-----------------------------------
To my mind, which is presently reeking with weeds of all kinds and colors,it appears that absolute is not singular but plural. Singularly plural. The fear of absolute power and absolute corruption comes from the limited understanding of absolute as an individual entity. But mayhaps, it could be that, the absolute is the sum total of all fragmented entities in existence? If so, then who corrupts and who gets corrupted? Shit, this one drives me crazy now, let there be light please @! need to light up one infact.

Okies! Im back again...If I touch space infront of me and claim that I just touched the undivided total space, does it amount to absolutely 'corrupted' power? when the space is still shared by the billions?

Or is it the absolutely powerful guru imagine that, singlehandedly he wiped all the space and stuffed inside him, leaving the billions abandoned without space?

why cant i shut friggin self up and sleep, like a baby?

 
At 12/06/2007 7:00 PM, Blogger jody said...

I must confess I was unsure of the tone of this blog post. It does not read like the others.

And here I am feeling all proud for finally putting up something positive!

What is an "8 month enlightenment intensive"? This smacks of bollix in a great big bun to quote my favourite advaitin.

It's something for folks to do before they stop feeling the need to do anything anymore. I'm not down on doing. Whatever floats your boat if you aren't hurting anyone with it.

The thing I like about the setup is that Bodian doesn't appear to be selling himself as divine, just someone who knows. There's a huge difference. Someone who knows could be anyone. Someone who is divine (as it is envisioned in Stateside satsang culture) is way beyond the normal, putting your chances of finding yourself in the same place astronomically low. People appear to practice a humility that uses the exalted status of the godperson as an upper limit, with themselves far, far below. They'd be wildly grandiose were they to ever consider themselves worthy of the same knowledge their guru possesses.

What indeed is an "awakened teacher" and why on god forsaken earth would that teacher waste his/her time with a 'group' session?

I'm calling the awakened teacher someone who knows. I'm not stoked on the term either, but it's what a satsang attendee responds to. Like it or not, folks go to satsangs because they are looking for this thing called enlightenment. If one is established in a way where they don't have to look anymore, that person has an insight that is sought after. Offering one's insight, while oft times dangerous to one's sense of personal proportion, isn't the crime of the guru. The crime is allowing folks to believe you are somehow better or more special because you've come to possess the insight they seek.

As far as the group thing goes, sadhana is mostly psychological. Allowing people to normalize with each other can help both the teacher understand the students as well as the students understanding themselves through seeing their reflection in the other students.

Why would one desire crediting one's "enlightenment intensive" involvement toward any degree, advanced or otherwise?

I was a student of interdisciplinary consciousness studies. This fits like a glove.

I get the impression there is a claim to divinity and that anyone who sets him/herself up as an "awakened teacher" has ego issues.

I didn't needlepoint the site's content, so maybe there's something I missed, because I didn't get that he's pimping himself as the Lord. I got that he's making an honest attempt at giving folks something to work with. Could he also be making an honest attempt at a living? Of course. Is this bad? In some cases, definitely. But not in every case, and seemingly not in his.

As far as unfurling the banner of awakened teacher, it is a bit gory in a way, but perhaps entirely necessary as a means of garnering an adequate attendance. Not many folk are going to attend a satsang by some random asshole with opinions. They are looking for something, they are seekers. He's telling them that he's in possession of the insight they ultimately seek. He's not saying he's going to give it to them so much as just offering some things folks can do to foster clarity in their thinking and practice.

If he's some asshole who walks around like a big shot, then yes, he has ego problems. But if he's just a guy, well-versed in the culture, both ideologically and commercially, who happens to not be seeking anymore and wants to share that and also pay his bills, I don't see his labeling himself as qualified to speak on the matter of enlightenment as anything reflective of an ego problem.

 
At 12/06/2007 11:53 PM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

But Jody, Don't you think a liberated person should be able to "pay the bills" in some creative endeavour, and teach liberation in his or her free time?

What does enlightenment mean if not at least some kind of ability to make money in a creative endeavour?

What if everyone became enlightened? It seems all the gurus would be on social security!!! What a useless enlightenment that is!

It seems to me enlightened people should have more ability to make money, not less, and they should be able to do it without having to charge people to show them their true nature!!!

Since your true nature is powerful and creative, you should be more able to express that power and creativity once you become enlightened about your true nature!

 
At 12/07/2007 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Stephan is, no doubt, a good person, there is still some the mystique of 'I'm awake/you're not' about him. In such a dynamic, the teacher becomes a ‘special’ person, and the student is consequently bumped down a notch. For the teacher, of course, this may serve to gratify a need which still persists, the need to be special. This type of thing can be extremely subtle, but I actually think it does exist here.

I also have a problem with someone who has designed a whole course, with a catchy title, which really is basically geared at providing a livelihood for himself.

What if someone doesn't get enlightened in eight months? Does that person get their money back?

It all seems a bit gimmicky to me.

No doubt, there will be (and probably is even now) a buzz about this amongst the non-dualers in the SF Bay area, (where Stephan is well-known), and whose non-dualer residents consider themselves to be cutting edge on all things nondual.

God forbid someone in that scene has not yet heard about this new undertaking of Stephan's. How could they hold up their head at the next Adya Shanti satsang?

People will be speaking about this in hushed tones. "Stephan is 'awake' (don't you know), and he is offering a new course, enlightenment in eight months."

Although I do believe that for most of these folk the definition of 'awake' or enlightened is that the person has risen to make a name for him or herself from amongst their ranks.

In fact, for them 'awake' is the most coveted title anyone can have, or bestow on another. Believe me, it carries clout and cache.

Whatever it is, (the particulars of which, most are very fuzzy about), everyone wants it because there is clearly no better way to gain the respect and admiration of one's peers. And c'mon now, isn't that what most of those Adya Shanti followers really want? Those that are 'awake' get to sit at the dinner table with Adya after all, and tell in jokes, which only they understand (or pretend to).

And being 'awake' in a kind of understated way is all the rage at present. Outrageous is out. Loud a la Papaji is out. No more 'Wake up and roar.' Tiger prints are definitely out. Understated is this year's 'awakened' fashion statement, and you my friend, are not wearing it! Go naked, is what I say. (I think that is what Adya and those 'authorized' by him are actually sporting.)

Remember a lot of these SF Bay area nondualer folks are also those who were first into and promoted Kalki.

And, why is Stephan saying he studied Advaita/Vedanta with Jean Klein? The study of Vedanta is the study of the Upanishads, and Jean did not use those texts when he taught. People like to put those two words 'Advaita' and 'Vedanta' together without even knowing to what the word 'Vedanta' refers.

Anyway, as you can see, I have some suspicions about all of this.

Although you indicate that Stephan is low-key, (and he is compared to most on your blog), I have the feeling that he is fairly ambitious (in a low key kind of a way).

It's all a very ‘have and have not’ kind of a game. Within the Adya Shanti scene it may be more subtle than with most, but it still is very much running the show.

And then again, people always want to offer something new and cool, and people generally like to do something new and cool, possibly because the old and tired hasn't worked yet. I suppose the proof will be in the pudding, or maybe it will be in the pudding heads.

 
At 12/07/2007 2:56 AM, Anonymous Yogi Bonsette said...

Jody, Thanks for the clarification.

I suppose the misappropriation and semantic reinvention of terms such as satsang and guru will forever cause this kind of thang. Expectations have been lowered.

To quote my favourite advaitin again "every man and his dog is guru giving satsang as they pick up dog poop in the park". ;-)

 
At 12/07/2007 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jody,

I am wondering what the difference between someone who is "Divine" (whatever that might mean) and "one who knows..." You seem to think there is nothing like the first. I really don't know.

I asked my guru about Poonja and others, and he answered: "All these people teaching advaita, say to ask 'who am I' or other such things. Then they say all is one. The present moment is all that matters. So when I was with Poonja in his last days [this man really was with him] and he was in terrible pain, and crying out from time to time when we were in private, I asked him, 'where is your who am I now? Where is your advaita...' All of these teachers have 'something'. Some are even great. They are not nothing -- far from it. But they do not Know. Otherwise, they would not complain and cry when pain comes to the body. They would be beyond the body...." There was lots more to this conversation.

Are there any teachers out there who are actually beyond the body? This Guru says there are definitely a few. He is one. He doesn't claim Divinity, but rather says "I am the dust of the Feet of God. I am not God, or even like God." But he adamantly claims that most of the Gurus are short on understanding by quite a long way. That they think that this glimpse into Atman is "It" and then they miss the point altogether, which is their destiny as well, according to him.

Everyone has something to say. This is just that one man's opinion. But I found it intriguing. He claims there is "much more" to be known than "who am I", and it cannot be discussed, and is not actually known by someone. It is what we are, but few on this earth have that understanding. He says that many have a basic understanding of Atman, and think that this is the end of the whole thing. He claims that this is not so.

There you have it. One person's opinion. He happens to be my Guru.

 
At 12/07/2007 8:56 AM, Blogger jody said...

But Jody, Don't you think a liberated person should be able to "pay the bills" in some creative endeavour, and teach liberation in his or her free time?

That's the ideal setup, imo.

What does enlightenment mean if not at least some kind of ability to make money in a creative endeavour?

In my view, enlightenment can only have something to do with enlightenment. It only brings knowledge of one's basis in being. Anything else is slapped on top of that by a mind.

What if everyone became enlightened? It seems all the gurus would be on social security!!! What a useless enlightenment that is!

It is pretty much useless, although it makes the trials of life a bit easier to take at times.

It seems to me enlightened people should have more ability to make money, not less, and they should be able to do it without having to charge people to show them their true nature!!!

I'm not on board with this characterization of enlightenment, Martin.

Since your true nature is powerful and creative, you should be more able to express that power and creativity once you become enlightened about your true nature!

I'm still not on board. Your true nature is nothing but your true nature. It has no qualities other than itself, and it is present in all, recognized or not. In other words, it brings nothing to the table except the knowledge and understanding of its existence in consciousness.

 
At 12/07/2007 8:58 AM, Blogger jody said...

He claims there is "much more" to be known than "who am I", and it cannot be discussed, and is not actually known by someone. It is what we are, but few on this earth have that understanding. He says that many have a basic understanding of Atman, and think that this is the end of the whole thing. He claims that this is not so.

That all sounds like the words of a man with a sales plan, and what he's selling is bunkum. Either that or his own advanced delusion.

Either way, he can keep it.

 
At 12/07/2007 9:48 AM, Blogger jody said...

While Stephan is, no doubt, a good person, there is still some the mystique of 'I'm awake/you're not' about him.

That's a function of the idea of awakening that exists in the satsang culture. It's not necessarily Stephan's fault or something he is cultivating, although it will always be something he should be mindful of and mitigate at all times.

In such a dynamic, the teacher becomes a ‘special’ person, and the student is consequently bumped down a notch. For the teacher, of course, this may serve to gratify a need which still persists, the need to be special. This type of thing can be extremely subtle, but I actually think it does exist here.

Personally, I can't say, having not spent any time with Stephan. But I can accept that he may feel a need to be special. I sure do at times. But if he's mindful of that in himself, he can mitigate that on both a personal and social level.

I also have a problem with someone who has designed a whole course, with a catchy title, which really is basically geared at providing a livelihood for himself.

That's making an assumption about his motive. Why can't he desire to help by coming up with some tools for folks as well as make a living?

What if someone doesn't get enlightened in eight months? Does that person get their money back?

If he's giving a guarantee, then yes. But I doubt he would make that claim. I think most folks know that they're just getting tools to play with rather than becoming endowed with anything.

It all seems a bit gimmicky to me.

Well, that's sales in the modern world.

People will be speaking about this in hushed tones. "Stephan is 'awake' (don't you know), and he is offering a new course, enlightenment in eight months."

This sort of social warping around the idea of an awakened someone is always going to happen. The task/challenge of the teacher is to counterbalance this by being accessible and as normal as possible. Sure, neurotic projection addicts will be coming at you right and left, but if you've done your homework and worked out a strategy, you can help these folks without allowing them to hoist you up on a pedestal of their own making.

Although I do believe that for most of these folk the definition of 'awake' or enlightened is that the person has risen to make a name for him or herself from amongst their ranks.

If jnana isn't present in a life, they aren't awake. If Stephan isn't a jnani, he's not qualified to teach. I don't know if these conditions have been met in Stephan, but I haven't seen anything that tells me they are not, based on my very limited information about him.

In fact, for them 'awake' is the most coveted title anyone can have, or bestow on another. Believe me, it carries clout and cache.

Again, we're into the social phenomena that constellate around these ideas. I agree that they are a problem. Indeed, they are the whole problem. And while they may be prevalent in the Bay Area satsang scene, that still doesn't mean that Stephan can't provide some kind of effective teaching and educate folks about the truth of realization: that it doesn't make you special, just a tiny bit more informed about a very common truth in everyones' life.

And, why is Stephan saying he studied Advaita/Vedanta with Jean Klein? The study of Vedanta is the study of the Upanishads, and Jean did not use those texts when he taught. People like to put those two words 'Advaita' and 'Vedanta' together without even knowing to what the word 'Vedanta' refers.

I'm utterly ignorant about Jean Klein's teaching, and only a tiny bit less ignorant about the Upanishads. However, the understanding that Vedanta points toward is the same regardless of how you seemed to get there, whether by Jean Klein, Adyashanti or Shankara himself.

Although you indicate that Stephan is low-key, (and he is compared to most on your blog), I have the feeling that he is fairly ambitious (in a low key kind of a way).

But is he ambitious to offer his understanding, or is he ambitious to hit the big-time? If it's the latter, it's probably going to be a problem. But if it's the former, I say: "Godspeed!"

It's all a very ‘have and have not’ kind of a game. Within the Adya Shanti scene it may be more subtle than with most, but it still is very much running the show.

That's a function of the culture and the erroneous ideology that infects it, not necessarily of the teaching. If it is present, a good teacher can mitigate it some, provided s/he is aware of it and willing to face it head on.

And then again, people always want to offer something new and cool, and people generally like to do something new and cool, possibly because the old and tired hasn't worked yet. I suppose the proof will be in the pudding, or maybe it will be in the pudding heads.

Like I said, you've got to do something if you feel you need to, despite the fact you may eventually see that all that doing had nothing to do with the being that was always present.

 
At 12/07/2007 10:28 AM, Anonymous hard at work said...

0. I don't like the term "self-realization". It sounds a little too much like a "True Self" teaching by way of some degenerate psychological school to understand it.

1. Eight months of intensive practice is a lot of time and effort... If anyone spends 12 hours a day for months earnestly examining their experience moment-to-moment they are probably pretty damn close to enlightened. I'm not sure that this is an ad for an 8-month retreat, however.

2. $2500 is a fair asking price *if* this includes some extensive time in retreat.

3. "Enlightenment" actually involves a very narrow skill set, to the extent that it is a thing requiring skills. Zen koans might be really helpful to [whatever verb you don't like] "awakening" but they're not going to pay the bills, ever. Neither will your ability to attain samadhi states, though arguably you could use the siddhi, a side-effect of concentration, to make cash just appear, but that's not exactly reliable. That said even just from the beginning there is a certain degree of perspective one can bring to one's life after just a little bit of time exploring perception.

4. most buddhist teachers rely on donations. a lot of them are broke. many of them water down their dharma with psychobabble about "healing" to get larger audiences. this is a travesty.

 
At 12/07/2007 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>"Are there any teachers out there who are actually beyond the body? This Guru says there are definitely a few. He is one"<<

Sigh! isn't it always the way? Every dork from oho to muktananda to kalki towhoever this guy is says the same damn thing...everyone else is mistaken but I know the truth.

"He doesn't claim Divinity, but rather says "I am the dust of the Feet of God. I am not God, or even like God." But he adamantly claims that most of the Gurus are short on understanding by quite a long way."<<

I am the dust of the Feet of the Absolute and pardon me if I say that everybody ELSE is mistaken but I, humble and self-effacing as I am, know the truth...far be it from ME to say that I am so very special and different from all those other assholes trying to pretend to be 'gurus'"


. "heclaims there is "much more" to be known than "who am I", and it cannot be discussed, and is not actually known by someone. It is what we are but few on this earth have that understanding."
Sigh! well SAMO SAMO...it's ALWAYS this big SECRET and, of course, it "cannot be discussed"...geez how many times have we heard this? And, of course, "few on this Earth have the understanding" but...guess what HE is one of them!
Listen, I highly doubt that this guy clawed his way to Poonjaji's deathbed and berated him..saying, "where's your 'who am I' now?" If, in fact, this had happened, he would have been thrown out on his ear and it would be all over the internet. Here's the other thing...we ALL are incarnated in a body!It's part of the experience! The point is not to get "beyond the body"...duh! The point is to get "beyond" ATTACHMENT to the body. Even Ramana groaned in pain on occasion...does that mean he was attached to his body? no, I don't think so. I think it meant he was a human being incarnated in a vehicle that feels pain...

I guess it all boils down to the same thing....those who don't pay attention to history (in this case, the history of gurus in America) are condemned to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

anonymous

 
At 12/07/2007 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>" If anyone spends 12 hours a day for months earnestly examining their experience moment-to-moment they are probably pretty damn close to enlightened."<<<

Um...every spent any time living in an ashram or monastery?

anonymous

 
At 12/08/2007 3:33 AM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

Jody wrote: "Your true nature is nothing but your true nature. It has no qualities other than itself, and it is present in all, recognized or not. In other words, it brings nothing to the table except the knowledge and understanding of its existence in consciousness."

Jody,

Your true nature must have ALL qualities!

Isn't your true nature creative? Where do creativity and intelligence come from? Somewhere other than reality?

Reality is the only true nature. Intelligence and creativity come from there and so realising Reality should result in purer expression of creativity and intelligence.

Like all advaitans, I think you are limiting your perception and understanding. There's further to go than the Zen state.

All the samskaras must go. There must be a purging. Then the intelligence and creativity can flow more freely.

 
At 12/08/2007 11:43 AM, Blogger jody said...

All the samskaras must go. There must be a purging. Then the intelligence and creativity can flow more freely.

To me, that's all just perpetuating the idea that there's someone deciding they need to be somewhere.

 
At 12/08/2007 6:53 PM, Anonymous Martin Gifford. said...

Jody wrote: "To me, that's all just perpetuating the idea that there's someone deciding they need to be somewhere."

Samskaras are caused by "the idea that there's someone deciding they need to be somewhere".

And they are also caused by the idea that there's no one to be anywhere and all the other advaitic conclusions that the supposedly non-existent advaitan can articulate.

If you don't stop at the advaitic state and the related conclusions, you simply see samskaras are there and that they perpetuate ignorance, so you naturally stop holding them in place with logic, conclusions from experiences and states, etc, and you let them explode.

They are like balls of rubber bands in your belly that snap.

They're awaiting your attention.

BTW, I agree with anonymous's wonderfully insightful post. Especially:

"I also have a problem with someone who has designed a whole course, with a catchy title, which really is basically geared at providing a livelihood for himself."

I wish people would use better aliases!

 
At 12/08/2007 7:29 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

i know a guy who runs an Enlightenment Camp. he's real friendly and cute and gots a great smile too, and he likes to tell people stuff and i bet it don't take near so long as this eight month deal. This is a cottage industry now, everyone and their brother is some kinda purveyor of truth. whenever i see the words, come to Joe Blows Satsang I want to blow.

 
At 12/09/2007 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>"All the samskaras must go. There must be a purging. Then the intelligence and creativity can flow more freely"<<,

So interesting when we begin to see (after years at this) that words like "samskara" are simply concepts we have adapted from specific (and imported) traditions...not necessarily "truths". And again, the idea that "there must be a purging"...a "purging"? These days, I wonder whether an adversarial approach to the body/mind is really the most effective way of fully experiencing being human? I guess, in a way, it can be very re-assuring to think if you follow specific rules you'll get the promised "result".

long time practitioner
of life

 
At 12/09/2007 8:53 PM, Blogger jody said...

> you simply see samskaras are there and that they perpetuate ignorance, so you naturally stop holding them in place with logic, conclusions from experiences and states, etc, and you let them explode.
*****
Right. That's common sense. I believe it's called individuation in Jungian terms, oxymoronically enough.

It's not incompatible with Zen or Advaita. It's simply the process of unfurling that occurs in folks' lives.

I'm all for self-improvement, and I'm all for endless inquiry, at least until you die. What I'm not for is the hapless quest for "perfection" that only fortifies attachment to the idea of there being a person who can be perfect. God knows there are thousands trapped in their own sanctimonious self-appraisal based on how far they can bend, how long they can meditate and how much they can feign unworthiness, all as a strategy toward more self-aggrandizement.

 
At 12/10/2007 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

imo this Stephen is just another "guru" calling himself something else, collecting money, fooling people into thinking they can get enlightened faster, or someday, because of contact with him. Charges money for the priviledge. The whole thing looks idiotic. Pure Bunkum,

and, Jody, he can keep it as far as I'm concerned.

Or is it because he is western that you have "okayed" this guy?

Sometimes, you seem very hypocritical.

 
At 12/10/2007 12:18 PM, Blogger jody said...

is it because he is western that you have "okayed" this guy?

No. It's because he's not pimping himself as God. I'm all for gurus, eastern or western, as long as they don't sell themselves as special. Bodian is selling himself as someone who knows, but he's not making the case it makes him better than anyone, just perhaps qualified to bring some light on the subject of enlightenment.

 
At 12/10/2007 5:59 PM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

Jody wrote: "I'm all for self-improvement, and I'm all for endless inquiry, at least until you die. What I'm not for is the hapless quest for "perfection" that only fortifies attachment to the idea of there being a person who can be perfect."

Well, perfection is not possible in an imperfect world.

But someone who claims to be enlightened should at least have the ability to make a creative living without having to sell some hokey 8-month enlightenment program.

As well as being against claims of specialness, perhaps you could add dodgy moneymaking to the list of things you're "not for".

 
At 12/10/2007 6:15 PM, Blogger jody said...

But someone who claims to be enlightened should at least have the ability to make a creative living

Agreed! But all their enlightenment is going to get them is a little less attachment to outcome, etc. Enlightenment doesn't render everyone instant fonts of novel creativity, although that lack of attachment seems to go a long way for many things in life.

perhaps you could add dodgy moneymaking to the list of things you're "not for"

I still don't think it's dodgy, at least when compared to something like the Oneness Movement. That's an effort that is dodgy from beginning to end, and yet it still attracts millions both in India and the West.

Bodian is a lion of realization culture literature. He's got serious street cred in that realm. While it does not provide proof of his enlightenment, it definitely indicates that he's seen a lot of what gets offered as spiritual teaching, and has probably pared that down to what he sees as the essentials. That makes it already 5000 times more substantive than what Kalki Bhagavan offers, making it a much better alternative.

I'd much rather see people who feel they need to join something join Stephan's thing rather than Kalki's.

 
At 12/11/2007 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I get it then, Bodian is so "humble" that, as you say:

but he's not making the case it makes him better than anyone, just perhaps qualified to bring some light on the subject of enlightenment.

I don't buy it. He thinks he so special that he can "educate" me or you or anyone else for a fee, as to their own nature. Lots of people are out there making this claim. The question is, how can anyone ever know they are real? They think they know, they claim they know. How can anyone else judge? It's impossible. The same way it's impossible for you to know if there is more than "who am I" or if anyone else knows more than Bodian.

 
At 12/11/2007 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous who clearly didn't know Poonja very well and said:

"Listen, I highly doubt that this guy clawed his way to Poonjaji's deathbed and berated him..saying, "where's your 'who am I' now?" If, in fact, this had happened, he would have been thrown out on his ear and it would be all over the internet. "

The person/saint I am referring to was a close personal friend of Poonja and did, indeed speak to him that way. Poonja revered him fyi, as do many other saints in India (on the sly, for fear of losing their thrones).

You obviously are a westerner who knows only about saints who know westerners. The saint I am referring to doesn't have a western following, so you wouldn't be aware of him at all. Most of those who love and respect him are already "enlightened" with their own (sometimes huge) followings.

Visit India a bit more, look around and you might just meet some other types of gurus who are not like SSRS, or Kracki, or Muktananda.

You seem to think that the Truth can be discussed in words. This shows how little you understand. It appears that you think you can go and quiz a Master/Saint and they will just tell you something and you'll go away realized. What a joke.

There are many things beyond words, written or spoken. That is the only thing worth "knowing" imo, if you can call it knowing.

Even the Great Adi Shankara, having "known all", went on to, as bizarre as it seems and appears, build temples to Divine Mother, and install Sri Chakras and write beautiful verses praising the 'form' of Devi! There is more, once a person knows the Self/Atman. Only a few, like Adi Shankara, and a rare few still roaming about India, understand that.

Would you argue that Adi Shankara was simply bored after Realization? Why did he make the "5th Math (Kanchi), where he died, praying and raving to Devi? Do you believe he was crazy after enlightenment? Or do you think he realized, after the Realization of the Atman, that there was something more even than that, if one is living in this world?

He effectively made the connection lively between the Unseen and the Seen. This process is not simple, not understood in a second by most, and rarely known at all.

Ponder it a bit, and let me know (after reading about these things and educating yourself on the subject, if you please -- not just ranting because it makes your ego sore to be told you might not be correct.)

 
At 12/11/2007 9:24 AM, Blogger jody said...

He thinks he so special that he can "educate" me or you or anyone else for a fee, as to their own nature.

Or, he's been through the grinder, came out the other side, and is trying to offer a way though that's maybe not as grindy.

The question is, how can anyone ever know they are real?

When you know, you know. However, it can't be verified, although those who know usually can tell who does and who doesn't.

How can anyone else judge? It's impossible.

So, that should stop us from seeking out any and all guidance?

The same way it's impossible for you to know if there is more than "who am I" or if anyone else knows more than Bodian.

Clearly, if you have come to an experiential recognition of the absolute, it's absolute. There's nothing beyond that. However, as an individual, you are an ongoing experiment, and things will continue to happen until you buy the farm. So, what's "beyond" realization is what was before realization, making talking about "before" and "beyond," moot.

 
At 12/11/2007 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody said: Bodian is a lion of realization culture literature.

Hi Jody,

What is a 'lion of realization culture literature?' Why do you characterize Stephan in this way?

 
At 12/11/2007 9:33 AM, Blogger jody said...

Why do you characterize Stephan in this way?

From his bio:

Stephan is the former editor-in-chief of the magazine Yoga Journal and a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and he has written extensively on spiritual themes. His articles have appeared in numerous national magazines, including Fitness, Alternative Medicine, Cooking Light, Tricycle, and, of course, Yoga Journal.

He's the author of the popular guidebook Meditation for Dummies, which has sold over 100,000 copies and is now in its second edition with instructional CD. The book is available in English, Dutch, German, Italian, and French editions. His other books include Living Yoga (with Georg Feuerstein); Timeless Visions, Healing Voices; and Buddhism for Dummies (with Jonathan Landaw). Stephan also contributed the chapter "Deconstructing the Self: The Uses of Inquiry in Nondual Psychotherapy" for the anthology The Sacred Mirror (Paragon, 2003).

 
At 12/11/2007 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said...You obviously are a westerner who knows only about saints who know westerners.

Good old Indian rascism rears it's head...

 
At 12/11/2007 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>The person/saint I am referring to was a close personal friend of Poonja and did, indeed speak to him that way. Poonja revered him fyi, as do many other saints in India (on the sly, for fear of losing their thrones)"<<<

Huh???? "revering a 'saint' on the sly..that's a new one! I don't suppose you're talking about Amritananda here? I know he has many "admirers" who are fearful of admitting their admiration for various reasons...but "'saints' afraid of losing their THRONES"...come on guy! That's too weird for me to process.

"You obviously are a westerner who knows only about saints who know westerners. The saint I am referring to doesn't have a western following, so you wouldn't be aware of him at all."
Oh, so he's a "special reserved" saint...for Indians only? I had no idea that "saints" were part of a kind of caste system....some "saints" for the Indians; some "saints" for the "ferengis". interesting!


"Most of those who love and respect him are already "enlightened" with their own (sometimes huge) followings."

Well, listen, if they have HUGE followings, then I take it back...if they have HUGE followings, they MUST be authentic!


"You seem to think that the Truth can be discussed in words. This shows how little you understand. It appears that you think you can go and quiz a Master/Saint and they will just tell you something and you'll go away realized. What a joke"

Uh! I dont seem to be the one doing all the talking here, buddy. You're the one "discussing the Truth in words" not me. I'll take another trip to India if you look in the mirror.

blessings!



"

 
At 12/12/2007 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Anon,

But that was not "indian racism" as you characterized it. It is simply fact: Poonja, and many other Indian masters who may deal with western seekers, have a quite different relationship with Indians many times. It's just how it is. It's a matter of cultural friendships, etc. Not racism. He knew this saint for some time, and admitted him to areas of his life of which you and other people coming from other countries would not be trusted with. That's all. Poonja may have had affairs with western women, but he made no effort to support the children of those women afterwards, for some reason. He was quite different with his various Indian liasons, fyi. It's a cultural difference, not racism. He knew, probably, that a western girl could go off and fend for herself, and would prefer a more independent life. No Indian woman would see that as a possibility at all.

Just because there are differences in culture throughout the world, doesn't mean that those differences constitute racism. They are simply fact.

 
At 12/12/2007 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that this site poops (to use jody's fav word) all over every Indian Guru, then praises similar western gurus (like Bodian charging some huge fee for some foolishness, like all the other Indian gurus do these days), and then screams "Indian Racism!!" if anyone dares to suggest that every western person posting here may not have the full facts about some Indian Guru for reasons of proximity, or simple understanding of language and culture!

I'd say this site was racist against Indians, if anything at all.

 
At 12/12/2007 10:15 AM, Blogger jody said...

I find it interesting that this site poops (to use jody's fav word) all over every Indian Guru, then praises similar western gurus (like Bodian charging some huge fee for some foolishness, like all the other Indian gurus do these days), and then screams "Indian Racism!!"

1. I've endorsed Indian gurus and pooped on western gurus.

2. Bodian is still much cheaper than Kalki Bhagavan or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar when you factor in the length of the course. And I'm sure his content is a million times better than both of those fame-lusting ghouls.

3. I've never screamed "Indian Racism." You should read the material more carefully before you go sticking your foot in your mouth like this.

 
At 12/12/2007 11:06 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Indian anonymushmouth said... Poonja may have had affairs with western women, but he made no effort to support the children of those women....

That would make him not a master but bastard! To say that this kind of creepy and disgusting behavior is "cultural" is to say that when black men in the US South used to get lynched or rope drug, that was just "cultural"!

I can see why it took you Indians so long to get free of your British masters, cause you upper crust Indians are a lot like em!

 
At 12/12/2007 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>"It's a cultural difference, not racism. He knew, probably, that a western girl could go off and fend for herself, and would prefer a more independent life. No Indian woman would see that as a possibility at all.""<<

What total bullshit! If this is how he treated hs followers, he was just another one of those Indian "saints" who can't seem to keep their alter egos under their dhotis. I've seen, up close and personal, just the way men in India "relate" to women, especially Western women...it doesn't matter if you are doing serious spiritual practice,studying Sanskrit at the university in Allahabad, doing a silent meditation retreat, on pilgrimage at the Kumbha Mela, married with children (possibly even walking hand in hand with those same children). You will be followed, hissed at, pressed up against, verbally and sometimes physically assaulted by sexually repressed and infantile men who think, because you are "Western", you're fair game. I know this happens to Indian women as well, although not as agressively for the most part..the sexual repression, sexism and, yes, racism in India is heavy duty. All those hippies in Goa, I guess..the Swedish girls..who knows. Poonja was just doing the same "Enlightened Master" thing that so many of the "great saints" seem to fall prey to...ever read "Serpent Rising" by Mary Gardner?..just another lovely tale of a Western woman looking for "god" and finding, instead, a sleeze-bag "enlightened" sadhu passing out the shakti hits and screwing female followers. Well, at least Poonja didn't force his pregnant Western followers to have abortions in New Delhi the way Mary Gardner's guru did. And PLEASE don't tell me, "oh, it's cultural; it only happens to Western women because they don't understand" . You seem to think it's perfectly fine for a so-called "enlightened being" to take sexual advantage of his followers (or, as you put it: have "liasons"). What does somebody who has realized the Self need with "romantic liasons" anyway? Wasn't one official wife and one un-official wife enough for him?
You say "cultural differences are simply fact" and, in the sense that they exist, you are correct.They exist and so they exist. The fact of their existence, however, does not make them "right" or accceptable. Most "great beings" (what you so loosely call "saints")are, in fact, A-cultural...culture is simply the product of the Mind...not Truth. Can you imagine Ramana Maharshi boffing his followers, getting them pregnant and then saying, "oh they're WESTERN WOMEN, they like their independence"... what a farce!

 
At 12/12/2007 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Jody,

I know you didn't scream "Indian Racism". Some Anonymous did a few posts back -- please read the content of the posts before you put your foot in it.

To last Anonymous, I quite agree with you about Poonja. He was, in my opinion, quite a pig. The fact that he dumped a European girl to raise his child alone is sad. I never said any of it was great, just culturally what it is.

It is a fact that women in India face horrible treatment, even in public by Indian men. You are again correct. And Indian women are actually treated far worse -- so much worse that it is necessary to have "ladies' cars" on the trains, and "ladies' sections" on the busses. This is not due, however, to the race of the people, but to their lace of education in nearly all cases. The same behaviors will be found frequently in the African American ghettos of America, if you care to look, and just about any place on the earth where people suffer from lack of education due to lack of money and general oppression.

Only you seem to think I was saying that any of these things are "right". They simply are. They are not desirable behaviors. I think very little of Poonja, and thought I made that clear from my posts. I guess you totally misread what I wrote. The fact that a saint tended to Poonja in his last days (even insulting him and his methods), doesn't mean that I respect Poonja. It means that that saint was somehow his friend. I never was. After meeting him once, being unimpressed with his little tea party, and all the (western) people sitting there google eyed at the "great" sight of Poonja sitting there watching a sports match, I left, wondering why all these people sat in his living room so obviously enraptured. I didn't stay long, feeling it was more than a little ridiculous to sit there watching some girl massage his arm. Truly a weird scene. Everyone there seemed to think that it was such a special priviledge to sit there. I found his behavior (lack of attention of any kind to his invited guests) to be very rude. All his disciples seemed to be in some kind of (self-induced?) rapture. When asked why I was leaving, I replied that I had somewhere to go. The person asked me "who is it who goes?" with some zombie like look on her face. Another follower, when I asked for the location of a certain shop that might be nearby, said "who is doing the asking about this shop..." The people around Poonja seemed really screwed up. My observation was that they were nearly all European and American and all white and mentally imbalanced imo. That is a fact. Not racism.

 
At 12/12/2007 6:37 PM, Blogger jody said...

I know you didn't scream "Indian Racism"

The text I was responding to:

I find it interesting that this site poops (to use jody's fav word) all over every Indian Guru, then praises similar western gurus (like Bodian charging some huge fee for some foolishness, like all the other Indian gurus do these days), and then screams "Indian Racism!!"

The way I read it, the site poops, praises and screams. Since I write the site, I assumed you were saying I made that complaint.

But enough of that. Please do us a huge favor and write a few paragraphs about your visit with Poonja, complete with your excellent commentary, so I can make a post about it. At the very least, please allow me to post your comment as a blog entry.

 
At 12/13/2007 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said:

"'saints' afraid of losing their THRONES"...come on guy! That's too weird for me to process. "

I used the word "saints" loosely, I'm afraid. I'm referring to men who hold 'ranks' in the Indian 'spiritual' hierarchy, such as Shankaracharyas, Mahamandaleshwaras, etc. They truly are afraid of losing their thrones! I said 'saints' out of ordinary respect, whether or not they deserve it. And yes, they do seek audiences 'on the sly' for just this reason. The public thinks they know everything. What will they think if they keep going to visit someone for help? haha

then you said:

"Oh, so he's a "special reserved" saint...for Indians only? I had no idea that "saints" were part of a kind of caste system....some "saints" for the Indians; some "saints" for the "ferengis". interesting!"

I'm sorry you took it that way -- such defensiveness here at this site!! Not intended to offend you -- The saint I am referring to does not speak English, has never marketed himself like others we read of here (like SSRS, and Ammachi) in the US, doesn't sit and give hugs all over the US, etc. So he is not known to westerners. That's all I meant. Don't get paranoid, dude. It's not personal. Again, just this saint's language barrier, and lack of exposure to the west. That's it. I'm sure, if you met him, he'd be happy to sit with you. But you'd be unlikely to, as he doesn't offer courses for enlightenment for $8000 or whatever the guy on this thread is doing......

then you said:

"if they have HUGE followings, then I take it back...if they have HUGE followings, they MUST be authentic!"

Either I'm a very poor writer, or several posters here cannot read. I thought I was quite clear in indicating the opposite about these people seeking his company: That they were not enlightened, and were terrified of being found out by their adoring mass public! That was my only point in mentioning their following. Please re-read my post, and perhaps you will get the drift? If not, that is what I meant. Again, so sorry you misunderstood -- seems that's what most everyone here is busy doing!

then you (with no small amount of hostility) said:

"Uh! I dont seem to be the one doing all the talking here, buddy. You're the one "discussing the Truth in words" not me. "

I'm not discussing the truth at all in my posts -- only the interesting behavior of one saint and the peripheral behavior of a few others. (and I'm not your buddy, btw).

Chill dude -- you seem very tightly wound up. And anxious to start fights over things you didn't read clearly, or misunderstood. Why all the attacks? Everyone here at this site (including me) seems to be interesting in bashing the phony saints. I don't claim to be a guru, so why bother with me? I'm not defending the phonies behavior. Quite the contrary, I am putting them down with each of my posts. (Then explaining my post over and over again to people who are paranoid that I'm against whites!)

Cheers!

 
At 12/13/2007 11:47 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

anonymush, it might be easier to keep track of who you are if you actually used a name! It was an anonymous who said something first about racism and it's hard to tell you fellows apart...no offense meant!

But are you saying that there is not a lot of bias against "westerners" over there in India? If someone has run into a lot of snootiness in the Indians we have in the US and meet the same kind of snootiness when we go to India, and when we see how women are treated there and read about how many millions of female fetuses are killed, not by uneducated folks but by the rich Indians, we might start thinkin that Indian "culture" has a lot of bigotry in it and the word "westerner" might be taken as a slur!

Or we might just be dumb westerners, especially Texans which are the lowest form of white man there is!

 
At 12/13/2007 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>""You seem to think that the Truth can be discussed in words. This shows how little you understand. It appears that you think you can go and quiz a Master/Saint and they will just tell you something and you'll go away realized. What a joke" (this was you speaking)
****Uh! I dont seem to be the one doing all the talking here, buddy. You're the one "discussing the Truth in words" not me. I'll take another trip to India if you look in the mirror.*** (this was in response to your overbearing "lecture on AdiShankara" and pompous assumptions about "The Truth that cannot be spoken")
___________________________

*** Again I say to you..whoever you are....take a good long look in the mirror. For example..you just quoted me and described the **** statement (above) as "hostile". It was a joking attempt to defuse YOUR incredible arrogance and hostility...now that I have put the two statements right next to each other, can you see what I mean about your own hostility and extremely insulting tone???
________________________
You again:"I'm referring to men who hold 'ranks' in the Indian 'spiritual' hierarchy, such as Shankaracharyas, Mahamandaleshwaras, etc. They truly are afraid of losing their thrones! I said 'saints' out of ordinary respect, whether or not they deserve it."

Why would you do that? I don't understand. Why would you call someone a "saint" and then argue about it when you, yourself, don't even think they are worth much? Really, I have never met people either here or in India who automatically refer to "ranking officials of the Indian spiritual system" as "saints". They are a hugely varied lot...some great beings and some terrible individuals, one of them in jail as we speak. I'm sure you would be amazed that I actually know several people who hold office within the Indian religious "system". The corruption of the religious "hierarchy" is a frequent topic of conversation. Why call someone a "saint" who isn't a saint at all? Does the term have no meaning for you? Just some kind of "honorific"? It would be like a Westerner calling any local minister a "saint" because he's wearing a black robe with a turned around collar. To me, this shows an incredible lack of "discrimination" especially coming from someone who is busily lecturing us about spirituality.(i.e.: "ponder on these things after reading about them..etc. etc.". The assumption being that I have not.)

"Either I'm a very poor writer, or several posters here cannot read. I thought I was quite clear in indicating the opposite about these people seeking his company: That they were not enlightened, and were terrified of being found out by their adoring mass public"

****Here is what you wrote:
"The person/saint I am referring to was a close personal friend of Poonja and did, indeed speak to him that way. Poonja revered him fyi, as do many other saints in India (on the sly, for fear of losing their thrones)." and, a couple of paragraphs later:
" The saint I am referring to doesn't have a western following, so you wouldn't be aware of him at all. Most of those who love and respect him are already "enlightened" with their own (sometimes huge) followings."
***You'll have to forgive me for not being able to tell which "saints" are "authentic" saints and which "saints" are just "honorary" or "fake" saints.

Why don't you reread your post from 6:20 and then tell me again who is hostile, taking this all "personally" and insulting??? If you hadn't come on using the arrogant, judgmental tone that you have used, I highly doubt that you would have generated such strong reactions. You are NOT making your point clearly at all and you are using language in an extremely confusing way...it has nothing to do with "culture" or intelligence....just confusion.

You:"I'm not discussing the truth at all in my posts -- only the interesting behavior of one saint and the peripheral behavior of a few others. (and I'm not your buddy, btw).
You:"
There are many things beyond words, written or spoken. That is the only thing worth "knowing" imo, if you can call it knowing.

Even the Great Adi Shankara, having "known all", went on to, as bizarre as it seems and appears, build temples to Divine Mother, and install Sri Chakras and write beautiful verses praising the 'form' of Devi! There is more, once a person knows the Self/Atman. Only a few, like Adi Shankara, and a rare few still roaming about India, understand that."

alot of words for "not discussing" something.


You:" Why all the attacks? Everyone here at this site (including me) seems to be interesting in bashing the phony saints. I don't claim to be a guru, so why bother with me? I'm not defending the phonies behavior."

Again, you'll have to forgive me if I can't manage to figure out which "saints" you are putting down and which "saints" are ok in your book....your guru, I assume, who knows how to live without a body...and Adishankara? then there are the "honorific saints" who we should, somehow, understand you don't approve of? is that it?

I'm sure you might have some interesting things to discuss if you could just lose the attitude.

not a dude














"

 
At 12/14/2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck,

to your post where you said:

"But are you saying that there is not a lot of bias against "westerners" over there in India? If someone has run into a lot of snootiness in the Indians we have in the US and meet the same kind of snootiness when we go to India, and when we see how women are treated there and read about how many millions of female fetuses are killed, not by uneducated folks but by the rich Indians, we might start thinkin that Indian "culture" has a lot of bigotry in it and the word "westerner" might be taken as a slur!"

I was not talking about whether or not Indians are snooty, racist, aborting female fetuses, but only about Poonja and a visitor who went there. Why is it that this keeps coming back to "Indians really are a snooty/racist bunch"....I really was trying to discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of Poonja, not Indians. My description to an earlier poster who jeered at the suggestion that my Guru might have been at Poonja's bedside, berating his method "who am I?", of Indian culture being different from western culture, and my assertion that he seemed to be western and therefore probably didn't really know Poonja's private life, had nothing to do with being snooty, racist or anything of the kind. My mention of cultural differences were so that he might accept the factual telling of a story of Poonja, rather than just blasting away at a story he didn't choose to believe (that my Guru was indeed a close friend of Poonja, and felt fine telling him off).

Again, I repeat, I am not at this site to defend India, her culture, the habits of her people, nor to degrade western culture, western habits, or western people. Pointing out differences does not (always) constitute racism. I am at this site to discuss and read about facts/dirt about various gurus, dead and alive, and report anything extra I might know about, or to give my opinion.

My opinion about this Bodian person? Total ripoff, just like the Indian gurus who parade all over America ripping off innocent westerners for lots of money, saying they will give this or that, in this case, possibly enlilghtenment. That's my opinion.

My opinion of Poonja, obvious by the story I told. Not very positive.

In the future, I will stick to these opinions, and will not respond to any attacks on any culture or people, western, Indian or otherwise, as I feel it is childish and off the subject. You are welcome to trash this post as well, as much as you would like. I will not again respond unless it has something to do with 1) Poonja or 2) Bodian, which was my original reason to even speak here.

I do not have to defend myself to you or anyone else here. I merely wanted to convince that one childish post (the one that it simply couldn't be true that Poonja had friends who were critical of him,) that he didn't understand Poonja, very probably because he was not close to him, because Poonja didn't allow western disciples to berate him, but did allow at least one Indian friend to. I don't believe that assuming that this was a cultural difference is racism, snootiness, or any of the other insults I have taken here, and tried to remain cool about.

Perhaps, unlike many of the posters here apparently believe, all Indians are not alike? Perhaps we don't all look alike, act alike, think alike, and just maybe, some of us are not racists, snooty, some of us (most of us) don't abort our girl children) and maybe we don't look down on westerners, but simply refer to them as westerners just as we refer to ourselves as easterners or Indians. Did that ever occur to any of the people here who jumped all over what I wrote? I know, I know..."some of my best friends have been Indians...."

The easy accusations against Indians at this site from some individuals smack of the same racism that I've read about in the South of the USA against blacks, gross generalizations of a people based upon behaviors of a few. You cannot sum up an entire race or nation of people based upon these things. It is simply wrong. The Indians who do are wrong when they lump all westerners together as promiscuous, heartless, without family values of any kind, only interested in the material world, and the westerners are wrong who lump all Indians together based on a small sampling of their culture. Generalizations cause wars, hatred and grief in this small world we've come to inhabit. Truthful statements of observations such as "I've read that many Indians abort female fetuses" are useful in the education of people. Generalizations that all Indians do this is ignorance.

Injustices exist all over the planet. We should expose them whenever possible. This site is designed, I believe, to give voice to those people who have seen injustices in the community of "Gurus" travelling around hurting many people. This is the only attraction. If I want discourse on the socio-political aspects of India, I would definitely look elsewhere, not rely on your information at this site.

 
At 12/14/2007 8:23 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said... Dear Chuck.........

I am gobstopped by your word flurry dear lady and will meditate upon what you have said here! It may well be that most folks in Dime Box, Texas and elsewhere in this garden of eden believe that Indians are a trecherous bunch who go around settin fire to folks and try to goose every white woman they see---- but not Chuck! From now on I will stick to fryin my okra over a short fire of burnin mule chips and stay away from international politics! I have damn sure learnt my lesson!!

 
At 12/14/2007 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck,

I'm not sure if I completely understood your response (it's a quaint form of English I never encountered before reading your posts here :-)), but I think it means "let's drop it and start over...all is well"....

Uh, the "dear lady" part is more than a little wrong, however, and there was, of course, no way for you to know that.

Hope to converse with you again on this site, thoroughly tearing the flesh off the bones of fake gurus that Jody is kind enough to bring to our attention!

 
At 12/15/2007 7:10 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said... Dear Chuck, I'm not sure if I completely understood your response...

Dear Sir,You have understood me well! The way I speak is a dialect called "talkin out your ass" where I am from. Bet it's the same in India! Merry Christmas!

 
At 1/10/2008 6:30 PM, Anonymous stillcrazy said...

Anyone here knows an enlightened being who is beyond the body? Is there any enlightened being helping students to go beyond without charging megabucks, without expecting years of full-time volunteer service to his/her organization as part of the training.

How does enlightenment benefit self and others? How does enlightenment reduces the suffering in the world?

What is the PURPOSE of enlightenment? Does the enlightened state bring freedom or fulfillment?
How so?

Anyone care to clarify?

Jody, thank you very much for making this Blog available.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home