Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Relying on "Our Own Experiences" to Determine the Truth of the Path

Turns out, Mormons are taught it too.

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

SeekHer,
Very interesting. Read some of it. Instead of video. I'll come back for more. The guy is fearless. His point about spiritual rapture being the same in all religions is well taken. The rapturous feelings are heightened when you think you are worshiping the One and Only. Kind of basic to religion. Yours has to be the correct one or why be in it?

Nice to see you post some. Enduring gratitude for hosting Seekher!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I felt like I was watching myself speak to myself. All one has to do is substitute Siddha Yoga. or any group for that matter.

I particularly liked when he said. "I couldn't keep doing it (teaching , serving, etc) because I felt dishonest." Seems his personal integrity was more important than being part of a group or anything else.

I appreciated that he did his "research" on history and texts. This website provides a source for SY people to do research, albeit mostly anecdotal, on the history of SY. So much was not told us...everything was very compartmentalized and skewed to the "story" that was THE STORY according to Siddha Yoga..

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:59

You remind of how much of Siddha Yoga was composed rather than described or reported. Made up. Personal integrity gets you to the real goal. That integrity finally help me make the leap out of SY. The gurus ploys did a good job breaking that down allowing me to cooperate in things that I did not approve. The strain of all that took a major toll on my health mental and physical. Looking back the tension I felt was protection. The small voice inside. My own voice. Wonderful to be rid of any others voices in my head.

Anonymous said...

I think it was relying on the particular experiences that we were taught had meaning and value--just like the Mormon fellow describes--and ignoring the experiences that told us something fishy was going on, that was the problem. I think we all probably had experiences from the beginning that just didn't sit right, but we didn't give them any weight. Or we found ways to rationalize them because it was much more exciting to believe that we were on to something very special.

OBW

Anonymous said...

Yes, OBW, this seems like an accurate take on it. Any spiritual path that encourages practitioners to feel "special" is pointing in the wrong direction. Err.........alot of them seem to do that.
Old Sheep

Anonymous said...

Speaking of being taught about "what has meaning," here's this item from today's mail:

I hope that you have been taking full advantage of engaging with the
Siddha Yoga teachings that are posted on the Siddha Yoga path website. One Siddha Yogi shared with me that every time she visits the homepage, her experience is like entering a Siddha Yoga Ashram. As she navigates from one link to another on the website, she feels as though she is entering one satsang hall after another, savoring the unique rasa of the Siddha Yoga teachings on each page.

I want to thank you and encourage you all to continue to look for the "Share Your Experience" link on the Siddha Yoga path website. What's so exciting about sharing in this way is that your contributions are creating a truly global Siddha Yoga satsang that continues 24/7. You are the best!


With love,

Denise Thomas
Website Department Head
SYDA Foundation

Anonymous said...

I like savoring the rasa IRL

Anonymous said...

Denise, I'll never forget the dirty looks you gave me when we were at that center together and what a big time phony I always knew you were. Saint-like? My butt.

Anonymous said...

>>" As she navigates from one link to another on the website, she feels as though she is entering one satsang hall after another, savoring the unique rasa of the Siddha Yoga teachings on each page."<<

Oy Gevalt!
Well, hey, I get that very same feeling "savoring the unique rasa" of each department at Macy's...trapped in the carefully constructed shopping maze of cosmetics, hats, shoes, underwear,appliances and jewelry. Um, I think it's called marketing.

OS

Anonymous said...

It would be fun to see some Mac pro design a slick, color-coded info-graphic that charts the evolve- and devolvement of Siddha and SYDA, from the 70s to present day -- from small clusters of hippies bowing down to a pedophile, to large clusters of celebrities bowing down to a diva, to small clusters of _________ (fill in the blank) clicking through links at a website.

What a fitting, final, vacuous image: a lone devotee staring at a computer screen, believing each pixel is alive with the shakti. But there's nothing there, folks. There never was.

SY has become the cockroach of "spiritual paths" -- it will not die.

I feel so embarrassed and sad for anyone still involved.

Anonymous said...

A better analogy than the cockroach for SY is that of the now-doomed Twinkie: Sugary cake on the outside, unwholesome artificial goo on the inside.

Just what the he** is "savoring the unique rasa" supposed to mean? Why can't SY speak ENGLISH???

Maybe it's part of the code words that induce self-hypnosis or something...

Anonymous said...

" Why can't SY speak ENGLISH???"

Yeah, we all know the answer to that one..when in doubt, cover it up with a buzzword, preferably a Sanskrit term which actually has a very profound meaning in its original context. Take the word and use it incorrectly to justify the worst kind of narcissism, selfishness, trivial pursuit and self-congratulatory "spirituality". Remember those "shares"? There was a lingo; you had to learn how to speak it in order to be acceptable or even recognized as human. Every path has a lingo; syda's is particularly nauseating. I'd like writers like Marta and others who have writing ability and were forced to use the lingo to start a discussion about how this affected both their writing and their thinking. Language is important.
Hey...about Twinkies..did you hear they are trying to "save" this "American Icon"? Maybe there are more similarities between cockroaches and Twinkies than we thought. So much for the "obesity crisis". smile

OS

Anonymous said...

Get ready! Another "Sweet Surprise" is planned for 2013. Just caught a teaser link.

Anonymous said...

Another "sweet surprise" eh?
Just another teaser for those still hanging on to practically nothing (at this point).

I wonder how many fervent SY believers there still are around the world?

And I have to wonder what the ratio of rapidly aging folks to new folks who've never even met GM, let alone Muk, there are these days? My guess is the ratio is overwhelmingly the former.

SeekHer said...

RE: the ball-gag that the was the experience share. I gave a lot of these as a speaker, and coached even more. As a coach I quickly learned that the requisites of an experience share were simple, but not easily attained. First, you needed a presentable, i.e. well-dressed and reasonably affluent yogi or yogini. Secondly, they needed to be the type of devotee who had already internalized almost all of the norms and guidelines of the path, both spoken and tacit, so that they were continuously processing their own experiences through the exclusive filter of SY thought. Finally, they needed to have had an experience that was transcendent but relatable, ecstatic but still able to be used to underline a teaching. If all these things came together you still had to make the person repeat the experience over and over until it was drained of all spontaneity because it was absolutely forbidden for anyone to stand up and say anything that did not conform lock step with the teachings. The result? A small pool of people who were used over and over because they were safe, articulate and could be counted on never to go off message. And we wonder why we all started to nod off the moment the MC took the mike at Intensives and programs!

Anonymous said...

SeekHer,

This was a hallmark of GM's way.
This is not a defense of Muk and his actions in any way, but at least things actually WERE more spontaneous and "free-form" in his era.

GM's paranoiac focus on controlling the message and ensuring all those allowed to speak publicly followed the "approved language and formats" totally killed all hopes of anything spontaneous and unscripted happening.

And thus, killed the creative spark needed to keep all but the most dogmatic or most dependent on "the path" interested in continuing.

Anonymous said...

Probably right, Anon at 12:58 PM, but the motivation for GM's tight control came right out of fear that the truth of what went on in Muk's day might come out somehow. She was desperate to create distance between "her" yoga and his, desperate to make SY respectable.

Anonymous said...

True enough.

Fat lot of good it did her.
She got done in by the internet.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:28 am said
"True enough.

Fat lot of good it did her.
She got done in by the internet."

Yes, and thank god for that! Thank the internet for exposing the abuses and dysfunctional relationships and general weirdnesses in so many cults and cultish groups. Have to use your discrimination, of course, but luckily for most of us, processing our SY experience has been an intensive (pardon the pun) course in developing discrimination.

OBW

Anonymous said...

Greetings,
I'm happy to see more activity here.....I've missed it! I'm wondering about the seeming 'emergence' of Gurumayi on the web site and now more updates, postings, etc. I recently stopped by the Oakland Ashram to visit Bade Baba's murti there, and it eerie and like a ghost town. Yet all the web activity seems to want to relay a message that 'everything is fine', and 'So what if Gurumayi disappeared and left no explanation. Please send in your dakshina and have a relationship with the Guru via the web site'. Just wondering what folks are thinking.....

Anonymous said...

So when you "recently stopped by the Oakland Ashram to visit Bade Baba's murti there, and it eerie and like a ghost town" can you elaborate?

Did you mean the murti or the entire Oakland 'shram was a ghost town?

From my experience frequently staying in the SF Bay area for work from the mid-1990's to the very early 2000's, it seemed like the Saturday night program and the Sunday morning GG were the two weekly events that garnered the greatest number of attendees. Reguarly weekly events at other times were often sparsely attended by anyone not living in the 'shram.

What day of the week/time of day did you visit? Even 10 to 15 years ago, if it wasn't one of the main two weekly events, the place seeming like a "ghost town" wouldn't necessarily be out of the ordinary...and hence, wouldn't be a good gauge of whether the place is really a ghost town, or not.

Anonymous said...

I stopped in on a Wednesday afternoon. A friend attended a Saturday night satsang and reported there were 15 people there, all the old timers who still live in residence. Bade Baba's murti is magical and that space in the breezeway is very much alive with a palpable sense. Over the past three years the registration for events has dwindled. It was our practice to attend Intensives each year, and especially Baba's Mahasamadhi Intensive. We stopped a few years ago since the pre-programmed and canned format left us feeling empty. The meditation periods at the Intensives began to stretch to become 60% of the weekend's program. What I miss about my many years of experiences at the Oakland Ashram are the BIG CHANTS. One doesn't need a Guru, or any of the SYDA trappings to simply enjoy 500 people chanting together. THAT I miss. And that is all I miss.

Anonymous said...

Another "Sweet Surprise" given by a Swami. Just got the memo.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, 15 people on a Saturday night? Wow...what a change.

And, mostly old-timers in residence? Sounds like there are a lot of "former devotees" in the city and in the 'burbs that just don't attend anymore.

I still remember that old guy...balding...used to have kriyas right in the middle of listening to a talk. I could never figure if he just couldn't control it, or was simply showing off.

Stuart Resnick said...

If you call a dog's tail a "leg," how many legs does a dog have? The dog still has 4 legs, because a tail is still a tail, no matter what you call it.

"The book of Mormon is Truth" is just a belief. Calling it "experience" changes nothing.

It's no different than "The guru's shakti filled the room," which is also just religious dogma, whether or not you falsely call it an "experience."

Stuart

Stuart Resnick said...

Anony wrote: His point about spiritual rapture being the same in all religions is well taken.

It's true that in so many different religions, people report rapturous experiences. So if your interest is in getting a special experience for a while, any religion will do.

But different religions have different teachings that affect how you interpret and use that rapture after you have it. A Christian group may say that after getting the special experience, you should surrender to a long-dead teacher (Jesus). SYDA may tell you the experience means you owe your life to the guru. Buddhism says that the only significance of any experience is if you can use it to help other beings. Zen advises to let all experiences appear and disappear like clouds in the sky.

So while the experience may be the same, different traditions have very different teachings on what to do after the experience, so the differences between traditions matter a lot.

Stuart

Anonymous said...

>>" Just wondering what folks are thinking.....<<"

Hi Anon 12/10,
I don't think about gurumayi at all anymore and syda I remember as a "valuable lesson" (well, it's not a lesson I would have chosen but I guess that's the point).I find I like to come here sometimes for conversation with folks who went through the same wringer. I usually learn something.

best to you,
Old Sheep



Anonymous said...

Stuart, Jesus is not dead. He rose again on the third day! Get your facts straight. :)

Anonymous said...

Recently I had a feeling of goodwill towards SY. It surprised me. Didnt spend time on it, but was glad to find my heart evolving. Mostly thinking off all the good times. Very family type thoughts of loving among the ruins of life lived not so perfectly but lived. It happened. I bless it. Peace. OBW like what you said about peeps who have been thru the same wringer. Bonding. Like war. I was damaged a lot by SY. But that is over now. Peace everybody!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...Stuart, Jesus is not dead. He rose again on the third day! Get your facts straight. :)" on December 12, 2012 6:38 AM

Dear Anon,

It's a waste of time to point that out to Stuart Resnick. He always seems to drop into a discussion from 50,000 feet when least expected to swoop in and pontificate on his interpretation of the Zen Buddhist perspective. Or perhaps, even just his own perspective, whether it's really the perspective Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha might have held...or NOT.

Some might call it a compulsion. Others might call it an addiction. Regardless, he just can't seem to help himself (and the rest of us) by stopping himself. Time and again, people here and on other websites have asked him to PLEASE stop doing this but to no avail. At this point, my advice would be to just ignore him. He's not going to "change his mind".

While for the moment, until China, Russia, and the Middle East take over its control someday, the internet is still free and Mr. Resnick has the freedom to comment here as he pleases, he never seems to get the message that some of us reading here (and elsewhere) really, REALLY wish he wouldn't.

Because inevitably, his comments ALWAYS seem to rankle this reader, no matter how many times I try to keep an open mind as I read his comments once, twice, thrice to see if I can put myself in his moccasins.

Somehow, I never, ever can. No matter how hard I try. He's just too overbearing in his insistence of HIS perspective being the ONLY real perspective.

Anonymous said...

>>"Somehow, I never, ever can. No matter how hard I try. He's just too overbearing in his insistence of HIS perspective being the ONLY real perspective"<<

Dear Friend,
Well if you have spent any time reading Dogon or Bankei or Suzuki Roshi or sat with other zen teachers (including Seung Sahn),then you experience what it is to have a glass of cold water in the face...and to "wake up" from that, even momentarily. Zen students, though, can easily get caught up in the rhetoric, linguistic tics and posturing of zen and wind up using "the truth" as a kind of weapon that creates separation rather than awakening. There are alot of folks "teaching and preaching" who might be better off listening or at least engaging in two way communication. Some folks who teach uninvited might see what they are doing as "spreading the dharma" but the sense of bullying agression beneath the words makes it hard to hear what they are saying. Most of that seems to have to do with adopting the peculiar "zen speak" that comes from a particular cultural context but, to us, sounds false and bizarre (since it is not our native culture). We don't seem to have a problem hearing it from a Suzuki Roshi but hearing it from a Westerner can set our teeth on edge even if we might recognize the truth of what is being alluded to. However, remember the story of Gurdjieff paying a particularly annoying Russian man to continue to come and irritate the people doing "Gurdjieff work". This man served the function of showing each person where their "buttons" were. To be kind, perhaps this is Stuart's intention, to serve as an irritant. No one will ever know.


OS

Anonymous said...

Hi guys/gals, stop trying to dazzle us with your "head stuff." Let's keep to sharing from the heart.

Anonymous said...

>>"Anonymous said...
Hi guys/gals, stop trying to dazzle us with your "head stuff." Let's keep to sharing from the heart."<<

Or we can use both...just a thought.

OS

Anonymous said...

Both are great, I agree, but I found today's flourish of intellectual swordsmanship particularly unappealing. Each to his own.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon.,
I hear you and I realize after judging the way Stuart chooses to communicate, it's a bit disingenuous for me to insist that the way I do it is fine.
However, there's nothing "wrong" with the mind or the intellect or ideas.What you categorize as "head stuff" or an "attempt to dazzle other people" (huh) might just be a normal way of communicating for somebody else.The mind is a tool not a weapon (in most cases). There is a real strong anti-intellectual bias in contempoary spirituality.Some of it seems to be an East Coast/West Coast thing. It was also a big part of syda: don't use big words; share in the appropriate way. But, as I'm sure you know, most traditions have a very strong intellectual component that is part of spiritual training.
I don't think we need to "dumb down" for each other. Who's to say what "sharing from the heart" sounds like for each individual? So..having said all that, I take it back...Stuart should come here and express himself in any way he wants to...as long as I have the freedom to do the same. Thanks for the reminder.

OS

Anonymous said...

Understood, today I have a need for more peace and quiet. You know, like a family gathering when folks get into an intense discussion. Some times you want to jump into the action and other times you want to leave the room snd do your own thing.

Anonymous said...

Old Sheep see that it was you mentioned the 'wringer' we went through not Older But Wiser. Sorry. :).

Anonymous said...

Since when did ROD have a heart cop? LOL! Reminds me of the constraints in SY. I feel very free of that here. Commenters, host have all been very permissive. Yes! And Stuart I enjoy quite a bit even if predictable.

Heart cop read back. There Is no one temperament here that's for sure. This bunch is all over. Peace out friends!

Anonymous said...

Those who usually talked about the heart in SY were the most heartless. Paradox.

Anonymous said...

Wow, folks sure have some strong feelings left about SY! Seems like you regulars have some hot buttons and ground rules I don't understand. I promise, promise, promise I'll never mention the "heart" again!

Maybe I can write about "the lineage."

Anonymous said...

>Wow, folks sure have some strong feelings left about SY! Seems like you regulars have some hot buttons and ground rules I don't understand. I promise, promise, promise I'll never mention the "heart" again!

Maybe I can write about "the lineage."

Dear Anon.
you are funny! some words and phrases are like toxic waste from the syda landfill: "sharing from the heart" might be one of them. Kind of like waving a red flag in front of a bull, the irritant is just too much to ignore. Communication can sure be difficult...it's hard to suss out people's motivation when you can't see their faces. Language becomes even more important. It's sorely lacking..but all we have.

what lineage..?..smile.

Old Sheep

Anonymous said...

You got it!

I think that we should develop a SYDA "No, No" vocabulary. For example"

Share
Lineage
Heart

Please add....

Anonymous said...

Lineage? WHAT Lineage?

Dig deeper. The purported SY lineage is a well-crafted series of untruths.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up ..lineage is a joke, like "speak from the heart" and "speak from your experience" SYDA Speak!
Let's have some fun with our favorite phrases.

Anonymous said...

"Appropriate"


A way of telling MCs that they should not say something or telling devotees that they should not behave in a certain way: "That is not appropriate."

Anonymous said...

Uh, no thanks.
I'd rather just forget those "favorite phrases" from SY.

Some of them were awfully loaded with an emotional charge. And some of us just aren't over them yet.

If you are, good on ya.
But I'm NOT.

Anonymous said...

in alignment
confidential
the collective wisdom
the shakti has gone out of it
it's a spanda
trust the inner guru (unless, of course, it's not in alignment with the shakti--that is, the outer guru)
protecting the purity of the teachings

Use all the words and phrases that have been mentioned in any order to create pure expressions of TRUTH!

The premotsava initiative (and "initiative" itself is another one) is a rich vein of gems.

Sigh.

OBW

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon, I did not get the joke of your post.
>> Anonymous said... December 12, 2012 Hi guys/gals, stop trying to dazzle us with your "head stuff." Let's keep to sharing from the heart.>>

So telling me/us to: <<"Lighten up ..lineage is a joke, like "speak from the heart">>

Why not take responsibility for saying it and that it is annoying to some of us. "Lighten up" feels like the typical SY finger pointing that we are sick of.

Anonymous said...

My apologies for annoying you, that is not my intention. My guess is that you feel I do not value you or the pain you have experienced as a result of SY.I'd like to understand what it is about my words that annoys you.

Anonymous said...

Telling me to lighten up is rude and condescending. It is telling me to shut up. NO, I won't shut up.

Apology accepted.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I appreciate your willingness to tell me this.

Anonymous said...

When Seekher mentioned how he keeps this site for those still working in coming to terms with their time in SY it made me think of the twelfth step. As we have been talking about the benefits of getting out of SY to be similar to an innoculation against cult like programming wherever we find it.

Now I see AA as a type of programming too, but many get benefits and the twelfth step is part of that benefit making. So congrats to Seekher for twelve stepping SY exit and helping us all out!

Being Innoculated we are able to take this message to others. I am finding it sometimes tricky with new age remnants. Like repeat a few affirmations and you are good to get whatever. That one makes me cringe.

Enjoy your days of spiritual freedom peeps. I appreciate all the conversation as I miss the joy of looking behind reality but have sworn off magical thinking as bunk. Trying to find the place to allow the mystery of life to just be without childish fantasy. For now hanging on to the amazement of embodiment. Thanks for that one.

PS peeps should read back a bit quite a bit to get the feel of ROD if you are new. Otherwise you appear as a troll straight from Brickman Road! :-)


Anonymous said...

words and phrases: "for your ears only". Made me feel like Nasruddin's donkey..my what BIG ears you have! It also reminded me of a James Bond film...I think it was "For your EYES only..not for your EARS only"..but still....big secret stuff.

what was the one about the ability to hold information and not divulge it? it was a pre-requisite to "stepping into a leadership role".

Boy language is interesting isn't it? those buzzwords and secret handshakes, costumes and ways human beings identify each other. Ever think about how many "costumes" you've worn in this lifetime? saris, zen robes, paint-spattered jeans,male/female "identifiers", etc. I'ts really funny when you think about it.

OS

Anonymous said...

When tragedy struck we would assemble and wait for wisdom from all knowing guru. Very very glad those days are over. No one knows anything just now, we stop knowing at these times. Human ignorance is appalling and only made right when we accept that.

Anonymous said...



When tragedy struck we would assemble and wait for wisdom from all knowing guru. Very very glad those days are over. No one knows anything just now, we stop knowing at these times. Human ignorance is appalling and only made right when we accept that.

Thanks Anon 12/15,
There's nothing that can be said really...no words could "put it in perspective" or make sense of this.
may every sentient being be free from suffering.
OS







SeekHer said...

Just visited the SYDA website and saw that the scroll of experience shares today leads off on one from a devotee in Connecticut who writes that the SY message on the website (for 2012? 2013?)

Listen
Center of the Heart
Blessings
Sacred

has helped them immensely as a therapist who is counseling children in the wake of the tragedy at Newton. If so, I'm glad they've found comfort and feel more ready to comfort others. I don't understand how those words coalesce into a message, but I think they only really do for the still enchanted.

After this past weekend, I can almost wish to be one of those, for the psychic comfort it would bring. Almost.

Anonymous said...

Caught the SY website comment. I would not want this therapist anywhere near my children. First, they are not experienced and have to research what to say on the Internet? Then tell us that they are getting guidance from gurumayi on what to say? Typical exploitation by SY. Can't just send condolences has to make it about them! This tragedy is another reason to praise SY! Similar to silly pictures of hurricane damage at SMA. A few trees went down from shallow roots and bad George Afif landscaping and they are heroes?

Anonymous said...

There are literally still THOUSANDS of educated, trained, experienced psychologists, counselors, "therapists" and the like, who are still deeply enmeshed in SY and who take every advantage to "treat" people in a way that proselytizes for SY.

I've encountered some of them myself.

It amazes me that such people:

1) Can't wake themselves up from the SY veil despite being in the role of helping others with mental/emotional health

and

2) Can't see the absolute BREACH of professional ethics when they bring SY into their "treatment"
2)

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:36--Thousands of therapists in SY? Surely you jest. I doubt there are more than a few thousand total "devotees" left, and not many of them are likely to be therapists. Even in the final glory days when Lester was the puppet *appearing* to run the show, the true numbers were only about 20,000 total sheep, worldwide. Ten years or more later, that number is sooo far reduced.

Of all the people I know who are still "in" or sort of connected, and that's probably about 150 from all over the world, there are three who could be considered therapists, and those three are personal coaches, not MFTs or MSWs or MFCCs. Therapists undoubtedly left SY at the same rate as everyone else.

Anonymous said...

>> Even in the final glory days when Lester was the puppet *appearing* to run the show, the true numbers were only about 20,000 total sheep, worldwide. "<<

Hi Anon 12/18. Where are these figures coming from? The 20,000 worldwide numbers during the late 1990s/early 2000s (when Lester was CEO). I'd be really surpised if these numbers are accurate. Do you have access to inside information? Not wanting to put you on the spot but very surprised by your post. I personally know at least 6 "movers and shakers" still in the yoga in my area...all 6 are prominent psychotherapists.????

os

Anonymous said...

OS--There was a "leadership" meeting via satellite hookup between 99 and 2001 (definitely before 9/11) that I participated in, and Lester himself gave that number. Actually, I think it was 22,000, not 20,000. He said it as if it was a big deal, a big number. That was individual people (not repeats) who had direct contact--either went to a center, took a course or intensive, gave dakshina, subscribed to the magazine, visited an ashram for a program or overnight. There might have been more people on the mailing lists, but that was how many had participated in the past year, and the way he presented it was that that was how many people were in SY. The people I was with were shocked--we thought there were ten times that many people involved. That's why I remember it. At the same meeting we were told the number of people who gave to the "global monthly offering"--it was less than 2000, I don't remember the actual number now. That was a real shocker, too. And of course it was all to be "held in confidentiality" or whatever the phrase was. I'll bet there are others who read this list who were part of that meeting and can confirm my memory. It's not something I've thought about in years, but I remember the numbers because they were so shocking.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon. 12/19,
WOW! I am amazed by this information! I am thinking back to that time and remembering a real shift in Lester as a person. I remember observing the dance going on and wondering what had precipitated it...an undercurrent of instability and "closing ranks".
thank-you for being so forthcoming. It certainly puts things in quite a different perspective and explains alot about why so many "big cheeses" left so suddenly...not so much "ethical concerns" as not wanting to be the last rat on a sinking ship.

os

Anonymous said...

Anon December 18, 2012 2:33 PM,

Incorrect on the therapists issue.
I know a hanging-on devotee on the East Coast who is a licensed psychologist and is the clinical director for a residential treatment center for troubled children.

Thousands? OK, maybe I was overestimating. Hundreds? I'd believe the estimate.

As for only 150 hanging-on devotees worldwide, I believe you are grossly underestimating. I would estimate several hundred to 1,000 at the very least, in the United States alone. And I think even THAT is lowballing reality.

Do I have hard data to back up my beliefs? No. But per personal observation of a few of the larger SY centers in the US and how many are attending regularly, your 150 worldwide seems far too low.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:34 AM--To clarify, I said 150 still connected who are people I know personally, not who are all that's left. I would guess there are fewer than 5000 left, but that's really pure speculation based on the proportion of people I knew in the yoga before, and how many of them are still in--about 1 in 5.

I guess my sample of acquaintances is low on psychologists! But thanks for downsizing your estimate, I think a couple hundred is way more like it. I hope most of them keep their work separate from their involvement in SY, but I suppose it's bound to affect their interactions with clients.

Anonymous said...

"There was a "leadership" meeting via satellite hookup between 99 and 2001 (definitely before 9/11) that I participated in, and Lester himself gave that number. Actually, I think it was 22,000, not 20,000.... " the number of people who gave to the "global monthly offering"--it was less than 2000".

That's interesting. Prior to the New Yorker article the numbers were probably much, much higher.

FWIW the Newton shooter lived on a little road called Yogananda St. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Da-yum. I thought you were kidding.
But here it is, Yogananda St., right on Spokeo:

http://www.spokeo.com/search?q=nancy+lanza&s9=t55#Connecticut:267408377

Anonymous said...

More on the history of "Yogananda Street" from 2009:

http://ask.metafilter.com/113202/Why-is-there-a-street-called-Yogananda-Street-in-staid-Sandy-Hook-CT

Anonymous said...




FWIW the Newton shooter lived on a little road called Yogananda St. So sad.



December 20, 2012 12:16 PM
Anonymous said...
Da-yum. I thought you were kidding.
But here it is, Yogananda St., right on Spokeo:

http://www.spokeo.com/search?q=nancy+lanza&s9=t55#Connecticut:267408377


December 20, 2012 2:48 PM
Anonymous said...
More on the history of "Yogananda Street" from 2009:



There is something truly repellant about this thread.

disgusted

Anonymous said...

"There is something truly repellant about this thread.

disgusted"

I heard about the Yogananda St thing on the evening news the day of the shooting. Yogananda was my portal into Eastern spirituality. Hearing his name in connection with such a tragic event has my gears spinning. Others might feel the same.

Anonymous said...

>>"Yogananda was my portal into Eastern spirituality. Hearing his name in connection with such a tragic event has my gears spinning. Others might feel the same."<<

they might. People might feel alot of things but the truth is that, right now, a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds are being buried so why not give it some space and speculate about Yogananda Steet a little later. As you, yourself said, FWIW.

disgusted

Anonymous said...

disgusted, for those who might have had some attachment to yogananda there is a certain added cruelty it all. Some folks might want to address that. It's like a cruel joke added to tragedy.

Friggin judgmental thought police. Let us know when it's time to unbottle that.

Anonymous said...

Ew 5:11 People have different POV and are not of one mind. I was reading with no judgement... until, there was judgement. Stop reading the thread if it disgusts. Pass over the posts.

Anonymous said...

I posted those due to shock and horror at the weird connection. Was not suggesting anything and thus was not intentionally doing anything to be repellant or attracing.

Was simply expressing shock at the very strange confluence of facts. Nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Autobiography of a Yogi is just as made up as Play of Conciousness. Sensory deprivation and mind numbing mantra repetition suppresses critical thinking then you have an easy mark who will do your bidding. Same corrupt inspiritilual game. Only the names have changed.

Street name is irrelevant to discussion and offensive I agree.

Anonymous said...

Typo that's 'same spiritual game'.

Anonymous said...

"Street name is irrelevant to discussion and offensive I agree... Typo that's 'same spiritual game'"

sounds like CJ's ex-sy mind control game. using children and "victims" to redirect discussion to your own narrow-minded POV is revolting. you're using these kids as a shield to control what and how people express themselves.

expressing shock at the very strange confluence of facts is entirely natural. ex-sy fanned the flames of hatred and anger while suppressing the moderate view. this could have been a conversation about the nature of good and evil, or the meaning of life. now it's about someone's anti-guru agenda. plewh.

Anonymous said...

So transparent. CJ can kiss my butt. Hope you're reading that CJ.

Anonymous said...

Much Ado About Smiley Face...a study guide for the Christmas card, for pit sake!

Anonymous said...

Not sure what that last post refers to, must be dense here. But it seems like maybe there's some raw feelings out there right now, duh.

Hope everyone who celebrates this month's holidays will have/has had good ones.

Peace, man!

OBW

Anonymous said...

Study guide for GM 's card http://www.siddhayoga.org/seasons-greetings/study-guide

Anonymous said...

To mark the season and the apparent lack of an apocalypse, I’d like to publicly renounce and apologize for my participation in any vitriolic bashing of the gurus and their associates during my time as a member of the ex-sy community. While I respect peoples need to express anger, that emotion wasn’t a place I needed to frequent to the degree that I did. In retrospect, I wish I had been able to let go of Siddha Yoga more gracefully, more peaceably, with better balance. Distancing myself from both the yoga and the anti-yoga has allowed me to better understand what I lost, and equally important - and not often mentioned or understood - what I gained. Breaking free was hard; still, I went too far, got too nasty, let myself get caught up in the whirlwind of anger. I lost sight of the virtues of forgiveness and compassion and regret that I did so. I did not expand my vision wide enough to include the very individuals from whom I was trying to break free. I remain uncomfortable with many of my old posts, even if they’re just memories in cyberspace or blips in the akashic records.

I’ve been out of Siddha Yoga for almost seven years now. Beyond the very rare pang I seem to have outgrown the need for it or anything of similar nature. Lately my focus is Qi Gong and Tai Chi and rebuilding my internal system. Nevertheless, I think about Siddha Yoga nearly every day, and dream about the guru and the ashram fairly often. For a long time I installed the gurus as mind entities in a very deep way. Now I want to sheath the weapons and offer the olive branch. Peace, thank God, is slowly encroaching on what was formerly a conflagration of conflict. The awareness of belief, just in belief, as a gut feeling of something larger and intangible is returning as a comfort and a power.

I very rarely go to church and am not much for formal religion, but hypothetically, if I did meet Gurumayi there, or Muktananda were he alive, could I offer them a “Peace be with you,” and mean it, staying centered and unaffected. I’d like to think so. What would Jesus do? Or even Gandhi?

Perhaps what I’m doing now.

I offer this to the universe as an act of contrition, and of reconciliation, in the holiday spirit and beyond.

MovedByGod
Peace be with you

Anonymous said...

Lovely sentiment, MovedByGod. NIce to hear your voice here. Thank you for what you said.

And I hope you won't kick yourself too hard for the anger and blame. They are often the way forward, if we don't get stuck in them. Forgiveness and compassion can come right out of them. Everyone is just trying to find a way to be happy, even the evil-doers, and when we really begin to grok that, compassion is the natural response. I think, anyway.

OBW

Anonymous said...

Dear MBG
thank you for writing and expressing what many of us have come to recognize. At some point, spiritual autonomy begins to kick in, although it takes a long time for some of us (myself included). This does not diminish what we came to recognize (about the gurus and about our own shadow sides)but it can turn our focus from the recognition of how spirituality can go "wrong" to how we can use what we've learned to actually investigate in a very personal and real way. When you've been through the spiritual wringer, concepts like compassion and transparency take on a whole new meaning.You don't need some "teaching" about compassion when you see the necessity of it arising so strongly in your daily life.
I like the Tibetan Buddhist teaching that anger is an energy that, at the root, contains a powerful clarity of mind. It takes a real effort to "catch it at its point of arising", in my experience, but that effort has major implications.
Like you, I'm a big fan of Qigong and T'ai Chi. It's amazing to actually connect with internal energy after so many years of seeing it as some kind of unknowable "magic".
Best luck to you. Your post was wonderful to read this morning. thanks again.

Old Sheep

Anonymous said...

Peace peeps. May your inner knowing lead you straight to your heart's desire.

Anonymous said...

Study guide for Christmas card, reads like study guide for zombies. Typical full of hollow sentiments. Gurumayi walk your talk if you would like to be believed. Your treatment of your followers belies words. Fake as ever. Have a nice day! :-)

Anonymous said...

Live and let live. If people need to feel their anger let them. Anger was so pushed down in denial in that environment. Let people vent. It's healthy. The guru-speak that I see cropping up here makes me feel ill but to each their own.

Anonymous said...

MBG thanks for peaceful thoughts. Anger is an honest emotion I can relate to also.

Thanks for many points , lots to consider when driving, shopping, chopping, standing in lines, pretending to watch footrball with relatives!

Thanks again Seekher.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12/23 8:24am:

Not just anger...ALL negativity was squelched in the SY environment. Denial was so common among the devotees.

So totally unbalanced and unhealthy. No wonder so much anger comes seething out and keeps flowing for years.

Betrayal by one's god is about as deep as it gets. Realizing that one's god wasn't god, and that it was never anything but betrayal of one's own sense of self-protection in order to fill deeply felt needs, is even deeper.

Of course there is anger and rage that comes up over SY. It would be completely unnatural and contrary to human nature, for it not to be there.

Anonymous said...

Siddha Yoga needs to follow the course Kripalu Yoga did in handling Amrit Desai. Trustees demanded his resignation. Massachusetts attorney general awarded millions in damages be paid to staff. Kripalu is now a thriving center. Why?

Kripalu got honest with itself. Made truth a goal. Gurumayi needs to do the same. Quit pretending and playing make believe. It's ridiculous for Siddha Yoga to think it can continue to white wash the mess.

If Siddha Yoga could be honest, there would be many that would show up to do the work. But the organization can't be honest apparently.

How can anything be gained from following a path based on public relations strategies rather than the truth?

Tell the truth Gurumayi. Take off the robes. You know you want to. Get off the chair. Become a real leader.

Anonymous said...

Asking GM to tell the truth?
Won't happen.

You said it yourself. Kripalu's trustees had to force the issue and demand Amrit Desai's resignation.

I don't see any of the SY trustees doing this. Anyone who might have had a mind to, was probably (since I'm just guessing here) purged long ago.

Anonymous said...

I read with fascination my Facebook page this morning with several personal accounts of the Christmas festivities at SMA. Many of the true believers were apparently invited for the holiday after lo these many years. GM gave darshan to the visitors with a live snake in her lap. Some accounts say a cobra (who she lovingly stroked) others say it was a small boa constrictor. I can hardly wait for a ‘study guide’ to help us understand the symbolism in this.
It strikes me that most of the intellectually curious, politically active, ethical and critical thinkers have flown the coop. Leaving (oh pardon) just the chickens. Those who are so deeply invested and deeply identified that they will never give this thing up. This is exactly what GM is going for…a retirement plan. Keep it just alive enough, keep just enough contributions flowing in to sustain for the next 30-40 years. After she passes, so will SY. At the same time, many of us maintain the social connections with the people who remain as well as those who have quietly slipped away. We remain close to those still in the yoga and grateful for the experience of having practiced with a really great group of people. Liking someone with whom you do not agree is a very interesting and illuminating practice. Wishing you all a very happy and joyful New Year!

Anonymous said...

>>" GM gave darshan to the visitors with a live snake in her lap. Some accounts say a cobra (who she lovingly stroked) others say a small boa constrictor"<<


Shades of Afro Sai Baba! soon she'll be coughing up lingams....

Anonymous said...

I, for one, do not believe she has the courage to handle a live cobra in her lap.

Must have been a non-poisonous snake.

Or, if a cobra, you can be sure it was de-fanged before it was allowed near her. (In which case, just great. Cruelty to humans, cruelty to animals. Equal opportunity cruelty.)

Anonymous said...

You get invited to see your guru after so long and she receives u with a snake in her lap? Passive aggressive much? That is unnecessary, crass, cruel, not profound in any way, and yet doesn't surprise me!

Anonymous said...

Snake in lap? So edgy. So glad I was not present.

Anonymous said...

Summary of Christmas day at ashram on website made me choke two paragraphs in. G is in kitchen sees paid employees says they should have the day off. They break down crying in gratitude. What a fake show of benevolence. Either they needed to work and get paid or they could have known in advance they didn't need to drive to work and could have stayed home. What a shameless display of ego.

Anonymous said...

Snake was a python belonging to devotee child. They bring it for darshan.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at the photos. Don't get the big deal about the snake. I recognized only one person. It's tacky when grownups *cough* need to show off their gifts, so many photos, Christmas is for the kids. GM looks good at her age (no flaming... just calls 'em as I sees 'em).

Anonymous said...

Pictures. Saw former inner circle. Their faces full of longing. Made me feel sad for them. After all this time and all their seva and dakshina they are still in a state of anxious anticipation. Shouldn't they have arrived at their destination by now? Do they really need her to complete their journey?. IMO no. Siddha Yoga was an impediment to spiritual advancement. Kept me thinking I was not worthy, that I was failure at sadhana. None of those feeling now. Experiences of deep spiritual fulfillment that come from simple acknowledgement of sacred life itself.

Anonymous said...

For the Shaivites, guru with snake, would be a hit. But does the snake like all this? I wonder....

Anonymous said...

Pictures tell a different story than written report. It's a pretty little snake and it wasn't planned just happened. Not like it was a feature of the darshan. More strange was having groups of five men dance. To no music. Is Gurumayi planning on a Magic Mike show for her Sweet Surprise? Ha! She does like good looking men!

Anonymous said...

Follow my own experience? Well my experience tells me this is not even a path, Syda is an abandoned trail that leads to nowhere. A ghost town alright! Sorry for all the abused and the taken advantage of, shame on them. I am no longer lost in those woods… Actually thanks to malti’s BS, Syda's fraud and mukt rapes, I am know free from superstition, became a rational and sane, after a long struggle I’m free from magic and dreams. Never thought I could make it. Shaktipat... what's that? Please... Her new photos, words, videos don’t even provoke a reaction in me, they are absolutely irrelevant, meaningless, heartless. It’s was all ignorance, superstition, peer pressure. Not all that glitters is gold I know that. She can say nothing that can catch my attention or even amuse me. I am over this. She can do the hula hoop! I couldn't care less.
Tks to RoD and the disenchanted community, I always respect all of you, all of us. That's why I haven’t posted anything in a while, I just don’t care anymore. I sincerely hope no one else falls in to this, as I and so many did. I hope and no else one sends them a penny more, they are floating in money. They owe us.

Anonymous said...

Not believing in Santa Claus is similar. All new age bunk is annoying when folks you like bring it up now as in please don't tell me your boss is a Taurus. Yet recently the mystery of day to day life has returned. The sense of being in a groove and things flow. Not because of Gurumayi's grace but because life is grace.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but I am going to be a bit crude. Nothing that I am saying here is new or a revelation. You know what all the new comers and all of us should have in our minds when of those sometimes cozy feelings and remembrance arise? The Siddha-rape. The old fart after his first rapes decided to do many more so he came up with a plan, he designed a device. It was too uncomfortable to do it sitting down or on a table, too much effort, and laying down there was too much body contact, possible tongue kisses! No please… After all this was a sacred act! No, the good old fart decided that only vaginal penetration was the way to recharge his batteries, to enhance his magical powers and his sick lust so he designed a chair and had it built just for that purpose!(I wonder if it is stored and revered in some sick tantric temple) As he set sail on a raping spree.
It was some sort of gynecological chair as we call it in the West where the patient or in this case the victim, lays down comfortably with her legs wide opened while the rapist-guru stands right in the hotspot and does his trick. You got to be kidding me! One very cruel irony of all this is that even though all syda-robot followers know this, they find the fact that there was no ejaculation reported by the victims, which might not be true who knows, somehow makes this a lesser offense, somehow appealing, intriguing. There were also reports of a flaccid penis with no pushing back and forth like us poor humans do, this for some indicates somehow no wrong doing, it was all good. They say to themselves “I couldn’t do that! He Must have some kind of special “powers”. No my friends rape is rape even if the fifteen year old infant victim consents to it mislead by the notion that it is all a blessing and should say nothing to her parents. That’s what we need to remind us when in doubt, forget about malti’s deception, or Syda’s fraud and passion for money. Just remember the rapes and the chair and you shall

Anonymous said...

be free.

Anonymous said...

Realities behind the chair would discourage new people. Especially parents. They are unaware or in denial. Uncomfortable to remember. But as with University of Pa and Catholic church these ugly facts must be faced. New adherents to Siddha Yoga likely are well insulated from this kind of information. Siddha Yoga could still clean up its act and be real. The incredible lack of authenticity screams loud in current pr photos and darshans. Trying way too hard. And wearing an old wrinkled schmatta? Christmas Day? Where are the silk and diamond brooch and bracelets?

Siddha Yoga cannot grow when it has the ugly cancer inside described above.


Anonymous said...

">> Just remember the rapes and the chair"<<<

this was really disgusting to read and unnecessarily graphic especially in view of today's news regarding the death of a gang-rape victim in India. Any woman who has suffered through sexual abuse does not need to be reminded of it by accidentally reading this agressively detailed description of muktananda's sexual perversity. It amounts to a kind of pornographic verbal violence that creates more suffering for the victims. Facing something does not mean reliving it in every horrific detail, real or imagined.
Unless you were one of muktananda's victims, you have no right to inflict this on other people. Words have consequences: for a victim of sexual violence, reading this is like a war veteran experiencing PTSD.
I don't imagine this was your intention. As you said, most of this is known already.


Anonymous said...

Part of the pattern of ongoing abuse is refusal to talk about it. India will be talking about rape. Protestors are demanding it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone reading a blog about leaving a corrupt spiritual path having previously been a victim of rape will have to expect that the subject will come up. So they should not read here if it is triggering. Muktananda's sexual transgressions prove the lie of Siddha Yoga. Censoring that is not helpful to healing. It happened. It's ugly. We are trying to get over it. By talking about it.

I stayed way too long in Siddha Yoga while knowing. Why? Because subject was taboo. Could not be talked about.

Anonymous said...

>>"Part of the pattern of ongoing abuse is refusal to talk about it."<<

It's not refusing to talk about it or deal with it any way.It is not censoring muktananda's sexual transgressions any more than it is censoring free speech about pedophelia in the church. It's about language and how its used . Right now, in India (according to a friend) people are talking about and protesting what happened and then there are those who want all the "details" about exactly what the six men did with that iron pipe..guys sitting around between "protests" reimagining the whole thing. Several women protesters have been verbally and physically assaulted by male "protesters". If you have ever been "interrogated" after a rape by the police in a foreign country (or even this country), you know what I mean...a bunch of people in a very public place getting off on the sexual charge of who did what and exactly how it happened...in a way that has nothing to do with helping the victim and everything to do with their own sexual issues. Maybe I am overly sensitive but, to me, this description of muktananda's activity went WAY beyond anything that I have read (including Radha's very clear account). Unless you were there on the table, it's a kind of voyourism. And it's no wonder that those who went through it don't feel safe talking about it with us.What it does is effectively prevent any kind of reaching out and helping because it creates more "shame" for the victims. think about it. And yes, you can just not read here just like you can avoid reading about all the explicit details (organ size, what the steps were, was there ejaculation and all the rest of it) or you can try to point out that just because we have free speech doesn't mean we have the right to create unnecessary suffering for others. The facts of muktananda's sexual abuse are online in several different locations. What is "new" in this account is the very explicit sexual language. Was the author of this letter there on the table? If so, I apologize. If not, I'd like to know how they managed to get a bird's eye view.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:59 it is you who are dragging out the details. Let it go. Your point was made. Peace.

Anonymous said...

>>. Let it go. Your point was made. Peace""


you're right..thanks.
anon.

SeekHer said...

Just checking in after holiday travel and wanted to comment on two comments. The first is by Moved By God--MBG thank you for writing this. I get that it was important to you to own up to your past anger, and I'm happy you are so past that stage now that you can see the effects your words might have had on others. I agree with those who posted that rage is a necessary part of the journey out for most of us, after so many years of suppressed emotions, words, thoughts, deeds. I recently read back my comments on the Slate article about SYDA and seeing them again with a fresh eye I recognize them as needlessly provocative to the very people I was claiming to reach out to (those still in SY). In that case my anger was real but misdirected as I aimed it squarely at the SYDA Trustees and gave Gurumayi something of a pass. Leftover sentimentality and illusion about the benevolence of the Guru, no doubt.

The second post is by the Anon who posted the link to the STUDY GUIDE to G's "Season's Greetings" card. There are no words. But I'll cough some up anyway. How much dumber and more banal can this path get? Will have more to say on that in a new post, but thank you dear Anon for the heads up.

Oh--and yes! G's midday visit to the kitchen--after the paid staff had likely been there since before dawn cooking the bhandara--to give them the 'sweet surprise' of a day off on Christmas was pure PR.

Anonymous said...

Being able to talk about abuse and betrayal without a charge on it, takes time and is never 100%. I have moved on, but sometimes get caught down memory lane where the pains sits. Samskaras we use to call them. ;-)

Thank you community here for providing a place to process. I really value hearing from seekers who bridged the gap left by Siddha Yoga and have created new paths for themselves full of reason and trust. That gives me a lot of comfort. Peace everybody.