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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 07, 2008 10:21PM

Final Note: Ramana Maharshi is not to be confused or equated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Ramana apparently was genuine. He left home, lived in a cave and would have died if a man in the neighborhood had not taken care of him when he was ill, and later built him a small ashram.

Ramana never left India. His relatives swooped in and took over management of thier illustrious relatives ashram as soon as they learned that he was attracting visitors and still manage it today for it remains a valuable pilgrimage site--and a must visit place for both seekers and for various and sundry teachers who claim to have some sort of tie with Maharshi.

Maharshi died in the early 1950s and had no rock star disciples, unlike MMY.

Now that he is dead he can make no objections to anyone displaying his picture or invoking his name so as to elicit trust.

It appears one of the first to start the 'resume' movement was Poonja and
as Poonja, unlike Maharshi, could speak English, Poonja was able to do outreach to English speaking Westerners, without any need to resort to interpreters.

Fact checking Poonjas background is difficult. He was born in an Indian village now in Pakistan, which means he would have had to flee for his life during the post Partition violence in 1947. Or, at the very least, had he been lucky enough as a Hindu to be on the Indian side in 1947, he could never have returned to his home village. Any records or people who recalled his early years would have been destroyed or dispersed. The trauma of those years cannot be under-estimated. Read Dalyrmple's City of Djinns and VS Naipaul's interviews with Pakistanis in his 1997 book, Beyond Belief. Dalyrmple met people in Old Delhi who had survived the Partition and their witness is heart rending. C)

"A Short Biography of Sri HWL Poonja, 1913 - 1997

HWL Poonja, lovingly referred to as Papaji, was born on October 13, 1913, in a part of the Punjab that is now in Pakistan. He had his first direct experience of the Self at the age of nine. He met his Master, Sri Ramana Maharshi, in 1944. Shortly afterwards he realized the Self in the presence of his master.

Being a householder, Papaji continued to work and support the many members of his extended family until his retirement in 1966. After extensive travel Papaji settled down in Lucknow, India, where he received visitors from around the world. Papaji died on September 6, 1997. "

[www.avadhuta.com]

Another site states

[www.realization.org]

Hari Wench Lal Poonja was born into an upper-class Brahmin family on October 13, 1910 in Gujrunwala in western Punjab, a part of India that is now in Pakistan, and raised in nearby Lyalpur, now called Faisalabad. He was the nephew of Swami Rama Tirtha, a famous saint who died four years before Poonja's birth.

He was a spiritual seeker from a very young age. When he was a small boy he saw a picture of Buddha as a skeletal ascetic and began to starve himself. His father had to take him to a doctor to make him eat again.

His first samadhi occurred when he was eight or nine. Since he lived in a Moslem part of India, he was taken to the local mosque, where his trance was diagnosed as possession. (There was friendly interchange between Hindus and Muslims in pre-Partition North India, so such an encounter could have happened. Or..invented in retrospect. We can never know C)

Poonja grew up in an Indian town (red dot) that is now in Pakistan.

The samadhi lasted several days. After it ended, in an effort to re-experience it, he followed his mother's example and became a devotee of Krishna, chanting mantras for hours each day. His mantra practice continued until he reached his mid-thirties.

At age twenty, his marriage was arranged to a Brahmin girl, and he entered the army as an officer. Within a few years the couple had two children, Surendra and Surendri.

While in the army, Poonja woke up at two a.m. to seek visions of Krishna. They often occurred, but the experiences weren't permanent, and he felt a painful sense of separation from God. He decided to leave the army so he could search for a guru who could help him stabilize permanently in a state of awareness of God.

Poonja's uncle, Swami Rama Tirtha, was a famous saint. (Proof? Where are the documents? C)

He moved his family into his father's house, resigned his commission, and left home to look for a guru. His search ended when he met Ramana Maharshi, who pointed out to him that visions of Krishna come and go, but the seer — the one who sees Krishna — is permanently present. "God cannot be an object that appears and disappears," said Sri Ramana, "so find out who the seer is."

As Poonja later recalled:

For the first time ever I heard, "Find out who the seer is."

With the master [Sri Ramana], I got the experience. This experience was already here. When we love God, we think he is an object. But he is the subject. So you have to surrender to the subject. The ego is the object.

“God cannot be an object that appears and disappears,” said Sri Ramana, “so find out who the seer is.”


You merge into the subject so that no object is left behind. God will speak, God will walk, and God will see. I got this from my master. I saw the seer. I realized the seer through my master, and I prostrated before him.1
1. Wake Up and Roar Vol. 1, p. 124

Poonja took a job in Madras for four years so he could visit Ramana's ashram on weekends. After Ramana died in 1950, Poonja worked for a mining company in southern India. After his retirement in 1965, he moved to Lucknow in northern India, where his wife and children had lived since 1947.

Even before his retirement he had begun to develop a reputation as a self-realized man and guru. In 1966 he began to travel in India, Europe, and North America, and his reputation grew.

Poonja's devotees called him "Papaji".

In the late 1980s, several prominent American meditation teachers visited him including Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein. ( Andrew Cohen is not mentioned. The latter two, Kornfield and Goldstein, do teach Buddhist Insight meditation. Andrew Cohen practiced this method before having a quarrel with his own teacher and then storming off to Lucknow where he met Poonja--according to Luna Tarlo C)

In 1990, Osho died and many of his followers began to visit Poonja instead. The number of visitors grew so large that a satsang hall had to be built near Poonja's house.

Just before he died in 1997, he asked the people in his hospital room, "Where is Buddha?" When he saw that they understood he was asking a rhetorical question as a teacher for their benefit, he said, "Bring him in, bring him in." These were his last words.

(note: Hinduism and Buddhism are quite different. Buddhism denies there is any such thing as inherantly separate eternal essence (Atman). But making Buddhism and Hinduism seem similar just because meditation is taught in both makes it easy for Hindus to recruit Buddhist students. Crabby commentary from C)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2008 10:43PM by corboy.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 08, 2008 12:34AM

Regarding Swami Rama Tirtha, whom Poonja said was his uncle:

The Wikipedia entry for Poonja (hagiographic in tone) states Rama Tirtha's sister was Poonja's mother.

[en.wikipedia.org]

It also mentions, confusingly that Poonja when a youngster also had a unitary experience (which is what would be validated by Advaita Vedanta (advaita means nondual) then practiced devotional bhakti to Krishna in the Vaishnava path:

"At the age of eight, he experienced nirvikalpa (formless) samadhi, an exalted state of unitary consciousness. He was persuaded by his mother that he could reconnect to this unitary experience by practicing devotion to the Hindu God Krishna, and so he gave himself over to Krishna Bhakti (devotion) with vigor. He proved to be a prodigy of sorts and while still a boy he began to have visions of Krishna. This is known in the Vaisnava tradition as receiving the "Darsana" of God. Playfully interacting with his visions of Krishna while simultaneously experiencing the bliss of spiritual union, he spent his youth in intimate relationship with Krishna ashis friend
"

However, an experience of oneness and devotion to an external diety such as Krishna, as practiced by bhaktis such as the Vaisnavas are incompatible methods of practice. In advaita the practitioner realizes unity with the Absolute. But in bhakti one adores and honors an external manifestation of the Absolute in some form--if you are a Vaisnava that form is named Krishna one visualizes Krishna, adores and venerates images of Krishna and so on---and the bhakti does not consider merger to be possible. So if the story is true, HWL P would have reached a spiritual and psychological impasse trying to validate a personal inner realization using an incompatible method in loyalty to his mother's advice. It is a not uncommon dilemma. C

Agehananda Bharati wrote, '"Since the Vaishnava does not want to "merge", being different from Krishna in playful eternity, a zero experience (Bharati's term for nondual realization or 'one-ness')occurring to the Vaishnava is interpreted about as negatively as a Christian orthodox mystic's experience. I asked Swami Bhaktivedanta about this--and he go tquite irritated, rejecting monistic Vedanta in the same irate style, in which Vaishnavas have been rejecting it as heresy for eight hundred years.' (Bharati, The Light at the Center: Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism, 1976, pages 186-7)

Turning to the biographical information on Rama Tirtha mentions only information about Tirtha's father and older brother. Either the future saint had no sister, or possibly she was not considered important enough to be worth mentioning. However, the Swami was born and raised in the same part of pre-Partition India as Poonja--and Rama Tirtha was well travelled and achieved celebrity at a young age.

[www.ramatirtha.org]

Swami Rama Tirtha, previously known as Gossain Tirtha Rama, was born in 1873, at Murariwala, a village in the district of Gujranwala, Punjab, India. His mother passed away when he was but a few days old and he was brought up by his elder brother, Gossain Gurudas.

As a child, Rama was very fond of listening to recitations from the holy scriptures and attending Kathas. He often put questions to holy men and even offered explanations. He was very intelligent and loved solitude.

Rama was barely ten years old when his father got him married. His father left him under the care of his friend, Bhakta Dhana Rama, a man of great purity and simplicity of life...
(unquote)

Interestingly, this site emphasizes Rama Tirtha being a teacher of Vedanta and his connection with Vivekananda, a key figure in the Hindu Renaissance.

The Ramatirtha org site emphasizes Rama Tirtha as a teacher of Advaita Vedanta (as filtered through Vivekananda) and omits the intriguing information that later on, Rama Tirtha converted to Sikhism.

However the Wikipedia entry does mention that Rama Tirtha later converted to Sikism

[en.wikipedia.org]

This site repeats earlier information but includes a statement by Swami Sivananda who linked Rama Tirtha to the agendas of Indian Nationalism...rather unnerving reading if one is looking for a contemplative
role model. This is probably something not mentioned to Westerners from 'the land of the dollar.'

[www.dlshq.org]

(quote from Sivananda--rather freaky reading for non-Indians)Sri Swami Rama Tirtha is one of the brightest jewels of India’s genius. Rama belongs to that prophetic group of inspired seers who rang up the curtain of Indian Renaissance and ushered in the era of a strongly positive, aggressive and all-conquering spirituality. His advent into Bharatavarsha was potent with a great significance to man in modern times.

'From Rama India has inherited the dual gems of Vedantic boldness and spiritual patriotism.

'The spiritual patriotism of Rama is something unique and grand. Every son of India should absorb it and make it his own. Swami Rama emphatically declared that if you must have intense and real patriotism, then you must deify the Motherland, behold Bharatavarsha as the living Goddess.

(sivananda quotes from Tirtha)"If you must realise unity with God, realise first your unity with the Whole Nation. Let this intense feeling of identity with every creature within this land be throbbing in every fibre of your frame" said Rama, "Let every son of India stand for the Whole, seeing that the Whole of India is embodied in every son. When streams, stones and trees are personified and sacrificed to in India, why not sanctify, deify the great Mother that cradles you and nourishes you? Through Prana-pratishtha you vitalize an idol of stone or an effigy of clay. How much more worthwhile would it be to call forth the inherent glory and evoke fire and life in the Deity that is Mother India?". Thus,

' to Rama, the national Dharma of love to the motherland was a spiritual Dharma of Virat Prem. Let every Indian today fervently take this legacy into his heart. By this act show your real appreciation of the great seer; show your gratitude to the great seer. Thus can you glorify his life and his teachings.

'The highest realisation of patriotism, Rama believed, lay in fully identifying yourself with the land of your birth. Remember his words: "Tune yourself in love with your country and people". Be a spiritual soldier. Lay down your life in the interest of your land abnegating the little ego, and having thus loved the country, feel anything and the country will feel with you. March and the country will follow. This, indeed, is practical Vedanta. (unquote)

And...in the long run this will create another dilemma. How on earth does one realize unity with the Absolute--and then make a separate idol out of one's country? C That is one of the hazards when contemplation is used to justify a worldly, ego-driven agenda in power politics.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2008 12:44AM by corboy.

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A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Weber
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 08, 2008 12:56AM

Its interesting about Ramana Maharshi, its hard to know what's true or not due to the time frame, etc. But one amusing thing I read is he apparently did not ask for money.
Compare that to what came after, when they charge $5,000 to attend a mass seminar.

There may be some type of Papaji connection with some of these folks, even just in terms of writings and meetings.
Its almost funny how some of these western folk like Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle, copied the "story" of the sages from the east, about how the attained enlightenment one day out of the blue.
Cockroaches and park benches, they make for good stories, and are conveniently uncheckable.

A number of these folks are selling the same type of ideology, in a similar method, with similar "stories". There might be some connection that goes back into the 1970's, even just from various guru retreats.



Byron Katie had a book written about herself called...

A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Lore Weber

There does not appear to be any copies of that available at all, except for $200, so that was taken off the market too. One has to wonder what kind of information is in that book. Maybe a scanned PDF copy will appear at some point...there appears to be some fascinating info in that book...she was pouring it on a little thick...and she claims to have been taught Meditation? By who?

Byron Katie also says SHE WENT FROM TEACHER TO TEACHER after the cockroach motel. Which teachers did she go to?

[www.noumenon.co.za]
- rage, drunkenness, carelessness about the feelings of her family and friends,
- With no memory of past or even of self...She remembered nothing.
- Her therapists taught her meditation as a way of finding herself, and in meditation she discovered knowledge that was entirely new to her.
- At first she thought she needed help and went from teacher to teacher, beginning with the therapists at the halfway house.

(Check out the part where Byron Katie says she healed your disease like Jesus Christ, and even after she healed you, you made yourself sick again. Wow...if you get healed Byron Katie did it, but if you get sick again you did it. She takes all the credit and none of the blame...)

- Sometimes people dissolved into tears and felt healed as she touched them, even before she had said a word. Sometimes, she noted, they would recreate the disease as a result of their unhealed thinking and return to be with her.



-------------------------------
A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie (Paperback)
by Christin Lore Weber (Author)
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: The Work Foundation Inc. (1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1890246026
ASIN: B000LRMECE

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Re: A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Weber
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: July 08, 2008 01:13AM

Quote
The Anticult
Byron Katie had a book written about herself called...

A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Lore Weber

There does not appear to be any copies of that available at all, except for $200, so that was taken off the market too. One has to wonder what kind of information is in that book. Maybe a scanned PDF copy will appear at some point...there appears to be some fascinating info in that book...she was pouring it on a little thick...and she claims to have been taught Meditation? By who?

Byron Katie also says SHE WENT FROM TEACHER TO TEACHER after the cockroach motel. Which teachers did she go to?

[www.noumenon.co.za]
- rage, drunkenness, carelessness about the feelings of her family and friends,
- With no memory of past or even of self...She remembered nothing.
- Her therapists taught her meditation as a way of finding herself, and in meditation she discovered knowledge that was entirely new to her.
- At first she thought she needed help and went from teacher to teacher, beginning with the therapists at the halfway house.

(Check out the part where Byron Katie says she healed your disease like Jesus Christ, and even after she healed you, you made yourself sick again. Wow...if you get healed Byron Katie did it, but if you get sick again you did it. She takes all the credit and none of the blame...)

- Sometimes people dissolved into tears and felt healed as she touched them, even before she had said a word. Sometimes, she noted, they would recreate the disease as a result of their unhealed thinking and return to be with her.
Byron Katie sure seems mentally ill. Bipolar?

Her alleged miracle healing ability was trumpeted more than 10 years ago in that book you referenced. However, BK has since manifested a whole bunch of illnesses within herself. Why can't she heal those?

Anticult, there is so much valuable information that you have been uncovering. I can't thank you enough for your tireless efforts in exposing what Byron Katie is actually up to.

Oh, and thanks to you too, Corboy!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2008 01:19AM by helpme2times.

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Re: A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Weber
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 08, 2008 02:09AM

If you read the item by Karl (A Tale of Two Teachers) the fellow who was also enlightened (cough) by Poonja and then told to go out and teach (you need more training than that before they let you pull soft drinks at Micky D's), Karl mentioned Andrew Cohens formidable talent in debate--which, according to Luna Tarlo, Andys mom, seemed magcially to emerge post Poonja.

My guess is somewhere Andrew Cohen learned the art of verbally cutting and dicing opponents, learned it someplace before he met Poonja, and then let it seem this acquired technique was some magical product of being guru zapped.

Look for the chain of cause and effect, kiddies. Its how to do science, how to do detective work...and its real Buddhism. Something, like the ability to fry your opponents never comes from nowhere. You learn it, just like violin.

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Re: A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Webe
Posted by: Daphne ()
Date: July 09, 2008 01:42AM

if byron katie said she "healed" someone, she was simply wrong. however, i'm a little lost on this cult part. no one trashing her work seems to address the four questions and turnarounds, which is the useful part of her stuff. if you don't like the suggestions of healing or the stuff about roaches or whatever, then toss it aside, i agree it's fairly meaningless. [...] the four questions and turnarounds have useful validity. use the part that works and disregard the bull. [...]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2008 02:24AM by rrmoderator.

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Re: A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Webe
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: July 09, 2008 02:27AM

Daphne:

Stop attempting to change the subject of this thread through personal attacks.

The topic is Byron Katie, not her critics or other gurus etc.

Focus.

Last warning

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Re: A Cry in the Desert: The Awakening of Byron Katie by Christin Webe
Posted by: yg ()
Date: July 09, 2008 02:47AM

I have a question for Daphne, if you feel folks are trashing her work, why are you in this forum anyway?

I had a friend who ripped me off badly, this happened. There are many angles at which someone can view this, such as The Work, the bottomline however, is that I was hurt. People are being hurt by The Work in ways you refuse to understand, or possibly you can't understand.

What is happening here is not "trashing" for the sake of trashing. There are serious consequences in leaving The 4 questions and turnaround unquestioned (pun intended :-)

Too many of us sincere "seekers" and into a "spiritual path" have been seriously brain-washed and there are things we can't see or refuse to question, sometimes because we don't even know to question.

But the fact that you are not even part of The Work yet you feel a need to defend should make you wonder.

This forum is for those of us who want to get to the "facts". This may seem like trashing to you but if it is true, it is true. Like my friend who ripped me off emotionally and financially. Yea, she did a lot "beautiful" things, yea she was very "spiritual", yea people were quite effected by her love bombs, and yea I got ripped off!

So it is becoming clear that you don't belong on this forum. This forum is for those of us who wish to share as we are and to be free of other people, teachers, gurus etc. systems. It is not for someone who wants to keep defending BK and advising us on how to do The Work!

I wish you well, and I took this time to respond, just in case you want to know the truth and are asking.

yg

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Byron Katie (the Work) - 4 Questions and a Turnaround explained
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 09, 2008 03:01AM

That is what Byron Katie apparently said in that banned book, that she healed someone like Jesus Christ, and she hints at that stuff all the time.
Probably Stephen Mitchell came on the scene, and wanted to rewrite and fine-tune the Byron Katie marketing image, so he recalled all those books from before 1998, and shredded them in his basement.
Kinda funny how Byron Katie manages her "story" and Public Image, ain't it?

As far as the 4 Questions and Turnaround, that has been addressed at length in this thread. Perhaps we can find those links and repost them, but the 4 Questions are nothing special.
The 4 Questions are really just ONE main question, or really a presupposition, which is YOUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE TRUTH. That is very basic stuff, and Katie did not think that up.
Our thoughts are not absolute truth, they are often incorrect, or grossly distorted, or sometimes are more accurate, etc. Basic stuff, one would think?

Then the TURNAROUND is actually called Polarized Thinking, and that is a "Cognitive Distortion" and very unhealthy, and creates self-blame and depression. (that has been proven to be accurate in many studies in cognitive therapy).

Medical Sounding Claims for The Work:
Show us one single controlled study that the alleged 4 Questions have improved people's emotions.
There is nothing. Zippo. Do you realize when Byron Katie says that the 4 Question can ELIMINATE DEPRESSION, that might be illegal? You can't say that without evidence, the FTC goes after people who do that. (sometimes)
There is no proof at all for her outrageous claims...in sales that is called a Big Claim.

I do know most folks perhaps don't think about "process" enough, but the 4 Questions function like the Scientology "Stress Test". Its just a way to get into people's heads, and get them into the building.

In Summary:
- The 4 Question are nothing new and don't say anything new.
- The Turnaround is a cognitive distortion and is very unhealthy.
- there is zero scientific evidence that The Work helps anyone.
- the claims that The Work can ELIMINATE DEPRESSION might even be illegal.
- The Work 4 Questions function as a tool to use to draw people into the Byron Katie system, like the Scientology Stress Test. (used to be a Scientology Personality Test).
- The 4 Questions are really just an empty Distraction, while Byron Katie runs her influence patterns on people.

There is more info in the thread.
Perhaps others can express it in other ways.

But thanks for the tip.
Lets all make an effort to put all of the explanations of how the 4 Questions and Turnaround don't work, and there is no proof they work, into a single post. Maybe that is a good way to reach the public, by showing how the 4 Questions are not what they are advertised as.
It does seem many people do believe the claims made by Byron Katie about the 4 Questions.
There is info in the thread how the Worksheets lure people into a spiral of guilt and self-blame, etc.
It really is a brilliant and even diabolical system, but most of these systems work on multiple levels like this. TM is similar in that way, and many other systems too.





Quote
Daphne
if byron katie said she "healed" someone, she was simply wrong. however, i'm a little lost on this cult part. no one trashing her work seems to address the four questions and turnarounds, which is the useful part of her stuff. if you don't like the suggestions of healing or the stuff about roaches or whatever, then toss it aside, i agree it's fairly meaningless. [...] the four questions and turnarounds have useful validity. use the part that works and disregard the bull. [...]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2008 03:07AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 09, 2008 03:15AM

Taking the Two Actions

Again, whenever someone shows up this seems to have the effect of disrupting/derail the discussion, take these Two Actions

* What was being discussed before the disruptor showed up?

* Audit the disruptor's posts and see if this visitor's strategy resembles other disruptive visitor's behavior.

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