Hi! I'm posting here again after a long time - you can see my posts at the start of the thread.
I never went to Monte Sahaja, but I've been in Mooji's presence at a retreat and an intensive. I definitely felt pulled into groupthink, as you can see in my earlier posts, though I did sneak a copy of Thomas Keating's 'An Invitation to Love' with me to ZMar, and read it furtively like a samizdat text. I must say that being in a crowd around Mooji is astonishing, as you feel like an iron filing being pulled towards an enormous magnet! (Maybe it's like this around George Clooney too...). The pull is to Mooji's energy, more than to his teachings - I never practiced self-enquiry in any meaningful way.
I haven't listened to Mooji myself in over a year. I'm no longer on a spiritual path, and my 'gurus' now are people like Tristan Harris and Cal Newport, who help me make sense of how to exist in this changing world and to understand and recover from my years-old nervous breakdown. I recently went to a Jaron Lanier talk, and when that dreadlocked tech guru played his exotic instruments at the end I got a powerful Mooji music flashback!. I also am studying the book 'The Organised Mind' and have taken up the daily practice of bikram yoga.
But for me, Mooji was for a period very useful (indeed, a Godsend) during a time when I was housebound, seriously mentally ill and non-functional. I've just been reading that the brain has two states - focused concentration or daydreaming. Well, mental illness robbed me of both of those. All I had was a physiological state of extreme terror and anxiety, fear, resentment, trauma, and hatred of self and others.
Yet Mooji was able to cut through that, speaking on the top level ("consciousness speaking to consciousness about consciousness"), reaching my mind before and beyond its shattering into mental illness. His hypnotic videos could quieten my mind and body when I was in this state of horrific anxiety. In satsang I witnessed his love and patience to all, and it soothed me.
I do believe Mooji is a man of great wisdom, kindness and grace, though, yes he is too attached to his status and identity as a guru. It would be nice if he spent a month of each year living as a civilian away from the circus. And he doesn't show you how to live in the world, how to exist outside of his bubble, and the temptation is to become addicted to him.
I can see that ashrams can be very comforting places for mentally ill people, but they can also be very dangerous places when you can't stay in them forever and they don't teach you how to manage your mental illness and function in the regular working world.
I wanted to mention this video which is full-strength Mooji, showing the inner circle bliss bubble:
I do not believe we will ever see 'Inner Circle' people publically renouncing Mooji as a fundamentally flawed personality in the way that happened with the petition against Andrew Cohen. It's also not going to be revealed to all be some abusive tantric sex cult! I think the critique is more subtle than that. The 'Atma Yoga' post here is very good: [gururating.org
Finally - I wanted to mention that I remember being gripped when a 'doubting Thomas' spoke up during a 10-Day retreat a couple of years ago. I was watching the paid-for live stream.
On perhaps the second day, one of Mooji's inner circle found this young man sitting somewhere outside during satsang. This was a breach of protocol as it's obligatory to attend. They had a conversation - 'why aren't you in the hall?' - and he was persuaded to come inside and address his questions to Mooji.
When he spoke, he said something like that he had been watching Mooji on Youtube for years, but now that he was at the ashram he had serious doubts about Mooji/the teachings/the place.
Mooji was initially quite cross, telling the man that he was arrogant, and if that was how he felt then maybe he shouldn't be there.
After their long exchange, the inner circle guy took the mike again and said "That's not what he told me he was going to say to you!" Everybody laughed and some emotional weight left the room. Nobody had expected Mooji to be so questioned.
Many of the following speakers referred to this exchange. One woman was quite upset, saying "I can't believe that someone would come to this place which was built out of love and doubt you, Mooji". Mooji by now had calmed down and was being placatory and reasonable about the interruption. He said that the man would be able to stay for the rest of the retreat if he wanted, or he could go home early and get a refund. I believe he chose the latter.
At the time I was into watching satsang and it felt like really gripping theatre to see someone speaking directly to Mooji questioning the whole enterprise. Unfortunately this episode didn't make it onto Youtube, because only one or two satsangs from a retreat are scheduled to be uploaded and this wasn't one of them.
Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 01:20PM by i yam what i yam.