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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: facet ()
Date: May 24, 2020 09:49PM

Another amazon book review.

I saw this review some time ago, though it has since been added to.

The section towards the end of the book that the reviewer refers to is indeed a bit of shocker when you come across it, everything seems to be going so well.. but then blam, this one drops in.


“ A word of caution to LGBT people
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2009
Verified Purchase

I haven't been this stimulated by a book on spirituality since "Autobiography of a Yogi" many years ago which still defines my yoga practice in many ways. I came across Shunyamurti's essays at the Sat Yoga Institute's website and eagerly ordered his book. It validated much of what I've come to believe through my own practice and it clearly defined where I am on my path and the challenging steps I need to take to move forward. It gives a stark and sometimes brutal assessment of our narcissistic, ego-based culture and challenges us to break out of the fog, presenting a convincing case that it's imperative to do so.

My enthusiasm ended when reading one of the final chapters in the book, "After Monogamy: The Advent of Momogamy". Shunyamurti gives a critique of sexual relations and dismisses homosexual and transgender people as dysfunctional and he states that the true meanings of masculine and feminine have been lost. He suggests that homosexuality and transgenderism are childish evasions from healthy relationships with the opposite sex. "Gender confusion cannot be resolved through homosexual evasion of relationship with the other sex. Nor can it be resolved through so-called "trans-gender" identification - or worse, by surgical shifting of sexual positioning. On the individual level, one must develop the psychological capacity to achieve what adulthood used to mean." (The Transformative Imperative, p. 199.) Shunyamurti does refer briefly to gay rights in the following chapter as "necessary" but he does not explain his position on homosexual and transgender people further, it seems clear that he sees us as representative of human failing. Considering Shunyamurti's impressive background, how brilliantly he writes and how authoritative he seems in explaining a yoga path, I found his beliefs on the diversity of human sexuality to be shocking and nothing more than uninformed opinion.

Earlier in the book he writes that we must transcend gender and sexual orientation to evolve spiritually, meaning heterosexuals must also transcend gender and orientation. That may be true on some level, however, few people will progress to this ego-less state in a lifetime as most Eastern religions make clear. Most people who seek a spiritual path practice a middle way and work towards more meaning in their lives and more selfless love in their relationships; homosexual, heterosexual or some other basis of family and community. The Transformational Imperative is not written for the middle way but it could have an impact beyond the few who seek to devote their life to a spiritual path.

The Sat Yoga Institute states that they are training people to be spiritual guides through the use of psychological counseling, dream interpretation etc. I find Shunyamurti's views to be potentially dangerous. It is unknown if Sat Yoga will treat homosexuality and transgenderism as symptoms of dysfunction but The Transformational Imperative suggests that it may. Shunyamurti has a powerful voice and gives a very effective assessment of our spiritually sick culture, he could have mass appeal. I see the possibility that Sat Yoga could emerge as one more religion of many that treats homosexuality, transgenderism and bisexuality as neuroses that go against nature and that heterosexual relationships are inherently superior.

Update, 3/22/2011:

In an essay published on the Sat Yoga Institute's website titled "The Sat Yoga Philosophy of Sex" on 3/20/2011, Shunyamurti has elaborated on his views. There is much there that could be criticized but I will only focus on homosexuality and gender identity.

Shunyamurti writes that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality but then continues in a way that contradicts accepted beliefs in the field of psychology. He states that "psychologists make a distinction between ego-syntonic and ego-dystonic homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter). In other words, some people are happily homosexual, while others wish they were not homosexual. Those who are suffering from a homosexual drive that they wish to be free of, should know that it is possible to free themselves, if they are willing to explore the psychological roots of the drive and to confront and work through their core anxieties."

He seems to be saying that sexual orientation (homosexual or heterosexual) is caused by core anxieties in the subconscious and that sexual orientation is a "drive" that can be overcome. His statement also leaves the impression that "psychologists" agree with this approach but he falls short of actually making this claim. He doesn't suggest that people who wish they were not heterosexual can "free themselves", probably because that might sound absurd and also because in Shunyamurti's view, the true meaning of masculine and feminine is a heterosexual ideal of his creation.

Shunyamurti fails to acknowledge that when a person experiences dissatisfaction with their homosexuality or gender identity it is almost always due to the pressures of living in a society with toxic prejudices projected on people who do not identify as heterosexual. Shunyamurti's approach to homosexuality is similar to that of fundamentalist Christians in the US who point to higher rates of depression, addiction and suicide in the LGBT community and claim that it's proof that their "lifestyle" is wrong rather than taking responsibility for their part in contributing to an atmosphere that is at the root of these problems.

The American Psychological Association and the World Health Organization have dropped "ego-dystonic homosexuality" and instead use "ego-dystonic sexual orientation" as a diagnosis. The APA stopped using the term in 1987. The WHO describes ego-dystonic orientation as a condition where a person's gender identity or sexual orientation is clear but that patient wants to change it. They also elaborate that gender identity and orientation are not disorders or diagnoses; it's the inability to accept one's nature that needs to be addressed in therapy.

Therapies used to change sexual orientation have been condemned by the American Psychological Association and many human rights organizations. The APA has also published a report on the issue backed by two years of research suggesting that "reparative therapy" can induce depression and suicidal tendencies. Shunyamurti doesn't come right out and say that homosexual orientation can be changed but the suggestion is clearly there. He is claiming that people who are not happy about being homosexual can find freedom through therapy. He parts with the field of psychology by making no suggestion that freedom can be found through acceptance of one's sexual orientation, it is implied that a homosexual orientation can be overcome or eliminated. Considering his belief that people suffer because society has lost the true meanings of masculine and feminine as he defines them, it is implied that an unhappy homosexual is really a heterosexual waiting to be born, or perhaps they can become an asexual person to end their suffering, this isn't entirely clear.

Shunyamurti is making no distinction between attachment to ego based sexual desires or drives that may cause suffering as interpreted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophies and a person's innate sexual orientation or gender identity. He seems to be making an effort to define a person's ego based attachments and a person's sexual orientation as one and the same to justify his stance on homosexuality.

Shunyamurti also condemns transgender identity, "While nearly every male questions his manliness, and nearly every woman doubts her femininity, a few are even certain their body is the wrong gender altogether. The transgender phenomenon, which is carried to the point of sex change through surgery, is the epitome of the postmodern quandary."

I would suggest that Shunyamurti study indigenous cultures around the world that accepted and even revered the "third sex" or "two spirit" people prior to European colonization with its intolerant and oppressive views on sexuality. He should also keep up with scientific research on the subject, it's clear that being transgender is normal and natural. Some cultures have believed that two spirit people have special gifts and talents because they viewed people as spirits first, they saw beyond the illusion of the human form. Oddly enough, this is a concept that is at the heart of Shunyamurti's teachings.

I see nothing wrong with a spiritual community establishing rules and expectations for sexual behavior and relationships within that community but the conclusion I came to after reading this essay is that Shunyamurti believes that the ideal formula for someone on the Sat Yoga path is one man and one woman bound in marriage and engaging in sex only for the purpose of procreation. This is a puritanical view based on nothing more than "inner knowledge" or opinion even though he has a background in psychoanalysis. It's a similar view that has led to the oppression of sexual minorities and members of the sexual majority and has contributed to many of society's ills that have roots in religious extremism, from shocking violence in the Caribbean to executions in Iran. I believe that a better approach is reflected in Buddhist teachings that urge a person to live a life with no sexual misconduct, a guideline open to interpretation and applicable to all orientations and genders, to all societies and historical times.

Meditation and other practices help to develop more compassion and a more spiritual approach to relationships and might lead some people naturally to detachment from sexual desire and the choice of celibacy; sexual orientation and gender identity are irrelevant. Some people on a spiritual path choose celibacy and other forms of asceticism only for a period of time but return to society to contribute as a citizen and householder. It could be argued that this is a more common approach than someone living out their life as an ascetic. The point is that a person's orientation will remain the same almost 100% of the time. Diverse orientations and transgender identity are gaining acceptance throughout the world as innate and part of the natural order. Homosexual behavior has been documented in over 1000 species on the planet which is a fact that Shunyamurti has not addressed.
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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: facet ()
Date: August 03, 2020 07:20AM

A breakdown of some of the most recent sat YouTube video thumbnails quotes, they get deleted regularly I’ve noticed, especially the ones that signal toward prediction of end times:

‘The Last Chance to Complete The Great Work’ - taken from Hermetic Kabbalah, I’m guessing he Shunya is urging those to complete their tree of life journeys before time is up. Did he forget that the plague didn’t wipe humans out? Neither will an increase in social conflict.

‘ light will replace the dark’ - does physics not count here? Everything is already light, dark matter isn’t void of light it is just that the absence of light is greater within it, otherwise nothing would get created, and light replacing dark is not only impossible, but would mean that there will be no space.

‘A blessing of systemic collapse’ - nice rationalisation or perhaps reframing of a highly undesirable world situation. There is no blessing, nor metaphysics, just a pandemic.

‘Purity of heart is the real immunity’ - good grief. I think this one speaks for itself. Good luck with this one.

‘Remain Centered in the whirlwind’ - aka, do not accept any news or reality of what’s going on, just adhere to what Shunya says.

‘Change your frequency, change your world’ - control over anyone or anything with a personal frequency, why should this be a personal goal? People are as they are.

Is it any wonder that we get all this crap intertwined into our minds? Honestly, what was I thinking? Wait.. because that’s just it, I wasn’t !



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2020 07:49AM by facet.

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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: facet ()
Date: August 08, 2020 12:07AM

In this sat yoga clip, shunyamurti explains how our natural, and sometimes inevitable undesirable feelings are not welcome when it comes to the golden age, it comes across to me as kind of a 101 on contamination ocd from the believers perspective.

[www.youtube.com]

Emotional contagion is a reality, though to spread this tone of fear around about it is rather quite unprofessional, not to mention a poor example for those who are not feeling so great with the experience.

Someone out for others would provide known ways towards resolution of the problem, not create fear out if it.

This old clip is sheer weaponry against seekers psyches.

For anyone who might need it, ways to counter contagion are exactly that.. to counter the feelings with something else.. refocus your brain activity with favourite scents, something that you’re reading or studying, doing something physical, it is using your own brain and therefore faculties for your own will (thinking, etc) that will help shift the contagion habit.

Counter outer negative feelings with recall of good memories, looking at photographs etc.

Long term meditators and / or those from isolated and abuse situations are more susceptible.

‘All mental chatter must stop’ - this awful quote can be picked out from numerous teachings across the board.

The idea was created in order to cease all thinking in participants, and as many of us on the forum know.. it is the people that ask us to ditch our thinking that we must watch out for.

Mental ‘chatter’ is not the problem, the intense focus on not having ‘chatter’ that creates the unnecessary focus on chatter in the first place.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2020 12:24AM by facet.

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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: facet ()
Date: January 11, 2021 05:18AM

Spare a thought for Sat Yogi’s at the moment who may be preparing (aka crapping their organic cotton pants) for the eventuality of one of Roberts long held “predictions”, where a well known, current world leader irresponsibly wages war, nuking and eventually destroying the the Earth, leaving only those connected “on the same level of consciousness” Sat Yogis behind to rebuild the world as a peaceful Eden.. narcissism free. Somehow :D

Great story !



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2021 05:19AM by facet.

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Re-visiting own statement on Sat and Shunyamurty
Posted by: Amoo ()
Date: January 28, 2021 07:36AM

Re-visiting its own statement on Sat Yoga and Shunyamurty.

I want to revisit my statement written in this forum about Sat yoga and Shunyamurty around April of 2020. It was right after I returned from the retreat at Sat.  I was facing the last batch of egoes and one of those egoes felt strongly against doomsday beliefs or fear evoking beliefs. Also, I was passing 'independence from guru' stage,which refused all and any idolized beings called gurus.   Now, I am awaken enough to restate that it is not fair nor accurate to reduce Sat yoga teaching as simply 'cult'. Despite that I am no longer following Sat teaching, in the path, I was benefited with healing and getting courage through Shunyamurty's teaching.  Shunya is not the teacher who awaken me nor the teacher who finished me; yet, he was the teacher who gave me the light and guide me to get up and walk through the pains and lies when I was down in the darkest night.  I am free from that ego now and see Sat teaching was one of the significant lights in my path and want to seek readers to understand that facts are correct but flavour was old ego's biased and limited statement.

I dont know and I dont care nor interested what Sat yoga believes or forwards. However, Sat teaching, apart from Shunya or what he believes, provided valuable wisdoms. Also, the ashram experience was devinely peaceful. Nature was amazing and people are beautifully intended. Now, It feels fair that I dont know what Sat yoga has anything to do with any sec of any kind believing any kinds of any; but its teaching was beneficial for my delusion to be broken in some stage of awakening and there is a gratutude for that and I passed by the era where I see Shunya or anyone as individual. All good.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2021 07:43AM by Amoo.

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Re: Re-visiting own statement on Sat and Shunyamurty
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: January 29, 2021 04:51AM

That's great, Amoo. Seems like the best case scenario to me: picking up whatever insight/impetus someone has to offer you without surrendering your authority or critical thinking to them.

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Re: Re-visiting own statement on Sat and Shunyamurty
Posted by: facet ()
Date: January 29, 2021 09:16PM

Amoo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Re-visiting its own statement on Sat Yoga and
> Shunyamurty.
>
> I want to revisit my statement written in this
> forum about Sat yoga and Shunyamurty around April
> of 2020. It was right after I returned from the
> retreat at Sat.  I was facing the last batch of
> egoes and one of those egoes felt strongly against
> doomsday beliefs or fear evoking beliefs. Also, I
> was passing 'independence from guru' stage,which
> refused all and any idolized beings called gurus.
>   Now, I am awaken enough to restate that it is
> not fair nor accurate to reduce Sat yoga teaching
> as simply 'cult'. Despite that I am no longer
> following Sat teaching, in the path, I was
> benefited with healing and getting courage through
> Shunyamurty's teaching.  Shunya is not the teacher
> who awaken me nor the teacher who finished me;
> yet, he was the teacher who gave me the light and
> guide me to get up and walk through the pains and
> lies when I was down in the darkest night.  I am
> free from that ego now and see Sat teaching was
> one of the significant lights in my path and want
> to seek readers to understand that facts are
> correct but flavour was old ego's biased and
> limited statement.
>
> I dont know and I dont care nor interested what
> Sat yoga believes or forwards. However, Sat
> teaching, apart from Shunya or what he believes,
> provided valuable wisdoms. Also, the ashram
> experience was devinely peaceful. Nature was
> amazing and people are beautifully intended. Now,
> It feels fair that I dont know what Sat yoga has
> anything to do with any sec of any kind believing
> any kinds of any; but its teaching was beneficial
> for my delusion to be broken in some stage of
> awakening and there is a gratutude for that and I
> passed by the era where I see Shunya or anyone as
> individual. All good.

That’s the beauty of us all being individual, with boundaries.. that we all have a different experience of these things and that’s ok.

The point is that despite beliefs and lifestyles, human to human is all that matters at the end of the day.

Shunyamurti’s teachings are dangerous to me, they come across as safe.. but are laced with some real projections that are potentially quite damaging to people.. for instance one recent clip he states in so many words that mental health professionals are “sick” people, indeed some of them are and there is corruption everywhere, but this doesn’t serve people who are in need of that service instead of the type “Shunyamurti” & co is offering.

His statement made me wonder if he had a falling out with a professional or diagnoses he didn’t agree with as there are many fantastic professionals in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, etc. He had clearly read of some of them.

Sat Yoga, it won’t be of benefit to everyone and I do not believe that it is the answer to the worlds issues.

Unless he is using the guise of things like the end of the world and the recently changed prediction of “Thermo nuclear war” as a way to snap people out of the fear in a teaching, coming out with what he’s saying as completely illusory, then there’s something odd going for on me.

If there’s a true belief in these things then that’s fine, live life freely in your own way, but to advertise those beliefs in order to take others along with them and charge them money, to put them to barter in work, why should future generations find these beliefs and cast their lives away in fear for a day or occurrence which is not yet happened?

We would all die at some point, it is certain, but should we shut ourselves away in fear because of that? Should we really do some ritual meditation or take the life of bramahcarya to try and counter that? Everybody or the world ends?

I make it my own business to decide for myself, and others such as Shunyamurti can continue on like the rest of the undesirable natures.. he seems to pretend to fight what he supports. These things do not end. Minimised maybe, but an end is never.

My experience was unlike yours Amoo, but my saying that does not mean that your reality does not exist, what you say it is is what you say. For you.

For me - I am very happy that I realised these things before I gave up my life any further, I consider myself having been blessed by the grace of reality. That was where my wisdom was received from. Shunya even as “ teacher” would not stand and take a medal for this.. or would he.

In my experience of regular guru in everyday life, dressed in holy jeans, t shirt, and collecting his drug induced friend up from off the floor in a public park, no medal, adulation, or recognition is recognised. There is no need for these things.

I wish every body best on their Sat Journeys should they wish to take it, and that it is as non damaging as possible for all.

Hopeful that the “predictions are just a teaching. The overall message of what sat yoga is claiming to be is now more appearing as “mystery school”.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2021 09:41PM by facet.

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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: garuna ()
Date: May 14, 2021 04:13AM

Past members of the ashram and past followers of Shunyamurti are gathering to bring light on the abuse and as part of their healing and integration process from that psychological abuse.

There is no doubt that some teachings shared by Robert are helpful and that some people who spent some time there have found some benefits. Yet, there is also no doubts that Shubow has huge shadows that express themselves in the form of predatory, controlling and manipulative behaviour. We can recognise the light that expresses itself through him when he is posturing as "the guru" while simultaneously expose the shadow (expose the shubow) for what it is.

If you have spent any significant amount of time with Shubow and Sat Yoga, please consider sharing your perspective at contact@satyoga.exposed

Feel free to visit satyoga.exposed where we'll be gathering a maximum of perspectives and experiences.

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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: facet ()
Date: May 15, 2021 01:56AM

Hi Garuna,

Do you believe that these “shadows” are part of Robert or separate from?

In reality there is not a shadow side to a person, there is just the one person, who is responsible.

You could look at it this way, if for example a person was to turn to another person next to them slapping them pointlessly in the face, would it then be appropriate for the slapping person to turn to their shadows on the floor and point the finger, raise voices and shout at it for the misdoings?

Perhaps in a comedy. Perhaps in a film about a terrible situation. Not in reality.

Hope everybody looks after themselves, wishing all of the best with your new endeavour to share experiences :-).

There are many lovely teachings shared, it’s no lie though there are also many problems and it is not as if it is remained as a private or small local practice given the expansion through web advertising and YouTube.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2021 02:02AM by facet.

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Re: Shunyamurti aka Robert Shubow of Sat Yoga Institute
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: May 15, 2021 02:44AM

> Feel free to visit
> satyoga.exposed
> where we'll be gathering a maximum of perspectives
> and experiences.

I love the look and tone of the site! I didn't even know the .exposed domain extension exists but it fits perfectly. I'm reading Govinda's testimonial and what he describes is identical to my experience with other cult leaders. At the beginning of this thread I still believed Shunya wasn't like that (my only exposure to him being his youtube videos) but obviously I was wrong. I'm sure your site will help many people.

Maybe posting the link at [reddit.com] will help to get some extra exposure.

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