I have been following you guys for a couple of days now. Some very good info on this thread. I have a question-please give me some imput so I can understand how it works.....
Can someone tell me exactly how LM (Landmark) uses hypnosis on it's victims? Is there music, or some other trigger that they send recruits home with to "remind" them of their goals?
When I did the Fear process it was classical group hypnosis with people laying down on the floor, closing their eyes, and following the suggestions of the session leader.
The leader speaks in the standard deap, monotone voice of hypnosis. Repeated suggestions of imagining fear situations as if they're real are repeated. You can hear others around you reacting with fear. Ending with suggestions and trigger of fealing confidence in fear situation is implemented at the end.
There are other closed-eyed "processes" (hypnosis) in the courses and when volunteering.
Less obvious are open eyed processes throughout the courses and volunteering to re-enforce past hypnotic suggestion and create new suggestions and triggers.
Music is not used to my knowledge.
There is not any music used to hypnotize people. But they work you over mentally through circular reasoning, long hours into the evening, control of the room environment, control of breaks and meal time. They wear the participants down which puts them into a highly suggestive state, you will be struggling to grasp the concepts and wanting to figure out what they are talking about. They constantly repeat their jargon and want of the participants to recruit others. When a person leaves the "marathon" they are in a highly suggestive state, which stays around with the person if they continue on in the following weeks in the seminars if the participant enrolls in one. The bad thing is that the highly suggestive state doesn't close down once leaving a Landmark session. At that point you are even open to suggestions outside of Landmark and therefore even suggestions coming from environment can leave an imprint. It could be good suggestions or bad suggestions. The bad ones could leave a mark and then you get distressed and go back to Landmark seeking help for the problems and you get more of the same b.s. and it becomes a vicious downward spiral. It can be really bad if normal environment outside of Landmark is very negative.
But the Fear Exercise is straight up hypnosis. They ask you to close your eyes and start imagining the people and being scared of them. If you follow it to the T it can be intense. I heard people burst out crying! This hypnosis is done after you've been worn down and are vulnerable, so imagine the added impact it has. In my case I was sitting up in a chair, that's how they conducted it in my Forum. It was hard for me to grasp it since I wasn't the fearful type. I fully believe that the purpose of this exercise is to instill fear in people at various levels which can only grow over time. For me I became fearful of things overtime that otherwise wouldn't bother me or even have considered being afraid of before.
Now that I look back on it. This Fear exercise is a seed or foundation they build on. This is because that is what you basically work on from that point forward, fears. If you don't have them you go looking for them! The ones you have you pull out and get up close with which only makes matters worse. I freakin despise Landmark because of this. It destroys peoples lives.
Thanks Zorro, that helped. But what I still can't comprehend is why people who have been victims of LGAT seem to use the CDs that they come home with to trigger the feelings and goals that were emplanted in them at the training.(i use the term training losely) They can be almost back to their normal selves and then they hear a song that the group played at a low point, or high point, and then the brainwashing or hypnosis or whatever it is kicks in and they are lacking critical thinking again.
I didn't get any CD's with Landmark. Maybe other groups give them out, which wouldn't surprise me. That would be a good way to reinforce their brainwashing for sure. They played a couple of really hokie (at least to me anyway) songs that I don't even remember. They also played short video clips from Monty Python and from Karate Kid (hmmm....trying to appeal to younger boomers and gen-x'ers like myself).
The most memorable thing I remember is that one day some of the center leaders got together infront of the SELP class and sang some lame ass song about prospecting for people and something about possibilites. There sheer stupidity embarassed me at that time, eventhough I was Lekked out.
After leaving Landmark I have reactions to certain things that I come across. There are a couple of commercials that sing about "Possibilities" that get played here in the North Texas area. One is put on by Sam's club and one is by Campbell's soup. When I hear it I actually have a physical reaction that makes me feel ill.
I also really cringe and get a bit ill when I hear many of the soft rock music songs from the 70's. I used to listen at times, when I was in Landmark, to a local public broadcast station that plays hit's from the 70's. Now when I tune it in I cringe and have a similar reaction where I get ill.
Also during my Lekkie phase I used to listen to a lot of Raymond Aaron CD's. But after I found out about his link to Landmark through a former EST person I quit listening to his stuff. I haven't thrown the stuff out, but I will not allow myself to play the CD's. Neither will I let anyone have them. I don't wan't someone to listen to a Guru that's full of BS.
I don't know why anyone would want to listen something that an LGAT gave them. I sure as heck wouldn't. I'll probably wait a very long time to watch Monty Python's Meaning of Life or the Karate Kid again. I'm not too keen on finding out if they would make me go barf in a trash can.
Yes I remember the Karate Kid extract because it was one of the points in my journey into hell where my "voice" said "Hang on a minute - this is just brainwashing".
Upon reflection, I remember that this piece was used very deliberately and with exact timing. It was just after a few brave souls had dared to challenge once more the relentless enrolment bollocks. After about an hour of battering these individuals into submission, out came the Karate Kid piece.
The message was roughly "You see, you really just don't get it, Landmark know far more than you can possibly ever know and you are so pathetically ignorant you could not possibly even know when we, your superiors, your god in fact are training you to be more like us. So stop whatever is left in you which is resisting and give in to our all knowing perfect way of life"
I remember after playing this and the Meaning of Life extracts no further questioning occured. Programming Complete.
Oh, I also remember the clip of Meaning of Life was deliberately stopped at the end when Eric Idle says the secret to Life is something along the lines of reading a good book, getting enough sleep and exercise etc.
Funny that - I wonder why that bit was edited out! Slightly different message to Landmarks version of the secret to Life now isn't it.
I don't think you will get evidence of "disappearance" in any literal sense, artsquiggle. She has disappeared from the public eye, not given public talks in the past 5-6 years. Maybe one exception, a "New Year's message" that she gave--but it was prerecorded, not given in a public program, then shown in centers and ashrams via DVD for $100--and shown again the following year for another $100. Intensives are one-day DVD affairs now, with talks by swamis and bits of old talks by GM or Muk spliced in, $500. There is one Intensive per year, in October. They showed the same DVD in 2008 and 2009--exactly the same intensive, two years in a row. I don't know if this year's was a "3-peat".
Many people who go for short-term seva assignments have reported seeing GM in Fallsburg over these past 5-6 years, at different seasons. It is not publicly reported where she is, but that was always held pretty tightly. People have seen her offsite, in Italy especially, occasionally. She has been to India at least once in the past few years.
GM has always lived as high on the hog as was possible given her public persona. People in the "ex" community who were once her personal shopping sevites in Manhattan can attest to that. If you were ever involved in buying an official gift for her, you would have seen it. All her silks had to be of a certain quality, preferably purchased in Hong Kong from a particular merchant. All her robes crafted just for her, finest cloth. No mere 14 carat gold, that is way too plebeian. Silver?? Don't even think about it (except to drink from). Diamonds. Right down to the best chocolates, specific ice creams. Only the best.
Hope that's helpful. I'd direct you to the archives of eXSY, but apparently that list is no longer accepting new members.
Older but wiser
October 26, 2010 1:05 PM
Artsquiggle, you asked "Are visitors allowed in Ganeshpuri?"
If you mean "the village of Ganeshpuri and the Nityananda temple and historical buildings in the village", the answer is "yes, anyone can go".
If you mean "Gurudev Siddha Peeth", the "mother ashram in India" (pardon me while I gag) the answer is "No, absolutely not without pre-clearance, pre-approval, and pre-payment". At least, that's the way it was in 2004 when I visited GSP for a couple of weeks. Can't imagine it's any easier to get in there now. There are security guards at the gate in front of the GSP Nityananda temple and in front of the gate of the dorm area across the street. They didn't carry guns on their person (at least not overtly in plain view) but I did hear that they had them at the ready in the guardhouse at the gate just in case they became necessary.
The guards let the public come in for Arati in the mornings and evenings at the Nityananda temple at GSP, and for any chants held there or what used to be named Guru Chowk hall or for a visit to Muk's Samadhi Shrine. But guards prevented those without clearance from getting any farther than the "upper garden".
So, the answer is "no, you can't go to GSP to stay there, not unless they've cleared you first".
October 27, 2010 9:25 AM
Joan "Radha" Bridges’ story has many details that can and will be revealed as time goes by.
After the sudden death of her father on the night she was crowned May Queen of her High School Prom, it wasn’t too long before Joan "Radha" joined the Swami Muktananda world tour in 1975, the year she graduated from college and got married. During that time she was subjected to a grueling physical, mental, and emotional schedule 24/7. In the eight years she was on tour with Muktananda, there were no vacations ever and working for him was 10 to 12 hours daily.
Between work and chanting and meditation individuality was virtually eliminated...
(active link follows leading to the rest of Joan Radha Bridges' bio)
Name of Guru and Ashram
Posted on Dec 4, 2007 10:36 PM
Does anyone know the name of Elizabeth's guru and the name of the Ashram she went to in India. I know she's keeping it hush hush.
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1. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Dec 4, 2007 11:04 PM | In response to:
If you go to her web site, you will read that the ashram is no longer taking student visitors. However, if you read between the lines of her book and do a little "math" on Google, it is pretty easy to figure out who the female guru is. But it doesn't really matter, and there are lots of paths, gurus, and ashrams, here and in India.
2. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Feb 1, 2008 8:18 AM | In response to:
Liz Gilbert studied at the Ganeshpuri ashram of Muktananda and Chidvilasananda's Siddha Yoga.
*** Siddha Yoga, one of many quasi Hindu/yoga movements to come to the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s, has an interesting and controversial history. Its first spiritual head or "Guru", the charismatic Muktananda, attracted a number of luminous, highly successful adherents, from American astronauts to movie stars to world famous musicians. His successor, the radiantly beautiful "Gurumayi" had her own cadre of accomplished and beautiful people as well as what was at one time an ever expanding global movement it liked to call its Meditation Revolution.
*** In 1983, 1993 and 1994, a series of magazine articles explored the darker side of the Siddha Yoga movement - one that involved credible stories of Muktananda's sexual behavior with his devotees, the ardent, even violent attempts made by his closest associates to silence this story, and a handful of other incidents that cast a shadow on SYDA's otherwise glowing story about itself.
*** Since the publication of the article in the New Yorker on Nov 13 1994, an internet movement has emerged among devotees and ex devotees who wish to discuss their experiences in Siddha Yoga. In January of 2003, Joan (Radha) Bridges published a story in the Leaving Siddha Yoga website about her personal sexual encounter with Muktananda. No one from SYDA has openly argued with her account, though representatives from the South Fallsburg ashram in upstate NY did visit her and did ask after her personal welfare.
*** Most serious yoga students either take the story about Muktananda at face value or know people who can confirm its truth. SYDA's continuing effort to stonewall on this matter has lost it countless adherents though new people show an interest in Siddha Yoga every day.
*** SYDA's charter states clearly that it cannot exist without a "living Guru" as it central operating principle. Gurumayi/Chidvilasananda continues to play this nearly godlike role for her adherents in absentia, though her books and other writings seem to be readily available via the Siddha Yoga website and many other outlets like Amazon.com. Small, private SYDA "study circles" continue to support people who choose to pursue thus path to "awakening" the awareness of spiritual energy ("kundalini shakti") in themselves.
*** Last year Gurumayi celebrated her 25th Jubilee as the head of Siddha Yoga without making an appearance at any major Siddha Yoga event. She opened this year with a pre-recorded New Year talk (once a staple of the SYDA path after the article was published in 1994) exhorting her "students" to "study" Muktananda's widely read though currently disputed spiritual autobiography Play of Consciousness.
*** Since the summer of last year, in addition to the Leaving Siddha Yoga website which has been in existence since the mid 1990s, two additional websites emerged on blogger: The Guru Looked Good, hosted by a former SYDA staffer, and Rituals of Disenchantment. Both host discussion sites that are active on a daily basis. The first is mostly sympathetic to those who question Siddha Yoga, the second is open to a wider population.
*** There are two yahoogroups associated with Siddha Yoga - SGMKJ, for devotees, and exSY, for those who have left Siddha Yoga.
*** The website for Siddha Yoga and the Ganeshpuri ashram where Gilbert spent time in India can be found by a simple Google search, as can the numerous websites established by people who have left the movement.
*** Liz Gilbert probably keeps this information from her readers because she wants to see them focus on the book and its story, not Siddha Yoga or its Gurus and their stories. She may also want to avoid giving the appearance of being a media representative for SYDA.
3. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Jun 29, 2008 2:23 PM | In response to:
Good for you, Joan! Keep speaking up about the deceptive practices of SYDA and Gurumayi!
How unfortunate that Ms. Gilbert seems unaware of the problems with SYDA.
4. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Jul 18, 2008 2:26 PM | In response to:
How sad to demean the beautiful practice as SYDA. I have attended many get togethers....they helped me through the death of my mother which was devistating, I was so depressed, withdrawn, scared and empty. The community of SYDA embrased me with lots of open arms and love. I thank them in my heart every day.
It was one of the most moving, spiritual,educating and soul-replenishing experience of my adult life. Bless the Gurumayi and Siddha Yoga Meditation.
5. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Apr 20, 2010 6:02 AM | In response to:
Elizabeth Gilbert is a highly respected, award-winning writer who has no reason to hide anything. Muktananda was NEVER charged with any crimes and the media smear campaign against him was started a year after his death in 1982. Elizabeth was only about 13 years old at that time.
The smear campaign against Indian gurus was started in the early 70s by an evangelical Christian named Tal Brooke whose father (Edgar Duffield Brooke) was appointed the Director of Media Content for the United States Information Agency in 1961 by Edward R Murrow. This was during the time Martin Luther King was being harassed by U.S. government in a covert campaign later investigated by the Church Committee. Tal Brooke was also friends with Ram Dass aka Richard Alpert and toured with Muktananda, according to his book Riders of the Cosmic Circuit. His buddy, Surya Das also had an ex girlfriend who started making allegations against Muktananda. None of these stories have ever been corroborated and only seem to come from white westerners who have very idiotic ideas about Hinduism and Tantra. The common theme is they are only propagated by media and people who believe anything negative they hear about Indian gurus, incuding atheists.
How much courage does it take it smear a dead man who cannot defend himself?
If the Indian people were not the non-violent practitioners they profess to be, I believe these closeted "white supremacist" provocateurs would have been sued by now and lost.
In Joan Radha's case, ask her why she donated thousands to the Siddha Yoga org and then began to make claims in 2003 she was molested by Muktananda.
I have never been a follower of Muktananda but I have investigated the allegations regarding Sathya Sai Baba since 2002.
The allegations regarding Sai Baba are even more contradictory and unbelievable than the ones against Muktananda.
Several accusers claim Sai Baba's genitalia supernaturally morphed from male to female. At the same time they claim he is a fraud/magician.
6. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Apr 20, 2010 1:54 PM | In response to:
I'm glad a fellow message board member posted indepth information about Elizabeth Gilbert's ashram and their unspiritual doings.
As an ex-Siddha yogi with that exact ashram and guru and lineage, I see how they are continuing to use media people, in this case Gilbert, to rehabilitate their image. In fact, Gilbert's section on her thoughts about meditation/spirituality, almost all of it, is a paraphrase (or seemed at times to me, allegedly verbatim) from the old Siddha Path magazines promulgating all their concerns. People were hurt by this Ashram, financially, emotionally, even investigative reporting about physical abuse. Yoga Journal, The Los Angeles Times, etc. all did reports on the scandals. There are even ex-Siddha Yoga support groups. I left on time before things got truly ugly. In fact Gurumayi's brother was the chosen heir and in a battle for power, she forced the previous guru to appoint her co-heir then she banished the brother (no angel himself). These things need to be told -- at least you'll know the background if you or anyone decides to join this group or follow their teachings. Forewarned is forearmed. Hope the word gets out.
Elizabeth Gilbert needed to be forthcoming. All she has to say is, well I don't believe the reports or they have changed -- but give the world SOME truth, not the fairy tale the book presented.
7. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Apr 20, 2010 1:54 PM | In response to:
THANK you! I just posted a similar observation.
8. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Apr 20, 2010 1:54 PM | In response to:
Thank you Joan. It's hard to believe that Eat Pray Love could be so major a hit without any of this feedback before now.
I am writing a book on my yoga experiences, including a section based on my life that same ashram and guru and it is quite different from Elizabeth Gilbert's experience.
9. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Apr 22, 2010 5:38 PM | In response to:
I don't know where you are getting your information from but Gurumayi did NOT force Muktananda to appoint her as successor over her brother. He appointed them BOTH as successors. What happened after that is known only to those wo experienced it firsthand. Please be more responsible if you are going to pass yourself off as an authority. It is very hypocritical to bash gurus and then to "play guru" yourself and do a very poor job of it.
I do wonder why so many of you feel that adults need your help to make their own decisions about spirituality and the path they want to follow. To me it looks like Mary Garden, Joan Radha et all have a "blame the guru" mentality. And now they are trying to cash in on their moral shortcomings and become famous at others expense. Anyone with an educated brain, who actually STUDIED Hinduism (which most of you apparently have not) knows Sannyasis are supposed to be celibate and would not follow a person who claims to be and is not celibate.
10. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
May 2, 2010 5:33 AM | In response to:
It was at least six months after announcing that Swami Nityananda would be his successor that Swami Muktananda added Swami Chidvilasananda, and this was because Swami Chidvilasananda begged him to reconsider.Reply rakhumayi
11. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Jul 30, 2010 1:09 AM | In response to:
I don't understand the bitterness of some people who tries to hurt the ashram. I know it must feel good to you to let go of your frustrations talking about things that did not please you. It is so easy to be angry and it is so hard to be loving. I started going to the ashram more than 20 years ago and never I saw the Guru being nothing else but love. She always teached the same thing : That the path is about love. It is probably too simple to understand. The mind always want to fight but truly, everyone in the end wants peace and love.
To all those wiith bad feelings, I urge you to contemplate where your anger comes from.
Trashing others will never be the way to find serenity.
When I had hard times living in the ashram, it was never because of the Guru, but because of my attitude.
I am very grateful to have learn to go deep within myself to find the capacity to change and be a better human being.
And all of that, I learned from this wonderful ashram and I will be eternally thankful !
12. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Jul 31, 2010 12:18 PM | In response to:
As a person who lived in Siddha Yoga ashrams for the better part of a decade, I can assure that most of the charges of abuse are true. The population of SYDA ashrams has dropped from what was once several thousand people to a more 200 or so now, due largely to the numerous scandals. I feel bad for Gurumayi at this point. She lives largely isolated in her S. Fallsburg compound and is unwilling to even communicate with her family (so much for her teachings about love and respect). Of course people have spiritual experiences there. That happens everywhere on the planet in all cultural contexts. In Siddha Yoga, however, she takes credit for this natural process. So sad.Reply
13. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Aug 15, 2010 2:39 PM | In response to:
Checked out your video, this is creepy. Did the Dalai Lama advocate spending 14 years publicizing your bad experiences, starting a film career and basically committing your life to making sure everyone knows your point of views while potentially finding a way to turn a profit from the whole experience to the detriment of others who may not exactly have the same perspective as you? Why not get on with your life already...seriously...
Please don't quote the Dalai Lama in your video, I completely doubt he would condone your work.
14. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Aug 16, 2010 12:28 AM | In response to:
Ok. I will state my bias right away, but I was introduced to Siddha Yoga at the age of 4 and was definitely raised in the tradition. It's a huge part of my life and as a result the negativity raised in these posts is incredibly frustrating to me. One of the things that Siddha Yoga has taught me, is to look at everything with an open mind so I want to do everything I can to address Siddha Yoga how I experienced it.
Siddha Yoga at the very base level is a path to enlightenment...to find your own inner happiness. Yes, it's evolved into an organization, with a spirtual leader named Gurumayi, but the organization, the guru and the practices reccommended are simply tools for you to find your own happiness. There is no ulterior motives...there is no rule saying you must believe a certain way....it's a way of living your life with happiness and to face some of the issues that we deal with as we go through our life.
Let me tell you a bit about my experience. Some of my earliest memories are falling asleep on my mother's lap during mediation. Now, that's a scary term to those unfamiliar with it...so let me explain it as best I can. Meditation is the process of quieting your mind and allowing you to focus on how to grow and learn about how to move closer to your own inner peace. It's NOT something to be feared! It's not a weapon! It's important to remember that people fear what they don't understand. So if you experience fear...don't look to criticize it, but seek to understand it. You might find yourself becoming less afraid.
Now to tell you about my experience with the ashram in the States....every summer from the ages of 6-15 or so I was lucky enough to attend the ashram for a week, a month or even the summer. This was a tremendous opportunity for me as I got the chance to meet people from all over the world, learning about other cultures and sharing experiences with people going through the same spiritual journey. As a young child, you don't understand the metaphysical energy, but looking back as a young adult, I understand what lessons I was given. I now have an appreciation for the energy of the ashram....it's hard to describe....but the best way I can think of it is that each person is connected to each other through this thread of energy. Again, this is something that I know can scare people and cause them to write it off...but I ask you to think about it like this. If you've ever had played on a team...you know the feeling of working together towards a common goal...but as an individual athlete, you're still always growing, and improving. The connection I'm talking about is like the connection between teammates working towards a common goal, even though you're there working towards your own happiness.
This community is one of the amazing things about Siddha Yoga. Whether you're at an ashram with thousands of people...or at your local center or even meditating by yourself. You know that you have the support of the entire community, and they support you and have gone through similar challenges. This provides you an incredible resource to turn to in times of difficulty.
Now, I could go on and on...but the message I want you to take from this post is this. I don't know for sure what happened many years ago....and truthfully no one does other then the people directly involved, however my experience with Siddha Yoga has been nothing but positive and I'm thankful every day that I have the community and the tools needed to move through life.
If you would like to hear more, please don't hesitate to email me and I'll be happy to communicate my experiences.
Thanks very much.
15. Re: Name of Guru and Ashram
Aug 21, 2010 5:30 PM | In response to:
I just saw the movie Eat Pray Love yesterday, and hadn't read the book. As I watched the ashram scenes I recognized them as Siddha Yoga because I had stayed there in India for 3+ months in late 1977- early 1978, and lived in the Ann Arbor Ashram for a couple of years, all when Muktananda was the guru. In the movie, the photo on the throne, the slogan 'God dwells within you as you', the seva, the getting up early to chant the Guru Gita, brought back memories that made me cringe. I had bought the book Eat, Pray, Love a week ago and today looked through the part about the ashram, and found references to the hamsa and Om Namah Shivaya mantras, which are part of Siddha Yoga. This morning I had to push away unwanted memories of lines from the Guru Gita.
Back then Siddha devotees were often unkind to each other, making fun of, criticizing, and competing with others. Once while living in the Ann Arbor ashram I answered the phone and it was Malti (who is now the 'guru'). When I told her the person she wanted to speak to was out, she yelled at me, then hung up on me. The crazy thing is, when I told the person Malti had wanted to speak to about the call (and there were others in the Ann Arbor ashram who heard what happened) everyone (myself included) thought I was 'blessed' for having had that experience. How sad. How warped. Women were very concerned about their makeup and clothes, and there was a lot of competition. Devotees were overly concerned about food and recipes and desserts (had to feed the shakti). So many people from around the world worshipped Muktanada, and adored Malti. There was such a LACK of humility, kindness, purity, restraint.
Although I hadn't actively practiced Siddha meditation since the mid-1980s, I somehow continued to feel a connection. Many years later I realized that the experiences and teachings had negatively effected my thinking and outlook, and several years ago I made a conscious break from the organization, discarding everything I still owned from that period: my beads, chanting book, other Siddha publications, photos, meditation blanket, everything.
I really enjoyed the movie and want to read the book, but I am truly disappointed that the ashram Liz went to was Siddha Yoga. I had spiritual experiences while there and afterward, such as spontaneous pranayama, visions, and deep meditations, but, as X stated, these happen everywhere. I'm sure my inner devotion and dedication to divine spirit and meditation at the time was a major factor to my having those experiences. More important than having unusual experiences though is how we treat each other and live our lives. Simple patience, kindness, humility, inner joy and peace, self-control and restraint, these are true measures of spiritual growth.
To X , who lived in the Siddha Yoga ashrams for the better part of a decade, God bless you and I hope you are well. Now in the year 2010, no one can imagine what it was like in the 70s and 80s in Siddha Yoga -- you had to have been there. Reply Back To Top 1 2 | Next
"I promise to write a check in the amount of $1,000 to the (SYDA Yoga) Foundation if it can produce one written piece of evidence that Gurumayi is still actively teaching.
'One invitation to an open public program in which Gurumayi (and not her disembodied, pre-recorded voice) has actually appeared and spoken in the past year. Not a private gathering for a few rich devotees who paid exorbitant amounts for a chance to coax Gurumayi back into her saffron robes for a few hours. A program open to your rank and file Siddha Yoga students.
Just one. Your move. "[/quoted from Rituals of Disenchantment (ROD) blog]
For more, read here:
(ROD stands for Rituals of Disenchantment blog)Quote
If you go online and read the SYDA Foundation's response to the Salon article on Gurumayi and Siddha Yoga, you'll doubtless notice that the Trustees have organized a letter writing campaign by their inner circle to flood the comments page with positive testimonials.
But, regardless of how many lovely stories they share about the wondrous impact Siddha Yoga has had on their lives, one thing is missing from every one of these letters.
No one has claimed to have seen Gurumayi in years.
As always, SYDA speaks out of both sides of its mouth. Currently, its obsessively repeated talking point is that "the Siddha Yoga Foundation's main purpose is to disseminate Siddha Yoga teachings." After decades of promoting the most slavish (and ultra lucrative) worship of the physical Guru in the persons of Muktananda and Gurumayi, SYDA would now like you to believe that the Guru equals the teachings, nothing more.
Of course, what is left unsaid is that THE main teaching of Siddha Yoga is the absolute necessity of the aspirant to forge a personal relationship with the Siddha Guru in order to attain liberation--the goal of all spiritual seeking.
It's a neat sleight of hand, designed to distract the eye from the terrible paradox that Siddha Yoga has become: Siddha Yoga teaches that you need the physical Guru to attain enlightenment; the Guru is no longer physically present but always available to students in the form of her teachings; the teachings state that the student needs the physical Guru.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
What is particularly cruel about this shell game is how dismissive it is to those who are still trying to practice Siddha Yoga. The comments on this blog alone are rife with the pain of those who cling to the practices, enduring empty satsangs at their local centers, canned New Year's "teachings" that repeat verbatim year after year with depressing monotony, expensive Intensives that are dry of Shakti and conducted by exhausted swamis who run from the attendees lest they be asked yet again for any news of Gurumayi's whereabouts. And, after putting up with all this, and still remaining attached (in a now wholly-inconvenient parlance) to the Guru's feet, these seekers have to listen to SYDA insisting that "for almost three decades, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the spiritual head of the Siddha Yoga path, has guided students through her teachings."
Well, it's time to put up or shut up, SYDA. I promise to write a check in the amount of $1,000 to the Foundation if it can produce one written piece of evidence that Gurumayi is still actively teaching. One invitation to an open public program in which Gurumayi (and not her disembodied, pre-recorded voice) has actually appeared and spoken in the past year. Not a private gathering for a few rich devotees who paid exorbitant amounts for a chance to coax Gurumayi back into her saffron robes for a few hours. A program open to your rank and file Siddha Yoga students.
Just one. Your move.
Posted by SeekHer at 4:25 PM 14 comments