RiKD   United States. Aug 16 2018 19:29. Posts 5085
Noah Levine, a "guru" in the avenues of meditation (Against the Stream), and recovery and Buddhism (for profit Refuge Recovery treatment center and not-for-profit Refuge Recovery) is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with 7 to 10 women as well as sleeping with a married woman, sleeping with students, and misusing company funds for personal use in an "extravagant" and "out of touch" manner. Article here
Makes me feel a little bit better about my caffeine addiction, eating ice cream at lunch, and then being bored so jerking off and taking a nap today and now writing a blog... The answers are definitely in the Dharma and not Bumble. It is the Buddha's teachings that we should be following and not Noah Levine although he was a trusted spiritual teacher to many and I feel for them. I mostly feel for the women abused/harassed. Most of my friends are in Refuge Recovery so it will be interesting to see what happens. I don't see why it couldn't be improved. Buddha should be the icon of Refuge Recovery not Noah Levine.
Lol, a Buddhist guru who is on dating websites. I didn't know his problem went that far. That's like playing with heroin hoping not to get addicted. I don't know why serious students would look up to him as a teacher, he even explicitly says in Against the Stream that he tried to be celibate but he was basically too weak to do it. Clearly he was never that far on the path and there's more inspirational choices out there, but it's a shame if people no longer attend RR because of this.
With that said, someone's shortcomings shouldn't make you feel better about yours. Comparing yourself to others is a major obstacle to growth. Lust also happens to be by far the biggest attachment to overcome according to the Buddha. In nearly all cases you give someone fame and the ability to pretty much sustainably indulge in sexual gratification and they will never be able to turn it down unless it has caused them immense suffering.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)
Last edit: 16/08/2018 22:17
RiKD   United States. Aug 16 2018 22:58. Posts 5085
I figured I would get dinged for the comparing shortcomings bit. I know that comparing myself to others is a major obstacle for growth yet that's how I integrated my shortcomings into the post. It's how I was honestly feeling at the time. It's yet another shortcoming of mine. I tend to compare myself to others often. I realize how much of a layperson I am and sometimes I use that as an excuse. It's easy to justify caffeine, ice cream, masturbation, naps. If I wish to surpass ordinariness then obviously these things need to go but it seems I don't want to let go. It's been a journey even in a short time. Being a "hermit" in a city center is really quite absurd but the more I read the more I am convinced I must leave my native land and be a hermit in solitary conditions. Getting a trusted spiritual teacher is advisable first obviously.
k2o4   United States. Aug 17 2018 00:27. Posts 4796
I don't know any western teachers who aren't still caught up in their bad habits in some way, myself included. Most of the eastern teachers are in the same boat. I've met only a handful of teachers who seem to be mostly beyond the bad habits, and those were all Tibetan masters. Don't get it twisted though, cause there's plenty of Tibetan teachers who are also caught up in the same shit.
At the same time, every single one of these teachers who is caught up in a scandal has had times where they teach some real truth in a way that powerfully and positively impacts people. So my strategy has always been to learn what I can from all teachers, without trying to make any one of them into my guru. Yes, a guru yoga approach can work, if you have a teacher who is truly embodying a guru level of consciousness. But that's pretty hard to find these days, and if it does show up, you'll know it without a doubt. I think Autobiography of a Yogi is a good book to read to see how that process unfolds when it's the right teacher.
Whether it's the 300 predator priests and the bishops covering up for them, or Sogyal Rinpoche's sexual abuse, or the story you posted here, what we're seeing is the darkness that has corrupted most spiritual institutions brought to the surface. There's a lot of cleaning up we need to do in this society... from Hollywood to Washington most every institution we have is decrepit and sick. But that's the time we're going through, a time of global purging and cleansing. We feel it on the individual level, and it's happening on the collective. Crazy times
Rinny   United States. Aug 17 2018 04:43. Posts 597
geez thats too bad. you know when i read his book he was always talking about the girls he fucked in a really weird out of place way.
RiKD   United States. Aug 17 2018 12:18. Posts 5085
On August 17 2018 03:43 Rinny wrote:
geez thats too bad. you know when i read his book he was always talking about the girls he fucked in a really weird out of place way.
I thought so too but then again I just thought that was part of his story. The harassment part of the allegations are easy to believe. To what extent the "abuse" went time will tell. Abuse is a broad term. I think he gets away with this ok if he admits craving and attachment to lust and sex, distances himself from being this "powerful guru," and then works on his lust and sex issues like any other layperson would.
I went to a Refuge Recovery meeting last night and it was the most attended in the history of my city and a great meeting. Noah Levine has written some pretty decent books and helped start a pretty good organization. I don't think the scandal will effect refugerecovery.org too much.
RiKD   United States. Aug 17 2018 22:01. Posts 5085
It all started when I read about abstinence from sex and then looked into going to a meditation centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Well, maybe it starts before then. I was abstinent from sex one time for 7 months. I think that was spurned by an interesting involvement with a women named Mara (coincidentally the name of the Buddhist demon of desire). She was a demon of desire. That is for sure. Well, recently I was absolutely Tinder sick and it was not good. Completely dissatisfied with the world and ordinary (and worldly) living. I found the Dharma and went abstinent. I didn't understand that meant no flirting or touching. Well, I was flirting, touching, and hugging and it spurned a hand job. I haven't really stopped. I mean it is nothing crazy like 1 or 2 a day but the ideal is to be completely abstinent. It is the same type of deal with caffeine, icecream, naps, music, shows, entertainment, food after noon, etc. I don't think I am ready for this meditation centre. I don't know what my ideals should be. This morning I drank a lot of caffeine and it made me feel good. I listened to music and felt amazing. I went and got Indian food and enjoyed a mango lassie. This is pretty much all the same as yesterday. I felt a bit tired or maybe I just wanted an escape so I took a nap. Not before having a mediocre wank. Wanking and napping is such a good combo. But, here is the thing. Caffeine, music, beach, ocean, walk, swim, curry, wank, nap..... That is like an ideal morning and early afternoon in the past. I also spoke to a friend for about an hour about life and the path. I also read some Buddhist scriptures this morning before going to the beach. It still doesn't feel good enough...
I remember in Pittsburgh when I couldn't sleep I didn't know what to do. As a drunk I would just get up and go on a red wine iv until I felt I was ready to go back to sleep. It worked like a charm. In Pittsburgh my best judgement was to go to the casino and play blackjack or poker. I didn't really like the atmosphere of the casino at 3 in the morning so then I would just drive around the city. I would go to places where AA meetings were held and connect the dots and listen to music.
What I am talking about is displacement. Substances caused me more harm than any of my addictions by far but it's all inter-related. I felt euphoric this morning listening to this:
I felt even more euphoric listening to this:
I decided that the only thing that would make it better is to buy some molly, drive home immediately, parachute the molly (LOTS of molly) and just listen to it and dance. I wanted to be at a rave but only one that is playing this song and I was ok with going to a rave by myself in my bedroom.
I joked at the meeting last night that my recovery feels "on point" or taken to a "higher level" ever since taking refuge in the 3 jewels but the moment I make a statement like that I will be walking through the grocery store and feel an attraction towards boxed wine or whatever. Bourbon, shooting heroin, a gravity bong and eating sushi and watching Planet Earth, or parachuting shit tons of molly and having a party by myself. They are just thoughts that arise and dissipate.
Somedays I jerk off. Somedays I write a blog. Today I did both. But, I didn't parachute any molly or carry home boxed wine in two hands.
Any time there is euphoria there will be müdigkeit (tiredness). I don't feel that I am undead. I feel adante. I am at a certain frequency to contemplate and linger on Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's commentary on the 37 Verses on being a Bodissattva. It still leaves me a lot of questions on how I should be living but I guess I am kind of figuring these things out. I don't feel like I am too weak to be abstinent from sex I just enjoy masturbating. The dissatisfaction isn't there... Well, it is. I know it leads nowhere good. I know I shouldn't be lusting after women I see running down the street or at the beach. It's all connected.
I missed my caffeine the other morning and I was suffering. I thought this is a great time to try to go without but I couldn't make it. There was coffee in the break room at work and I couldn't resist.
I am not a monk. I am not scheduled to go to a strict meditation centre in a month. Where do I draw the lines?
RiKD   United States. Aug 18 2018 00:38. Posts 5085
I think part of my difficulties stem from the idea of renunciation. It's comical looking back at wanting to renounce everything and go live under the bridge in a city center. That was not long ago. I am still quite noob. But, I can really see the value in leaving my native land to live as a hermit in solitary conditions. But, how exactly do I bridge that with how I am currently living? It starts with just continuing down the path and hopefully finding a worthy spiritual teacher. Maybe I find a middle path. Maybe I do better with connections to friends. Maybe my mental illness and handful of medications is not conducive to shaving my head, my beard, taking alms and homelessness. Maybe being a householder isn't so bad. Maybe seeking a girlfriend is what I should be doing but I don't want to find myself in super ordinary living. A part of my being just rejects it and knows it to be dukkha. So, how much to renounce? That is the question. The more I renounce the better off I seem. But, it seems I am not willing to renounce caffeine for example. It's been my "friend" for too long. Renouncing music almost seems out of the question. I don't really watch tv or movies anymore that is not a big deal. I don't go to shows really. It is very difficult to see myself eating 1 meal in a day before noon unless I was actually going to someplace that practiced this. I have to say I think I am happier with out lust in my life. Not obsessing over women's bodies. Flirting is a difficult one for me especially if a woman is flirting heavily with me. It's a very hard proposition to turn down. Similar with touching, hugging, kissing, fucking. Even though most sexual relationships in my life ended with me being a bit sick or broken in some way. Basically, they haven't gone so well and even the ones that went well left me feeling dissatisfied. For me, it's easier to abstain from sex than it is from masturbation and pornography. It might be different if I had a libidinous girlfriend or a stream of willing sexual partners. Oh well, I might be overthinking this. It might be as easy as renouncing what is causing me meaningful dissatisfaction and keeping the rest and being honest in evaluating.
RiKD   United States. Aug 19 2018 01:06. Posts 5085
I don't think it matters so much.
I am not preparing to live as a monk in a monastery or preparing for a strict meditation retreat. Ideally, I get rid of all wants and desires. That's easier said than done. What is important now is meditation, learning, reflecting. What are thoughts? They aren't as compelling or powerful as ordinary folk like to believe. They are there. They appear they dissipate. Almost as if they are not real. Ghosts haunting us for as long as we let them.
Meditation and Dharma. I won't write as many long, neurotic, dissatisfied, confused blog posts under this simple path but it is never really that simple is it?
RiKD   United States. Aug 19 2018 01:41. Posts 5085
Thoughts are not real or temporal. We can let it pass. Like a wave crashing into the ocean and dissolving.
The key is to be content with any situation.
It is true, however, that my meditation practice is less distracted if I do abstain from desires/attachments. Specifically, ridding myself of caffeine and only eating 1 meal before noon there are physical and mental withdrawal symptoms involved. It's the same with my medications. There is some level of I don't care enough about that and the only way I would is if I had to go to a strict meditation retreat within 2 weeks or something like that. It is my goal to go to a meditation retreat within the year so we will see. We will see.
As I said, as long as I am meditating, learning, and reflecting I think it will all work itself out.
RiKD   United States. Aug 19 2018 14:12. Posts 5085
I wake up in the morning. I am attached to my comfortable bed and high thread count sheets. I linger in bed as the sun shines through the window. I feed my cats, give them water, and clean their kitty litter box. I am deeply attached to my cats. Then, I meditate. Probably one of the best things I can do all day. Then, I robotically go downstairs for a light breakfast. Sweet potato oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts and when I am done I robotically grab a Monster Energy Drink to take my medications. Oh, it feels goood. I robotically go back upstairs into my room to fire up the laptop to check LP. So, my morning is full of attachment.
Then, when I go to work I am at least mildly averse to it. I made some mistakes yesterday that are still haunting me a bit. I guess it is all part of the practice.
RiKD   United States. Aug 20 2018 11:50. Posts 5085
Desire breeds desire. I am in a fish bowl surrounded by an assortment of beautiful women. Sometimes lust or maybe even a little bit of awe. Behold a lady. But, it is mostly ok. Until that ass made an appearance. My woman co-worker caught me looking. Then later she touched me somewhat inappropriately. Then she was looking into my eyes as she was messing around with her large breasts. I didn't flirt with her though. It was very difficult not to. Oh well, I just wanted to write some things and maybe start a discussion on lust, etc.
Mortensen8   Chad. Aug 20 2018 15:36. Posts 1754
No surprise from me almost all gurus are narcissists just stay away from groups (all groups) a narcissist is very likely to be at the top, he can turn his followers into what is termed a flying monkey where they do dirty work for him. I have also heard about this guy that claims he can see energies going into one of these group whatever sessions doing channeling and stuff and all of the followers energy was going to the guru so he was draining them. Don't get your information from gurus or even some lectures always go to the source the upanishad, book of the dead, bhagavad gita etc. all the information in the world is out there and you don't need a group or guru imo they are just rehashing the ancient sources and corrupting it I speculate.
I came across these lectures and they were super good and shit but turns out it was from some cult source the thing is the best liars use almost only truth but just small lies here and there a lot of the new age stuff I speculate again is basically a psyop using psychology in the worst way. Also from those lectures the guy was saying all of this utopian ideals and stuff but could it just be part of the programming to make you very docile. The new age seems to have numerous groups that are set up by black magicians but they look really nice almost sickeningly so too nice.
Rear naked woke
RiKD   United States. Aug 21 2018 23:48. Posts 5085
"By putting all your efforts into the affairs of this life, you could no doubt make yourself tremendously wealthy, amass gold in vast quantities, and reach the very pinnacle of fame and power. Yet even then you would probably be bitterly resentful of anyone even wealthier or more influential than yourself; you would regard with contempt the people you left behind, now your social inferiors, while toward your peers, you would feel competitive and jealous, waiting for any opportunity to get the better of them. Even beggars burn with jealousy when other beggars get the alms." - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche