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Heidi
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« on: Jan 20, 2013, 03:29 PM »

Hello everyone,

JWG taught that evolution occurs through the emotional body, which I'm assuming is related to consciousness (Neptune), the soul (Pluto), and the ego (Moon). However, I'm having a hard time explaining this concept to others that are caught up in spiritual bypass and somehow think that the dualistic nature of emotions can be transcended when tapping into the intelligence of source - in particular, the natural or primordial state referred to in Dzogchen Buddhism. I see before my eyes psychological and emotional splitting, people able to really tap into the primordial reality, but it seems like they are just getting "high" since the experience is not integrated emotionally. And of course, it only lasts temporarily.

I'm trying to understand exactly what it is about the nature of emotions that when released and healed, lead to evolution. Memories are connected to the moon, and the unconscious emotional patterns, to Pluto, and we need to uncover and experience these memories/emotions in order to evolve. My question is what actually happens in this process? Is the energy being transmuted? Does recovering the memory/gaining understanding release desires? How would you explain all this to someone who believed that tapping into the primordial state was simply enough to heal and awaken, since this state is beyond cause and effect, and therefore karma?

Which leads me to another question. Does spiritual bypassing occur more in a particular evolutionary state or is it prevalent through individuated and spiritual? My observations of people that call themselves non-dual seekers is that they seem very stuck in their heads. So the mental part seems to be individuated, and the constant need for security in an external teaching also implies that the ego has not yet shifted to finding security in the soul/itself.

Thanks so much for you help!
Blessings,
Heidi
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ari moshe
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 20, 2013, 05:05 PM »

Wow - just want to thank you for such a clear question and articulation Heidi. I gained a lot from just reading that.
With love, am
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cat777
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 20, 2013, 06:21 PM »

Hi Heidi,

Like Ari, I learned alot just reading your question!  I had never heard of "spiritual bypassing" before and Googled it.  I found a link with a Q&A that discusses much of what you are talking about (not the astrology part).  I thought I'd post it for others who are interested in learning what "spiritual bypassing" means:

www.johnwelwood.com/articles/TRIC_interview_uncut.doc

cat
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jasonholley
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 21, 2013, 08:11 AM »

Hi Heidi and all,

As I understand it, EA teaches that processing life experiences through the emotional body is evolutionary precisely because it enables the Soul to fully EXPERIENCE whatever experiences are the natural consequence of its desires and choices.  If the Soul does not fully EXPERIENCE that which its choices have generated, then it will not truly know in a deep way the consequences of those desires and choices, and will not be able to integrate and learn from these experiences, and thus to make new choices and evolve.  In some sense spiritual bypass is a kind of delaying tactic – the Soul resisting coming to terms with the natural consequences of its own desires and choices (though at the ego level this can simply look like a person avoiding painful emotions using Jesus or altered states or “ascension” or whatever).   In this way the Soul keeps itself in a kind of evolutionary limbo in that it cannot truly exhaust separating desires since it is ever delayed from truly feeling what those desires have resulted in, and therefore must repeat them (in a sense willfully failing to learn from history).  You can see how this can correlate with skipped steps in some Souls – interesting that this issue and the ‘creating skipped steps’ threads are up at the same time on the mb.

Spiritual bypass to me also relates to the control orientation most of us carry and to the lack of trust in natural law that has been learned on this planet.  Evolution is a natural process of the universe – we can trust it to happen and we do not have to “make” it happen, so much as let it happen.  As Jeffrey taught, the Water Trinity shows involution in that Spirit/Neptune differentiates to Soul/Scorpio differentiates to Ego/Cancer; and also shows that evolution occurs naturally in the natural direction of the zodiac of the shift in conscious identification from Ego/Cancer to Soul/Scorpio to Spirit/Pisces.  I find in my work that when people are able to experience their experience through the emotional body (Cancer/Moon), such a full experience naturally eventually leads them (over a period of minutes or lifetimes) to a desire to understand and transform the deeper unconscious patterns and/or Soul history (both Scorpio/Pluto) that has led to the given emotional experience.  I don’t need to try to push this inquiry in any way, it is the natural result of deeply experienced emotion, it is just what happens when we get out of the way and feel.  And then I have also found that when people start to work at this deeper level, then also very naturally begin (again, whether in this lifetime or later) to experience their own encounters with Source (Pisces/Neptune), however this may manifest as appropriate to their perceptual capacities. The water naturally returns to the sea.  So to me it is not so much about energy releasing or other particular things as much as it is about having a natural experience that leads to new understanding and choices (and thus new experiences) that eventually exhaust separating desires and leave only the desire to return to Source.

If we stay with the Water Trinity, then spiritual bypassing can be seen as an attempt to “bypass” the emotions (Cancer) and critically the step of self-confrontation and transformation (Scorpio) – after all that is really hard.  But of course natural law doesn’t work that way and what I would say is actually happening is that the Soul is actually going in the involutionary (clockwise) direction on the wheel, trying to escape to a regressive experience of preconsciousness rather like the womb (Pisces), so as not to feel the pain of emotion (Cancer).  In therapy this is sometimes called the “flight into health”.  To me it exemplifies the issue of trines in that as Jeffrey taught they can make it “easy” to be conscious and cooperative with evolution but they can also make it “easy” to resist it.

I also read in what you wrote a question of whether the kind of mental/head-based quality that typifies the specific bypass you mentioned (of preferring to dwell in primordial states) means that such individuals may be in the individuated states vs. spiritual states.  I would say that what you described could be occurring in a spiritual or an individuated Soul.  The difference would have to be discerned by understanding the nature of the Soul’s motivation for its practice in the first place.  I have seen some practitioners of these paths and techniques who are (mostly) seeking to reinforce their own sense of themselves and their specialness and ability to “achieve” and use spiritual practice as the vehicle for this (individuated); and I have seen some who are (mostly) truly seeking to unite themselves with Source (spiritual).  And at both of these levels, I have seen Souls periodically fall into the trap of using these paths to dissociate from their emotions, or even live an entire lifetime in that kind of resistance.  

I also hear you considering how to help Souls in this dynamic.  As mentioned we are in the territory of Pisces/Neptune, and as EA teaches this archetype is about Source and spiritual realization, but at the same time also the process by which we “deify” all sorts of people and things and states of consciousness as if they themselves are Source or are spiritual realization, and then we experience eventual disillusionment when this turns out not to be true.  In this context for me it has rarely worked to point out to people they that are in spiritual bypass; those rose-coloured glasses are pretty sticky and if you get Virgo/Mercury discerning and analytical they get even more Pisces/Neptune cloudy and ascending.  Unless they are somehow really ready to hear it and to experience it as real, it is just a mental thing to say it, like telling an active addict that he or she has an addiction.  

What I do find helpful is what I find is most helpful in many situations: to assist the person in fully experiencing whatever they are experiencing, to feel what it is like to  be where they are.  In this case of bypass, to feel what it is like to view or use access to this primordial state as the “answer”.  What does that feel like, what is the impact of that in life?  After all, the desire to prematurely transcend and resist the evolutionary process is itself also a desire that the Soul has created and wants to experience.  Assisting the Soul to fully experience the full experience that is a consequence of that desire (whether it is the 'high' states, the frequent interpersonal isolation that results, the tendency to judge the 'unenlightened', the pressure to maintain one's 'enlightenment', whatever the full experience is), and eventually it will naturally include the experience of disillusionment, and the felt sense of disillusionment – feeling it, not just being told it by someone else – the disappointment, the grief, the anger – is what naturally leads the Soul to truly release the desire for bypass and move on to whatever is next for it.  Just realizing it cognitively or because someone points it out typically means that although today's bypass strategy may be dropped, the desire will still exist in the Soul to do it and it will find another way to bypass (kind of like switching addictions from one substance/behavior to another when the deeper desires driving the addiction have not been addressed and released, only deferred).      

God bless,
Jason  
« Last Edit: Mar 15, 2014, 09:25 AM by jasonholley » Logged
Rad
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 21, 2013, 09:48 AM »

Hi Heidi, Jason, Ari, and Cat ........

First, Jason, so nice to find you back here on the mb. Second, all that you have said/ shared about this is exactly right. We need to remember/ understand that the Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio trinity, The Source, the Soul, and the ego it manifests, all emanate from the Water archetype. Water is of course pure emotion.

The non-dual state that those that Heidi is referring too, the desire for, is itself am emotional delusion that is impossible to achieve, or arrive at, relative to consciousness in the Soul in a human form. A Soul relative to certain 'spiritual' methodologies can indeed arrive at some sort of 'transcendental' state but that state always, cause and affect, snaps back to a 'normal' state of consciousness. Even in these naturally transcendental states or 'cosmic consciousness' the very essence of such a consciousness or state is EMOTIONAL: the emotion or feeling within that state of consciousness as it 'perceives' the various realities of those states. That perception leads to an emotional state as it 'reacts' to the nature of the perception itself.

What Jason has shared by way of the need of all of ours Souls to directly feel the nature of our emotions as they relate to any possible experience created by the Soul for it's own evolutionary needs is the bottom line truth. For those who are able to create within themselves the various degrees of cosmic consciousness all of them will report being in a temporary state of ecstasy. Ecstasy of course is an experience of pure emotion.

When Souls align themselves with various religious and/or spiritual teachings that teach it is important, necessary even, to control or repress the emotions in order for 'x' spiritual state to be realized these Souls are reacting to the nature of their own emotional lives. In essence, they are running from those emotional lives for their own reasons but all reasons that lead to this running lead to repressing the very nature of the emotions themselves. In so doing they are repressing that which is NATURAL AND NECESSARY FOR THE SOUL TO EXPERIENCE for it's own evolutionary reasons. If we accept that God/ess is the origin of all things then wherein lies the origin of emotions ? And for what reasons ? Jason has correctly answered this.

So for Souls who do orientate to these teachings that require repression, to 'transcend' them which means repressing them, the very act of repression then magnifies and distorts those natural emotions within the consciousness of those that do so. When anything that is natural is repressed for whatever reasons ANGER IS THE DIRECT RESULT: a natural inner anger. When this occurs all to often the Soul then feels itself to be a victim of life, a victim even to their own emotions which continue to live on, to exist, despite the repression. When this natural anger is then linked to the created consciousness of feeling to be a victim first to itself, then to others, this becomes the causative basis of lashing out at anyone the Souls feels 'victimized' by.  

In a 'religious' and or 'spiritual' context this then is the cause of all the horror stories we are all to familiar with: the priest abusing boys, the 'guru' who is having intercourse with some devote, and so on.

As JWG and others have taught the liberation of the Soul does indeed take place through and because of the emotional body for the reasons that Jason had correctly pointed out. A story that I just remembered about this is the story of one of Yogananda's chief disciples, forgot her name right now, but a women who was essential for Yogananda and his work. She developed a terminal medical condition in which Yogananda interceded upon by way of asking God/ess to keep her alive because of the critical nature of her tasks helping his work. She lived ten years longer as a result.  And upon her final transition, upon the moment of the very last breath, her final words were: " TO MUCH JOY" .

God Bless, Rad
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2013, 09:56 AM by Rad » Logged
Heidi
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 21, 2013, 06:26 PM »

Thanks for all your comments! And a special thanks to Jason and Rad for those thorough answers which have really put my inquiry to rest. I'm so glad you shared all of that Jason and am so appreciative for people on this forum that can bring forth the wisdom that I rarely find elsewhere Smiley

Blessings,
Heidi
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Gonzalo
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 21, 2013, 07:24 PM »

Hi Heidi, Rad, Ari, Jason and Cat

Some further thoughts on this. heidi: I am glad you have brought this question, and in fact I personally agree with your observations.

Quote
How would you explain all this to someone who believed that tapping into the primordial state was simply enough to heal and awaken, since this state is beyond cause and effect, and therefore karma?
 
I have observed that the tendency to detach from emotions is present in Dzogchen, but also in Tibetan Buddhism. To me this is relates to an Aquarian nature of these practices, and the Aquarius/Cancer inconjunct. This orientation, conditioned by patriarchal repression, translates in some people into un-integrated emotions.

It would seem to me though that this orientation is not the correct orientation, even as contemplated by these same teachings (Dzogchen, Tibetan Buddhism), but, rather, a delusion or wrong idea some practitioners have about the nature of these systems. First, the primordial state is nothing but a starting point. The first instruction is ‘direct introduction to primordial state’. This state is a non-conceptual state that can be induced in some ways, such as focusing awareness in the heart chakra in combination with a syllable that is visualized and sounded in this chakra. There is an emphasis on ‘feeling’ here within Dzogchen. The second instruction is ‘remain in this state’. This, however, is not possible for practitioners, who can only remain in the state ‘without thoughts’ just for a couple instants. This is how it works. It is taught that, through practice, consciousness will progressively be able to remain in such state longer and longer. This is very clear in these teachings. However, it seems some practitioners tend to forget this part of the teachings.  

Second, there are within Dzogchen, as within Tibetan Buddhism, a series of practices which directly intend to work with emotions. These include practices such as ‘purification of the six  lokas’. Also practices in which the individuals visualize themselves and fuse with wrathful or joyful deities, in order for an alchemy to take place for the emotional state to manifest its inherent enlightened aspect. Also, a practice called Chöd that was put together by a yogini called Machik Labdron born in the 11th century, and also by Milarepa. This practice is integral to Dzogchen and to some of the Tibetan Buddhist schools (Nyngma). In this practice, the practitioner offers his/her body as food for different kinds of beings. These beings are associated with the different lokas or chakras, and the emotional states therein. Within this, the practitioner invokes the ‘demons’ and beings from the lower realms and feeds them with the offerings that are a manifestation of the own body. This is understood as a means to work with emotions, and to integrate emotions. These demons are seen as manifestations of the own (un-integrated) emotions.  

You can see the type of work that Tsultrim Allione does with this ritual. She explains this from a more psychological perspective (http://taramandala.org/about-kapala-training/the-process/).

Also, here's a link about Milarepa and the demons: http://www.donshewey.com/2002_zine/demons.html

These types of practices are intended to work with emotions.  My own experience is that these practices are not suitable to repress emotions. Rather the contrary is true: the intensity of the emotions and the awareness of emotions is increased. I don’t mean all practitioners understand what the intention of all this is.

Personally I am unable to report if the intention to help process the emotions by these means is ‘finally’ accomplished. I can report that they do intensify the process however. It seems to me that other types of practices, in the context of other schools or systems, such as some types of yoga, have this effect too. My personal understanding about this is that spiritual work intensifies the emotions, in order to heal and integrate the emotional body. To me, this just seems to be the way it works.

Rad, could you please confirm whether the types of practices mentioned can be oriented to work with the emotional body? If not, then, what types of practices can be used to work with the emotional body, or with emotions just as they are?

God Bless, Gonzalo
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2013, 10:03 PM by Gonzalo » Logged
Rad
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 22, 2013, 08:49 AM »

Hi Gonzalo,

"Rad, could you please confirm whether the types of practices mentioned can be oriented to work with the emotional body? If not, then, what types of practices can be used to work with the emotional body, or with emotions just as they are?"

******

I just am not familiar with the practices that are being discussed here as, to me, these practices are not only unnecessary but in fact confuse those that try to practice them. They take what is inherently simple and complicates that.  This happens because such practices are not in alignment with Natural Laws: they are essentially invented by individuals who have been conditioned by man made laws, the patriarchy, that are then trying to harness the Natural Laws in unnatural ways. Personally, I won't have anything to do with them.

To me the practices to be used are life itself. To have the knowledge of emotions is simply to experience them within a consciousness that becomes one with whatever emotion is existing relative to a cause that has ignited it in the first place. And, within this, to have a desire, conscious intention, to understand the nature of whatever emotion: it's cause, and the reasons for that cause. Within this, the inherent knowledge that then exists in whatever emotion the consciousness becomes one with. Over time of course a state of total self knowledge defined by the emotional body will take place. 

I did a search on Amazon. com under the words 'emotional anatomy' just now. A book that came up that appears relevant to all this is "The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion: How Feelings Link the Brain, the Body, and the Sixth Sense [Paperback] by Michael A. Jawer (Author), Marc S. Micozzi (Author), Larry Dossey (Foreword).

Here is a description of this book from Amazon:

A cutting-edge examination of feelings, not thoughts, as the gateway to understanding consciousness

• Contends that emotion is the greatest influence on personality development

• Offers a new perspective on immunity, stress, and psychosomatic conditions

• Explains how emotion is key to understanding out-of-body experience, apparitions, and other anomalous perceptions

Contemporary science holds that the brain rules the body and generates all our feelings and perceptions. Michael Jawer and Dr. Marc Micozzi disagree. They contend that it is our feelings that underlie our conscious selves and determine what we think and how we conduct our lives.

The less consciousness we have of our emotional being, the more physical disturbances we are likely to have--from ailments such as migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and post-traumatic stress to anomalous perceptions such as apparitions and involuntary out-of-body experiences. Using the latest scientific research on immunity, sensation, stress, cognition, and emotional expression, the authors demonstrate that the way we process our feelings provides a key to who is most likely to experience these phenomena and why. They explain that emotion is a portal into the world of extraordinary perception, and they provide the studies that validate the science behind telepathic dreams, poltergeists, and ESP. The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion challenges the prevailing belief that the brain must necessarily rule the body. Far from being by-products of neurochemistry, the authors show that emotions are the key vehicle by which we can understand ourselves and our interactions with the world around us as well as our most intriguing--and perennially baffling--experiences.

For those interested here is a link to this book on  Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Anatomy-Emotion-Feelings-Brain/dp/1594772886/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358864939&sr=1-3&keywords=emotional+anatomy

God Bless, Rad
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Gonzalo
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 22, 2013, 10:21 AM »

Hi Rad,

Thanks so much for your answer. and advice. Thanks also for referrig to this book.

What about Yogananda's kriya yoga? Is it rooted on natural laws, and helpful? It also intensifies the emotions.

God Bless, Gonzalo

 
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Rad
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 22, 2013, 11:26 AM »

Hi Rad,

Thanks so much for your answer. and advice. Thanks also for referrig to this book.

What about Yogananda's kriya yoga? Is it rooted on natural laws, and helpful? It also intensifies the emotions.

God Bless, Gonzalo

 

Hi Gonzalo,

Yes, Kriya Yoga is very much rooted in Natural Laws that, in the end, is the natural knowledge / Law of the breath. And, because of this, the practice of it allows for all the energy within consciousness to move up from the root chakra .. through all the others ... thus all the natural emotions/ feelings that come from each one of them..each chakra .. to be consciously awakened ..self knowledge .. leading right back to where it all started for all of us: the Creator of us all. Within this the Kriya Yoga ignites the natural evolutionary energy called Kundalini. Kundalini now fused with the various emotions/ feelings manifesting from each chakra that are unique to the nature of each chakra. Thus the evolution of them leading to a final liberation of the Soul through and because of the emotional body as a whole.

God Bless, Rad
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Katlil
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 22, 2013, 04:55 PM »


Oh my.., amen to that, Jason & Rad (not to be hurtful to, or dismissive of anyone else..) - it just made my heart sing.
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Deva
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 23, 2013, 10:24 AM »

HI, I wanted to post the book and name of the disciple that Rad is referencing in this post. Her name is Sri Gyanamata and the book is called "God Alone: life and letters of a Saint." This is a wonderful book which I highly recommend as it as gives great perspective about how to emotionally heal and grow wothout any  "spiritual by pass." Thanks for this wonderful post!
Deva
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Rad
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« Reply #12 on: Feb 12, 2013, 09:09 AM »

Hi All,

This article supports what we have discussed here about the repression of the emotional body in patriarchal 'spiritual' teachings. God Bless, Rad

February 11, 2013

Zen Groups Distressed by Accusations Against Teacher

By MARK OPPENHEIMER and IAN LOVETT
IHT

Since arriving in Los Angeles from Japan in 1962, the Buddhist teacher Joshu Sasaki, who is 105 years old, has taught thousands of Americans at his two Zen centers in the area and one in New Mexico. He has influenced thousands more enlightenment seekers through a chain of some 30 affiliated Zen centers from the Puget Sound to Princeton to Berlin. And he is known as a Buddhist teacher of Leonard Cohen, the poet and songwriter.

Mr. Sasaki has also, according to an investigation by an independent council of Buddhist leaders, released in January, groped and sexually harassed female students for decades, taking advantage of their loyalty to a famously charismatic roshi, or master.

The allegations against Mr. Sasaki have upset and obsessed Zen Buddhists across the country, who are part of a close-knit world in which many participants seem to know, or at least know of, the principal teachers.

Mr. Sasaki did not respond to requests for interviews made through Paul Karsten, a member of the board of Rinzai-ji, his main center in Los Angeles. Mr. Karsten said that Mr. Sasaki’s senior priests are conducting their own inquiry. And he cautioned that the independent council took the accounts it heard from dozens of students at face value and did not investigate any “for veracity.”

Because Mr. Sasaki has founded or sponsored so many Zen centers, and because he has the prestige of having trained in Japan, the charges that he behaved unethically — and that his supporters looked the other way — have implications for an entire way of life.

Such charges have become more frequent in Zen Buddhism. Several other teachers have been accused of misconduct recently, notably Eido Shimano, who in 2010 was asked to resign from the Zen Studies Society in Manhattan over allegations that he had sex with students. Critics and victims have pointed to a Zen culture of secrecy, patriarchy and sexism, and to the quasi-religious worship of the Zen master, who can easily abuse his status.

Disaffected students wrote letters to the board of one of Mr. Sasaki’s Zen centers as early as 1991. Yet it was only last November, when Eshu Martin, a Zen priest who studied under Mr. Sasaki from 1997 to 2008, posted a letter to SweepingZen.com, a popular Web site, that the wider Zen world noticed.

Mr. Martin, now a Zen abbot in Victoria, British Columbia, accused Mr. Sasaki of a “career of misconduct,” from “frequent and repeated non-consensual groping of female students” to “sexually coercive after-hours ‘tea’ meetings, to affairs,” as well as interfering in his students’ marriages. Soon thereafter, the independent “witnessing council” of noted Zen teachers began interviewing 25 current or former students of Mr. Sasaki.

Some former students are now speaking out, including seven interviewed for this article, and their stories provide insight into the culture of Rinzai-ji and the other places where Mr. Sasaki taught. Women say they were encouraged to believe that being touched by Mr. Sasaki was part of their Zen training.

The Zen group, or sangha, can become one’s close family, and that aspect of Zen may account for why women and men have been reluctant to speak out for so long.

Many women whom Mr. Sasaki touched were resident monks at his centers. One woman who confronted Mr. Sasaki in the 1980s found herself an outcast afterward. The woman, who asked that her name not be used to protect her privacy, said that afterward “hardly anyone in the sangha, whom I had grown up with for 20 years, would have anything to do with us.”

In the council’s report on Jan. 11, the three members wrote of “Sasaki asking women to show him their breasts, as part of ‘answering’ a koan” — a Zen riddle — “or to demonstrate ‘non-attachment.’ ”

When the report was posted to SweepingZen, Mr. Sasaki’s senior priests wrote in a post that their group “has struggled with our teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi’s sexual misconduct for a significant portion of his career in the United States” — their first such admission.

Among those who spoke to the council and for this article was Nikki Stubbs, who now lives in Vancouver, and who studied and worked at Mount Baldy, Mr. Sasaki’s Zen center 50 miles east of Los Angeles, from 2003 to 2006. During that time, she said, Mr. Sasaki would fondle her breasts during sanzen, or private meeting; he also asked her to massage his penis. She would wonder, she said, “Was this teaching?”

One monk, whom Ms. Stubbs said she told about the touching, was unsympathetic. “He believed in Roshi’s style, that sexualizing was teaching for particular women,” Ms. Stubbs said. The monk’s theory, common in Mr. Sasaki’s circle, was that such physicality could check a woman’s overly strong ego.

A former student of Mr. Sasaki’s now living in the San Francisco area, who asked that her name be withheld to protect her privacy, said that at Mount Baldy in the late 1990s, “the monks confronted Roshi and said, ‘This behavior is unacceptable and has to stop.’ ” However, she said, “nothing changed.” After a time, Mr. Sasaki used Zen teaching to justify touching her, too.

“He would say something like, ‘True love is giving yourself to everything,’ ” she explained. At Mount Baldy, the isolation could hamper one’s judgment. “It can sound trite, but you’re in this extreme state of consciousness,” she said — living at a monastery in the mountains, sitting in silence for many hours a day — “where boundaries fall away.”

Joe Marinello is a Zen teacher in Seattle who served on the board of the Zen Studies Society in New York. He has been openly critical of Mr. Shimano, the former abbot who was asked to resign from the society. Asked about teachers who say that sexual touch is an appropriate teaching technique, he was dismissive.

“In my opinion,” Mr. Marinello said in an e-mail, “it’s just their cultural and personal distortion to justify their predations.”

But in Zen Buddhism, students often overlook their teachers’ failings, participants say. Some Buddhists define their philosophy in contrast to Western religion: Buddhism, they believe, does not have Christian-style preoccupations about things like sex. And Zen exalts the relationship between a student and a teacher, who can come to seem irreplaceable.

“Outside the sexual things that happened,” the woman now in San Francisco said, “my relationship with him was one of the most important I have had with anyone.”

Several women said that Zen can foster an atmosphere of overt sexism. Jessica Kramer, a doula in Los Angeles, was Mr. Sasaki’s personal attendant in 2002. She said that he would reach into her robe and that she always resisted his advances. Surrounded almost entirely by men, she said she got very little sympathy. “I’d talk about it with people who’d say, ‘Why not just let him touch your breasts if he wants to touch your breasts?’ ”

Susanna Stewart began studying with Mr. Sasaki about 40 years ago. Within six months, she said, Mr. Sasaki began to touch her during sanzen. This sexualizing of their relationship “led to years of confusion and pain,” Ms. Stewart said, “eventually resulting in my becoming unable to practice Zen.” And when she married one of his priests, Mr. Sasaki tried to break them up, she said, even encouraging her husband to have an affair.

In 1992, Ms. Stewart’s husband disaffiliated himself and his North Carolina Zen Center from Mr. Sasaki. Years later, his wife said, he received hate mail from members of his old Zen group.

The witnessing council, which wrote the report, has no official authority. Its members belong to the American Zen Teachers Association but collected stories on their own initiative, although with a statement of support from 45 other teachers and priests. One of its authors, Grace Schireson, said that Zen Buddhists in the United States have misinterpreted a Japanese philosophy.

“Because of their long history with Zen practice, people in Japan have some skepticism about priests,” Ms. Schireson said. But in the United States many proponents have a “devotion to the guru or the teacher in a way that could repress our common sense and emotional intelligence.”

Last Thursday morning, at Rinzai-ji on Cimarron Street in Los Angeles, Bob Mammoser, a resident monk, said that Mr. Sasaki’s “health is quite frail” and that he has “basically withdrawn from any active teaching.” Mr. Mammoser said there is talk of a meeting at the center to discuss what, if any, action to take.

Mr. Mammoser said he first became aware of allegations against Mr. Sasaki in the 1980s. “There have been efforts in the past to address this with him,” Mr. Mammoser said. “Basically, they haven’t been able to go anywhere.”

He added: “What’s important and is overlooked is that, besides this aspect, Roshi was a commanding and inspiring figure using Buddhist practice to help thousands find more peace, clarity and happiness in their own lives. It seems to be the kind of thing that, you get the person as a whole, good and bad, just like you marry somebody and you get their strengths and wonderful qualities as well as their weaknesses.”


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PatriciaW
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 12, 2013, 10:53 AM »

Hi all.. Just want to add a short thought that trails on all that was said here. Since deep emotional processing is the heart of the work I do... what I have found is that we simply cannot easily move through our own emotional (and other) defenses. Spiritual systems that are 'transcendent' in nature often collude with the already dissociative defense in place. Yes it is quite easy for already dissociated, fragmented psyches (ie..all of us) to access "other/ higher worlds" since so many of our parts already reside there!! The difficult part is unlocking the trauma that caused the fragmentation in the first place and then real soul retrieval can happen. Re-living ...ie descending into the original.. terror, wound, fear, horror, pain.. (fill in the blank) opens up not only the complex formed around such an event, but the defenses that were crystallized also. These defenses involved ALL levels of the being, etheric/physical body, emotional body, mental body and spiritual body... ALL these bodies need to become congruent in order for full integration to happen and each one can hold their own separate defense... one body is not superior to another... despite what Patriarchal bias tells us ;-) Personally I trust the veracity and truth of emotion before I trust the machinations of head....my personal bias :-)

Sharing quote from RD Laing....

"When our personal worlds are rediscovered and allowed to reconstitute themselves, we first discover a shambles. Bodies half-dead; genitals dissociated from heart; heart severed from head; heads dissociated from genitals… Without inner unity, with just enough sense of continuity to clutch at identity :the current idolatry. Torn, body, mind and spirit, by inner contradictions, pulled in different directions, Man cut off from his own mind, cut off equally from his own body ­­­­– a half-crazed creature in a mad world."

I perceive that we compensate for all these contradictions, dissociations.. largely with our mental prowess, using it to repress the tru reality that lies underneath. This is why, collectively we are so mentally defended..because under those defenses ...lies a much different, initially terrifying inner world, where our compensated identity is threatened to come apart..but when one has the courage to go there... the reward is integration and coherence.
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Wendy
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Posts: 452


« Reply #14 on: Apr 13, 2013, 11:44 AM »

Hi All-

I too have gleaned a great deal from reading Heidi's initial question and from all the responses thereafter. From reading this post and my own personal experience with bypassing and witnessing it in others, more questions and hope for further discussion arise.

In my observations between the dance of integration vs. bypass or splitting, this requires, one; the desire and surrender to the process, and two; physical resources, time, honorable teachers and support to truly achieve embodiment.  

My question (not exactly clear what it is yet) has to do with souls who have traumatic experiences and find mechanisms to survive (which usually turn into some sort of bypass in the long run if the trauma isn't healed) such as drug addiction, wherein they experience out of body spiritual encounters with Spirit, have visions of past lives (from drug induced states such as opium, acid or during trauma) and so on, which open up the higher chakras.  Once these higher bodies are awakened, souls spend a great deal of time there-where they have found "safety."

Then when the soul begins the process of accessing the emotions stored in the lower chakras, and works to clear the emotional body, and the heart opens to bridge all the chakras and the kundalini begins to move freely...and yet the bypass conditioning and crisis mode is still very ingrained in the soul, even after a great deal of effort has been made towards integration, and bypass still remains, thus more surrender and honest appraisal required to evolve.

I had an experience this past week, with physical ailment I have had most of my life...and decided to go to hospital for testing.  I reached out to practitioner/friend afterwards and he suggested I was bypassing my emotional body, stuck in the story, rather than allowing emotions to "pass through into kundalini to be transformed."  This response made me question whether kundalini process can also be bypassing or not, relative to current life circumstances, i.e., resources, time...  

If a soul has had transcendent experiences, has cosmological knowledge, and is still facing, honestly facing bypassing patterns, like an addiction, and is dealing with some intense health issues, I feel the kundalini solution may not be the first solution to embrace.  I almost felt his response was a bypass in itself, because the full picture was not being considered. Over the years, especially when I have been in an aligned space, I have been a strong proponent of "energy comes before matter," and yet I see how having surgery, or the like, may be the best decision in releasing long-standing soul pattern, as well as taking care of one's health integratively, yes?

I guess my words are more of an expression than a question and has to do with souls who have strong water trinity energies with abilities to see through the veil into other worlds and communicate with the other side (Pisces), and also embrace the emotional body (Cancer) and the soul transformation (Scorpio), and yet have  a strong inclination of bypass due to strong soul patterns of trauma, and thus dance between embodiment and splitting.  Within the Pluto in Virgo generation, I'm sure crisis with one's health is a common catalyst to embrace soul work.

Over the years I have met many healers, some who completely resist emotions, saying they are a waste of time, while others (usually therapists) who encourage the emotional body to express and then align.  In those who resist the emotions, isn't it possible that is what they are meant to do so in this life (lots of Cancer planets and SN in Cancer)?  

Mindfully,
Wendy
 

If we stay with the Water Trinity, then spiritual bypassing can be seen as an attempt to “bypass” the emotions (Cancer) and critically the step of self-confrontation and transformation (Scorpio) – after all that is really hard.  But of course natural law doesn’t work that way and what I would say is actually happening is that the Soul is actually going in the involutionary (clockwise) direction on the wheel, trying to escape to a regressive experience of preconsciousness rather like the womb (Pisces), so as not to feel the pain of emotion (Cancer).  In therapy this is sometimes called the “flight into health”.  To me it exemplifies the issue of trines in that as Jeffrey taught they can make it “easy” to be conscious and cooperative with evolution but they can also make it “easy” to resist it.

God bless,
Jason  
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