Excerpts from The Heart of Zen
A lot of spiritual teachers don't seem to be able to keep their hands off their students. Sex scandals go back for as long as there have been spiritual teachers, and right into today.
Let's cut through the bullshit and talk about what's really going on.
You ever notice that long-time meditators can still be assholes? Meditation doesn't seem impact and transform jealousy, lust, anger, or arrogance -- if it did, there wouldn't be so much scandal that plagues most spiritual communities. So what good is meditation, then?
JunPo Roshi talks about his own journey from the monastery to the therapist's office, and back again.
Virtually every human being has had some kind of either spontaneous connection to a higher state, or one that happened as a result of spiritual practice. Yet those experiences inevitably fade. Just what is happening here, and what can we learn from it?
Why is it that even after years of meditation practice and deep spiritual insight, people can still be reactive, petty, and driven by their emotional reactions, instead of able to choose compassionate responses? In short, why are so-called spiritual people by and large still as narcissistic as the rest of us?
On a spiritual path, the relationship to our egos may be the most challenging part. On the one hand, without a strong ego how are we going to develop the discipline to be on a spiritual path to begin with? Yet narcissism and self-centeredness, to say nothing of expectation of a spiritual "reward", are the very things that are the most in our way.
Ask a self-proclaimed spiritual teacher what enlightenment is, and you'll likely get a bunch of doublespeak and nonsense. It's a good bet that many so-called teachers don't understand it themselves, so obfuscation and dodges can keep alive the mystery, and the projection, from student to teacher.
Here, Jun Po answers this question in simple, straightforward language.