Spiritual Corruption

Let me share my experiences with you. This article is not about cults, but about a more widespread form of corruption found in respected spiritual communities.

Even though I've been subject to several forms of corruption at a number of monasteries round the world, I'm not writing this post in the name of vengeance.

Therefore, I won't name any individuals or places. I'm only after informing fellow-spiritual seekers about the potential dangers that are lurking out there.

The Spiritual Community

The vast majority of seekers have good intentions with their spiritual practice, aspiring to transform into better people and to do away with anguish and depression. Living in a spiritual community or monastery involve conforming to the set up rules and practices. In Asia, more so than in the West, you're expected not to question any of the teachings or practices which is something many Westerners find difficult to accept.

The teacher is often respected a lot more than the other community members and quite naturally we expect her to be a pure and advanced person, even though the truth may be quite the opposite.

The longer you stay in a community you start seeing things the way they really are, which may be a disappointing realization. When your faith in the community crumbles, so does your hope.

Forms Of Corruption

Listen carefully, having sex with your spiritual teacher won't benefit your practice at all. No matter how enlightened your teacher may be or what people say. Progress on your spiritual path is the result of determination and hard work. There are no quick fixes. Besides, an advanced spiritual teacher wouldn't follow his sexual desires blindly and take advantage of his followers.

Many seekers want a close relation to their guru. I've seen followers spend lots of money on gifts which may result in occasional private-breakfast meetings. Often, that's what it takes...

And what about the guru who tries to control her students? First she may say you're spiritually gifted or you're like her son or daughter which is exactly what you wanna hear. Then, you're asked to do something you really don't want to do. Your teacher puts pressure on you and expects you to go along with it. Stand up for yourself!

Advanced Manipulation

Being an advanced meditator is not the same as being a pure or enlightened person. Many gurus or spiritual teachers are seasoned meditators and if they don't like your presence in the community, they may very well try to get rid of you by sending you really nasty energy. The energy makes you feel emotionally low and may linger in your system for some time.

Instead of wholeheartedly accepting conditions as they are, some spiritual teachers do whatever it takes to get rid of you. This advanced form of manipulation is especially effective on individuals who struggle with emotional issues.

The Spiritual Image

To win your loyalty and respect, your guru may try to inflate her spiritual powers. Perhaps by dimming the lights down low when the students meet her in private. This way it feels almost sacred to meet the teacher. Other means of creating a spiritual image include holy beards, spiritual jewelery and costumes.

Or the teacher may distance himself from the rest of the community almost like an emperor. So, if you want to meet your teacher you have to make an appointment with his assistant. I've seen this set up in a Buddhist monastery with less than 10 residents! These are all attempts to create magical presence round the teacher.

Common sense applies to worldly and spiritual matters alike. Never let anyone control or manipulate you, no matter what. The true nature of spirituality is inner freedom.

Best of luck!

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