It’s February 2012, and I’ve been in California for a little over two months. It’s truly mecca for the spiritual tourist (a help and a hindrance, for sure). Suffice it to say there are more teachers and groups than I can keep track of. A couple of weeks ago, Isaac Shapiro visited from Australia and held several meetings in the area. I attended one and have a few impressions to share. Continue reading “Isaac Shapiro”
Category: 2 Star
This is the largest category and includes one-hit wonders, a few of the better non-duality and neo-advaita crowd, and spiritual teachers respected by someone I respect, but whose teachings I don’t find quite as deep or as useful as the Three Stars. This category features: Isaac Shapiro, Karl Renz, J. Krishnamurti, Ken Wilbur, David Deida, Sailor Bob Adamson, Nick Roach, Jed McKenna, Melvyn Wartella, Wolfgang Bernard, Metta Zetty, Hubert Benoit, John Davis II, Lama Ole Nydahl, Suzanne Segal, U.G. Krishnamurti, and Alfred Pulyan.
I was only vaguely familiar with Karl Renz before seeing him in Berkeley, CA in 2012. He is one of the more popular teachers on the satsang circuit and evidently makes his living traveling the world as a spiritual teacher. After nearly two hours watching him dismantle question after question and having my own exchange with him, I thought I would share my impressions. Continue reading “Karl Renz”
J. Krishnamurti: Classic, but you could do better
Be attentive and look without any judgement or preference.
J. Krishnamurti spent nearly sixty years travelling the world as a spiritual teacher who rejected the very value of such authorities. With over 60 books, 300 video recordings, 400 audio recordings, and four foundations dedicated to preserving his work, his place as one of the great spiritual figures seems certain. In no way do I claim an exhaustive study of his works; in fact, I’ve only read two of his books, his prose poems, and listened to a couple of audio recordings. Frankly, he’s just not that interesting to me. I read The First and Last Freedom in the early-1990s and finished The Awakening of Intelligence on a friend’s recommendation.
Here is J. Krishnamurti in the 1930s speaking about his realization to Rom Landau in the book God is My Adventure: Continue reading “J. Krishnamurti: Classic, but you could do better”
Ken Wilber: Empire of the Integral
With at least 25 books to his name, I think the best way to summarize Ken Wilber is with his own words. Here is an excerpt from a forward he wrote:
For those of you unfamiliar with my work, here’s the Reader’s Digest version, in one short paragraph, I promise.
In a series of over a dozen books, I have attempted to create a comprehensive map of human nature (which is a little less grandiose than it sounds). Everybody knows that you don’t want to confuse the map with the territory. But you don’t want a totally screwed-up map, either. So in order to make as few mistakes as possible, I basically took over 100 of the best maps of human nature drawn by various cultures-East and West, premodern and modern and postmodern-and attempted to combine the enduring elements of each, along with whatever new insights I might add. The result is called “integral” because it attempts to be widely inclusive, combining the various truths in a way that is as coherent and comprehensive as possible.
David Deida: Sex and God
“I’ve been looking for a way to link my interest in Buddhism to my fascination with women, and it looks like he’s the guy.” ~ Comment regarding David Deida.
David Deida likes to be the radical; to appear edgy and provocative. Every teacher has a personality and some learn to use it to reinforce their message. Others learn to assume personalities and increase the breadth of their message. The personality is a wrapper and what we really need to intuit is how deep the teacher can go. What is their level of understanding and being? Continue reading “David Deida: Sex and God”