Shame and the Experience of a Broken Community
Shame. Not a word I usually associate with, yet it has come up recently in the past couple of months as feedback from intuitive healers or mentors and now the universe is screaming the message at me.
MY BODY IS EXPERIENCING THE DENSE AND LOW VIBRATION OF SHAME, IN REGARDS TO A LIFE CHANGING EVENT THAT I HAVE DONE MY DARNDEST TO EMERGE FROM AS INTEGRATED AND WHOLE; WITH AS MUCH DIGNITY INTACT AS POSSIBLE.
Shame found backdoor access to my being and is stifling my expansion and vision. Not killing it, because that’s impossible, but it has been an anchoring tether that’s kept me in my place and it’s no longer allowed to do that. For the tethering to be severed, I need to be open and transparent and make my declaration for moving forward.
About 13 months ago, the community I’d belonged to for almost 20 years was shattered in what seems overnight, by a revelation that our much loved and admired teacher, had been out of control with desire and had relationships with what seems as scores of the female members at the ashram. Being uber loyal and not one to let go of something or someone I love, I found it difficult to see why the nuclear reaction until over time as the allegations started to come out, the facts started to stare at me in the face and it was clear that this part of my life had come to an abrupt and perfectly calculated end.
The experience was up there with the most painful I’d ever known and I’d known my fair share of pain and suffering. I can’t explain to you and really haven’t talked about it much to try and discipline the energy (also because people outside of this experience have no idea what to say or do) so I could recover, but the fallout for me was horrendous. To be truthful, if it had been 3, even maybe 4 partners and they were all happy and had no complaints and it was spread over the 20 or so years, that didn’t seem to bother me too much. To me the difficulty there was purely one of secrecy. I didn’t mind so much what he did in his private life within reason but if you are going to be a spiritual teacher, teaching others about love and relationships, then you need to be pretty upfront and transparent and congruent.
When it came out that there was in some cases inappropriate relationships with married women, my heart broke. The fall wasn’t a normal one either. It was full of baggage still carried over from the gross deception and negligible conduct of my Guru’s Guru. Baba died and the wound of no day in court for the victims seemed to continuously bleed. There were a lot of fucked up dynamics actually in the ‘lineage’ and I’d override my better judgement of the constant carrying on of the stories, the injustice, of defence and turn my head and focus instead on my spiritual attainment. The fall also released all the pent up unspoken feelings of so many different complex issues. It really was an explosion.
I DO NEED TO COME CLEAN. I DO NEED TO CLEAR THE SLATE AND LET IT JUST BE.
We had no guidebook when it all fell apart, so many were smashed. Friendships were severed, paranoia and judgement became the new yoga and to my horror, there were only 2 sides. You were either in, or you were out. Where's the intelligence in that? The people who had left became the ‘haters’, the people who were in the ‘sympathisers’. Both behaving mostly pretty badly and both full of suspicion and vengeance. I chose what I thought was a no-brainer, a middle path, to be Switzerland and try to read the energy on a daily basis. That seemed even more difficult for people to know where I stand and how to handle me.
Overnight I was unfriended and even blocked on social media which was not something I’d have expected. In my naivety and typical of my optimistic nature, I would try and balance the negative with positives and it lost me even more friends. At the same time, I’d like you to know, the energy claimed my relationship, I had to move, pull the kids out of their school and start again in a rental in a nearby town all with a disability. My body which was in a healing crisis already went into a full adrenal breakdown and I spent the next 10 or so months with the most crippling and chronic of fatigue and auto-immune problems. With few friends left, who were also licking their wounds, a totally unsupportive, narrow-minded and broken family network, I was now starting a new life and winter was a time of reflection and retreat. I became a hermit.
Now to be more transparent and honest. About two years leading up to the destruction of the ashram and its community, already I was starting to have dreams and experiences that the time to move on was coming, in fact, it was now. My mistake was in taking it too casually. I was however very clear, and very honest and direct about my intentions to find my expression of my spirit in the world and help others. I started training and studying and putting for the first time, some investment of time and money into myself.
Amazing how not long into my retraining and focus I had a massive health crisis that prevented me being able to do ‘seva’ at the ashram (voluntary work). When both my knees threw acute bone on bone osteoarthritis and I couldn’t walk for months, I saw how quickly I was forgotten at the centre and the only time people asked after me was to see when I’d be back in the kitchen. That was a clear message that I was on the right path, even if in my dumbness I had to get really disabled to allow the new calibrations of consciousness in. I think it helped me heal already having the mindset that my time there was coming to an end.
YOU SEE, CONSCIOUSNESS OPERATES IN A MUCH BIGGER WAY THAN ANY ONE MAN OR WOMAN OR COMMUNITY. IT IS ABOVE ANYTHING MANIFEST. IT ALSO HAS SIMPLE RULES AND HONESTLY, WE ARE FED THE BIGGEST LOAD OF BULLSHIT ABOUT IT, ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE SPIRITUAL WAY.
So much rubbish. I started to see pretty early on that there is another more truthful narrative that the general population doesn’t actually want to accept and that some spiritual leaders manipulate in order to be a certain persona to keep the people coming. I say some, certainly not all. I was being told to do something from the universe that was bigger than this life, that is the accumulation of many lives, that is so strong and so on purpose that anything I do now to halt it in my stupid human state will actually cost me dearly. The universe has given me an electric fence to keep me on track.
Enlightenment does NOT have anything to do with personal development. Of course in the pursuit of enlightenment, by doing the practice or ‘sadhana’ one would like to think personal development is a spin-off, and sure, it certainly can be, but it’s not remotely necessary to realise the Self. Please hear me, this is fundamentally true and actually freeing. Enlightenment is really nothing of what we have all been told. You can be a total asshole and still find enlightenment. Sorry everyone. I've seen a huge amount of spiritual aspirants hide behind spiritual crap, use it as a deflection for the fact they need to do some hardcore personal development.
The best truth I’ve heard is the Zen tradition that says before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water. That’s it. There’s no re-birth, you still have your tendencies but the difference is you know without question or doubt who you are. You see the humour in it all, you see the nothingness of it all and come face to face with God. Even then, it really depends on your personal constitution. It matches your personal expressions and given nature so the experience itself is so vast and differs. It can be both the most wonderful experience and the biggest anti-climax of all time. It’s simple.
When the ashram fell, my instant first thoughts were – “now like never before is the time to use my yoga. How can I help people? What can I do to ease the suffering? I will not be a victim of this. My experience was real and no one can take that away from me. The universe is wanting us to fly on our own and do the work according to us.
THE WAY FORWARD IS TO KEEP MY HEART OPEN AND REALLY EXPERIENCE THIS PROFOUNDLY AND TO HEAL.” I HAD INSTANT PURPOSE. IT WAS SO CLEAR; I HAD BEEN WAITING ON THE SIDELINES FOR TOO LONG.
This did not bode well to those who were after blood, or at least some enabling of wounding. I sound harsh, but my commitment to myself, for the first time in my life, was paramount. The karma had been destroyed, I was free now to be me, no more bowing or outsourcing my energy, my power, my love and devotion to another. To simply another system of belief, of rules.
I have to somehow use my immense gratitude and excellent education from my teacher, to acknowledge where I came from and also be strong and walk away from what has been my life and influence for so long. I’ve been judged and questioned by ex-members, who have decided the whole thing was a fraud, a hoax and therefore, anyone still using their yoga is too. Many have totally left behind all they got. There were so many wonderful, wonderful and deeply spiritually talented people. I feel for them, what a waste. Seriously! I may be hung, drawn and quartered by them for saying that but that is PRECISELY the energy that has led to this shame and I now longer want it.
Saying that. I also love and respect everyone's choices to do what is best for them and it's as varied as manifestation itself. God bless you all. If the heart is open and forgiveness possible then I believe they're moving in the right direction whatever that is.
I choose to forgive my teacher not because he didn’t do anything wrong, he did! He was so very wrong and handled it so very badly that it’s clear to me what the ‘shakti’, the spiritual energy wanted. It was time to fold. End of story. I also will let go of the people who stayed and their projected feelings over what I’m doing. I am here to do what I chose to do before taking this birth. I am DOING the yoga. Listening to my heart, using my intuition. This is how it’s just happened to play out. Love and connection is also paramount to me.
I forgive and hold love and gratitude and now move forward. I forgive everyone and I hope they forgive me too. I love you. Even great teachers can fall. If anything, what happened is a huge lesson. Never stop being the student, never think you are above another. Always tell the truth, be as honest and transparent as possible. Absolutely never abuse your seat of power. The new way, the new energy demands it. Enlightened beings can be assholes and make wrong decisions, the humanness never goes. You see actually they are free, that means the expression of their personality is free. Healing is the path of the heart. That’s such a great gift to me from the last 2 years.
WITHOUT FORGIVENESS, WE ARE DRAINING OUR LIFE FORCE, WE ARE DULL AND WE CAN’T HAVE THE FULL EXTENT OF JOY THAT’S WAITING FOR US.
It’s a choice to want to have boundaries and be a certain way, to be the best 'you' you can be. I choose that. What I got is that when one has been graced that much, like my teacher, to choose to be manipulative or nasty is crazy because the consequences are great indeed., so much greater than normal. So great I’d think one would shake at the thought of it. We really needed more help and empowerment to do what the goal of the yoga was in the first place; to take it to the world.
I’ve discovered that being and taking the yoga to the world is 10 times harder than any in-house ‘sadhana’. The teacher becomes the world, the consequences very real and the personal development that comes from the commitment of being love, being truth, being freedom is now my path; that is how I help, that is my discovery and contribution to anyone who wants to try it. Actually the greatest lesson, personal responsibility and accountability. We can’t sit in a funk and blame others for the things that happen to us whether right or wrong. The strong spirit rises and calls its energy back. The suffering makes us compassionate humanitarians; the healing of the suffering makes us healers. The situation isn’t so bad. I’m also happy to report, that now I have a beautiful handful of big-hearted supportive friends that I love and we all are helping each other move forward with love.
So no regrets. Always a tinge of sadness at the grizzly circumstances, the end and my teachers position. I’m a very lucky girl with a lot of knowledge and big angelic deities making sure I keep on track. Lots of lessons. A body still healing which I have a feeling it now will. I’ve heard that shame is the lowest of the negative family of vibrations. Yuk…seriously, go away! No more shame. No one has to like to agree with what I do, I’m not out for validation but do extend an offer of love and if wanted, support and help. I am a yogi. I’m stepping out as that. Not sure how that will express itself moving forward, but it’s clear it's time to fly as the universe shoved us over a cliff and I choose to fly.
I’m a student of the world and consciousness itself. It’s all there within each and every one of us and to those dear old friends and spiritual siblings, there is a calling that’s wonderful and awe inspiriting in each and every one of you if you so choose to see it and act on it. Nothing was for nothing, we have only gained. We really are eternal divine beings having a human experience and that’s all. What we had was a rare and wonderful situation, that very few experience, there are few better qualified than those of us who did the time with great intention and devotion. Moving forward, no more shame. It's strength of spirit the helps us move forward, here's to spirit.