Tibetan monks visited Mount Shasta. I wanted to visit and connect with them, so I went to a meditation. I went to the only one I had time to do. It was a Manjushri empowerment meditation and blessing. When I told Mark that we did a Manjushri meditation and learned the mantra, he replied, “Oh no.”
“Oh no? Really? Why?” I asked.
“Don’t you remember? That’s the name Rajneesh/Osho gave [former business partner].*”
“That’s actually kind of hilarious. Manjushri is about cutting through illusion. See?” I showed Mark the image of Manjushri with the flaming sword. “He uses the sword to cut through illusion. [Former business partner] is all about perpetuating illusions for his benefit. No wonder he has so many problems! If you’re not cutting through illusions, I suppose being called Manjushri would be somewhat of a curse.”
We laughed a little about it, and went about our day. As time went on, I was starting to get messages about speaking out about our time in Austin. You see, neither Mark nor I have said much about our time there. We’ve alluded to things – like his blogs about the types of teachers which angered his former business partner greatly.
But we haven’t talked much about why we left.
I’ve tried my best to move on, and I feel like I have. Shasta has been an amazing home for me for the past 4 years. I feel like a completely different person. I’ve done a lot of healing here, healing I would have not been able to do anywhere else on earth.
But I get the sense that it’s time for us to get clear — really clear — on what happened in Austin and why we left. It feels like there is a bit of unfinished business, like someone left a garbage can open.
Of course, as per former business partner’s MO, that’s my manifestation because it’s in my reality. That I am being judgmental, and thus I am the one with the problem if he does something egregious. He gets a blank check, doesn’t he. He gets to judge, he gets to write lies and untruths, and if I say anything about it, I am only looking in the mirror.
Sigh. That twist of logic happened a lot during those years.
If I said anything about former business partner — for example being horrified that he went on a drinking binge during an event (May 2008) — then I was told to clean on it and not judge. He always had a way of telling people that if we didn’t like what he did, it was a reflection of something wrong inside of us that attracted his behavior.
So, if someone calls me a bitch behind my back (as he did), I attracted him doing it. If I call him a jerk, I am the one with a problem.
It’s a double bind isn’t it. I cannot practice discernment, or else I am judgmental. But he can judge me. It was so perfectly convenient for someone who wishes to remain above reproach. If you try to defend yourself or even call out him on bad behavior, he turned it around and blamed the victim. It’s all your fault I spent the weekend drinking in my room. It’s all your fault I called you a bitch. And if you don’t like it, that’s your problem, too.
Here’s an important distinction. I get to judge. I get to discern. I get to say, “I don’t like this.” I even get to say, “That’s pretty messed up when you spent the weekend drunk instead of interacting with our event attendees that paid to meet you.” I even get to say, “You’re an asshole!”
There’s nothing non-spiritual in calling events and behaviors as I see them. There’s nothing non-spiritual in saying any of that. It is a contrast.
What I do own is my emotions surrounding the experience. The sadness, disappointment, discouragement, and negative feelings are all my own. I own them and I work on those. Those I clear. But remaining silent in the face of lies serves no one except the liars who intimidate those who might speak out.
Manjushri, take me away!
I know this was not an unusual situation. Having worked in the corporate world, I ran into a lot of personalities like this. However, for someone who was working in the personal development field talking about spiritual concepts, someone who called himself “the buddha of the internet,” there are much higher expectations. He set it up that way. If you don’t want to be called on your behavior, don’t call yourself the buddha.
It finally got to the point where even Mark couldn’t take the games anymore. We had to leave Texas.
We’ve done our best to put the whole experience behind us. He comes up on the radar every once in a while because he’ll write something somewhere. He accused us of “stealing his list” and promptly deleted that portion of his blog entry when Mark called him on it. It’s just an annoyance from a little fish in a big Law of Attraction pond who really doesn’t matter.
His latest exhibition of judgmental anger is in his new book. Chapter one is a laundry list of lies about Mark for which the great guru has expressed his holier than thou forgiveness. Yes, forgiveness for things that never happened is easy when you’re not forgiving yourself. The book is full of untruth couched in spiritual “wisdom.” (Is that Manjushri laughing?) I could go line by line and refute everything. But the people who believe he’s a spiritual guru will never hear it. They are the bamboozled, “hypnotically marketed” into a place where they may never recover.
And those who are not bamboozled don’t need to hear it because they already see through the games.
Mark has been chomping at the bit to speak out, especially about the lies in the book. He wants to set the record straight. I’ve asked him not to. It’s not worth it. But spirit has asked me rather loudly today to write this post. Perhaps it was the Manjushri blessing from the Tibetan Lama.
Perhaps it’s just time to put this behind us. Perhaps none of it matters anymore.
Perhaps I just need to get it off my chest so I can continue writing about things that really matter. Because these ridiculous games of pot shots at us every 3-6 months from Wimberley, Texas are getting old and tired, just like the same stories he tells over and over again in his books.
Or maybe that’s just me being judgmental and I’m the one with the problem.
I do find it ironic that I receive Manjushri’s blessing, and then three times today I am asked to speak about false gurus by synchronicities and friends.
Cut through the illusions
Illusions. There are a lot of them in this world.
It’s all an illusion. All of it. All of the games we play with each other. The fears we express. Even the actions of Mark’s former business partner are coming from anger at his ghosts and fear of losing it all.
These illusions are not us, they are merely the games we play.
But even though they are not real, we still believe them. It’s one of the reasons I don’t write about the former business partner when he acts like a petulant child, and why I encourage Mark not to also. Some people need to believe in the lies, they need to believe the illusions. Even I have had to at times. Perhaps I still do about some things. I never did about him. I found a lot more power in the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is hard to get to unless you really extract yourself from the charlatans and start finding the guru within.
This is the path the real buddha gave us. It is the path of enlightenment and awakening. No course, no clearing audio, and no guru is going to do the work for you because that journey is within yourself.