Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fake it until you make it

In fact, even after leaving the organization many of us felt embarrassed to share certain experiences and insights. Somehow we knew something was wrong, yet the fear-based education we received was stronger. Even no longer a member of the organization, we feared being ridiculed, ostracized, punished, having made the mistake of leaving the blessings of a Guru.

One day, I asked someone who had recently left the movement if she was still doing her practices and if she had ever felt sick with them. After crossing the first barrier of “we don’t talking about these subjects”, specially former teachers, she confessed she had not felt good with her practices for many years. She described feeling her head oppressed and in a bad, irritable mood the rest of the day, among other things I no longer remember. She admitted, almost in shame, she had stopped doing her practices some time before leaving the organization and noticed a remarkable difference. Feeling guilty about it, she’d do it again, and again, she would not feel herself and well.

Curiosity led me to ask other “drop-outs”, who would take a long time before they’d feel comfortable to confess, and, to my surprise, most of them (not all, but most, easily 80% of them) had the same experience. Not only that, the common description was that since they stopped doing the practices they felt more themselves, more real, more here, enjoying better health, finding improvements in various ways.

I had the same experience. Every time I sat for my practices, I felt a strong pressure in my skull, and inevitably, as if someone else was sitting on top of me, in my head. My mind was no longer my mine, everything dispersed in one way or the other, to the point, I had no control, no use of my faculties. I felt numb during and after, and definitely, I no longer felt the relaxation, the lightness, the relief all first time students claimed to feel. I would, during the day, feel like a zombie, inert, dead, unable to remember anything, unable to think of details or focus on anything.

Somehow, we, teachers, had the strong obligation of selling the product, without questioning. If anything went wrong, it was never the technique, the course, the organization, or the Guru to be blamed. It was our fault. Being guilty of something made you an easy target of ridicule, isolation, shame. If one ever felt anything that was not joy, peace, enthusiasm, the most common question was, “Are you doing your practices?” If you had never stopped doing your practices and you still felt things that were not joy, peace, enthusiasm, you felt guilty about it and people treated you differently. Somehow, you were dirty, worthless, unworthy.

As teachers, we needed to “fake it until we made it.” That was part of Sri Sri’s teachings, just like faking joy until it became our nature. Excuse me, wasn’t joy, to begin with, our nature? Then, why the need to fake it?

Bottomline, we faked it so much we no longer knew really what we felt, and if at all we ever felt anything bad, we hid it, repressed it. It was a lot of blablablabla followed by a lot of empty beautifully decorated words, just to enroll more clients (I remember once in a TTC, the guru called and only asked the teacher one question, “Are they strong at enrolling already?” Even then I could not believe my ears. That was all he cared about. He did not care about how much they were understanding the knowledge, how deep they were going in their practices and processes, but just that they enrolled a lot! In the meantime, those poor TTC students had the illusion (probably still today), the Guru called, concerned about their well-being).

Most teachers are unhappy. Specially, full time teachers. If you want the pretty package, then meet them only while they teach. When teachers are on stage, “the grace flows through them”, thus they shine, they smile, they exude an unbelievable energy and joy. When teachers leave "the seat", they are bitchy, histrionic, hysterical, psychotic, tired, sick, unattractive ... ordinary humanoids with a lot of flaws and zits. We all became great actors, just for the sake of that moment in which one had power and the attention of so many desperate souls, for the sake of having the Guru's approval. We were immature people, unprepared to hold so much power and the responsibility of influencing people’s lives. That is what we were. That is what they are.

When I was still a teacher, I asked someone what made her decide to leave the organization. Her answer was, “I looked around and I noticed all teachers, specially the senior teachers, are so unhappy. I don’t want to be like them.”

End of the conversation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think I have been really blessed because I did TTC 1 and then after a few months it dawned on me: this is not ME. I cannot become a selling machine where only number of registrations mattered. To me, if you can convince even two people with your behaviour to do the course, that is a great achievement. And that is exactly what many teachers fail to realize. They wield the whip and try to bring people into the org, but after that, they do not know what to do! After a bit, i realized that even satsangs (which are only meant to sing in praise of God) become excuses to enroll more people.

I perfectly agree with Guruji that money is needed to run an organization, but I am not for the methods being used. I cannot comment on other organizations and I feel that spirituality is an individual thing- learn from an org and move on.

I am grateful for the techniques which also can be practiced but not out of fear...

I am grateful to Lord Krishna for showing me the way...