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Culadasa Misconduct Allegations

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Culadasa Misconduct Allegations JP 8/20/19 9:02 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/20/19 10:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/20/19 11:07 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Dada Kind 8/20/19 11:34 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/20/19 12:35 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/21/19 3:43 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 8/21/19 5:19 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/21/19 5:42 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 8/20/19 11:33 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 8/20/19 12:18 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/20/19 12:22 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Richard Zen 9/14/19 12:21 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 8/21/19 10:59 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jordi 8/20/19 1:24 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/20/19 1:02 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 8/20/19 10:58 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/21/19 2:58 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations YCR 8/21/19 3:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/21/19 3:02 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/21/19 6:29 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/21/19 7:18 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/21/19 3:51 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 8/21/19 4:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/21/19 5:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Daniel M. Ingram 8/21/19 5:56 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/21/19 5:01 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations JohnM 8/22/19 11:32 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 8/29/19 6:50 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/29/19 7:39 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Daniel M. Ingram 8/30/19 3:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/30/19 4:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 8/30/19 9:02 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/30/19 9:38 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/30/19 10:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 8/21/19 5:17 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/22/19 4:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jinxed P 8/22/19 10:07 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/21/19 7:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Paul 8/21/19 7:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ryan 8/21/19 8:47 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations S. 8/21/19 9:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/21/19 10:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/21/19 11:44 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/21/19 1:10 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ryan 8/21/19 1:30 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 1:40 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/21/19 2:05 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 3:59 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/21/19 5:11 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 5:38 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations svmonk 8/21/19 10:39 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations YCR 8/21/19 3:03 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Shaun Steelgrave 8/21/19 8:17 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations S. 8/21/19 9:59 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/21/19 2:23 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations S. 8/21/19 2:45 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/21/19 3:10 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Blue Jay 8/21/19 9:52 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 8/21/19 10:06 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Monsoon Frog 8/21/19 7:06 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/21/19 8:50 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Fastlane 8/22/19 4:05 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Monsoon Frog 8/22/19 6:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Michael 8/22/19 6:19 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/22/19 7:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 8/22/19 4:28 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/22/19 2:57 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations mushi 8/22/19 5:04 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/23/19 6:21 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/23/19 6:43 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/23/19 7:07 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/23/19 7:39 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/23/19 7:50 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/23/19 8:36 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/23/19 8:49 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/22/19 10:16 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 8/23/19 7:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/23/19 4:49 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/23/19 5:09 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/23/19 6:40 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 8/23/19 5:21 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/23/19 5:23 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/23/19 5:34 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 8/24/19 8:19 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/24/19 8:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 8/24/19 9:28 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/23/19 5:50 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/23/19 6:05 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/23/19 6:08 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 8/23/19 8:54 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Sugar Dharma Daddy 8/24/19 4:34 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/24/19 5:07 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 8/23/19 8:08 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/24/19 5:39 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Smiling Stone 8/24/19 7:07 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/24/19 8:41 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Smiling Stone 8/24/19 9:12 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/24/19 9:19 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/23/19 5:36 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Raving Rhubarb 8/26/19 5:39 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 8/26/19 8:12 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 8/26/19 9:01 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Daniel M. Ingram 8/26/19 9:28 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Raving Rhubarb 8/28/19 8:03 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 8/28/19 9:57 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Dhamma_no_drama 8/28/19 11:57 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 8/28/19 10:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/28/19 11:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Shaun Steelgrave 8/28/19 11:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/28/19 12:23 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Shaun Steelgrave 8/26/19 9:23 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Raving Rhubarb 8/27/19 1:22 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/27/19 2:27 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Noah D 8/28/19 6:36 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/28/19 6:58 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations DD DD DD 8/29/19 11:33 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 8/29/19 11:49 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/29/19 12:03 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/29/19 2:07 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/29/19 2:19 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/29/19 2:35 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/30/19 8:40 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/30/19 9:34 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 8/29/19 2:40 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations DD DD DD 8/29/19 3:04 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/29/19 3:08 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/29/19 5:23 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/30/19 1:27 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 8/30/19 9:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/5/19 5:43 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/30/19 9:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/30/19 9:45 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 8/29/19 12:59 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Paul Anthony 8/29/19 2:05 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/30/19 8:46 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/5/19 4:22 AM
John Yates Misconduct Edward 9/5/19 4:57 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations curious 9/5/19 5:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/5/19 6:07 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Raving Rhubarb 9/7/19 4:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Ward Law 9/5/19 9:52 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/5/19 9:58 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/5/19 10:16 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/5/19 10:59 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/5/19 12:41 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/5/19 1:49 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Chris Marti 9/5/19 1:51 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/5/19 4:49 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/5/19 6:00 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations spatial 9/5/19 6:13 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations neko 9/6/19 3:42 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 9/6/19 4:02 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 9/6/19 5:59 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/6/19 7:54 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 9/6/19 8:02 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/6/19 8:06 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/6/19 8:14 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/6/19 8:23 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 9/6/19 8:40 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 9/6/19 9:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/6/19 11:37 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 9/6/19 8:50 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/6/19 11:38 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 9/7/19 3:36 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/7/19 7:22 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Raving Rhubarb 9/6/19 4:25 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/6/19 5:59 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations neko 9/6/19 6:18 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/6/19 6:25 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Chris Marti 9/6/19 7:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Chris Marti 9/6/19 7:16 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Tom C 9/7/19 6:43 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Chris Marti 9/7/19 2:31 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations svmonk 9/7/19 8:26 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Shaun Steelgrave 9/7/19 8:35 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations svmonk 9/8/19 7:37 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Adam 9/8/19 8:09 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations JohnM 9/9/19 5:27 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/9/19 5:41 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations JohnM 9/9/19 5:54 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/9/19 8:48 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/9/19 9:09 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 9/9/19 10:32 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations JohnM 9/9/19 11:34 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/9/19 8:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/9/19 6:49 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations JohnM 9/9/19 11:32 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations neko 9/6/19 7:32 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/6/19 8:08 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/6/19 6:40 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Tom C 9/6/19 6:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/6/19 6:46 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Tom C 9/6/19 7:26 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 9/6/19 7:49 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/9/19 6:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/9/19 6:44 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Tom C 9/9/19 8:22 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/9/19 8:59 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Monsoon Frog 9/10/19 1:51 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/10/19 5:53 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/10/19 6:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/11/19 1:25 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/9/19 7:42 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/9/19 4:04 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 9/9/19 8:51 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 9/11/19 12:15 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/9/19 8:11 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/13/19 6:46 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Santiago Jimenez 9/13/19 7:02 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/13/19 8:34 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/14/19 1:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/14/19 8:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/14/19 11:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/14/19 5:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ben V. 9/14/19 6:48 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/14/19 6:55 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/14/19 7:58 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/14/19 8:18 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/14/19 8:50 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/14/19 10:45 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/15/19 8:29 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/15/19 8:37 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/15/19 8:43 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/14/19 11:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/14/19 11:31 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/14/19 4:06 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/15/19 12:44 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/14/19 11:46 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/14/19 11:54 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/14/19 12:32 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/15/19 5:44 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/19/19 3:29 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations neko 9/18/19 8:01 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/18/19 2:15 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ryan 9/18/19 1:39 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/18/19 1:50 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/18/19 2:17 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/18/19 3:19 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/18/19 5:50 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/18/19 7:57 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/18/19 10:19 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/19/19 7:06 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/19/19 3:17 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/19/19 3:20 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/19/19 3:21 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/19/19 3:32 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/20/19 6:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/20/19 10:05 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/20/19 2:40 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/20/19 5:28 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations spatial 9/20/19 5:49 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/20/19 7:49 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/21/19 12:47 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 4:31 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jens Theisen 9/21/19 4:57 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/19/19 3:44 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/19/19 5:31 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/20/19 6:26 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/20/19 11:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/20/19 7:58 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/20/19 8:48 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 4:28 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/21/19 4:37 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 8:03 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Sriram Arya 9/21/19 11:11 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/21/19 6:10 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 6:53 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/21/19 11:37 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/19 2:14 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jens Theisen 9/22/19 3:28 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 1:06 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jens Theisen 9/21/19 5:08 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 5:37 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jens Theisen 9/21/19 5:52 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/21/19 6:38 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jens Theisen 9/21/19 7:13 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 9:08 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:50 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/21/19 2:04 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 7:05 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 9:04 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 7:29 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/19 2:10 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/21/19 9:03 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 9:16 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/21/19 9:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 12:07 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 7:40 PM
Thread Split Chris Marti 9/22/19 11:58 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/21/19 9:22 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 9/21/19 11:46 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 11:42 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 7:46 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 12:11 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations shargrol 9/21/19 3:49 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 8:17 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/21/19 2:07 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 7:12 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/19 2:27 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/21/19 6:27 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/22/19 3:22 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/19 8:04 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 9/20/19 1:45 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/20/19 6:15 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Ryan 9/20/19 7:36 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/20/19 5:35 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 9/20/19 5:45 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/19/19 4:10 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/20/19 2:43 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 9/18/19 5:00 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/18/19 5:52 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 9/18/19 6:59 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Laurel Carrington 9/18/19 7:15 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/18/19 8:16 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jim Smith 9/19/19 12:27 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/19/19 12:45 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Stirling Campbell 9/19/19 12:48 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/19/19 5:15 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/19/19 5:56 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/20/19 9:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/20/19 7:57 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/19/19 5:34 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Kim Katami 9/18/19 2:29 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/18/19 3:20 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Milo 9/14/19 11:41 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/16/19 9:42 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/17/19 12:43 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Edward 9/15/19 10:15 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Tom C 9/16/19 3:46 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Griffin 9/16/19 5:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Jim Smith 9/16/19 2:46 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Chris Marti 9/16/19 3:20 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/16/19 8:25 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations terry 9/16/19 8:27 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations agnostic 9/17/19 9:31 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations curious 9/17/19 4:43 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/18/19 3:25 AM
Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 9:02 AM
The Dharma Treasure Board of Directors sent out the following email yesterday:
Dear Dharma Treasure Sangha,

It was recently brought to the attention of Dharma Treasure Board members that John Yates (Upasaka Culadasa) has engaged in ongoing conduct unbecoming of a Spiritual Director and Dharma teacher. He has not followed the upasaka (layperson) precepts of sexual harmlessness, right speech, and taking what is not freely given.

We thoroughly reviewed a substantial body of evidence, contemplated its significance, and sought confidential counsel from senior Western Dharma teachers, who urged transparency. We also sought legal advice and spoke with various non-profit consultants to draw on their expertise and objectivity in handling this matter. As a result of our process, the Board has voted to remove Mr. Yates from all positions with Dharma Treasure.

In a series of Board meetings as well as written correspondences with Mr. Yates, he admitted to being involved in a pattern of sexual misconduct in the form of adultery. There is no evidence that this adultery involved improper interactions with students or any form of unwanted sexual advances. Rather, adultery with multiple women, some of whom are sex workers, took place over the past four years. The outcome was extended relationships with a group of about ten women. Relationships with some continue to the present day.

He has provided significant financial support to some of these women, a portion of which was given without the prior knowledge or consent of his wife. Mr. Yates also said he engaged in false speech by responding to his wife’s questions with admissions, partial truths, and lies during these years.

After we brought this misconduct to the attention of Mr. Yates, he agreed to write a letter to the Sangha disclosing his behavior, which would give students informed consent to decide for themselves whether to continue studying with him. However, after weeks of negotiations, we were unable to come to an agreement about the content and degree of transparency of his letter.

At the end of this entire process, we are sadly forced to conclude that Mr. Yates should not be teaching Dharma at this time. Likewise, we are clear that keeping the upasaka (layperson) vows is an absolutely essential foundation for serving as the Spiritual Director of Dharma Treasure. With heavy hearts, the Board has voted to remove him from this role, from the Board, and from all other positions associated with Dharma Treasure.

We also acknowledge the benefit of Mr. Yates’ scholarship, meditation instructions, and the personal guidance he has provided for so many earnest seekers, including ourselves. People from all over the world have been deeply impacted by the Dharma he has presented, and we do not wish to minimize the good he has done. We are forever grateful for the study and practice we have all undertaken together with Mr. Yates.

We know people may feel disbelief and dismay upon learning about this pattern of behavior. However, it is our strong wish that we all use this time as an opportunity to practice patient inquiry, compassion, and discernment. Our goal in sharing this information with the Sangha is to provide each of you with enough information to make your own informed decision about whether or how to work with Mr. Yates as a teacher. We hope this transparency about Mr. Yates’ behavior can help us all move toward a place where we honor teachers for their gifts while acknowledging they are complex human beings who make mistakes.

You can imagine this has been a long, methodical, and distressing process. Moving forward, we feel it is in the best interest of the organization to form a new Board that brings fresh perspectives and energy. The current Board will resign after vetting and electing new qualified Board members to carry on the mission of Dharma Treasure.

Finally, we hope this disclosure about Mr. Yates’ conduct does not shake your confidence in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The transformative strength of refuge in the triple treasure can sustain us through this challenging time. Many other communities have walked this difficult path and emerged wiser and stronger. The ancient and modern history of Buddhism is filled with examples of the Dharma’s liberating individual and social power and compassion. Let us never forget that.

In service,

The Dharma Treasure Board of Directors
Blake Barton
Jeremy Graves
Matthew Immergut
Eve Smith
Nancy Yates

There are also discussion threads on this on the TMI subreddit and streamentry subreddit.  Culadasa left a personal response on the TMI thread:
Please do not take this letter as fact. It includes false information, and distortions and misrepresentations of fact. I, in fact, resigned from the Dharma Treasure Board due to irreconcilable differences including their refusal to engage in mediation. Rather than accept my resignation as tendered, they chose to vote me off the Board and remove me as Spiritual Director of Dharma Treasure. A fuller and more complete explanation will be forthcoming. In the mean time, I strongly recommend everyone hold off on jumping to conclusions or engaging in analysis or commentary. We are taking our time (myself and my advisors) so as to respond in the healthiest and most appropriate way with the best interest of all parties in mind. Thank you, Culadasa

I personally will be wishing the best for everyone affected, including Culadasa, his wife, and the Dharma Treasure community.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 10:24 AM as a reply to JP.
That's truly a shame, and sad for all concerned. It does illustrate the fact that there's no escape from being human as long as we're still alive.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 11:07 AM as a reply to JP.
Based on these statements it doesn't sound as big as it seems. He had sex with professionals, didn't abuse his students, apparently lied to his wife, broke his vows and that's why he was forced to leave?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 11:33 AM as a reply to JP.
Read that letter yesterday and still digesting it. Somewhat shaken. Even though the Pragmatic Dharma movement has made it a point that the belief that awakening does not necessarily mean good sila (and are different lines of development), I am still somewhat puzzled here. If awakening allows one to see through the empty (3cs) nature of phenomena, then it should be easier (perhaps even automatic) not to buy into lust or other mind phenomena. To have arisen lust, grasp it, then make it into a plan of execution to nourish it, then develop long-term unfaithful relations with many partners, sounds like a lot of identification and solidifying of lust to me. There has to be strong 'selfing' in this.

It's one thing to say morality does not become perfect with awakening, but to do continuous misbehaviors involving obvious strong and continuous grasping, it's hard for me to reconcile that with awakening (or full awakening). To misbehave, it seems to me that there must be first a state of greed, aggression or delusion that arises, and then grasping of it, for misbehavior to occur. Where is the "liberation" (Mokha/Moksha) in this??

The idea of serious misbehaviors and high awakening being compatible is becoming more and more suspicious to me. 

Well, this rant of mine is from a still not fully awakened dude (me). I'm open for responses.

I guess in the end we should stay focused on one's own practice and how it helps us, and use teachers for what good they can give us, but not cling to any ideas of how attained they are. "Pragmatic studentship" should be about taking the good aples from a tree and not bother (and be bothered) by the bad apples in the same tree. TMI is still on my llist of books I look forward to read...

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
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8/20/19 11:34 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
People have different standards of big deal, but this seems like a big deal to me.

Also, "some of whom were sex workers". Not all. (According to this letter).

He has provided significant financial support to some of these women, a portion of which was given without the prior knowledge or consent of his wife.

https://www.patreon.com/culadasa

Well-meaning people give money to Culadasa to support his cancer recovery, his new book, etc. Not to, frankly, financially support hookers. When I looked at that patron count yesterday it was 342.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
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8/20/19 12:18 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Completely agree Ben. I don't think we're doing anyone any favours by glibly shrugging our shoulders when men setting themselves up as spiritual exemplars show an inability to understand very basic moral principles. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 12:22 PM as a reply to Edward.
JMHO --
I don't think we're doing anyone any favours by simply shrugging our shoulders when men setting themselves up as spiritual exemplars show an inability to understand very basic moral principles. 

If there's nothing else you get out of this latest example of a dharma teacher taking advantage of their position to do some form of harm to other humans, this is it: stop putting these people on a pedestal. They have demonstrated that they are as human as everyone else, and just as prone to lapses in judgment, to err, to cause harm to others.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 12:35 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Dada Kind:
People have different standards of big deal, but this seems like a big deal to me.

Also, "some of whom were sex workers". Not all. (According to this letter).

He has provided significant financial support to some of these women, a portion of which was given without the prior knowledge or consent of his wife.

https://www.patreon.com/culadasa

Well-meaning people give money to Culadasa to support his cancer recovery, his new book, etc. Not to, frankly, financially support hookers. When I looked at that patron count yesterday it was 342.

Sure. Based on the letter some of them were sex workers, some sex partners, to whom he gave money to. I actually think that this is a notable upgrade to all teachers who seduced and abused their students. When reading of Sogyal Rinpoche's case, for example, I thought that why he didn't just go to sex professionals, rather than force his students. He had the money, like Culadasa. The obvious difference to Culadasa is his long academic career which I believe made him wealthy.

He is a human being and these women, whether pros or partners are also human beings with all kinds of issues and problems. If and when he had the opportunity and means to help them with money, with whatever needs they might have had for it, why shouldn't he have helped?

It's not a black and white world we are living in. Often in scandals it looks like monastic and christian views of seeing sex and sexuality as something bad, affect people's mind in understand these things. As far as I understand Japanese and Tibetan cultures, for example, that meditation teacher has extra-marital relationships would be a non-issue. It's a completely different situation in christian culture because people have subconsciously bought into christian beliefs.

Maybe new information about this comes out which makes it clearer why he chose to leave or was kicked out but as it seems now, it looks like the board and the sangha made a big mistake.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 1:24 PM as a reply to JP.
Not too good, not too bad, just a human being.

This last time, for diferent sutations in my life I trying to understand what is desire and why is an strong impulse that drives to act in certain ways. 

When I was traveling 2 years ago in south-asia I was in Thailand and someone recomend me a temple in Udon Thani. People said that the monk master was full awakened and has powers and everything, the full pack. So I went there with the idea to learn Jhanas, so we have like two meetings a week, every time I ask about how to enter into the Jhanas He start speaking about Sila and the four immeasurables, how important is compassion and love, give oneself to others etc. I got pissed off becouse he always talk about that and he didnt tell me to much about jhana. He always repeat the same thing in all the talks we have: "Sila is my shield".

This last time this "Sila is my shield" start to make more sense to me, and I see how important is. A shield to protect ourself but also to protect others. At the end I think is about being honest and clear with onself and do our best with our defects of character without trying to hurt other people.

Ironically the most "good persons" I know; people who has genuinely a good heart, that gives with expect nothing in return, that have always time for you, that  radiates compasion and love; they never done any kind of meditation practice and dont know nothing about that topic. This made me think a lot about that. I meditated quite a lot and I still see myself selfish and self-centred ( here Im talkin about me hehe) driven by plesure and my own personal benefits.

So yeah...why he did all this stuff? Who knows, maybe subconsciously he wanted to sabotage himself and kill the character he created or other people push him to be. Or maybe he just want to have sex and enjoy life emoticon. Being the "archetype of Buddha" is not easy. Culadassa goes back to stage 1 haha! No-no just joking...

Anyways what he has given with his book, talks, inspiration and everything is in some way is immeasurable too emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 1:02 PM as a reply to JP.
I’m sad to hear this, for all parties involved. I don’t personally see any ethical problem in having many partners per se as I’m polyamorous myself, but lying about it and betraying confidences is not okay and probably doesn’t make anyone happy (including Culadasa himself). Paying for sex, as I see it, often (albeit perhaps not always) involves exploiting of somebody's bad situation. For me that would be the worst part, but of course I don’t know the circumstances here. Transparency was a wise choice. As for the rest, that’s not for me to judge. I can understand, though, why people might be unwilling to financially support someone who alledgedly spends his money according to what was described here. I’m not going to blame anyone for seeking lust, regardless of how much, but I have principles for how to do that in order not to harm others. At the same time, there are a lot of judgements around people whose hearts do not adhere to the monoamorous norm. Therefore I can understand the need to keep relationships secret, if that is what this is about (love). That doesn’t make it okay to go behind people’s backs, but it makes it human.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/20/19 10:58 PM as a reply to JP.
This looks like an enormous mess. The letter seems very strange to me.

There is no mention of an independent investigation, or of controls put in place to handle conflicts of interests within the board. There are implied judgements and criticisms about polyamory or prostitution, which has nothing to do with the dharma or five precepts as far as I can see (provided all parties are consenting adults under their own care). The letter notes that other parties knew of at least some of the financial support, and received at least some admissions, and this really raises more questions than it answers. There appears prima facie to be a breach of privacy principles in the content of the letter.

Given all this, it is very difficult to see this letter as right speech.

Aside from Chris' excellent point about not putting human teachers on a pedestal, I would just observe that sangha's and boards are not necessarily any better. The anarchic decentralisation of the DhO has its points ... 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 2:58 AM as a reply to curious.
As for conflicts of interest, I just noticed that one of the directors who wrote the letter shares the same family name as Culadasa. Is that a coincidence, or is it his wife?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 3:00 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It's his wife.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
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8/21/19 3:02 AM as a reply to YCR.
Oh. Ehm... That’s problematic.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 3:03 AM as a reply to JP.
What a shame he is not able to teach. I hope I will still be able to meet him one day.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 3:43 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Based on these statements it doesn't sound as big as it seems. He had sex with professionals, didn't abuse his students, apparently lied to his wife, broke his vows and that's why he was forced to leave?

This is a good question, so I think it is worth unpacking it a bit.

Having been in the TMI-TT (TMI Teacher Training), and having quit it* a few weeks before rumors started to transpire that something bad was going on behind the scenes, this is my take, in case anyone is interested.

In the teacher training classes, and I hear on Patreon too, Culadasa was focussing a lot of his teaching on ethics and behaviour, mostly in the form of the five hindrances and ten fetters, to the point where I would actually say that he spent much more time talking about actions, emotions, philosophy, and psychology than about actual meditation practice, which is by the way one of the many reasons I have quit the TMI-TT*. Because of Culadasa's emphasis on ethics and behaviour, he has a self-selected audience of students and teachers-in-training who place a huge importance on those things, while simultaneously practioners who are interested in the deep end of contemplative practice get bored, disappointed, or turned away eventually.

Now put all of this together. His alleged behaviour explicitly contradicts his upasaka vows, his teachings, and his claims to attainment, which is what makes this a big deal in context. If he hadn't taken upasaka vows, hadn't been letting it on that he was a ten-fetter arahant, hadn't been teaching that you cannot get into jhana unless you banish the hindrances first; If he had been talking more about practice and less about his psychology-based models of enlightenment... if his teaching were different, his behaviour would be taken differently.

It's as if it turned out that you (Kim) are not actually capable of reading bhumis by looking at pictures of practioners vs. if it turned out that Shinzen Young can't. Shinzen has talked about occasionally being able to recognise something about the depth of people's practice by looking at their faces and body language (you know the youtube videos), but he does not place any emphasis on it, so no-one would be surprised or outraged if it turned out that Shinzen's skill at that is unreliable. But in your teaching, that aspect plays a huge role, so people would be holding you liable for that.

-----------


* My reasons for quitting are largely off-topic now and a story for another time, but for the record, I think that there are serious flaws in Culadasa's teaching, his standards for awakening (which range from highly diluted on one end to completely unrealistic on the opposite end), his standards for authorising people to teach (which are sometimes dangerously low, although he does have a few good students), in the depth of his own personal practice, and in the many subtle and not-so-subtle ways he discourages open discussion about practice and dismisses practices other than his own.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 3:51 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:

There are implied judgements and criticisms about polyamory or prostitution


I couldn't disagree more. As far as I understand, Culadasa was in a monogamous marriage, and the allegation is that he was lying to his wife and spending shared finances on sex workers without his wife's consent. If true, those are behaviours that are considered unacceptable in the polyamorous community and the sex workers communities too. Actually, I would say that those communities are even more sensitive to these topics, because of the strong culture of awareness of the risks of STDs and the emphasis on obtaining the consent of all the parties involved.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 4:24 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
curious:

There are implied judgements and criticisms about polyamory or prostitution


I couldn't disagree more. As far as I understand, Culadasa was in a monogamous marriage, and the allegation is that he was lying to his wife and spending shared finances on sex workers without his wife's consent. If true, those are behaviours that are considered unacceptable in the polyamorous community and the sex workers communities too. Actually, I would say that those communities are even more sensitive to these topics, because of the strong culture of awareness of the risks of STDs and the emphasis on obtaining the consent of all the parties involved.

Sure, he might be a scumbag. Or might not. Hard to tell from the letter. But the rather pious dharmic condemnation in the letter doesn't sit well with me. There are worse things in the Suttas. Like a monk abandoning a wife and child, and sitting in meditation ignoring the wife putting the child in front of him while she wails in despair and demands support for their livelihood. The response from the sanga - "What a true brahman he is to avoid distraction from his meditation, and how badly the wife is behaving."  To me that is grossly immoral - but it is nonetheless consistent with the dharma.

So condemn him by all means, if the evidence is there. But let's not cloak it in the dharma. And let's have our eyes open to the rather strange processes recorded in this letter. Anyway, just my view, I don't expect anyone to agree. And of course I am at a distance, whereas I acknowledge you have more direct experience.

With deep respect to you Neko (and I do mean that)

Malcolm

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:10 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
But the rather pious dharmic condemnation in the letter doesn't sit well with me.

Fair enough. But do notice that the letter was written by Culadasa's students, and that kind of piety was inculcated into them, or at least systematically reinforced, by Culadasa himself.


curious:
There are worse things in the Suttas.

Oh, absolutely. There's loads of bollocks in the suttas. That's not a very strong defence, though, is it?



curious:
But let's not cloak it in the dharma.

I am not a Buddhist, nor am I a particularly big fan of the word dharma, so I don't have much a dog in that fight.

There are more basic and universal laws than the dharma, one is if you talk the talk the talk, you've gotta walk the walk. This is a principle of dignity, virtue, and personal responsibility that applies to all domains of life and human interaction. Since Culadasa makes it all about 5 hindrances, 10 upasaka vows, and 10 fetters, he has to stand up to his own standards.

(Besides, again, I believe that there are more serious flaws in Culadasa, TMI, and his TT.)



curious:
With deep respect to you Neko (and I do mean that)

Appreciated and reciprocated. emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:19 AM as a reply to neko.
My reasons for quitting are largely off-topic now and a story for another time, but for the record, I think that there are serious flaws in Culadasa's teaching, his standards for awakening (which range from highly diluted on one end to completely unrealistic on the opposite end), his standards for authorising people to teach (which are sometimes dangerously low, although he does have a few good students), in the depth of his own personal practice, and in the many subtle and not-so-subtle ways he discourages open discussion about practice and dismisses practices other than his own.

This is interesting. Maybe actually this is the opportunity to share the details? If you weren't planning on starting a new thread, of course.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:42 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
This is interesting. Maybe actually this is the opportunity to share the details? If you weren't planning on starting a new thread, of course.

I understand the interest, but I will not say more about that, as:

1) I don't want to kick a man when he's down.

2) I don't want the current drama on ethics and behaviour to get mixed up with the much more important discussion of the deep end of contemplative practice.

3) I am not sure it would be a skilful use of my time to start a discussion that would potentially see me facing an organisation of hundreds of people.

4) My negative opinions should goad me to direct my energy into creating something good rather than on destroying something that I consider not so good. Not that it'll be easy, as I have the unhealthy inclination to be more critical than productive.

So definitely no more details on that now, and possibly not ever. My only goals in writing that were to distance myself publicly from the TT and Culadasa, as I feel having taken part in it does not reflect positively on me, and to clarify that the reasons are unrelated to whomever Culadasa has beeh having sex with, his relationship with his wife, and how he uses money.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:56 AM as a reply to neko.
I have no idea to what degree all the allegations against Culadasa are true, but I do know some of the people on the board and have much respect for them. It would be extremely surprising to me if they were making this up, and, in fact, not surprising if in some ways what they put out wasn't at least slightly euphemistic.

Nancy, his wife, was a particularly strong example of kindness, nurturing, and support to Culadasa and everyone else she came in contact with during the month I stayed at Dharma Treasure last September. Her capacity to defend and rationalize his relatively toxic behavior to me then was also a strong demonstration of her love and commitment to him and her obvious wish for people to get along and feel ok.

Regarding STDs, I spent a year online at the National AIDS Hotline, so can't help but have those memories of some calls I took return when I read about all of this.

I have been wishing everyone involved well in this obvious challenging situation. As you all likely know, I have written extensively about the fact that mammals are mammals, but that is not the same as excusing behavior that harms, and I think it is clear that, however you slice it, harm has been done. That said, perhaps people will learn from this, grow into their own practices, and be lights unto themselves.

I am inspired to quote from this reddit thread, with typos corrected, which quoted one of my most inspiring teachers, Bill Hamilton, from his book Saints & Psychopaths, and echoing Neko's ethic valuing those who try to walk their talk:

PSYCHOPATHS SAY MEAN DO disparity:

Breaks own rules
Many bad debts
Writes bad checks
Break promises
No true regard for truth
Tell close associates to lie
Push philosophy aggressively
Attractive and drawing
Comes on with unsolicited advice
Good reputation fades in time
Projects & organization degenerate
In the long run things turn out badly
People are damaged by long term association
Are unconcerned for effect of actions on self and others
Apologize as last resort
Ignore their own mistakes and apologizes only if cornered
If trapped will do or say anything to escape
Typically have variable exotic health problems
Typically have many accidents and injuries
Felt unloved when a child
Can sit still only when center of attention
Enslave people around them
Substance abuse common
Compulsion to become the center of attention
Adopt many aliases

Do your own math, reach your own conclusions, make your own decisions, choose as wisely as you can, realizing that every choice has some downside to it, though some clearly may be better than others. Think about what sort of world you want to live in and what you wish to promote. Finding some way to balance forgiveness and paths to redemtion with real, just consequences for harm is clearly an ongoing debate that we must all engage with carefully.

Things I liked about Bill:

Kept his dharma extremely clean and uncorrupted from a financial point of view, asking nothing for his teachings.
Didn't seek to tell people his way was the best, just a good one.
Referenced and respected lots of other works and teachers that were not his own.
He didn't seek widespread fame or admiration, and so died relatively unknown, which, while clearly a loss for people who didn't know him, clearly demonstrated a certain humility that I had great respect for despite my own obvious lack of ability to emulate it.
He was reluctant to talk about his own practice, which I sometimes found irritating, but at least he didn't say he was one thing and blatantly turn out to be another.
Would talk about the dark side of the path and the downsides of meditation and the Dark Night.
Would talk a lot and honestly about shadow sides of meditation practice, traditions, and communities.
Admitted his own mistakes and used them as a way to teach others so they could hopefully avoid similar problems.
Had powerful depths of meditation and could speak from that place with a great deal of nuance, richness, and sophistication.
In short, he seemed to all appearances to walk his talk, to be what he said he was, to meet his own high ideals.


Best wishes to all impacted by this.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 6:29 AM as a reply to YCR.
YCR:
It's his wife.
What if Culadasa sought sexual relationships because they didn't have sex with his wife? That story we've all heard before.

neko:

...Culadasa was focussing a lot of his teaching on ethics and behaviour, mostly in the form of the five
hindrances and ten fetters, to the point where I would actually say that he spent much more time talking about actions, emotions, philosophy, and psychology than about actual meditation practice...

Now put all of this together. His alleged behaviour explicitly contradicts his upasaka vows, his teachings, and his claims to attainment, which is what makes this a big deal in context. If he hadn't taken upasaka vows, hadn't been letting it on that he was a ten-fetter arahant, hadn't been teaching that you cannot get into jhana unless you banish the hindrances first; If he had been talking more about practice and less about his psychology-based models of enlightenment... if his teaching were different, his behaviour would be taken differently.

A lot of really experienced meditators end up emphasizing ethics. How long did you study with him? Did you just see a small slice of his teaching career where he put too much emphasis on ethics, while not discussing meditation practice as much as other times?

Did he make the claim of being fully liberated? Is that what you're saying?

Despite of vows and many talks on ethics, if one is not fully liberated, one's going to have sexual drive and desire.
neko:
...As far as I understand, Culadasa was in a monogamous marriage, and the allegation is that he was lying to his
wife and spending shared finances on sex workers without his wife's consent.
Sexual drive is at the center of all of this. What kind of practices did he teach or practice to purify it? 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 7:18 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

How long did you study with him?

The expression "study with him" does not seem to capture the dynamics, as I do not feel that I have learnt much from him besides what was already in TMI... a good part of which I have gradually come to realise I disagree with. Anyway:

* I have spent about two weeks on retreat with him, but as co-adventurers and not in a student-teacher relationship.

* About a year and a half of TMI teacher training, meeting twice monthly for two hours each time. Makes about 80 hours, I guess.

I would prefer not to go into more detail because of the reasons I listed above, sorry.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 7:24 AM as a reply to curious.
There is no mention of an independent investigation, or of controls put in place to handle conflicts of interests within the board. There are implied judgements and criticisms about polyamory or prostitution, which has nothing to do with the dharma or five precepts as far as I can see (provided all parties are consenting adults under their own care). The letter notes that other parties knew of at least some of the financial support, and received at least some admissions, and this really raises more questions than it answers. There appears prima facie to be a breach of privacy principles in the content of the letter.

Jumping in to agree with curious, and as someone who often deals with small organizations under duress for various reasons, this is not uncommon. It's true, however, that having innate conflicts of interest makes the duress far worse, and introduces more and deeper emotional conflict and potential liability. The letter does contain actionable information. Legally actionable, that is. I hope they all have professional liability and directors and officers insurance.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 7:30 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Wow, disturbing!

I noticed no one has addressed the matter of Yates’ apparent response on Reddit saying it’s mostly false and he’ll respond in time. Presumably he intends to deny the allegations or some part of them. This means either (a) he’s doubling down and trying to recoup some dignity by lying, or (b) there’s something fishy about the whole thing and he wants to clear his name.

The message asked that people don’t jump to conclusions, yet the rest of the thread here does precisely that. I’m in no way defending anyone, and like everyone else, this reads to me as pretty damning information. Still, is it not wise to wait and see what Yates has to bring to the table? Is it not possible that this is all a dispute between a warring couple who are at each other’s throats, and the board and community have been dragged into it? 

It strikes me as interesting that, at his advanced age, and battling cancer, it appears he’s decided to go for one last lap of youthful fun before it’s over. If he was someone prone to sexual misconduct, does it not say something interesting that no such allegations have emerged from his decades of work/service as a spiritual mentor who must’ve had countless opportunities for indiscretions while he was younger, healthier, and more capable? It looks odd to me, little that I know anyway. I’d be interested to know more before settling on a view on the matter.

Ok. Sad and unhappy news. All the best for everyone involved.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 8:17 AM as a reply to JP.
He did nothing wrong.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 8:47 AM as a reply to Paul.
As I’ve said elsewhere, it would be wise to withhold judgments and speculation until we hear from Culadasa on the matter, so long as his in depth response comes reasonably soon. I don’t know any of the people involved, so I can only speak to this as an outside observer, and while this isn’t a courtroom, it is nonetheless unfair to judge someone before they’ve at least had a chance to fully address allegations against them. Given that it sounds like there are privacy/confidentiality agreements in place at Dharma Treasure (DT), a prudent person would consult with an Arizona attorney prior to making a big public statement on the issue, so it may take a little bit of time. Moreover, the letter mentions financial support of these women. If there turns out to have been improper comingling of funds, criminal liability is not impossible. At the federal level, I’m thinking tax charges, assuming DT is a 501(C)(3), and maybe wire fraud + conspiracy to commit (of course, everything is wire fraud to DOJ, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). I don’t know much about Arizona criminal law, but wouldn’t be surprised if there were similar potential criminal liability there. All that is of course the type of speculation we shouldn’t put any stock into until/unless more facts come out, but maybe will serve as a few reasons why it’s best to wait a while before drawing any final conclusions.

But from broader perspective, this has obviously shocked a lot of people and maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing. Dharma teachers preaching psychological perfection models are doing a disservice to the extent they are setting students up for disillusionment and abandonment of spiritual practice when what they learn doesn't deliver as promised. For my part, I’m once more grateful for Daniel’s MCTB which so clearly emphasizes how morality is a totally separate training from insight/wisdom. I think we have enough anecdotal evidence to say with a high degree of confidence that while insight may help one to see and drop some of their unskillful behaviors, you shouldn’t bank on it, and you’ll still have to put the work into the first training regardless.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 9:59 AM as a reply to JP.
I am a little surprised there seems to be many people on this thread who seem to think that what is legal and what is ethical are the same thing.

Curious that some people might think that harming your wife through an affair is not unethical, or does not violate a precept to do no harm through sexual heedlessness and deceit (two precepts).

I find it surprising and unsurprising at the same time that people are more worried about financial shenanigans, though I would agree financial shenanigans are a more serious issue than non-traditional sexual lifestyles. This does not just sound to me like some people are being prudes. Even if monogamy is not the right or preferred lifestyle by some people who conscientiously live differently, that doesn't just excuse arbitrary behavior and harmful actions in arbitrary marriages. Even in polyamorous contexts I think explicit and implicit boundaries grounded in the consent of multiple people beyond those involved in a particular sex act are pretty common (how many polyamorous people but the most idealistic would be comfortable with their primary partner sleeping also with the first partner's siblings or their boss or coworkers, or engaging in very risky behaviors)?

It is also curious that some people here think that violating Culadasa's privacy in this way is egregious and that a legally rigorous standard of proof should be required for any discussion. I might avoid plenty of people for bad juju and bad reputations (such as their wife and former colleagues dismissing them for ethical misconduct from a religious organization) without legally admissable evidence.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 9:31 AM as a reply to Ryan.
Dharma teachers preaching psychological perfection models are doing a disservice to the extent they are setting students up for disillusionment and abandonment of spiritual practice when what they learn doesn't deliver as promised.

Here here.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 9:52 AM as a reply to JP.
In my opinion it is not a good idea to speculate on what did or did not happen until all the facts are determined beyond reasonable doubt, especially when we are talking about dharma teachers who might be members of the Noble Sangha.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 10:06 AM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Just in case anyone hasn't seen 'Wild Wild Country' on Netflix. It's brilliant. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 10:10 AM as a reply to S..

Dharma teachers preaching psychological perfection models are doing a disservice to the extent they are setting students up for disillusionment and abandonment of spiritual practice when what they learn doesn't deliver as promised.
This is mostly theravada forum and the goal of that is different than that of mahayana and vajrayana. Nevertheless, this statement is in direct contradiction with the idea of buddhahood as an attainment which by definition is marked by psychological perfection. Pick any teacher or text from mahayana and they all are teaching this. That it wouldn't be possible is an idea entertained by secular buddhists and such.

Mistaken analysis of one's or other's attainment is a different question.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 11:44 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
... psychological perfection.

This is like using the term "objective reality." 


RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 1:10 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... psychological perfection.
This is like using the term "objective reality." 


Presumably everyone here knows what the term buddhahood alludes to.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 1:30 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Chris Marti:
... psychological perfection.
This is like using the term "objective reality." 


Presumably everyone here knows what the term buddhahood alludes to.
Maybe yes, maybe no. I've never met one myself and, given the zen admonition to kill on sight, I sort of hope I never do.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 1:40 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

Presumably everyone here knows what the term buddhahood alludes to.

Everyone knows what it alludes to, though I expect most have different ideas of where buddhood begins. IMHO, expecting anyone who appears to inhabit a human body to behave impeccably (according to YOUR standards) is simply folly, regardless of your aspersions about their attainment. Some of the greatest teachers have seemingly had very human failings. What is more important, from my perpective, is what these apparent failings show us about our OWN characters, not about theirs. We are always surrounded by dharma. emoticon


-


General Question: Was the dharma from Culadasa good enough for you BEFORE these allegations?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 2:05 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Kim Katami:

Presumably everyone here knows what the term buddhahood alludes to.

Everyone knows what it alludes to, though I expect most have (1) different ideas of where buddhood begins. IMHO, expecting anyone who appears to inhabit a human body to (2) behave impeccably (according to YOUR standards) is simply folly, regardless of your aspersions about their attainment. (3) Some of the greatest teachers have seemingly had very human failings. What is more important, from my perpective, is what these apparent failings show us about our OWN characters, not about theirs. We are always surrounded by dharma. emoticon

-

General Question: (4) Was the dharma from Culadasa good enough for you BEFORE these allegations?
Hi,

1. What do you mean with "different ideas of where buddhahood begins"? I'm not a scholar but out from the top of my head I can't think of any differing views about this within mahayana schools.
2. No, I don't think it is foolish to expect perfect behaviour from buddhas, incl. those who inhabit physical body. However, it's a completely different question who are buddhas and who are samsaric beings. Even a drop of poison spoils a tank of clear water.
3. Do you mean "greatest teachers" who were attained buddhas or just people who were great teachers? Who do you mean specifically?
4. I have his book which I've read a bit and watched a bunch of his lectures online. I always liked him and his style of teaching. I even applied for his teacher training, though was rejected.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 2:23 PM as a reply to S..
S.:
I am a little surprised there seems to be many people on this thread who seem to think that what is legal and what is ethical are the same thing.

Curious that some people might think that harming your wife through an affair is not unethical, or does not violate a precept to do no harm through sexual heedlessness and deceit (two precepts).

I find it surprising and unsurprising at the same time that people are more worried about financial shenanigans, though I would agree financial shenanigans are a more serious issue than non-traditional sexual lifestyles. This does not just sound to me like some people are being prudes. Even if monogamy is not the right or preferred lifestyle by some people who conscientiously live differently, that doesn't just excuse arbitrary behavior and harmful actions in arbitrary marriages. Even in polyamorous contexts I think explicit and implicit boundaries grounded in the consent of multiple people beyond those involved in a particular sex act are pretty common (how many polyamorous people but the most idealistic would be comfortable with their primary partner sleeping also with the first partner's siblings or their boss or coworkers, or engaging in very risky behaviors)?

It is also curious that some people here think that violating Culadasa's privacy in this way is egregious and that a legally rigorous standard of proof should be required for any discussion. I might avoid plenty of people for bad juju and bad reputations (such as their wife and former colleagues dismissing them for ethical misconduct from a religious organization) without legally admissable evidence.


As far as I have seen, I’m one of the very few posters that explicitly said that polyamory per se is not a problem, and I did that only because some of the formulations both in the letter and in this thread seemed to say it is immoral regardless of circumstances to have more than one intimate (romantic and/or sexual) relationship. I did NOT say that betrayal of confidence was okay. On the contrary, I explicitly said that it’s not. And to add to the nuances, many polyamorous people do not have a primary partner. In my community, that term is often frowned upon as ethically problematic. I haven’t got the faintest idea as to whether or not Culadasa is polyamorous or as to what happened here. I neither defend him nor accuse him, have only said a few words about my own boundaries.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 2:45 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
As far as I have seen, I’m one of the very few posters that explicitly said that polyamory per se is not a problem, and I did that only because some of the formulations both in the letter and in this thread seemed to say it is immoral regardless of circumstances to have more than one intimate (romantic and/or sexual) relationship. I did NOT say that betrayal of confidence was okay. On the contrary, I explicitly said that it’s not. And to add to the nuances, many polyamorous people do not have a primary partner. In my community, that term is often frowned upon as ethically problematic. I haven’t got the faintest idea as to whether or not Culadasa is polyamorous or as to what happened here. I neither defend him nor accuse him, have only said a few words about my own boundaries.

A few other posters have focused on (a) the consent of all parties he had sex with as the primary ethical question, or (b) made statements suggesting monogamy is bad or unimportant (saying for example it is an artifact of Christian morality, or that he did nothing wrong sleeping with multiple people). That was my starting point for talking about it. I did not mean to single out your statements about polyamory as an attempt to justify his behavior, or to single out your comments in general. In fact I wanted to suggest that even within a kind of rich, consent-driven framework like polyamory that his behavior is not obviously acceptable. I am sorry if I sounded like I was criticizing you, or polyamory. I have a decent amount of experience with polyamorous people, communities, etc though I do not currently practice a polyamorous lifestyle. I have no particular criticism of it that I would claim is relevant.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 3:10 PM as a reply to S..
Thanks for your kind clarification! I didn’t feel singled out, but just wanted to be clear in case I wasn’t. I appreciate that nuanced perspective. <3

As for the end of my last post, I didn’t mean to adress you in particular, so that part was unclear (still). I got the impression that some posters basically saw the whole thread as either accusing or defending Culadasa, so I thought that maybe I wasn’t clear enough. That felt a bit uncomfortable, because I wouldn’t want to contribute to a polarized discussion.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 3:59 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

1. What do you mean with "different ideas of where buddhahood begins"? I'm not a scholar but out from the top of my head I can't think of any differing views about this within mahayana schools.
2. No, I don't think it is foolish to expect perfect behaviour from buddhas, incl. those who inhabit physical body. However, it's a completely different question who are buddhas and who are samsaric beings. Even a drop of poison spoils a tank of clear water.
3. Do you mean "greatest teachers" who were attained buddhas or just people who were great teachers? Who do you mean specifically?
4. I have his book which I've read a bit and watched a bunch of his lectures online. I always liked him and his style of teaching. I even applied for his teacher training, though was rejected.

Kim,

1. I mean in general, or amongst those on this board - not specifically in the Mahayana view. I personally agree with Dogen, and actually think this applies nicely to the entire question of Culadasa's behavior:

As all things are buddha-dharma, there is delusion and realization, practice, birth and death, and there are buddhas and sentient beings. 

As the myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death. - Dogen, Genjo-koan


2. Arhats are considered Buddhas in some traditions. An arhat would abide in no-self (IMHO) but still act as a human, flaws and all. I am not saying that this is Culadasa. As for a true "Mahayana" Buddha... I have not met one to the best of my knowledge, so cannot comment.

3. I think you could say it was either. Even the Buddha lost his temper, if we are to believe some accounts. I consider both Sogyal Rinpoche (who I have seen teach) and Chogyam Trungpa to be some of the greatest teachers (as an example) and yet many would agree that both had their flaws from a human behavioral perspective.  

4. I meant to ask this question to the entire board, so don't feel singled out. Thank you for your answer. emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:01 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
...
Nancy, his wife, was a particularly strong example of kindness, nurturing, and support to Culadasa and everyone else she came in contact with during the month I stayed at Dharma Treasure last September. Her capacity to defend and rationalize his relatively toxic behavior to me then was also a strong demonstration of her love and commitment to him and her obvious wish for people to get along and feel ok.
...

I am inspired to quote from this reddit thread, with typos corrected, which quoted one of my most inspiring teachers, Bill Hamilton, from his book Saints & Psychopaths, and echoing Neko's ethic valuing those who try to walk their talk:

PSYCHOPATHS SAY MEAN DO disparity:

Breaks own rules
Many bad debts
Writes bad checks
Break promises
No true regard for truth
Tell close associates to lie
Push philosophy aggressively
Attractive and drawing
Comes on with unsolicited advice
Good reputation fades in time
Projects & organization degenerate
In the long run things turn out badly
People are damaged by long term association
Are unconcerned for effect of actions on self and others
Apologize as last resort
Ignore their own mistakes and apologizes only if cornered
If trapped will do or say anything to escape
Typically have variable exotic health problems
Typically have many accidents and injuries
Felt unloved when a child
Can sit still only when center of attention
Enslave people around them
Substance abuse common
Compulsion to become the center of attention
Adopt many aliases

Do your own math, reach your own conclusions, make your own decisions, choose as wisely as you can, realizing that every choice has some downside to it, though some clearly may be better than others. Think about what sort of world you want to live in and what you wish to promote. Finding some way to balance forgiveness and paths to redemtion with real, just consequences for harm is clearly an ongoing debate that we must all engage with carefully.

Hello Daniel.

Are you saying Nancy Yates discussed Culadasa's sexual conduct with you last year?

Are you implying that Culadasa is psychopathic? That you bring out a list like that in this thread does make it seem so.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:17 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:

There are more basic and universal laws than the dharma, one is if you talk the talk the talk, you've gotta walk the walk. This is a principle of dignity, virtue, and personal responsibility that applies to all domains of life and human interaction. Since Culadasa makes it all about 5 hindrances, 10 upasaka vows, and 10 fetters, he has to stand up to his own standards.


Neko, you are right. If that is how he is presenting himself, that is how he should live.

An interesting contrast would be Drukpa Kunley's Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom - he talked the talk and walked the walk. Of course it was a rather different regularly intoxicated and extremely polyamorous talk, but he was at least consistent ...  I am surprised he doesn't get more discussion in western buddhism.  emoticon

Poem about happiness

I am happy that I am a free Yogi.
So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.
I can have sex with many women,
because I help them to go the path of enlightenment.
Outwardly I'm a fool
and inwardly I live with a clear spiritual system.
Outwardly, I enjoy wine, women and song.
And inwardly I work for the benefit of all beings.
Outwardly, I live for my pleasure
and inwardly I do everything in the right moment.
Outwardly I am a ragged beggar
and inwardly a blissful Buddha.

Drukpa Kunley

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:11 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

Kim,

3. I think you could say it was either. Even the Buddha lost his temper, if we are to believe some accounts. I consider both Sogyal Rinpoche (who I have seen teach) and Chogyam Trungpa to be some of the greatest teachers (as an example) and yet many would agree that both had their flaws from a human behavioral perspective.  

Impossible to discuss Shakyamuni because none of us here has firsthand knowledge or experience of who he was, what he did and whether he had fits. Also, the notion of someone being a fully liberated buddha is a complex question because there is no way (other than OHBM, afaik) that people could agree on that. But considering Soggy and Trungpa... Well, I'm just going to have to strongly disagree on either of them being great teachers. Sure, they taught dharma, among all the nasty things, but I do not consider either of them "great" in any way.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 5:38 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

Impossible to discuss Shakyamuni because none of us here has firsthand knowledge or experience of who he was, what he did and whether he had fits. Also, the notion of someone being a fully liberated buddha is a complex question because there is no way (other than OHBM, afaik) that people could agree on that. But considering Soggy and Trungpa... Well, I'm just going to have to strongly disagree on either of them being great teachers. Sure, they taught dharma, among all the nasty things, but I do not consider either of them "great" in any way.

Exactly - this is what I am saying. There will be many ideas about it, but the qualities of THE Buddha (or any historical Buddha) can only be assumed or imputed, never known... 

You are naturally free to choose whatever teachers you prefer - but in my experience the dharma perfumes the fabric of every phenomena.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 7:06 PM as a reply to JP.
As recent events are engaging with aspects of Culadasa's behavior that are bringing his claims and policies into question, I do have a comment. 

I'll preface this by stating I've never had a direct exchange with Culadasa and the little that I do know of him is via a very limited exposure to the dharma media he's produced and various publicly shared opinions of those who've practiced with him … on the whole mostly positive (with some exceptions until recent events). I do own his book based on many recommendations however I've not finished it as I bogged down a short distance into it (likely attributable to having reached a point of over-saturation in dharma reading than to anything in particular about the book ... and it remains in position near the top of my reading cue). I listened to some very brief sections of his YouTube videos and a podcast, but frankly not enough to really get a solid feel for what his teaching and scene are like. 

I recall some time ago reading (where I can’t recall exactly - quite possibly it was on this forum) about Culadasa offering one-on-one Skype teachings which were priced at an hourly rate that was far beyond any fee I’d ever heard of a Buddhist teacher ever charging for the dharma … IIRC it wasn't a sliding scale but rather a fixed fee and it almost approached the hourly fee of a good, experienced, successful NYC attorney. It’s not my place to tell someone how to run their business or how to become a market maker in the dharma, nonetheless my impression was that the fee was outlandish and it was hard to make sense of it in context of a 'Buddhist' teacher (as opposed to a strictly secular-pragmatic meditation teacher unaligned with Buddhism specifically … furthermore I'm not aware of teachers in the latter category charging such high fees). It did leave a very odd taste in my mouth. Very odd. Maybe Culadasa needed the funds for personal expenses and/or maybe he needed them to support his 'harem'? Is that fee structure a manifestation of excessive greed or ambition? Is there an explanation that's reasonable (with an understanding that due to the current allegations of deceitfulness and how it eventually plays out much of what Culadasa henceforth discloses may be subject to skepticism)? I’m sure I don’t know the whole story and maybe his scene and the cost of living in Arizona is more than I’ve ever imagined. It just seemed wierd. I'm honestly not sure what to think but my initial gut impression has never changed: something is 'off'. Maybe as the current scandal unfolds I'll be able to better make sense of this either pro or con. 

No doubt that the TMI brand has been damaged no matter how you slice it. 
Despite that I have the impression that Culadasa has something unique and valuable to share that's suited to this particular moment of the Dharma's unfolding in the West. 
Wishing the very best to Culadasa and all those impacted by these events and that we all grow wiser through them. Perhaps in time the truth will emerge and we'll have another data point to add to our collective wisdom. 


PS: a shout out to Daniel and his evocation of Bill Hamilton's admonitions and example of keeping it real. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 8:50 PM as a reply to Monsoon Frog.
Culadasa once said that that high fee is to filter students that really need to talk to him, and to put a control on how he (Culadasa) spends his time, and to make him use his time more skillfully, because without that, he spends too much time on answering people's questions, and doesn't get enought time for more important works.

I once sent him an email, said that because of US sanctions I am not able to buy his book, but probably I could ask a friend in another country to buy it but they can't send it to me, he responded promptly, and after he gave permission, my friend purchased a kindle version of the book, and after I sent the purchase confirmation to Culadasa, he sent me a pdf copy of the book, and said that my friend can use that copy too.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 10:39 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Right.

However, I am suprised to note that no one commented on the qualitative difference between this case and the cases of Richard Baker at SFZC in the '70's and early '80s, Sogayl Rimpoche more recently, and the Sakyoung, head of Shambhala until he was removed last year for, among other things, allegedly raping some of his female students. Since I know two women involved in two of these cases, I can pretty much say that these were not "he said-she said" stories, but rather involved sustained and systematic abuses of an asymmetric power relationship over many years that the sanghas involved chose to explain away and ignore rather than deal with. One of those women was the Zen teacher that I took tokudo (monk) vows with, and she spent the first year I studied with her periodically talking about the harm that such abuse does, both to the individual and the group. She insisted I read Raven, the story of Jim Jones and the People's Temple, and told me that if she ever started behaving like that, it was my job to call her out on it.

From the description of the allegations in this thread, nobody is accusing Culadasa of that. This is not to say that his behavior is at all acceptable in a Dharma teacher, or that there might not be legal implications (if, for example, some of the money he paid to prostitutes was embezzled from temple funds). I personally find his behavior unacceptable in anyone, much less a Dharma teacher, and if a unbiased investigation and trial does result in proven law-breaking, then he should naturally suffer the consequences. And Daniel's report on his inhospitable behavor last September is indeed puzzling. Why did he invite Daniel if he was going to behave like such a jerk?

With respect to his teachings, I found TMI to be quite helpful in clarifying my own practice with respect to jhana. I have never been able to do the "stable luminous ball at the nostrals" visualization (what Culadasa describes as the "luminous" jhanas), and in TMI, Culadasa describes some other types of jhana that I have experienced. I've never actually met him, and just briefly viewed one of his Youtube videos (wasn't very impressed). But actually, I can say the same thing about Richard Baker. Several years ago, I read one of the best commentaries on the Heart Sutra I have ever read, written by him (he now has a center in Crestone, Colarado and Switzerland). Some folks further up thread commented on the "saints and psychopaths" aspect so I won't say more.

It is best that the board requested his resignation, and if he broke any laws, he should be prosecuted, but I hope people will keep this in perspective. The amount of psychological and spiritual harm to others that can come from systematically abusing a power relationship is several orders of magnitude worse than the kinds of behavior Culadasa is being accused of.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/21/19 10:59 PM as a reply to Ben V..
One thing in all this that doesn't seem to be addrssed, at least directly, is the pain that the wife must be in right now, if the allegations are true.

This is not just about the topic of Dharma teachers misbehaving, or about students being disappointed that their teachers displayed misbehaviors.

It is not first and foremost about a discussion of how awakening and ethics are or are not related.

Nor is it about ethical reflections around polyamory (I don't see any polyamory in the allegations anyway).

I imagine, if the allegations are true, that the most pain inflicted in this situation is to the wife, who must be devastated. 

If the allegations are true, she needs our compassion and empathy, at least in thoughts. May she and all others involved get whatever healing they need.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 4:05 AM as a reply to Monsoon Frog.
$325 for a 45 minute consultation:
https://dharmatreasure.org/private-consultations/

Oddly there doesn't seem to be any word of the revelations on the Dharma Treasure site or forum. It's all over Reddit of course.  

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 4:28 AM as a reply to Monsoon Frog.
Monsoon Frog:

I recall some time ago reading (where I can’t recall exactly - quite possibly it was on this forum) about Culadasa offering one-on-one Skype teachings which were priced at an hourly rate that was far beyond any fee I’d ever heard of a Buddhist teacher ever charging for the dharma …

$325 for a 45 minutes consultation, according to this web page:

https://dharmatreasure.org/private-consultations/

The cost of his teacher training is comparable: $2000 for the full course of about 50 classes of two hours each, with 20 participants in each cohort gives you an hourly rate of:

($2000 * 20) / (50 * 2 hours) = $400 per hour


Although in actual practice the Teacher Training classes are proceeding at a slower pace than anticipated, so they end up being something closer to 65 classes in actual practice, which gives you:

($2000 * 20) / (65 * 2 hours) = $310 per hour


Those are actually standard fees, particularly in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I know several not-so-big names who charge similar fees. If a famous or not-so-famous teacher does not publish his or her hourly rate on his or her website, chances are they charge similar amounts. The only reason you've never heard of similar fees is that mostly people keep quiet about it, for fear of the backlash.

So in this regard Culadasa stands out not for how much he charges, but for being completely public about it, which is a point in his favour.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 4:24 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:

An interesting contrast would be Drukpa Kunley's Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom - he talked the talk and walked the walk. Of course it was a rather different regularly intoxicated and extremely polyamorous talk, but he was at least consistent ...  I am surprised he doesn't get more discussion in western buddhism.  emoticon

Poem about happiness

I am happy that I am a free Yogi.
So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.
I can have sex with many women,
because I help them to go the path of enlightenment.
Outwardly I'm a fool
and inwardly I live with a clear spiritual system.
Outwardly, I enjoy wine, women and song.
And inwardly I work for the benefit of all beings.
Outwardly, I live for my pleasure
and inwardly I do everything in the right moment.
Outwardly I am a ragged beggar
and inwardly a blissful Buddha.

Drukpa Kunley

Oh, absolutely: If someone publicly presented himself thusly, it'd be totes kosher AFAIC. Let consenting adults do consenting adult stuff.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 6:00 AM as a reply to Fastlane.
Fastlane:
$325 for a 45 minute consultation:
https://dharmatreasure.org/private-consultations/

Oddly there doesn't seem to be any word of the revelations on the Dharma Treasure site or forum. It's all over Reddit of course.  


Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Culadasa once said that that high fee is to filter students that really need to talk to him


Pardon me while I recover from Buddhist sticker shock. 

Based on those figures I’ll modify my assessment and state that Culadasa’s hourly dharma fee is equal to what a high end NYC attorney charges by the hour. 

In other words income and wealth become the filter for a 'real need to talk’? Sounds to me like nothing more than a way to filter out the students without deep pockets. Anyone that can dish out a consultation fee of $433/hr is going to either be in a high income bracket, a desperate sucker, or both ... regardless of 'the need to really talk'. 

neko wrote:
Those are actually standard fees, particularly in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I know several not-so-big names who charge similar fees. If a famous or not-so-famous teacher does not publish his or her hourly rate on his or her website, chances are they charge similar amounts. The only reason you've never heard of similar fees is that mostly people keep quiet about it, for fear of the backlash.

The money flow in modern Buddhism.

I really need to hurry up and get enlightened so I'll have my license to print money : )


And a Bill Hamilton quote: 
“As one of my students said after reviewing the costs of retreats around the country, ‘I can’t afford to be a Buddhist.’ I hope to change this situation.”


RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 6:19 AM as a reply to Monsoon Frog.
I personally would also never pay that much and I can understand why it would make people sceptical.

On the other hand: I (or anybody else) does have no right to another person's time. If I feel I really need help and I think that only talking to a certain person for two hours every day will help me and that person doesn't want to or charges too much money for me.... well, tough luck.

And there is the very real question on how a demanded teacher does spend his time. It's a legitimate point. How would you decide who "really" needs help? Also if somebody needs TMI specific help, there are forums where teachers and teachers-in-training can answer you. I am sure some would also be willing to skype with you for free or for dana.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 7:11 AM as a reply to Monsoon Frog.
Based on those figures I’ll modify my assessment and state that Culadasa’s hourly dharma fee is equal to what a high end NYC attorney charges by the hour. 

Just for the sake of accuracy, a high-end attorney in NYC can cost upwards of $1,000 per hour. I have professional experience with paying such people.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 2:57 PM as a reply to JP.
One of the interesting parts of this thing for me, is the mention of 4 years period in the letter. I wonder what was the relationship between publishing TMI, and these behaviors. Did they start after TMI has been published? Also what was the role of that psychological work that Culadasa had done with Douglas Tataryn. Did these activities start after that psychological work, or before it?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 5:04 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I seen this posted on Reddit but I figured it was worth a cross-post here for discussion purposes.

Watching the July Patreon Q&A, I am struck by something Culadasa said, initially on the subject of shamanism and psychological healing. In this short passage, he is describing how awakening can blind one to shadow stuff that never got "cleaned up."

The most interesting piece is from 58:00 to 1:01:20. The link is 
https://youtu.be/X7brJ8qrLBo 

Just putting this forth as information.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 10:07 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:
curious:

An interesting contrast would be Drukpa Kunley's Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom - he talked the talk and walked the walk. Of course it was a rather different regularly intoxicated and extremely polyamorous talk, but he was at least consistent ...  I am surprised he doesn't get more discussion in western buddhism.  emoticon

Poem about happiness

I am happy that I am a free Yogi.
So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.
I can have sex with many women,
because I help them to go the path of enlightenment.
Outwardly I'm a fool
and inwardly I live with a clear spiritual system.
Outwardly, I enjoy wine, women and song.
And inwardly I work for the benefit of all beings.
Outwardly, I live for my pleasure
and inwardly I do everything in the right moment.
Outwardly I am a ragged beggar
and inwardly a blissful Buddha.

Drukpa Kunley

Oh, absolutely: If someone publicly presented himself thusly, it'd be totes kosher AFAIC. Let consenting adults do consenting adult stuff.

It's an interesting phenomenon where the people who we thought of as pristine, go down hard for things like adultery (think Tiger Woods, Hugh Grant). But JFK, rock stars,  get away with it without much of a second thought. It's almost part of their charm. Same with spiritual teachers.

Osho demanded blowjobs at forty-five minute intervals from his acolytes, but he owned it and boasted to have had more sex than any man in history.

We care more about the supposed inconsistency than we due about the action itself. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 10:16 PM as a reply to JP.
Culadasa apologized:
Dear Dharma Friends,

I’m writing to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the harm and suffering I have caused my wife and family. I engaged in adultery and wrong speech, and failed to honor my commitment to my marriage. I’m also sorry for the pain I have caused the members of the Dharma Treasure Board, who have all been supportive friends for many years. And I’m sorry for the hurt, disappointment, and confusion this revelation has caused you who are learning about it now. (To be clear, I engaged in consensual relationships with adult women, none of whom were my students.)

Please bear with me as I take time to understand what led me to my choices and address all that’s happened. I intend to enter therapy, and I look forward to hearing and reflecting upon your responses to this letter as a part of my process of cleaning up and growing up. As part of that process I have also begun to work with dharma peers. Please be patient with me as I begin to understand the full impact of what I’ve done. More information to follow, I’ll communicate with you as I’m able.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/22/19 11:32 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thank you Daniel for these pithy reminders. Very helpful to me at this time.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 6:21 AM as a reply to mushi.
mushi:
I seen this posted on Reddit but I figured it was worth a cross-post here for discussion purposes.

Watching the July Patreon Q&A, I am struck by something Culadasa said, initially on the subject of shamanism and psychological healing. In this short passage, he is describing how awakening can blind one to shadow stuff that never got "cleaned up."

The most interesting piece is from 58:00 to 1:01:20. The link is 
https://youtu.be/X7brJ8qrLBo 

Just putting this forth as information.
In the video Culadasa, a veteran of 50 years of practice and one of the most respected teachers of buddhist meditation in the West, discusses The Mind Illuminated, his own version of buddhist sutrayana meditations, and states that it "doesn't go far enough", despite of insight and awakening that the method produces. This lecture was given about a month before he was fired or himself left his own Dharma Treasure organisation due to allegations of misconduct in the forms of lying and extramarital sexual affairs.

Although Culadasa's bio says that together with his hinayana lineage, he also has vajrayana lineage, I have never seen or found a reference that would state that he is a tantric practitioner or that he would teach tantra. If you know that my information lacks in this regard, please correct me. I have sought this bit of information for few years but never found it. In some webcasts he has mentioned vajrayana in general but I have never seen him talk about tantric practices in the sense that it was something that he and his students were actively involved with. 

In the video he says that he has gone through buddhist meditation training and that, despite of some illumination, "buddhist meditation traditions" (in plural) have severe deficiencies. He goes on to say that combination of shamanism and buddhism would tap what his practices leave untapped. In this connection, he also mentions Tibetan buddhism and Bon-tradition. It adds to my belief that he is not a vajrayana practitioner because he doesn't mention his own vajrayana teachings or practices.

To my knowledge, Culadasa is a practitioner of sutrayana, so I cannot take his statement about the deficiency of all buddhist traditions  seriously. I am aware that buddhism in general and Tibetan vajrayana in particular has all kinds of problems but in general based on my own observations vajrayana practitioners as a rule go farther in their practice than practitioners of sutrayana within both mahayana and hinayana. I leave scholars, academics and doctors of buddhism entirely out of this. In terms of bhumi analysis (OHBM) it can be clearly seen that tantrics have more bhumis open and perfected, or in common terms have more clarity and purity than sutrayana practitioners do. By saying this I do not deny the benefits of sutrayana, neither in mahayana nor in hinayana, because I know from my own experience that sutra practice reaps beneftis. However, in my experience as well as Culadasa's, sutrayana leaves a lot of the psyche into the shadow. It just "doesn't go far enough". For this reason I have discussed the greater benefits of tantric practice.

The problem is that sutric meditation practice is built on one's own effort, energy and ability of attention which in the present samsaric condition are very limited. On the other hand, tantric deities that are archetypes of the enlightened mind cannot but reveal all the nooks and corners of the mind or psyche, leaving nothing hidden. This is the potential tantric practice. Some ex-Tibetan buddhists, like Stephen Batchelor, have not understood this so they have renounced tantra.

Culadasa, "As you progress on the paths of awakening, the changes of you recognising them (parts of our pscyhe) as something that needs to be purified, diminishes.".

It is such a strange thing to say but at least he is honest. This precisely is Culadasa's testimony of the insufficiency of his long sutric practice that according to his experience, he is no longer able to find the very inner obstructions and habits that lead him to behave in unethical and destructive ways. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 6:43 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
To my knowledge, Culadasa is a practitioner of sutrayana, so I cannot take his statement about the deficiency of all buddhist traditions  seriously. I am aware that buddhism in general and Tibetan vajrayana in particular has all kinds of problems but in general based on my own observations vajrayana practitioners as a rule go farther in their practice than practitioners of sutrayana within both mahayana and hinayana.

You're taking a tragic, terribly unfortunate and painful occurrence that is affecting a lot of people and making a "my dharma is better than your dharma" thing out of it. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 7:07 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
To my knowledge, Culadasa is a practitioner of sutrayana, so I cannot take his statement about the deficiency of all buddhist traditions  seriously. I am aware that buddhism in general and Tibetan vajrayana in particular has all kinds of problems but in general based on my own observations vajrayana practitioners as a rule go farther in their practice than practitioners of sutrayana within both mahayana and hinayana.
You're taking a tragic, terribly unfortunate and painful occurrence that is affecting a lot of people and making a "my dharma is better than your dharma" thing out of it. 
Not exactly, Chris. Are you not hearing what he is saying? I do think it's again really tragic that senior buddhist practitioners screw up like this. Like it or not, one has to have a really selective filter to not see that there are big problems there/here.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 7:31 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
That's a respectable apology, IMHO. Wishing him the best in his process to come.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 7:39 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Not exactly, Chris. Are you not hearing what he is saying? I do think it's again really tragic that senior buddhist practitioners screw up like this. Like it or not, one has to have a really selective filter to not see that there are big problems there/here.

You're deflecting. It's patently obvious there are problems here but they are exacerbated by people who make the problems out to be anything other than human foibles.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
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8/23/19 7:50 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I have to agree with Chris. You may have the best intentions, but it is probably painful enough for everybody involved without having this turned into some kind of dharma battle. Besides, didn’t you say that this was not that much of a problem? Suddenly you find it really tragic?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 8:36 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I will not battle with you or anyone else. You are free to disagree with what I say and interpret what I say in your own way.

To me, at the moment, it looks like Culadasa's misconduct isn't even nearly as bad as many of his colleagues, but still it is misconduct. I never said or meant that it was nothing, just that he didn't seem to screw up as badly as others.

I intended my previous message to be constructive and helpful, rather than desctructive or divisive. I am sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings by posting it so soon after the bad news came out. I didn't come to think of this when posting my message.

I wish the best for Culadasa, his family and students. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 8:49 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Oh, okay. Thanks for clarifying! I’m not going to hold you to my interpretations. It is so easy to misunderstand each other on the internet, and predicting what others will make of something isn’t always that easy.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 4:49 PM as a reply to JP.
I am disturbed by some of the condemnations of his behavior. To be clear, I'm not defending any of his behavior. However, I have to believe that if the offense caused the same amount of pain to his wife, but was non-sexual in nature, it wouldn't be seen as being such a big deal. I'm sure that the taboo nature of the topic made it unnecessarily difficult for him to deal with this situation before it got out of control. Of course, I don't know all the details, but I find it hard to see this as such a simple case of lying.

It seems pretty obvious to me that many people are upset about this because of the expectations they had of him. Those expectations are unrealistic, and should never have been there in the first place. Demanding an apology from him so that you can feel like "the world makes sense again" is, in my estimation, not the best way to learn and grow from this incident. I also can't help but wonder if his apology is not serving to reinforce those expectations in the future.

At the same time, I will admit that this whole thing is a little bit disorienting for me, as well. I had some of those expectations, too.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 5:09 PM as a reply to spatial.
... many people are upset about this because of the expectations they had of him. 

Yes, that's the heart of where the condemnations and anger and fear and doubt and disappointment come from. I had a teacher once who disappointed me in a very public way. Not the kind of thing that caused this incident but none-the-less very upsetting. It taught me, at least in regard to the dharma, that we can't put people, any people, on pedestals. They're people!

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 5:21 PM as a reply to spatial.
Reading your post, I'm wondering then, what level of ethics shall we expect from a Dharma teacher, a teaching in which a part of the path is sila/ethics? The basic moral precepts include abstention from lying and from sexual misconduct. What if a teacher is involved long-term in breaking them? What are we to make of that?

I don't have easy answers. Obviously more and more we see how humans can screw up. But if someone is in a position of a teacher of a certain path, and he or she betrays aspects of that path big time, it seems normal that students will react in dismay. In any case, I think we could still appreciate whatever strength a teacher has and feel gratitude for it, even if he or she screws up in other ways. I havn't read TMI but it seems many are benifiting from it. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 5:23 PM as a reply to Ben V..
What if we were to hold dharma teachers to the same moral standards we hold everyone?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 5:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
What if we were to hold dharma teachers to the same moral standards we hold everyone?

That would be great. When I see that people expect that dharma teachers should do all kind of work or service, but don't demand money, it kind of looks unbelievable to me. Why should we expect a senior professional (a senior teacher) to spend their time for us and don't be paid? Really why?!

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 5:36 PM as a reply to JP.
Renunciation and the fruits of the spiritual life 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 5:50 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
Reading your post, I'm wondering then, what level of ethics shall we expect from a Dharma teacher, a teaching in which a part of the path is sila/ethics? The basic moral precepts include abstention from lying and from sexual misconduct. What if a teacher is involved long-term in breaking them? What are we to make of that?

I don't have easy answers. Obviously more and more we see how humans can screw up. But if someone is in a position of a teacher of a certain path, and he or she betrays aspects of that path big time, it seems normal that students will react in dismay. In any case, I think we could still appreciate whatever strength a teacher has and feel gratitude for it, even if he or she screws up in other ways. I havn't read TMI but it seems many are benifiting from it. 

I don't have easy answers either.

If a teacher is abusing students, or knowingly misrepresenting his own level of attainment, then it would seem to me that he shouldn't be teaching. 

I'm not so sure that "breaking precepts" is quite as clear-cut. What is the benefit in only allowing people to teach who are perfect exemplars of moral conduct? In what way does that serve the students? And, where are you going to find these people? We all make mistakes now and then. Not to mention that there are many who exhibit perfect morality, but for the wrong reasons.

What exactly is the issue here? That he betrayed the path? I'm not sure that the path is something that can be "betrayed." It is a training. You're supposed to make mistakes. That's kinda the point. I'm more interested in how he handles himself now, than in what happened in the past.

Is the issue that his mistakes indicate that his level of mastery is nowhere near what he claimed it was? If that's true, I could understand saying that he's not qualified to teach. But, I'm not convinced that it's true. I just don't know.

It feels like a deflection of responsibility. Condemning him does not seem to me to be a practice in the spirit of metta or other Buddhist principles. I fail to see what benefit it brings, beyond making people feel safe. Is the issue that he's now revealed to have been a bad teacher all along, or that he's no longer living up to the grandfatherly image people had of him?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 6:05 PM as a reply to spatial.
Also, the amount of good that this man has done in his life is simply mind-boggling to me. Writing a book like that, spreading that kind of information, the impact he has had on his students and readers who will then go out into the world and do likewise...

If I wanted to learn morality, I would not want to learn it from someone who had a normal life and never makes mistakes. Instead, I would rather learn it from someone who had a completely screwed up childhood, has somehow managed to turn himself into a force for good, and is currently working on some unresolved intimacy issues.

I don't mean to defend him so vigorously, but this is a perspective that definitely shows up in my mind.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 6:08 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Also, the amount of good that this man has done in his life is simply mind-boggling to me. Writing a book like that, spreading that kind of information, the impact he has had on his students and readers who will then go out into the world and do likewise...

If I wanted to learn morality, I would not want to learn it from someone who had a normal life and never makes mistakes. Instead, I would rather learn it from someone who had a completely screwed up childhood, has somehow managed to turn himself into a force for good, and is currently working on some unresolved intimacy issues.

I don't mean to defend him so vigorously, but this is a perspective that definitely shows up in my mind.

I agree completely.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 6:40 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... many people are upset about this because of the expectations they had of him. 

Yes, that's the heart of where the condemnations and anger and fear and doubt and disappointment come from. I had a teacher once who disappointed me in a very public way. Not the kind of thing that caused this incident but none-the-less very upsetting. It taught me, at least in regard to the dharma, that we can't put people, any people, on pedestals. They're people!
That's a really hard lesson to learn. I've been through that sort of thing many times with various kinds of teachers in my life. Part of what is disorienting me is realizing just how much I do that. Demanding that a teacher live up to my need to put them on a pedestal...it's totally unworkable.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 8:08 PM as a reply to spatial.
Well, the precepts and Sila generally are part of the eightfold path. It’s quite interesting in the Suttas when Dharmadinna, an arhat, is approach for guidance by her ex husband, and she says “yes I followed the eightfold path”. Past tense, as in the path stops at the destination.  Somewhere else is the Suttas, the question is raised what kind of monks needs to worry about heedlessness from intoxication, and the answer is all except those whose taints are ended. And of course Tibetan buddishm has many examples of renowned teachers drinking and having sex, and in fact yab-yam sex (physical or visualised) can be part of the Tibetan path for both females and males.

Even in Theravada, I think that sila is a means to an end, rather than being the end in itself. The primary purpose of sila is to help purify oneself. One would hope that having had deep non-dual insights Culadasa would seek to show harmlessness and act from compassion, and he mostly seems to do this, even in the nature of his transgression, except that he clearly has deeply hurt his wife and friends.  

And yes, I agree the precepts are a bit of a red herring here. Would he get the same reaction for breaking the precepts by having a glass of red wine. Or by setting mouse traps? I suspect not. So I think what we have here is clinging to the guru, and clinging to sila. And maybe clinging to judeo-christian morality. Clinging leads to suffering. 

Less clinging, less suffering.

So Spatial - let me ask from a place of compassion - what else are you clinging to? No need to answer but you might find it an interesting question to examine. What you have recognised in yourself is also a door. You can open it and walk through, if you want to.

May all beings flourish.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/23/19 8:54 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:

If I wanted to learn morality, I would not want to learn it from someone who had a normal life and never makes mistakes. 

Exactly. And what makes anyone think that there isn't teaching in this episode as well as in his book or in the speech?

I am not saying this as an apologist for Mr. Yates.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 4:34 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 5:39 AM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
I am disturbed by some of the condemnations of his behavior. To be clear, I'm not defending any of his behavior. However, I have to believe that if the offense caused the same amount of pain to his wife, but was non-sexual in nature, it wouldn't be seen as being such a big deal. I'm sure that the taboo nature of the topic made it unnecessarily difficult for him to deal with this situation before it got out of control. Of course, I don't know all the details, but I find it hard to see this as such a simple case of lying.

It seems pretty obvious to me that many people are upset about this because of the expectations they had of him. Those expectations are unrealistic, and should never have been there in the first place. Demanding an apology from him so that you can feel like "the world makes sense again" is, in my estimation, not the best way to learn and grow from this incident. I also can't help but wonder if his apology is not serving to reinforce those expectations in the future.

At the same time, I will admit that this whole thing is a little bit disorienting for me, as well. I had some of those expectations, too.

Very well put! Personally I think there is a similar taboo with regard to romantic relationships regardless of the amount of sex. Seeing a (one) partner as ”mine” has deep cultural roots that interact with the psychological roots that seem to differ between individuals. It is seen as the default mode. It is assumed that a relationship is monogamous if the parties involved haven’t explicitly ”renegotiated” this. Given that context, imtimate relationships with others become a betrayal, but that is a conceptual overlay. This doesn’t make it less of a betrayal. We need to relate to the actual context, not to contexts that might have been. However, it is not a once and for all given context.

I agree with your whole post.

Apologies should be to those wo have directly been harmed. I have no need for an apology, as I haven’t been harmed. Apologies may not be the most skillful way to relate to it either. I don’t know if the actions involved buying of sexual service, and frankly, it is none of my business, but in general I see that kind of transaction as part of oppressive systems that interact in complex ways. Harm can be done even with subjective consent, because consent is dependently originated and may be less onepointed than one thinks. Apologizing to someone who subjectively consented gets sort of condescending, though, because it implies lack of agency. People in general like to think of themselves as having agency. From a buddhist perspective, there is no agency for any of us ultimately, but that doesn’t really help with that. Therefore harm cannot always be adressed in apologies. I still believe that it is skillful to consider it as harm and try to minimize one’s partaking in oppressive systems. That is my opinion, and I’m sure not everyone agrees. It’s not an ultimate truth, but it is how I relate to ethics in my life. Of course, having loving relationships with people who also happen to sell sex is a different thing. The same goes for supporting them economically. They should not be excluded from people’s caring based on some arbitrary principal. It is my personal belief, though, that a transactional approach to intimate interplay can to a varying extent make it difficult for the parties involved to pinpoint the exact boundaries for what is what. Therefore it is also sometimes very complicated to draw the lines fow exactly what is an ethically unproblematic form of relating and what contributes to power imbalances that enable harm to be done. I think unfortunately most people apply some degree of transactional thinking to their close relationships, because that’s how samsara works, but paying for sex puts that to a head. The way I see it - and I know that this is intensively debated - normalizing the buying of sex enhances samsara. I don’t think it’s the way to go. At the same time, the people who sell sex should be respected just like everybody else and have the same rights. They should not be stigmatized. I don’t know what would accomplish this* without normalizing something that enhances samsara and that also makes it too easy to exploit people in trafficking and people who have a difficult situation socially and economically, sometimes involving severe drug addictions and self-harming behavior (I have friends who have sold sex as self-harming behavior). The dependent origination here is a mess.

*) EDIT: I personally believe that the Swedish law, that makes it legal to sell sex but illegal to buy it, is an attemt at balancing this, and the best one that I have heard of so far, but obviously it doesn’t work perfectly. This is a very complicated issue.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 5:07 AM as a reply to Sugar Dharma Daddy.
Sugar Dharma Daddy:


I also see the point in the argument behind this. There are structures at play that enable people in some positions to get away with things that are harmful to others. Being a teacher in the dharma is one such position, and it also interacts with other positions with regard to power structures such as gender inequalities, racism, class, and ableism. I think it is important to be aware of these structures and mindful of how they affect us. By making excuses we contribute to structures that enable this to happen. Especially if we do it differently for different people. I cannot tell to what extent we are doing this, but to some extent I think it is likely that we are (as a collective).

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 7:07 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hey Linda, I agree with your whole post.

"Apologies should be to those wo have directly been harmed. I have no need for an apology, as I haven’t been harmed. Apologies may not be the most skillful way to relate to it either. I don’t know if the actions involved buying of sexual dhamma service, and frankly, it is none of my business, but in general I see that kind of transaction as part of oppressive systems that interact in complex ways.[...]. Of course, having loving dhamma relationships with people who also happen to sell sex it is a different thing. The same goes for supporting them economically. They should not be excluded from people’s caring based on some arbitrary principal. It is my personal belief, though, that a transactional approach to intimate dhamma interplay can to a varying extent make it difficult for the parties involved to pinpoint the exact boundaries for what is what. Therefore it is also sometimes very complicated to draw the lines fow exactly what is an ethically unproblematic form of relating and what contributes to power imbalances that enable harm to be done. I think unfortunately most people apply some degree of transactional thinking to their close relationships, because that’s how samsara works, but paying for sex dhamma puts that to a head. The way I see it - and I know that this is intensively debated - normalizing the buying of sex dhamma enhances samsara. I don’t think it’s the way to go."

Well I stop there, sorry, I could not help it... It came to me reading your post. Like dhamma, we like sex to be free. Money takes a whole emotional dimension off the act of making love (well, I infer here)... Ok the commercialisation of dhamma has more in common, perhaps, with the commercialisation of discussion as in various therapies but the point remains. There is a demand, which has to be satisfied...

About the Culadasa issue, it seems to me, taking in account Daniel's comment, that the board was composed of wise and balanced people, and that they pondered for a long while before going public.It seems to me that it got to the point where they recognized that he was not fit to teach anymore, period. I do not see it as a jealous reaction of his wife. And he waited for a while before issuing his "apology", when it became evident that there was no way out. He is still navigating not to lose his "big business" in the long term. And his apologies are directed at his customers, mainly...
I also wonder, with Slavash, if it had something to do with his therapy, because he talks in the DY podcast of how different emotions (hindrances, really) came to the surface after being absent for so long. Was lust one of them? Maybe getting in therapy was already part of looking for a solution, not a trigger. It seems also that he got a lot of help from some students with putting the book into shape... doubt is creeping in about his attainments, I must confess.

Well, enough rambling, that was pure reactivity I admit
May all involved find true happiness, true liberation
smiling stone

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 8:41 AM as a reply to Smiling Stone.
Hi Smiley!

I don’t know if the part of stopping there and apologizing meant that you found something to disagree with or if you just felt the need to say something instead. In either way, I think you raise valid points, in your whole post. The selling and buying of dhamma involves similar complications, I suppose, although the power balance is very different in those two cases. The person selling dhamma normally doesn’t get abused by their customers as often as is the case in the majority of transactions regarding sexual services. That abuse is my main reason for not wanting to normalize buying of sex (for singling out this kind of transaction in particular) and yet not wanting the selling to be illegal.

As for the role of therapy, I’m leaning more to it as a solution than a trigger, but I don’t think one thing excludes the other. If there was spiritual bypassing leading to emotions being repressed rather than dealt with, those emotions were probably just waiting to manifest somehow. Anyway, I think this is how the human mind works. I don’t mean to speculate specifically about one person’s psyche. Therapies that suddenly open the dam could enable a flood, I guess. Maybe that dam would have burst anyway, maybe it would have remained blocked until death, or maybe it would have been possible to open it gradually for a more even flow. Who knows? Would it have been a good thing to keep it fully blocked? Good for whom, for what purpose? Does the mimick of an ideal relationship make anyone truly happy? I doubt it. Is it skillful to open a dam in a way that allows the flood to tear apart its surroundings? Well, of course not. What kind of opening of the dam would have had a skillful outcome? That is very difficult to say. Let’s just say that now we know that this wasn’t it and wish for the best possible outcome from what has now unfolded.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 8:19 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Your question, as simple and "no brainer" as it seems, got me thinking here, in a good way emoticon :

Holding teachers to the same standard as everyone else is actually a good way to keep teachers both feet planted on the ground. It counters rationalizations that some teachers may have such as "when you realize emptiness every actions is enlightened action, including having an affair with students' wives": which is not the case with Culadassa but many other eachers have thought along those lines. Students were told to focus on their own practices and use the opportunity to work on their attachments, while the teachers were doing harm. This won't happen so easily if the student holds the teachers to the same standards as everyone else. The student would be able to say, "hey, that's not right and I don't accept that."

Also, it would counter unfair pressure on teachers to act 24/7 like fictional-level saints. 

It would keep students both feet on the ground as well.

It would also help people be compassionate toward teachers when they screw up instead of blaming them for not acting up to their projections. 

What I would say also though is, teachers are probably better to be held to the same standard as everyone else on the path, but have certain additional rules appropriate to their position.

As a therapist, for example, my clients can express all sorts of feelings toward me (love, romance, anger, fear, etc). This actually helps their process if I respond properly, like helping them explore their projections behind such feelings and inner life in a way that leads to growth. However, it is not ok for me to express my own feelings toward them, as this would completely sabotage the therapy. It would in fact be a betrayal of them, and hence bad ethics.

So teachers need certain rules that are different from students in order to remain effective teachers, especially as it relates to relationship with students. This being said, I'm aware that in the case here the teacher was not misbehaving toward the students. It was outside of such relationship. 

In any case, I appreciate the reflection on ethics and student projection that this whole thread is doing.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 8:31 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
Your question, as simple and "no brainer" as it seems, got me thinking here, in a good way emoticon :

Holding teachers to the same standard as everyone else is actually a good way to keep teachers both feet planted on the ground. It counters rationalizations that some teachers may have such as "when you realize emptiness every actions is enlightened action, including having an affair with students' wives": which is not the case with Culadassa but many other eachers have thought along those lines. Students were told to focus on their own practices and use the opportunity to work on their attachments, while the teachers were doing harm. This won't happen so easily if the student holds the teachers to the same standards as everyone else. The student would be able to say, "hey, that's not right and I don't accept that."

Also, it would counter unfair pressure on teachers to act 24/7 like fictional-level saints. 

It would keep students both feet on the ground as well.

It would also help people be compassionate toward teachers when they screw up instead of blaming them for not acting up to their projections. 

What I would say also though is, teachers are probably better to be held to the same standard as everyone else on the path, but have certain additional rules appropriate to their position.

As a therapist, for example, my clients can express all sorts of feelings toward me (love, romance, anger, fear, etc). This actually helps their process if I respond properly, like helping them explore their projections behind such feelings and inner life in a way that leads to growth. However, it is not ok for me to express my own feelings toward them, as this would completely sabotage the therapy. It would in fact be a betrayal of them, and hence bad ethics.

So teachers need certain rules that are different from students in order to remain effective teachers, especially as it relates to relationship with students. This being said, I'm aware that in the case here the teacher was not misbehaving toward the students. It was outside of such relationship. 

In any case, I appreciate the reflection on ethics and student projection that this whole thread is doing.


Now this is very constructive thinking, I’d say. This is how we learn from what’s happened. Of course that doesn’t help with the close relationships affected by this, but it is not for us to take on that learning either.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 9:28 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
What if we were to hold dharma teachers to the same moral standards we hold everyone?

I agree with you completely, Chris. Anyone who did what John Yates/Culadasa did would be violating his marriage outrageously, and then of course there’s the matter of breaking the law by going to sex workers. (On that subject, by the way, from what I understand men often do that in order to protect their marriages, because the transactional nature of the relationship minimizes the complication of having an affair with someone, getting emotionally involved, etc.)
 
My own thoughts: Culadasa took special vows, which he then broke. That in itself is a violation of trust. He also did something that obviously would harm the sangha if it came out, which it inevitably did. So he behaved recklessly towards the community. We’re not just talking about a slip-up or a “mistake” either, but a long-term, extensive pattern of violation involving many women.

I agree that all of us have to look at our unrealistic expectations and ask ourselves what role these have played in our practice. Are we thinking underneath it all that if we practice well over many years we will become perfect, or that we will unlock the secrets of the universe and dwell in a realm of jhanic bliss that will obliterate more primitive urges? I have discovered a remnant of such thinking in myself in light of this situation. Are we attached to authorities, to father figures? Do we want a kindly, trustworthy person to tell us how to practice, how to be in this world? Again, I have had a longstanding tendency in this direction. 

So yes, maybe this fall from grace can have good results for some of us if we go more deeply into our unexamined assumptions. But there are other, better ways for a teacher to help students see these things than disillusioning them in this way. I’m thinking about the reddit threads I’ve been following, full of folks who are bogged down in skeptical doubt. So to those who suggest that Culadasa’s actions have harmed only himself, his wife, and perhaps the women with whom he was involved, I have to say that I disagree. There has been harm done that demands an apology. Culadasa is a public figure, his teachings involve more than just a how-to manual for a perceptual shift, and his behavior does matter. 

I acknowledge that he did not get involved with students or their partners, and this, of course, is a good thing, but neither did he just have a slip-up or two. There is an element of compulsion in what he did, and then of course there’s the problem of the money, and the lying. I am emphasizing all of this not to be judgmental, but because I want to be clear about what has happened. We can say that teachers are humans, but along with making mistakes, or giving way to compulsions, humans have to clean up, and in order to do that properly they have to see the mess as clearly as possible, with no softening or excuses. There are reasons, but reasons are not excuses. 

None of what I’ve said means that I don’t have compassion for this man. I have great compassion for him, I believe he has offered the world a tremendous gift with his teaching and his book, and I think there are still good things he can do as his future unfolds. But the good does not cancel the harm; both need to be acknowledged. In addition, the meditation community going forward needs to learn more from this and similar cases about how extensive practice and attainments intersect with other aspects of human drives and experience. We want our practice to help us to do more good in the world, and less harm. There is work to do in figuring out how. May all beings find peace and joy. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 9:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hey Linda,
Nothing to disagree with, I just felt that applying the same trick on the last three lines of your text would have been rude and improper (as you validly raise the point that it is already a little bit far-fetched to draw a connection between dhamma and sex).
When I was talking about solution or trigger, I meant that maybe the damm had already been flooded, and that therapy was a first move toward a resolution, but did not prove sufficient. these kind of hypothesis are not so skillfull anyway...
metta
smiling stone

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/24/19 9:19 AM as a reply to Smiling Stone.
Ah, I see. Yeah. Thanks both for the clarification and the respectfulness!

Oh, I see. Then I misunderstood and replied to something else. I should probably be mindful of mind-racing today.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/26/19 5:39 AM as a reply to JP.
This thread is very entertaining, but I'm not sure what to learn from it yet. I'll try to sum up:
  • You can go from public celebrated meditation hero to psychopath pretty quickly.
  • As a grown man who provides lots of value to people, and they pay for it, you are not allowed to spend your money in the way you want to. You have to ask your wife for her permission first. Otherwise the internet will be very angry with you.
  • The real problem with Culadasa is that he followed a sutrayana practice. That's the reason why he couldn't get rid of desire. He should have followed a vajrayana practice instead. If he had done that, he would not have pretended to be a 10 fetter arahant while hiring hookers secretly. Instead he would have written poems praising sex, drugs, & rocknroll while living accordingly. This would have been a much better and very different outcome.
  • The dhamma is much better than therapy because it REALLY LIBERATEZ YOU FROM THEM SUFFERINGZ and it removes ALL THEM HINDRANCEZ. But when push comes to shove, you do not actually seek out a better dhamma teacher. You seek out therapy instead. At least after you have been found out, that is. This is because... ?_?
  • Although it's the current year, people still believe in fairy tales aka 10 fetter Buddhism. (the reddits are pretty involuntarily hilarious)
  • Although it's still the current year, people still believe in fairy tales aka life-long traditional marriage being a particularly good and realistic idea. (the reddits are pretty involuntarily hilarious)
  • If you are currently dying and try to escape your dead bedroom marriage beforehand, it is appropriate to have at least 10 new sexual partners. (Mysteriously, we lost count of the exact number.) This probably corresponds somehow to the 10 stages of TMI.
More interesting is an alternative conclusion: the TMI system doesn't work, but not for the reasons which people point out now.
If TMI worked, it should show people what they can really expect from practice.
But apparently it doesn't: as soon as they discover their hero's preference for sexual variety, they're like "I better find another system".
Uh huh.
Lol.
C'mon people, what are you even doing?
Why the fuck do you even practice if you are discouraged by something as banal as your dying teacher's attempt at escaping his dead bedroom?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/26/19 8:12 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Raving Rhubarb:
This thread is very entertaining, but I'm not sure what to learn from it yet. I'll try to sum up:
  • You can go from public celebrated meditation hero to psychopath pretty quickly.
  • As a grown man who provides lots of value to people, and they pay for it, you are not allowed to spend your money in the way you want to. You have to ask your wife for her permission first. Otherwise the internet will be very angry with you.
  • The real problem with Culadasa is that he followed a sutrayana practice. That's the reason why he couldn't get rid of desire. He should have followed a vajrayana practice instead. If he had done that, he would not have pretended to be a 10 fetter arahant while hiring hookers secretly. Instead he would have written poems praising sex, drugs, & rocknroll while living accordingly. This would have been a much better and very different outcome.
  • The dhamma is much better than therapy because it REALLY LIBERATEZ YOU FROM THEM SUFFERINGZ and it removes ALL THEM HINDRANCEZ. But when push comes to shove, you do not actually seek out a better dhamma teacher. You seek out therapy instead. At least after you have been found out, that is. This is because... ?_?
  • Although it's the current year, people still believe in fairy tales aka 10 fetter Buddhism. (the reddits are pretty involuntarily hilarious)
  • Although it's still the current year, people still believe in fairy tales aka life-long traditional marriage being a particularly good and realistic idea. (the reddits are pretty involuntarily hilarious)
  • If you are currently dying and try to escape your dead bedroom marriage beforehand, it is appropriate to have at least 10 new sexual partners. (Mysteriously, we lost count of the exact number.) This probably corresponds somehow to the 10 stages of TMI.
More interesting is an alternative conclusion: the TMI system doesn't work, but not for the reasons which people point out now.
If TMI worked, it should show people what they can really expect from practice.
But apparently it doesn't: as soon as they discover their hero's preference for sexual variety, they're like "I better find another system".
Uh huh.
Lol.
C'mon people, what are you even doing?
Why the fuck do you even practice if you are discouraged by something as banal as your dying teacher's attempt at escaping his dead bedroom?
Thank for that RR. Good remarks.

I don't know if it's because of Hamilton's book and his influence on this community, that people are branded psychopaths so easily. I've seen discussions about this on various forums and it always is the case that people's view about personality disorders is too limited to be taken seriously, so it just becomes bashing and ill talk. I am not a psychiatrist but the black or white-type branding is obviously based on limited understanding and has nothing to do with actual diagnosis of such disorders.

Daniel Ingram, himself a doctor, hasn't answered my questions reg. his bringing up psychopathy in this thread, in relation to Culadasa, but to me it seemed just like the type of branding we see elsewhere online. I didn't dig it and feel that it was both strange and unskillful of Daniel to put it out there. If there is more to your comments, Daniel, please enlighten us.

Yes, the internet is very angry to people who break rules or make mistakes. Casting stones still goes on... Thanks again RR.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/26/19 9:01 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Raving Rhubarb, with what clairvoyance do you assume Culadasa has had a dead bedroom? Sheesh. 

Yeah, monogamous marriage is challenging, boring, outdated, yadayadayada. Plenty of people still manage to thrive in such marriages. 

My take on TMI is that some people do well with it, others not so well. I tend to think we all benefit from mixing things up a bit rather than marching along a narrow path. And we shouldn’t expect anything from our teachers beyond ordinary morality, whatever that means. A good start would be basic honesty.  

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/26/19 9:23 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
haha +1

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/26/19 9:28 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Curiously, during September 2018, during one of the Q&A sessions where Culadasa and I were present, he went into this discussion about how kind and compassionate it was for women to have sex with old sick men like him, a point which seemed perfectly reasonable to me, and he got this large smile on his face, and he stared warmly at Nancy Yates, his wife, and she started warmly back at him, and they had this shared moment which seemed to imply that things were well on that front at home, at least then. Little did I know what was behind that smile at the time, but the image in my head now takes on this whole other set of meanings.

I have no idea if this was what it seemed, if this was a public performance, or if they were actually lovers then, etc. I do know it gave me and likely others the distinct impression that they were or wished to appear that they were. One more small data point of likely little profound relevance or meaning.

As to raising Bill's concerns and bringing up his list and recommending that people to do their own math and draw their own conclusions, that is a perfectly reasonable thing to do in situations like this. Call me old school or whatever. If one wishes a more sophisticated discussion of this sort of topic, as it seems some do, consider reading Malignant Self Love, by Sam Vankin, a self-admitted narcissist who also wrote probably the best book on narcissism available, and then, like independent adults, draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions.

As to stating that Vajrayana practice would simply get one praising drugs and prostitutes: I think that both the Vajrayana and the topics of drugs and prostitutes are a bit more complicated than that.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/27/19 1:22 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
I forgot two noteworthy points:
  • In 2019, if you are a meditation teacher, not sexually exploiting your students is an act worthy of praise. 
  • When people are on their deathbed and you ask them what they regret about their life, then they will tell you they should have spent less time working and more time with their family. Or so I hear. Well, that's what they say. When they actually have some time left, and they have the ability and money to do some of it before they die, then they go poly big time and spend years building a network of lovers/sexual partners. This is an observation from a highly attained spiritual teacher. His practice probably showed him what is really important in life, so rather than condemning him, we should follow his example. I mean, this is what we've been doing all along, why stop now...
btw @Kim: Although I find this and the related reddit discussions quite bizarre, I'm not actually trying to defend this culadasa guy. If you manage to make a big business out of making vows, and then you are caught after breaking them for 4 years straight and lying to everyone about it, then maybe being asked to step down from your position is not so unreasonable... Guy is still famous and probably has still a lot of followers left. He could try for a second career pandering to the poly community. He could invent some new vows and declare himself Upasaka 2.0 or something.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/27/19 2:27 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Actually, polyamorous people as a community seem to be more inclined towards tantric practices. emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 6:36 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Raving Rhubarb:
This thread is very entertaining, but I'm not sure what to learn from it yet. I'll try to sum up:
  • You can go from public celebrated meditation hero to psychopath pretty quickly.
  • As a grown man who provides lots of value to people, and they pay for it, you are not allowed to spend your money in the way you want to. You have to ask your wife for her permission first. Otherwise the internet will be very angry with you.
  • The real problem with Culadasa is that he followed a sutrayana practice. That's the reason why he couldn't get rid of desire. He should have followed a vajrayana practice instead. If he had done that, he would not have pretended to be a 10 fetter arahant while hiring hookers secretly. Instead he would have written poems praising sex, drugs, & rocknroll while living accordingly. This would have been a much better and very different outcome.
  • The dhamma is much better than therapy because it REALLY LIBERATEZ YOU FROM THEM SUFFERINGZ and it removes ALL THEM HINDRANCEZ. But when push comes to shove, you do not actually seek out a better dhamma teacher. You seek out therapy instead. At least after you have been found out, that is. This is because... ?_?
  • Although it's the current year, people still believe in fairy tales aka 10 fetter Buddhism. (the reddits are pretty involuntarily hilarious)
  • Although it's still the current year, people still believe in fairy tales aka life-long traditional marriage being a particularly good and realistic idea. (the reddits are pretty involuntarily hilarious)
  • If you are currently dying and try to escape your dead bedroom marriage beforehand, it is appropriate to have at least 10 new sexual partners. (Mysteriously, we lost count of the exact number.) This probably corresponds somehow to the 10 stages of TMI.

LOL at this section!

This is an x post from reddit, but I would like to share my opinion here also:

No, I feel bad for him dealing with a mixing of his public & private lives. I think his ability to teach dharma has little to do with what professional services he utilizes. I think seeing sex workers rather than misconduct with students is a testament to realization. I think it’s also fishy that this “expose” is occurring within the context of marital conflict - it poses more of a conflict of interest then I’ve seen in similar past scenarios.

Edit: I also have a big ethical problem with the confounding of various types of sexual misconduct. I find it troublesome to even vaguely associate someone an adult man who has concensual contact with adult sex workers with other teachers who commit sexual assault against the daughters of their students (Sakyong Mipham, Muktananda), against adult female students (Eido Shimano, Sasaki Roshi, Sogyal). It reminds me of when Aziz Ansari (who went on a date with a women, inappropriately persauded her to sleep with him for 30 minutes & then stopped) was lumped in with serial rapists like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein. To me, the counfoudning of these cases undermine the growing importance of the practice of radical consent in our society. For an overview of this practice, see "Good Sex" by Jessica Graham. The most important thing in case of true abuse of power is the radical shifting of power out of the hands of the abuser & into those of the victim. To do this, we have to be able to distinguish between dopey decision making & true evil.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 6:58 AM as a reply to Noah D.
JMHO, but it's not the consensual sex with other adults that makes this troubling. It's the hypocrisy. The guy makes himself out to be holier than thou and then it turns out he's a bit of a fiend. The dude is supposedly happily married (see Daniel's description of their public relationship up above) and yet it turns out he's a bit of a fiend. In my estimation, this is an example of what can happen when you project the image that you may not to be subject to your human-ness. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 8:03 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Curiously, during September 2018, during one of the Q&A sessions where Culadasa and I were present, he went into this discussion about how kind and compassionate it was for women to have sex with old sick men like him, a point which seemed perfectly reasonable to me, and he got this large smile on his face, and he stared warmly at Nancy Yates, his wife, and she started warmly back at him, and they had this shared moment which seemed to imply that things were well on that front at home, at least then. Little did I know what was behind that smile at the time, but the image in my head now takes on this whole other set of meanings.


o_O With every detail this story is getting weirder...

btw I find your restraint admirable. Everyone is upset about their fantasies of the emotional perfection/psychological perfection/perfect action/no desire models being shattered. You could be like "TOLD YOU SO" all over reddit, but you aren't...

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 9:57 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
I was hoping that pragmatic dharma teachers would discuss this case, or ethics and teachers in general, beyond the "awakening doesn't make one ethically perfect" discourse. In that respect I appreciate that Daniel did just that (i.e. go beyond just saying that) when he said " I have written extensively about the fact that mammals are mammals, but that is not the same as excusing behavior that harms..."

So ya, we get it, awakening doesn't make anyone perfect. And even if we get it, it can still be upsetting when a teacher that teaches a path including moral vows breaks them to such an extent. And we can be upset in a mature way, accepting flaws and forgiving. But I think it is still ok to be upset with this.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 10:11 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
I think it’s still really early on.... I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets weirder 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 11:00 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets weirder 

Bingo!

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 11:10 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
*chews popcorn*

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 11:57 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
I was hoping that pragmatic dharma teachers would discuss this case, or ethics and teachers in general.


Same!

I hope that at some point Culadasa can talk openly about all of it and be honest about how he end up making those choices.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/28/19 12:23 PM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Raving Rhubarb:
Daniel M. Ingram:
Curiously, during September 2018, during one of the Q&A sessions where Culadasa and I were present, he went into this discussion about how kind and compassionate it was for women to have sex with old sick men like him, a point which seemed perfectly reasonable to me, and he got this large smile on his face, and he stared warmly at Nancy Yates, his wife, and she started warmly back at him, and they had this shared moment which seemed to imply that things were well on that front at home, at least then. Little did I know what was behind that smile at the time, but the image in my head now takes on this whole other set of meanings.


o_O With every detail this story is getting weirder...

btw I find your restraint admirable. Everyone is upset about their fantasies of the emotional perfection/psychological perfection/perfect action/no desire models being shattered. You could be like "TOLD YOU SO" all over reddit, but you aren't...


HAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, my restraint is less admirable. I could easily see myself going ”TOLD YOU SO” all over internet on a bad reobservation day, so I’m relieved that I was in no position to do so. Oh, the remorse... I can easily imagine that feeling as well. And as I don’t think awakening will fix that (thanks to Daniel and this forum), I need to find other ways of working with that kind of impulses.

Edited to add:
I don’t mean to ridicule anyone who is upset, though. This is a complex issue. I’m not enough familiar with Culadasa’s ethical teachings to comment on potential contradictions there.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 6:50 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Dear Daniel,

You mentioned Culadasa's "toxic behavour". Based on your november online discussions, I got this impression: Culadasa percieved your playfull wish for exchange of different opinions as some sort of aggression. It seems that he is over-sensitive to criticism and keeps his feelings bottled up until he "explodes" at some point.

However, this didn't leave the impression to be so severe as a personality disorder.

During the time you were on retreats together, did you notice any other "red flags" about his behaviour, that you feel comfortable sharing? By contrast, first time you met Culadasa, your experience was positive ("Again, a remarkable work by a remarkable guy. I was lucky enough to meet him at the recent Dharma Teacher's convention in New York this June, and the maturity, depths and stability of his practice was clear.").

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 7:39 AM as a reply to Griffin.
I’m thinking that maybe it was more of a callout to be mindful of any tendencies in that direction in all our communities rather than labelling someone with a diagnosis, but I don’t know. I’m thinking that most people have at least some minor tendencies and that some circumstances might reinforce them. Putting somebody on a piedestal as a collective and expecting them to live up to that standard might contribute. I’m not talking about expectations of being honest to one’s family now; those are very reasonable expectations. I’m thinking more in line with never even thinking about the kind of stuff that he would have needed to communicate in the first place. But I know too little to say much about this particular case. I was thinking more about general tendencies to put people on piedestals and the consequences of that - both in terms of what it creates and in terms of what warning signs it makes us miss.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 11:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Exactly Chris.

I think most people haven't paid close enough attention to what he is/was actually teaching and saying. I can understand why one might read the book, benefit from it's clear and relatively secular instructions etc. and then with these revelations go "hey, what's the big deal, just a dude doing dude stuff". But when taken in full context of the view he consistently presented over years (in a, let's remind ourselves, relatively exclusive and arrogant fashion) on the Dhamma and the possibilities of meditation practice, his admission of sexual misconduct on this scale paints him as a complete hypocrite if not a pathological liar.

Having not just read the book but been on retreat with him for a couple months, listened to a number of his teaching retreats, and generally been in the scene, the fact is that he was not simply purporting to adhere to the Upasaka vows, but actually explicitly or implicitly a much higher degree of emotional perfection type enlightenment. Consider the following:
  • In a teaching retreat he claimed that at some path there's no compulsion for sex
  • He says at fourth there's no desire/suffering
  • Claims progressive insight and samadhi are characterized by progressive unification
  • Strong claims that insight and "compassion" are related
  • Not just the above, but is/was writing his next book on how if some significant minority of the world population achieves first path we'll enter a utopic post-history state
Again, he's been saying the above consistently for years now. Needless to say, his actions contradict all of those claims.

Luckily for me, Daniel's writings were my first exposure to serious practice and so I had a shield against taking any of that stuff too seriously, not to mention my own intuiton and experience with Culadasa to go off. But for people who took it more seriously, it's no wonder they are upset or confused. And to blame it all on "grandfather projection" means you don't know much about what the man was teaching.

In the Theravada the process of developing right view is often presented as a gradual one: we start open-minded yet a little skeptical. We put the instructions into practice, confirm a few of the predictions and therby gain a bit of faith in the further predictions, at least enough to do the practices sincerely. This process is encouraged especially in Western contexts by analogy to the scientific process. But Culadasa's actions make one consider the converse reasoning: if so many of his claims are false, then why not assume the rest are false as well? Or at least likely enough to be false to justify not doing the damn hard work to find out ourselves!

Personally, I am pretty sure there's tremendous value in this path, but I can see why people who had done little to no projection might still lose the desire to practice - which in my mind is the only consequence of concern, the rest is his business.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 11:49 AM as a reply to DD DD DD.
But Culadasa's actions make one consider the converse reasoning: if so many of his claims are false, then why not assume the rest are false as well? Or at least likely enough to be false to justify not doing the damn hard work to find out ourselves!

Yep. That's the serious long term damage to this arena that people like Culadasa (and The Sakyong, and many others) cause. They make legitimate reasons to practice, and the legitimate results of dedicated practice, seem as trite and potentially harmful as their own bullshit.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 12:03 PM as a reply to DD DD DD.
Has he specifically been teaching people to refrain from any hedonistic pursuit of sexual pleasure? Oups... Yeah, I can see how that might affect people’s faith in the dharma.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 12:59 PM as a reply to DD DD DD.
I have a feeling that, if a new book does come out, it will be a far different book from the one he would have written before all this came out. 

I do have a question about unification of mind: I don’t see this as a false teaching perse, just something that can never be done completely. But unification can occur with the mind becoming more concentrated. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 2:07 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Has he specifically been teaching people to refrain from any hedonistic pursuit of sexual pleasure? Oups... Yeah, I can see how that might affect people’s faith in the dharma.


I have heard him say that an arhat can have sex withuot craving. The point that looks contradictory to me, is the point about compassion. He has said that when an arhat wakes up in the morning, since they don't have craving, their motivation for life is the compassion for all beings. And he considers himself an arhat. I don't see a problem about paying for sex, but lying about it? 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 2:05 PM as a reply to JP.
Sincere question - could it be more helpful to look at these types of questions as ones of competence rather than ethics? Given the various diverse ethical perspectives that we see on the thread, and Chris' suggestion (shared by Kenneth Folk on Twitter, and others here) that we don't put anyone on an unrealistic ethical pedestal....  Compulsive self-destructive behaviour would seem to be a problem in an advanced meditation teacher b/c at the very least it speaks to a lack of psychological flexibility. Is there any purpose to an advanced dharma practice that doesn't modestly increase my ability to respond skillfully to difficult, compulsive private urges that lead me towards potential harm? It seems to me that this is not much of a pedestal (more like a low bar of basic competence- a bit like expecting a mechanic to know something about cars). I don't know for sure of course that Culadasa's behaviour was compulsive, or self destructive, but there are precedents (e.g. Trungpa). And so the concerns expressed here seem reasonable to me. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 2:19 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Personally, I think paying for sex is even worse than lying about it since the normalization of buying sex is intimately connected with an increase in trafficking and other forms of exploitation of people’s bad situations. Lying isn’t okay either, of course, especially since there are also health risks involved.

I have listened to quite a few dharma talks from Culadasa without hearing anything that led me to believe that he considered awakening a way to reach perfection, but maybe I just took it for granted that perfection was out of the equation and therefore didn’t interpret it that way. Also, I had already seen him display passive aggressiveness on the internet, so it was pretty obvious that he had some psychological growing left to do, like most people. It actually took me a while to even consider listening to his dharma talks because I had a bad feeling from his online behavior. Then I decided to be more pragmatic about it and listen selectively, and I found his dharma talks very helpful.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 2:35 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Well I didn't say that paying for sex is ok, my point was that from what we know from the story, I don't see a problem in that part (paying for sex), because there aren't much details about it. I think this issue is more complicated than saying once for all that it's ok or not ok. I know wealthy people who had/have all kinds of facilities in their life, but they like to do sex for money. I am against having rules that ignores minorities, also against anything that exploits people's minds and body's and trusts etc, like this whole sex traffic business, but anything that would ignore minorities (I don't mean that you said that minorities should be ignored :-), just needed to say this), would lead to some other problems I think.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 2:40 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I have listened to quite a few dharma talks from Culadasa without hearing anything that led me to believe that he considered awakening a way to reach perfection

Here's a quote from Culadasa's handout on awakening:
People often expect enlightened beings to live up to their own ideals and expectations of enlightenment: To be beautiful, graceful, pleasing, healthy, intelligent, neat, radiant, charismatic, loving, to have psychic powers, etc, etc. Some will expect the enlightened being to have no personality, no ego, to never speak in the first person, and to experience no emotion other than love. Infallibility and omniscience, amongst other psychic powers like reading minds and knowing the future, are popular expectations. Most will assume the enlightened beings are free from neuroses, phobias, and obsessions. All such expectations are doomed. As William Hamilton said, “I haven’t met an Arahant who wasn’t a unique caricature” of the personality he was before enlightenment. And as Sayadaw U Pandita once said, “Because of habit patterns, it is possible for an Arahant to be obnoxious. However the difference with Arahants is that, if it is pointed out to them that they are obnoxious, they are capable of reflecting on situations and changing their behavior.”

To be fair, the rest of the handout does describe awakening in pretty superlative terms (complete freedom from desire and aversion etc.).

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 3:04 PM as a reply to Griffin.
That's a good quote Griffin, thanks for dredging it up.

He clearly didn't only buy in to the perfection view. Part of the problem here is the mind's tendency to fixate and localize the complex interconnected universe region we might call Culadasa down into a person with a coherent and static view. He definitely has changed his views on various issues over time (e.g. sati used to mean for him "optimal interaction of attention and awareness" and now is just awareness itself).

My best intention here would not be to gotcha-him, but instead to simply point out how someone could have earnestly followed his teachings without too much dadd-ifying and still be legitimately confused about the epistemic status of this whole meditation thing. There's no doubt for me that he is a brilliant teacher with a gift for clear and thoughtful merging of theory and practice. At the same time, his own lived experience seems to contradict some of his stated opinions about the consequences of a successful meditation practice and his credibility generally.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 3:08 PM as a reply to DD DD DD.
I see your point. That’s well put.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/29/19 5:23 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Personally, I think paying for sex is even worse than lying about it since the normalization of buying sex is intimately connected with an increase in trafficking and other forms of exploitation of people’s bad situations. Lying isn’t okay either, of course, especially since there are also health risks involved.

I have listened to quite a few dharma talks from Culadasa without hearing anything that led me to believe that he considered awakening a way to reach perfection, but maybe I just took it for granted that perfection was out of the equation and therefore didn’t interpret it that way. Also, I had already seen him display passive aggressiveness on the internet, so it was pretty obvious that he had some psychological growing left to do, like most people. It actually took me a while to even consider listening to his dharma talks because I had a bad feeling from his online behavior. Then I decided to be more pragmatic about it and listen selectively, and I found his dharma talks very helpful.

Coincidentally, I happen to be listening to a talk by him right now, and he happens to be talking about this very topic (in regards to stream entry). He's making the point that before stream entry, morality is about following external rules, but after stream entry, it comes from inside, from way the mind processes reality. 

This is why it's hard for me to take seriously the comments that say "nevermind perfect virtue, Culadasa is failing to be simply a decent human being." Morality that is the result of seeking social approval by following rules might be beneficial as far as society is concerned, but how can one possibly compare it with the results of actual wisdom? And, to me at least, it follows that training the mind to re-process reality in a wiser fashion is going to take time (and experience), even after the capacity is unlocked.

Listen starting at 33:26: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTTbURalWwY

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 1:27 AM as a reply to spatial.
Yeah, well, I was talking about real life consequences for people, not some moral principle and definitely not social approval. What exactly are you saying? That the actions might have been much wiser than we could possibly understand in our limited wisdom? Or that the burden of wisdom might be too difficult to navigate for the guy’s poor human brain?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 3:30 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
Dear Daniel,

...

During the time you were on retreats together, did you notice any other "red flags" about his behaviour, that you feel comfortable sharing? By contrast, first time you met Culadasa, your experience was positive ("Again, a remarkable work by a remarkable guy. I was lucky enough to meet him at the recent Dharma Teacher's convention in New York this June, and the maturity, depths and stability of his practice was clear.").

Yeah, there's that. There is clearly a learning curve in this life regarding these issues, as nearly everyone here is noticing, and that applies to me as well, clearly. Might check out this thread, in which I belatedly realized that, as an INFP, I am probably at some significant starting deficit in sorting out such people, given my natural initial tendency to give people some benefit of the doubt. There have been other examples of my blindness in this regard that have had substantial negative impacts on my life and work also, as some here will recall from the some previous dramatic sagas.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 4:00 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I’m an INFP too. Cool.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Well I didn't say that paying for sex is ok, my point was that from what we know from the story, I don't see a problem in that part (paying for sex), because there aren't much details about it. I think this issue is more complicated than saying once for all that it's ok or not ok. I know wealthy people who had/have all kinds of facilities in their life, but they like to do sex for money. I am against having rules that ignores minorities, also against anything that exploits people's minds and body's and trusts etc, like this whole sex traffic business, but anything that would ignore minorities (I don't mean that you said that minorities should be ignored :-), just needed to say this), would lead to some other problems I think.


Right. That is a nuanced approach. I like it. If no exploitation or abuse of power is involved, intentionally or unintentionally, then I don’t have a problem with people paying for sex per se. It’s just so tricky to disentangle what is what in this world where oppression does occur in different directions.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 8:46 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
Sincere question - could it be more helpful to look at these types of questions as ones of competence rather than ethics? Given the various diverse ethical perspectives that we see on the thread, and Chris' suggestion (shared by Kenneth Folk on Twitter, and others here) that we don't put anyone on an unrealistic ethical pedestal....  Compulsive self-destructive behaviour would seem to be a problem in an advanced meditation teacher b/c at the very least it speaks to a lack of psychological flexibility. Is there any purpose to an advanced dharma practice that doesn't modestly increase my ability to respond skillfully to difficult, compulsive private urges that lead me towards potential harm? It seems to me that this is not much of a pedestal (more like a low bar of basic competence- a bit like expecting a mechanic to know something about cars). I don't know for sure of course that Culadasa's behaviour was compulsive, or self destructive, but there are precedents (e.g. Trungpa). And so the concerns expressed here seem reasonable to me. 



It’s a valid question, but maybe it would be helpful to think of human development as something that occurs on different axes? Insight and morality are different trainings, as Daniel emphasizes. They could possibly benefit each other, but assuming that one would lead to the other seems very risky.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 9:00 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Has he specifically been teaching people to refrain from any hedonistic pursuit of sexual pleasure? Oups... Yeah, I can see how that might affect people’s faith in the dharma.


I have heard him say that an arhat can have sex withuot craving. The point that looks contradictory to me, is the point about compassion. He has said that when an arhat wakes up in the morning, since they don't have craving, their motivation for life is the compassion for all beings. And he considers himself an arhat. I don't see a problem about paying for sex, but lying about it? 


The part about having sex without craving doesn’t seem like preaching that people should behave in a certain way to me (and you don’t seem to think that either), but more like a description of a shift that may occur. Whether it is actually free from craving is not for me to say. I have noticed some kind of change in my own sexuality since SE, though. It’s like a hook that used to kick in doesn’t kick in as a default anymore. I find it difficult to explain, but it is noticable. I imagine that there may be more shifts at later paths. It seems likely that craving can still occur, though.

As for the part about being driven by compassion for all beings, that’s a great ideal, but it doesn’t seem to hold up to scrutiny. I think probably one doesn’t realize that one was embedded in ego stuff until one gets out of it. If one is aware of that risk, maybe it is easier to get out of it in time to see what is happening. Assuming that there is no such risk seems to be the greatest risk.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 9:02 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I’m an ENFJ on the Myers Briggs scale, and when I met Culadasa, I felt an overwhelming sense of love that at the same time was both personal and impersonal. I was with him for a week in a retreat-like setting where Daniel was also present, and did not interact with him personally until he was about to leave. He took my hand and we exchanged a few words, and his eyes and his smile were utterly kind and accepting. 

So I have to ask: who is the “real” Culadasa/John Yates? I’ve made clear on this thread that I see his behavior as destructive, but is this all there is to the man? Daniel just used the term “such people,” and I gather that he has Culadasa chalked up as a fraud at the very least, if not a psychopath. I’m not willing to go there. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 9:31 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Yeah, well, I was talking about real life consequences for people, not some moral principle and definitely not social approval. What exactly are you saying? That the actions might have been much wiser than we could possibly understand in our limited wisdom? Or that the burden of wisdom might be too difficult to navigate for the guy’s poor human brain?
My comments weren't really in response to anything you were saying, apart from "I found his dharma talks very helpful", and the fact that this talk is directly related to the current topic.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 9:34 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Well I didn't say that paying for sex is ok, my point was that from what we know from the story, I don't see a problem in that part (paying for sex), because there aren't much details about it. I think this issue is more complicated than saying once for all that it's ok or not ok. I know wealthy people who had/have all kinds of facilities in their life, but they like to do sex for money. I am against having rules that ignores minorities, also against anything that exploits people's minds and body's and trusts etc, like this whole sex traffic business, but anything that would ignore minorities (I don't mean that you said that minorities should be ignored :-), just needed to say this), would lead to some other problems I think.


Right. That is a nuanced approach. I like it. If no exploitation or abuse of power is involved, intentionally or unintentionally, then I don’t have a problem with people paying for sex per se. It’s just so tricky to disentangle what is what in this world where oppression does occur in different directions.

Yes. I guess in 99.xx % of times, there are some exploitations involved.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 9:38 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Yeah, there's that. There is clearly a learning curve in this life regarding these issues, as nearly everyone here is noticing, and that applies to me as well, clearly. Might check out [url=]this thread, in which I belatedly realized that, as an INFP, I am probably at some significant starting deficit in sorting out such people, given my natural initial tendency to give people some benefit of the doubt. There have been other examples of my blindness in this regard that have had substantial negative impacts on my life and work also, as some here will recall from the some previous dramatic sagas.
I think you accidentally linked to the current thread...

I'm also surprised to see you label yourself as an INFP, since your public-facing persona is so clearly a textbook ENTP.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 9:45 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Has he specifically been teaching people to refrain from any hedonistic pursuit of sexual pleasure? Oups... Yeah, I can see how that might affect people’s faith in the dharma.


I have heard him say that an arhat can have sex withuot craving. The point that looks contradictory to me, is the point about compassion. He has said that when an arhat wakes up in the morning, since they don't have craving, their motivation for life is the compassion for all beings. And he considers himself an arhat. I don't see a problem about paying for sex, but lying about it? 


The part about having sex without craving doesn’t seem like preaching that people should behave in a certain way to me (and you don’t seem to think that either), but more like a description of a shift that may occur. Whether it is actually free from craving is not for me to say. I have noticed some kind of change in my own sexuality since SE, though. It’s like a hook that used to kick in doesn’t kick in as a default anymore. I find it difficult to explain, but it is noticable. I imagine that there may be more shifts at later paths. It seems likely that craving can still occur, though.

As for the part about being driven by compassion for all beings, that’s a great ideal, but it doesn’t seem to hold up to scrutiny. I think probably one doesn’t realize that one was embedded in ego stuff until one gets out of it. If one is aware of that risk, maybe it is easier to get out of it in time to see what is happening. Assuming that there is no such risk seems to be the greatest risk.


Yes, I think the part about sex without craving, is something more genuine and real than just preaching, but I don't know more.

About compassion, in the Buddhist Geeks conference that they talked about Sasaki Roshi's case, Shinzen said that it's not that he doesn't have compassion, but his definition of compassion is different from how I (Shinzen) would define it, and he said that Sasaki Roshi lacks empathy and not compassion. I don't know that the same argument could be applied to Culadasa too, but if it's the case that your motivation for all your actions is compassion (including compassion to yourself), it's a little hard to justify hiding things and lying about them and etc, to think that they are just compassionate actions and behaviors.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
8/30/19 10:10 AM as a reply to spatial.
I'm also surprised to see you label yourself as an INFP, since your public-facing persona is so clearly a textbook ENTP.

Personal observation: Daniel's writing voice is very different from his in-person persona  emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 4:22 AM as a reply to JP.
This is extremely interesting and feeds into other questions myself and others seem to have, that is mostly ignored or obfuscated. Can Daniel or something else who is 4th path clearly explain;

What exactly is the machanism that drives someone to pursue sex with prostitutes behind their wives back if not craving and delusion?

It makes no sense to talk about anything else in relation to Dharma. Can someone who is 4th path explain clearly and concisely what circumstances or mechanisms causes an Arhart to puruse sex in general, let alone with prositutes behind their wives back. 

One thing that is hard to reconcile is that the level of craving from the first glance must be _huge_ for somemone to to go and pursue these activities within these cirumstances. Most normal humans who never meditate seem to have less craving and more equanimity then a meditaiton master and self proclaimed arhat.

Ill add a disclose; Im 31 - have slept with hundreds of women including many prostitutes - so I can understand what it is John and his wife must be going through - I wish them both well in his recovery.

John Yates Misconduct
Answer
9/5/19 4:57 AM as a reply to Tom C.
I agree this is an important question but it relies on assumption that John Yates is enlightened. That is not a given.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 5:31 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:
This is extremely interesting and feeds into other questions myself and others seem to have, that is mostly ignored or obfuscated. Can Daniel or something else who is 4th path clearly explain;

What exactly is the machanism that drives someone to pursue sex with prostitutes behind their wives back if not craving and delusion?

It makes no sense to talk about anything else in relation to Dharma. Can someone who is 4th path explain clearly and concisely what circumstances or mechanisms causes an Arhart to puruse sex in general, let alone with prositutes behind their wives back. 

One thing that is hard to reconcile is that the level of craving from the first glance must be _huge_ for somemone to to go and pursue these activities within these cirumstances. Most normal humans who never meditate seem to have less craving and more equanimity then a meditaiton master and self proclaimed arhat.

Ill add a disclose; Im 31 - have slept with hundreds of women including many prostitutes - so I can understand what it is John and his wife must be going through - I wish them both well in his recovery.

So ... speaking an eternal beginner and somewhat incompetent.

Surely we would expect deeply liberated beings to be rather complicated people? If so, there probably aren't any simple explanations available.

Or, for a different answer. Sex is fun. And so is eating. Or washing. Or discussing the dharma. So why stop? Especially if you now appreciate it more, engage more from a place of love than need, and have improved sensation, better energy control, and much better care for others.

Or, for a different answer. Imagine owning a vintage metallic silver e-type jag. You cherish it, and cling to the idea of driving, and having the car wrecked would be like losing an arm, and when your cousin asks to drive you feel anger and jealously. You cling to it.  OR you hate the sight of it, you resent the gas costs and the repayments and the fact it led to you make some big mistakes in life. You have an aversion to it. Now imagine you neither cling to it, nor have an aversion. You can still drive it, and enjoy driving it, but without craving the drive, or missing it when you don't drive it. Perhaps you were fearful of driving because of social norms in your neighbourhood?  But now you realise those don't really matter so you can go out and do drag racing and burnouts and handbrake turns and all those other things, to your heart's content. Or not. It doesn't really matter that much.

Or, for a different answer. After liberation you have to deal with the sankharas that remain. The last step of transcental dependent arising is the "letting go of that very craving". You are liberated, but have the residue of self remainining - not just the fabrications of  body, mind and speech, but also the habits and patterns and reinforcement mechanisms that built you into the individual that was liberated. How much you have depends on how much you purified on the path. How much you keep depends on your choices about how to live in society.  You might retreat to a monastery, but then likely you have lots of dharma/monastery sankharas that fuel that. Or you might be a householder, so you have other householder stuff to deal with there. So even a liberated being has her or his shit to deal with, even as a monk. But that shit just doesn't stick like it did before. It's just a residue remaining of the torment you had before, that you have cured.

So ... why does it worry you Tom C?  What is the bit of your worldview that is being contradicted?  Asking from genuine interest, because I think the answer would be a really useful object of contemplation. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/5/19 5:43 AM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Yeah, well, I was talking about real life consequences for people, not some moral principle and definitely not social approval. What exactly are you saying? That the actions might have been much wiser than we could possibly understand in our limited wisdom? Or that the burden of wisdom might be too difficult to navigate for the guy’s poor human brain?
My comments weren't really in response to anything you were saying, apart from "I found his dharma talks very helpful", and the fact that this talk is directly related to the current topic.



Thanks for clarifying! Sorry for my confusion!

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 6:07 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Tom C:
This is extremely interesting and feeds into other questions myself and others seem to have, that is mostly ignored or obfuscated. Can Daniel or something else who is 4th path clearly explain;

What exactly is the machanism that drives someone to pursue sex with prostitutes behind their wives back if not craving and delusion?

It makes no sense to talk about anything else in relation to Dharma. Can someone who is 4th path explain clearly and concisely what circumstances or mechanisms causes an Arhart to puruse sex in general, let alone with prositutes behind their wives back. 

One thing that is hard to reconcile is that the level of craving from the first glance must be _huge_ for somemone to to go and pursue these activities within these cirumstances. Most normal humans who never meditate seem to have less craving and more equanimity then a meditaiton master and self proclaimed arhat.

Ill add a disclose; Im 31 - have slept with hundreds of women including many prostitutes - so I can understand what it is John and his wife must be going through - I wish them both well in his recovery.

So ... speaking an eternal beginner and somewhat incompetent.

Surely we would expect deeply liberated beings to be rather complicated people? If so, there probably aren't any simple explanations available.

Or, for a different answer. Sex is fun. And so is eating. Or washing. Or discussing the dharma. So why stop? Especially if you now appreciate it more, engage more from a place of love than need, and have improved sensation, better energy control, and much better care for others.

Or, for a different answer. Imagine owning a vintage metallic silver e-type jag. You cherish it, and cling to the idea of driving, and having the car wrecked would be like losing an arm, and when your cousin asks to drive you feel anger and jealously. You cling to it.  OR you hate the sight of it, you resent the gas costs and the repayments and the fact it led to you make some big mistakes in life. You have an aversion to it. Now imagine you neither cling to it, nor have an aversion. You can still drive it, and enjoy driving it, but without craving the drive, or missing it when you don't drive it. Perhaps you were fearful of driving because of social norms in your neighbourhood?  But now you realise those don't really matter so you can go out and do drag racing and burnouts and handbrake turns and all those other things, to your heart's content. Or not. It doesn't really matter that much.

Or, for a different answer. After liberation you have to deal with the sankharas that remain. The last step of transcental dependent arising is the "letting go of that very craving". You are liberated, but have the residue of self remainining - not just the fabrications of  body, mind and speech, but also the habits and patterns and reinforcement mechanisms that built you into the individual that was liberated. How much you have depends on how much you purified on the path. How much you keep depends on your choices about how to live in society.  You might retreat to a monastery, but then likely you have lots of dharma/monastery sankharas that fuel that. Or you might be a householder, so you have other householder stuff to deal with there. So even a liberated being has her or his shit to deal with, even as a monk. But that shit just doesn't stick like it did before. It's just a residue remaining of the torment you had before, that you have cured.

So ... why does it worry you Tom C?  What is the bit of your worldview that is being contradicted?  Asking from genuine interest, because I think the answer would be a really useful object of contemplation. 

Dear curious,

I understand attachement, which alot of your post deals with. Wherever there is attachment - delusion is also there.

Your reply deals with the content or actions of humans - I'm more interested into the mechanism behind these then the actions or the content themselves. I simply posit the question;

If free from craving, aversion & delusion... what is the mechanism or process that compels a human male into seeking prositutues behind their wives back? 

I myself and know many others who have seen plenty of prosititues - I am yet to find anyone that found it meaniful or easn't completely deluded around the whole process to due to craving, aversion and delusion. We aren't talking about subtle delusion or craving, aversion.. this is a big gross form.

Craving, aversion and delusion of what? Aversion to the current feelings and sensations that make up our experience... resulting in craving of pleasant sexual feelings and sensation....deluded that the pursuit of these feelings and sensations leads to anything but suffering (they are void, empty and dukkha).

Craving & aversion are interlinked - where you find one the other will always be, and where you cultivate one, automatically you cultivate the opposing.

I'm sorry if you feel my post comes acrossed as worried.. I can only affirm I'm not worried.. as in my original post I'd like a 4th path to comment on the mechanisms involved, for the sake of learning and discussing applicable pragmatic Dharma.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 9:52 AM as a reply to Tom C.
One thing that is hard to reconcile is that the level of craving from the first glance must be _huge_ for somemone to to go and pursue these activities within these cirumstances.

I question this conclusion, along with similar conclusions asserted in other posts.

First, we don't really know much about "these circumstances"; all we know is the general story alleged in the formal post, a story that Culadasa says is not entirely true. Or did I miss something? A few people are surely in possession of the sordid details, but I have yet to see them.

More importantly, we need to remember that there are at least two factors that influence the outcome of a potential sexual encounter: the degree of craving or lust, as you mentioned, and the degree of inhibition or self restraint. I suggest that, especially in the case of an old man such as Culadasa, the latter is much more significant. For what it's worth, Culadasa himself has been trying to tell us this. If we want to understand why meditation masters misbehave, I suggest that this is the avenue of investigation that will be most fruitful. 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 9:58 AM as a reply to Ward Law.
Ward Law:
One thing that is hard to reconcile is that the level of craving from the first glance must be _huge_ for somemone to to go and pursue these activities within these cirumstances.

I question this conclusion, along with similar conclusions asserted in other posts.

First, we don't really know much about "these circumstances"; all we know is the general story alleged in the formal post, a story that Culadasa says is not entirely true. Or did I miss something? A few people are surely in possession of the sordid details, but I have yet to see them.

More importantly, we need to remember that there are at least two factors that influence the outcome of a potential sexual encounter: the degree of craving or lust, as you mentioned, and the degree of inhibition or self restraint. I suggest that, especially in the case of an old man such as Culadasa, the latter is much more significant. For what it's worth, Culadasa himself has been trying to tell us this. If we want to understand why meditation masters misbehave, I suggest that this is the avenue of investigation that will be most fruitful. 

Like said the circumstances/story/content are mostly irrelevant if the bare facts of an awakened being pursuing prositutes. The mechanism which cause them to pursue the aforementioned would contradict Dharma at first glance - that's why asking for clarificaiton from 4th path people - to give us more insight to genuinely how these events can happen - in relation to craving,aversion and delusion which shouldn't be present.

Degree of inhibition and self restrait would be equanimity to observe lust without reacting - that is without reacting with craving or aversion.

Can you have no equanimity and also no craving/aversion? 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 10:16 AM as a reply to Tom C.
I have seen cases of embarrassingly poor communication among professors in communication, deeply unethical behavior among ethicists, teachings in pedagogics that were extremely unpedagogical, sociology professors who refused to acknowledge that there is such a thing as gender discrimination, and so forth. That has never led me to question those research areas per se. Human beings are fallible and areas of expertise are broader than the competency of one individual. Why should awakening be so different? We need to be critical of bad behavior and structures that foster it and do our best to behave with both wisdom and compassion, but questioning the whole dharma every time somebody has poor judgement doesn’t make sense.

Another thing: why does this thread disappear and pop back again, over and over again?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 10:59 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Polly,

Thanks for the reply. Perhaps my questioning came across as loaded. I'm not talking or implying about standards we should hold John or anyone else to, or passing moral judgement on what he has done - I wish everyone involved a speedy healing.

I'm talking about Dharma - and hoping with advanced practitioners explore whether any other mechanism could cause someone 4th path to behave this way other then craving,aversion or delusion.

It then begs the question - is it then possible to have momentary periods of lack of equinimtiy once you reach 4th path or are there certain groups of sensations like lust and sexual pleasure that even at 4th path can override unskillful practitioners without previous practise? He might never have been exposed to such sensations/temptations in previous circumstances before 4th path (married/financially poor/good health). Perhaps lust and sexual temptation needs special training etc

I'm just opening dialogue around the Dharma, not around John himself.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 12:41 PM as a reply to Tom C.
I wonder why some people don't call him Culadasa anymore? Or why people wouldn't call him John, when he was the good guy and they were learning from him? Who gave him the name Culadasa, and why? And who is taking that name from him, and why?

I think some respect and dignity is missing here with this name calling thing.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 1:49 PM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:
Polly,

Thanks for the reply. Perhaps my questioning came across as loaded. I'm not talking or implying about standards we should hold John or anyone else to, or passing moral judgement on what he has done - I wish everyone involved a speedy healing.

I'm talking about Dharma - and hoping with advanced practitioners explore whether any other mechanism could cause someone 4th path to behave this way other then craving,aversion or delusion.

It then begs the question - is it then possible to have momentary periods of lack of equinimtiy once you reach 4th path or are there certain groups of sensations like lust and sexual pleasure that even at 4th path can override unskillful practitioners without previous practise? He might never have been exposed to such sensations/temptations in previous circumstances before 4th path (married/financially poor/good health). Perhaps lust and sexual temptation needs special training etc

I'm just opening dialogue around the Dharma, not around John himself.


That was exactly what I was addressing.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 1:51 PM as a reply to Tom C.
 ... is it then possible to have momentary periods of lack of equinimtiy once you reach 4th path or are there certain groups of sensations like lust and sexual pleasure that even at 4th path can override unskillful practitioners without previous practise? 

Obviously, yes.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 4:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
 ... is it then possible to have momentary periods of lack of equinimtiy once you reach 4th path or are there certain groups of sensations like lust and sexual pleasure that even at 4th path can override unskillful practitioners without previous practise? 

Obviously, yes.
Ah okay, I'm new to the forum, I assumed 4th path was the eradication of craving, aversion and delusion.

I've read Daniels definitions,  and they never talk in terms of the above, or rarely mention levels of suffering, they are very ambigious.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/5/19 6:00 PM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C, have you read MCTB2 (https://www.mctb.org/)? Daniel actually does a pretty thorough job of talking about the various definitions... see: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/5/19 6:13 PM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:
It then begs the question - is it then possible to have momentary periods of lack of equinimtiy once you reach 4th path or are there certain groups of sensations like lust and sexual pleasure that even at 4th path can override unskillful practitioners without previous practise? He might never have been exposed to such sensations/temptations in previous circumstances before 4th path (married/financially poor/good health). Perhaps lust and sexual temptation needs special training etc

I'm just opening dialogue around the Dharma, not around John himself.
As far as I can tell, cats and dogs appear to be enlightened. I'm not sure what that says about people.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 3:42 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:

Can Daniel or something else who is 4th path clearly explain.

No. There is no commonly accepted definition of "4th path". If you go to the suttas, the definitions are full of contradictions, as well as supertitious crap.

Because of this, when Daniel says the words "4th path", and when Culadasa says the same words, they are talking about two completely different things. So we have two problems:

  • (1) Nothing that Daniel says on what he calls "4th path" can shed any light on what Culadasa means when he says "4th path", and
  • (2) nothing that Culadasa says on what he calls "4th path" can shed any light on what Daniel means when he says "4th path".

Actually, you can generalise these statements any two Buddhist meditation teachers X and Y:

  • (3) For all X and Y (with Y ≠ X), nothing that X says on what he calls "4th path" can shed any light on what Y means when he says "4th path".

Unfortunately, in the case of Culadasa, we have one additional problem:

  • (4) Not much of what Culadasa says on what he calls "4th path" appears to shed much if any light on what Culadasa means when he says "4th path",

as far I can tell, having braved through tens of hours of Culadasa talking about 4th path and making very little sense. In fact, Culadasa talks about what he calls "4th path" as

  • (i) Something that is related to ethics, behaviour, emotion, actions, and morality, and
  • (ii) something that he goes in and out of all the time.
Which is like saying I am vegetarian between meals or I never kick puppies except for the times when I do. By Culadasa's definition of arahantship, most people in the world are arahants (for much of the time, except when they aren't), and for all we know most people in the world might actually be arahants more often than Culadasa is.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 4:02 AM as a reply to neko.
Nicely put Neko. Do you think  map consensus could in theory be achieved or that different practices, proclivities, inevitably lead to development across different axes?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 5:59 AM as a reply to Edward.
Edward: I don't believe there will ever be any kind of consensus. 

The source material is irreparably flawed, internally contradictory, and it carries a burden of dogma and superstition, evolved through millennia of memetic selection in response to the needs of some of the darker sides of the human psyche that seeks non-answers and non-solutions to its issues, and you can't beat millennia of selection of stupidity with common sense, as experience has painfully shown time and again. But don't take me for a pessimist on this. Personally, I don't worry too much about it, since I don't identify as Buddhist (nor as Hindu, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and so on), and I am not at all interested in coming to a consensus with those who do.

What might be possible is building small communities that are well insulated from the bullshit and do stuff that is effective. Compare science: A large section of humanity still believes in all kinds of pseudoscientific bullshit (that vaccines cause autism, that there is no global warming, that magic sugar saves, that you can solve the antropocene crisis by getting guilt tripped for eating a hamburger by a sixteen year old girl with selective mutism)... nevertheless, a relatively small group of people actually do the science, and they do that simply by ignoring everybody else's irrational thinking, sticking to a logical, evidence-based, practical way of doing things, all the while being out there in the open, publishing their results for everyone to see, although it is very few who are actually willing and able to put in the time to understand what is being talked about.

Notice that I am not claiming that meditation is (or should be (or need be)) a science, which is a very complex issue. I am just saying that step one is giving up on the idea that you need to achieve the metaphorical equivalent of scientific consensus with flat earthers, and step two is not using words like "arahant", which is the metaphorical equivalent of not discussing transubstantiation when you build a synchrotron.

I understand Daniel's desire to re-appropriate that term, and I do sympathise with him, but I think that it is a huge waste of time and a losing proposition. I think he should just call it "full-blown non-dual non-agental non-central instantaneous perception", which rolls off the tongue really well, innit? At the most, he could add, as a footnote, that he believes that after you strip all the bullshit off the term "arahant", FBNDNANCIP is what you are actually left with, but even that is calling for a lot of confusion and wasted time, in my not-so-humble opinion.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 5:59 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Tom C:

Can Daniel or something else who is 4th path clearly explain.

No. There is no commonly accepted definition of "4th path". If you go to the suttas, the definitions are full of contradictions, as well as supertitious crap.

Because of this, when Daniel says the words "4th path", and when Culadasa says the same words, they are talking about two completely different things. So we have two problems:

  • (1) Nothing that Daniel says on what he calls "4th path" can shed any light on what Culadasa means when he says "4th path", and
  • (2) nothing that Culadasa says on what he calls "4th path" can shed any light on what Daniel means when he says "4th path".

Actually, you can generalise these statements any two Buddhist meditation teachers X and Y:

  • (3) For all X and Y (with Y ≠ X), nothing that X says on what he calls "4th path" can shed any light on what Y means when he says "4th path".

Unfortunately, in the case of Culadasa, we have one additional problem:

  • (4) Not much of what Culadasa says on what he calls "4th path" appears to shed much if any light on what Culadasa means when he says "4th path",

as far I can tell, having braved through tens of hours of Culadasa talking about 4th path and making very little sense. In fact, Culadasa talks about what he calls "4th path" as

  • (i) Something that is related to ethics, behaviour, emotion, actions, and morality, and
  • (ii) something that he goes in and out of all the time.
Which is like saying I am vegetarian between meals or I never kick puppies except for the times when I do. By Culadasa's definition of arahantship, most people in the world are arahants (for much of the time, except when they aren't), and for all we know most people in the world might actually be arahants more often than Culadasa is.
@Shargol thank you I read his descriptions
Thanks Neko, I enjoyed your post, both the content and tone emoticon

I will state - there seems to my eye be a huge disparity between the way Daniel and maybe others describe 4th Path and the reason why we are all here; suffering.

Daniels book from a quick scan doesn't talk in terms of suffering, the reduction or end of suffering, more a perceptual shift in reality, which somewhat ambiguously implies reduction in suffering, but isn't explicit or explain how so. In fact Daniel doesn’t seem to talk at all explicitly in terms of aversion, craving or suffering. Just the change in the way reality is perceived.

I can understand how hard it is to standardised goals and terminology. For me personally understanding a path or goals, it makes it easier to reference foremost reductions in craving, aversion (delusion), and suffering. Speaking outside of this framework leaves room for ambiguity and clarity on the goals we are all here to try to achieve.

Quite a contrast to the Buddha who explicitly spoke about suffering and the end of suffering.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 6:18 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:
@Shargol thank you I read his descriptions
Thanks Neko, I enjoyed your post, both the content and tone emoticon

emoticon


I will state - there seems to my eye be a huge disparity between the way Daniel and maybe others describe 4th Path and the reason why we are all here; suffering.

Daniels book from a quick scan doesn't talk in terms of suffering, the reduction or end of suffering, more a perceptual shift in reality, which somewhat ambiguously implies reduction in suffering, but isn't explicit or explain how so.

He actually does. The problem is that what Daniel means when he uses the word "suffering" and what you mean when you use it are, once again, two very different things. The "suffering" that you get rid of when you get into what Daniel calls 4th path is a kind of "suffering" you will never realise that you had until you see the world through that lens which does not have it. Which is why I add the "end of suffering" sales pitch to the list of things not to talk about. Much better descriptors of what can be attained are:

* Highly recommended, can't tell you why (Bill Hamilton).

* The Ultimate Duh (Daniel).

* That thing you're babbling on about, it ain't the real thing (Laozi).

* The suffering you will lose is not one you know you have (myself, I believe, unless I am plagiarising someone else).


In fact Daniel doesn’t seem to talk at all explicitly in terms of aversion, craving or suffering. Just the change in the way reality is perceived.
He does, but not very much, which is really rather wise I believe, since 'aversion', 'craving' and 'suffering' are really misleading words.



Quite a contrast to the Buddha who explicitly spoke about suffering and the end of suffering.

Yes, but don't forget that the Buddha is a collective pseudonym like Nicolas Bourbaki or, perhaps more appropriately, Alan Smithee. What was going on through the mind of the dude who signed himself as The Buddha when he wrote "end of suffering" is anyone's guess. Perhaps he was very depressed and even more hopeful. Or perhaps his monastery was not getting enough donations.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 6:40 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Hah, I _love_ it Neko! 

Tom C, my goodness... it's very very very very clear that Daniel talks about reduction of suffering throughout the book. (https://www.mctb.org/?s=suffering) Right?

It seems like you are really focused on the supposed end state (4th path) rather than the entire domain that preceeds it, which is really where the good stuff is. Neko's rant comes into play here: of course a very simple idealized description of complete and total enlightenment --- the buddha has perfect perception, perfect thinking, perfect emotions, perfect behavior, and no suffering --- is easy to understand and sounds awesome and would be the marketing campaign for the religion founded on the buddha. But the real interesting stuff comes from reading the suttas with a critical mind, picking up on all the curiousities that still exist within the texts and a much more interesting picture emerges. And if you supplement the study of buddhism with the study of other meditative traditions... a VERY interesting perspective emerges.

But most of all, it's our own personal practice that matters... so all of this dogma debate is pretty worthless in the big scheme of things.


In a sense the question is not the abstract question "Can an arahat do (insert bad thing}?" which is a completely abstract question. The important question is "In this real world, can you simply trust that someone who can describe dharma well and hints that she/he is a arahat to be honest and to look out for everyone else's best interest?"  Can you ever turn over trust in that way? Hell, no. For a number of reasons, but mostly because it really doesn't matter how erudite and elegant a person speaks, nor what titles they give themselves or others give them. Every cult in the world starts with wishful thinking and a subtle desire to regress to a child-like pseudo-innocence where we turn over personal power to someone else. 

In a sense the other question is "Are these practice good at all if some/all the advanced practioners are such fuck ups?" Again, this goes back to the point that it's our own personal practice that matters. If it helps us, it's good stuff. If it doesn't help us, it's not worth our time. If it only seems to help someone else, but they wind up being a fuck-up... well that's their problem. (It's only when we want to defend the practices/religion as part of our identity that other people's problems with practice/religion will bother us.)

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 6:25 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Tom C:
@Shargol thank you I read his descriptions
Thanks Neko, I enjoyed your post, both the content and tone emoticon

emoticon


I will state - there seems to my eye be a huge disparity between the way Daniel and maybe others describe 4th Path and the reason why we are all here; suffering.

Daniels book from a quick scan doesn't talk in terms of suffering, the reduction or end of suffering, more a perceptual shift in reality, which somewhat ambiguously implies reduction in suffering, but isn't explicit or explain how so. In fact Daniel doesn’t seem to talk at all explicitly in terms of aversion, craving or suffering. Just the change in the way reality is perceived.

He actually does. The problem is that what Daniel means when he uses the word "suffering" and what you mean when you use it are, once again, two very different things. The "suffering" that you get rid of when you get into what Daniel calls 4th path is a kind of "suffering" you will never realise that you had until see the world through a lens that does not have it. Which is why I add the "end of suffering" sales pitch to the list of things not to talk about. Much better descriptors of what can be attained are:

* Highly recommended, can't tell you why (Bill Hamilton).

* The Ultimate Duh (Daniel).

* That thing you're babbling on about, it ain't the real thing (Laozi).

* The suffering you will lose is not one you know you have (myself, I believe, unless I am plagiarising someone else).

Quite a contrast to the Buddha who explicitly spoke about suffering and the end of suffering.

Yes, but don't forget that the Buddha is a collective pseudonym like Nicolas Bourbaki or, perhaps more appropriately Alan Smithee. What was going on through the mind of the dude who signed himself as The Buddha when he wrote that is anyone's guess.

Neko, thanks for responding. I am not disagreeing with anything you wrote so please don't take as such, just seeking clarification in a way that might make sense to my mind.

The list of phrases you provided I find extremely ambiguous and slightly unhelpful. You are almost insuanating that what is reduced by reaching 4th path can't be explained or quantified. This is also seems extremely unhelpful let alone explain why someone should or would pursue it.

What exactly is reduced? Can anyone give concrete real world examples of how things would have been before or after 4th path - namely perception and reaction, and how suffering would have been in both cases so we can understand some sort of tangible difference.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 6:30 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Hah, I _love_ it Neko! 

Tom C, my goodness... it's very very very very clear that Daniel talks about reduction of suffering throughout the book. (https://www.mctb.org/?s=suffering) Right?

It seems like you are really focused on the supposed end state (4th path) rather than the entire domain that preceeds it, which is really where the good stuff is. Neko's rant comes into play here: of course a very simple idealized description of complete and total enlightenment --- the buddha has perfect perception, perfect thinking, perfect emotions, perfect behavior, and no suffering --- is easy to understand and sounds awesome and would be the marketing campaign for the religion founded on the buddha. But the real interesting stuff comes from reading the suttas with a critical mind, picking up on all the curiousities that still exist within the texts and a much more interesting picture emerges. And if you supplement the study of buddhism with the study of other meditative traditions... a VERY interesting perspective emerges.

But most of all, it's our own personal practice that matters... so all of this dogma debate is pretty worthless in the big scheme of things.

Hi Shargol,

Unfortunately for me (perhaps it's my mind) I don't get clear conscise definitions of what exactly is reduced and in what quantity from Daniels book. As said I find it ambigious. I'm sorry if my line of question is frustrating.

Forgive my questions, I'm new and trying to gain an understanding into the community. It doesn't make any tangible difference to my practice, am just simply trying to gain an understanding.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 6:46 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom, looks like you replied to my post as I was editing it. Anyway, no worries. emoticon

As far as trying to understand "the community" --- it's the wierdest collection of un-alike individuals as you will ever stumble across!  emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 7:31 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C --

What exactly is reduced? Can anyone give concrete real world examples of how things would have been before or after 4th path - namely perception and reaction, and how suffering would have been in both cases so we can understand some sort of tangible difference.

"Reducing" anything is just the wrong way to think about this stuff. It's about understanding, having a deep grokking of how the mind works. When you reach certain junctures in your practice you will see more deeply into the process. Those peeks at the process are what people call "insight" and it is accumulating insight that leads to what people call "awakening." What's happening is not some automatic reduction in human capabilities - those are, by definition, human attributes. They don't magically disappear no matter how much insight we have or how awake we might become.

What CAN happen, but doesn't HAVE to happen, is that as we accumulate insight and awaken we can apply those insights to our own behavior, our own life and how we interact with the reality we find ourselves experiencing every second. If we're motivated to do that then we can change and improve our interactions.

You need to understand this because it's one of the motivating factors, for me it was THE motivating factor, to do and see this for yourself. You're not practicing meditation to become some kind of god-like figure, super-human, or a mystical creature. You're practicing to understand your humanity and the way your human mind operates at the very deepest level. This is why Daniel Ingram doesn't talk much about "reducing" capabilities. It's because awakened people are still people with personalities and varying desires to use their insights for the good of others.

If a dharma teacher makes awakening sound mythical and like there is some kind of automatic reduction in any human attribute, or like they have some secret sauce, formula or understanding that you need them and only them for, run away. Fast.

The tangible difference is in how deeply you understand your mind - this is usually called "wisdom." It's not a difference in what you can or can't do, but in what you can or can't see and understand.


RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 7:16 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
BTW - I find the way this all gets described by lots of people extremely frustrating. I had that same frustration for years as I tried to figure this out. I get it. The level of jargon and bullshit one needs to get through is monumental and much of it is misleading in the extreme. I'm on the side of anyone who wants relatable, sensible and realistic explanations. That's one reason I point folks toward MCTB - it's the most sensible and realistic way to pick this stuff up. Following the path as taught by Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk was the one thing that worked for me, finally.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 7:32 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:
The list of phrases you provided I find extremely ambiguous and slightly unhelpful.

Yes, they are! But at least they are not misleading, lies, or manipulative sales pitches, which is worse. If you can do better than what I have done, I am all ears. emoticon

And thanks for the "unhelpful" bit, which I consider a compliment, since the dao that can be talked about is not the real dao*, and hence, if I said something that sounds helpful, it would actually be a red herring. emoticon



Tom C:
You are almost insuanating that what is reduced by reaching 4th path can't be explained or quantified.

Totally.




Tom C:
This is also seems extremely unhelpful let alone explain why someone should or would pursue it.

So you believe that something more helpful can be said. Awesome! What is that? I'd love to hear it.



Tom C:
What exactly is reduced? Can anyone give concrete real world examples of how things would have been before or after 4th path - namely perception and reaction, and how suffering would have been in both cases so we can understand some sort of tangible difference.

In my not-so-humble opinion, trying to practice to attain a reduction in, let alone an elimination of, suffering is very counterproductive, so I would suggest to just drop that idea, and instead take a good look at how your perceptions work, including that thing that you call suffering, which can certainly be investigated in extreme painstaking detail, down to the micro-moment and the micro-location, which is certainly a very useful thing to do.

__________

* I am not a daoist either.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 7:26 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
In a sense the question is not the abstract question "Can an arahat do (insert bad thing}?" which is a completely abstract question. The important question is "In this real world, can you simply trust that someone who can describe dharma well and hints that she/he is a arahat to be honest and to look out for everyone else's best interest?"  Can you ever turn over trust in that way? Hell, no. For a number of reasons, but mostly because it really doesn't matter how erudite and elegant a person speaks, nor what titles they give themselves or others give them. Every cult in the world starts with wishful thinking and a subtle desire to regress to a child-like pseudo-innocence where we turn over personal power to someone else. 

In a sense the other question is "Are these practice good at all if some/all the advanced practioners are such fuck ups?" Again, this goes back to the point that it's our own personal practice that matters. If it helps us, it's good stuff. If it doesn't help us, it's not worth our time. If it only seems to help someone else, but they wind up being a fuck-up... well that's their problem. (It's only when we want to defend the practices/religion as part of our identity that other people's problems with practice/religion will bother us.)


Shargol,

For sake of clarity I never asked 'Can an Arhart do bad things'. I just asked what potential mechanism could cause an 4th path to do certain behaviours.

I'll try to clarify my stance and my intentions:

I don't actually care about labels apart from them making conversation easier when standardised and clearly defined. I also have no predefined expectation of what 4th path should or shouldn't be. I am just confused as to how a 4th Path person suffers, at what level is it reduced and in what way - in a clearly defined tangible explanation.

Like previously disclaimed it could and probably just be the way my mind works - but to my mind its clear at all what quantity, under what circumstances, via which mechanisms suffering is reduced.

It seems way more 'Some suffering is reduced some of time. What type of suffering, how much and which amount of time we cant tell you -  but you should go do it' - doesnt seem very helpful.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 7:49 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:


It seems way more 'Some suffering is reduced some of time. What type of suffering, how much and which amount of time we cant tell you -  but you should go do it' - doesnt seem very helpful.


https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/7699341#_19_message_7838274

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 7:54 AM as a reply to neko.
Neko, I agree with most of what you are saying and you seem pretty brillant, but it also seems to me like you are using ”with selective mutism” as a way of diminishing someone’s credibility. I hope I misunderstood that.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:02 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Neko, I agree with most of what you are saying and you seem pretty brillant, but it also seems to me like you are using ”with selective mutism” as a way of diminishing someone’s credibility. I hope I misunderstood that.

Sixteen year olds have no credibility on global warming to begin with, there's really nothing to diminish. You know who has credibility on global warming? Climatologists. If Greta Thurnberg wishes to have credibility on global warming, she should pursue a PhD in physics.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:06 AM as a reply to neko.
... Greta Thurnberg... 

"Thunberg"   emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:08 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:

* Highly recommended, can't tell you why (Bill Hamilton).

* The Ultimate Duh (Daniel).

* That thing you're babbling on about, it ain't the real thing (Laozi).

* The suffering you will lose is not one you know you have (myself, I believe, unless I am plagiarising someone else).


That’s good enough for me.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:14 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Neko, I agree with most of what you are saying and you seem pretty brillant, but it also seems to me like you are using ”with selective mutism” as a way of diminishing someone’s credibility. I hope I misunderstood that.

Sixteen year olds have no credibility on global warming to begin with, there's really nothing to diminish. You know who has credibility on global warming? Climatologists. If Greta Thurnberg wishes to have credibility on global warming, she should pursue a PhD in physics.



So why did you add it? It seems like a rhetorical punchline.

I know who she is. I’m from Sweden too. I don’t know about where you come from, but here in Sweden 16-year-olds can’t pursue PhD:s, and making fun of kids is considered immature. And making fun of her autistic traits is pretty low (although unfortunately many people in Sweden do not realize that either).

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Look, you seem to be a good guy. I don’t think you meant any harm. It’s just... remarks like that are not as harmless and fun as they may seem to those who are not targeted. The abundance of them hurts a lot and contribute to harm.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Despite lacking a PhD in climatology, I don't feel discouraged from protesting against my government's response to climate change. If my views were in opposition to the established science then that would be a problem. Right?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 8:50 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Look, you seem to be a good guy. I don’t think you meant any harm. It’s just... remarks like that are not as harmless and fun as they may seem to those who are not targeted. The abundance of them hurts a lot and contribute to harm.


Look, you seem to be a good girl, but I wasn't targeting Greta Thunberg  (thanks Chris), I was targeting people who listen to climate scientists talking about heart surgery, people who listen to heart surgeons talking about quantum mechanics, people who listen to quantum physicists talking about Pokémons, and people who listen to little kids talking about climate science.

Luckily, climate scientists are still doing their thing without listening to what Greta Thunberg has to say on climate science, which is why we still have climate science, instead of some weird discussions about how climate science brings an end to suffering and makes you walk on water.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 9:00 AM as a reply to Edward.
Edward:
Despite lacking a PhD in climatology, I don't feel discouraged from protesting against my government's response to climate change. If my views were in opposition to the established science then that would be a problem. Right?

The problem is that practically no one can name a single climate scientist and everyone knows who GT is because she has been on the first page of all newspaper non stop for what, a year now? Which goes to show the point I was trying to make, that science operates secluded from the opinions of kids, and practical meditation should operate secluded from the opinions of dogmatists.

Nothing more than that.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 11:38 AM as a reply to neko.
I know you weren’t targeting Greta or other people with selective mutism, but the problem is that you used selective mutism as a pejorative, which contributes to and legitimizes harmful attitudes against autistic people. There are more worthy and less harmful ways to make your point. I’m not interested in picking a fight. I just hope that you find it in your heart to listen when I tell you that wordings like that hurt people who are already vulnerable.

I’m not a girl, by the way. I’m non-binary. But nevermind.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 11:37 AM as a reply to Edward.
Edward:
Despite lacking a PhD in climatology, I don't feel discouraged from protesting against my government's response to climate change. If my views were in opposition to the established science then that would be a problem. Right?



Right.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/6/19 4:25 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Look, you seem to be a good guy. I don’t think you meant any harm. It’s just... remarks like that are not as harmless and fun as they may seem to those who are not targeted. The abundance of them hurts a lot and contribute to harm.


Look, you seem to be a good girl, but I wasn't targeting Greta Thunberg  (thanks Chris), I was targeting people who listen to climate scientists talking about heart surgery, people who listen to heart surgeons talking about quantum mechanics, people who listen to quantum physicists talking about Pokémons, and people who listen to little kids talking about climate science.

Luckily, climate scientists are still doing their thing without listening to what Greta Thunberg has to say on climate science, which is why we still have climate science, instead of some weird discussions about how climate science brings an end to suffering and makes you walk on water.

Look, you seem to be a good binary, but as a former Pokémon master in my last life, I have to disagree. There's no such thing as 'Pokémons', there's only Pokémon...


Thank you for bringing up 'selective mutism', though, I learned a new word today, although I'm not entirely sure why - maybe you were alluding to the possibility that Greta Thunderberg uses this feature as a sales pitch which is about as credible as writing a book about losing weight if your favourite colour is blue?

The source material is irreparably flawed, internally contradictory, and it carries a burden of dogma and superstition, evolved through millennia of memetic selection in response to the needs of some of the darker sides of the human psyche that seeks non-answers and non-solutions to its issues, and you can't beat millennia of selection of stupidity with common sense, as experience has painfully shown time and again. But don't take me for a pessimist on this. Personally, I don't worry too much about it, since I don't identify as Buddhist (nor as Hindu, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and so on), and I am not at all interested in coming to a consensus with those who do.

This sounds like you have a lot of aversion. You need to meditate more and have faith in the Buddha's teachings, then you can finally be liberated.

People who invest 1000s of hours in learning the Buddhas teachings and following the practices and then saying they're not Buddhists are like people who spend 1000 of hours studying different variants of tail call optimization and then say they're not nerds 

emoticon


RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/7/19 4:11 AM as a reply to Tom C.
Tom C:

Your reply deals with the content or actions of humans - I'm more interested into the mechanism behind these then the actions or the content themselves. I simply posit the question;

If free from craving, aversion & delusion... what is the mechanism or process that compels a human male into seeking prositutues behind their wives back? 

I myself and know many others who have seen plenty of prosititues - I am yet to find anyone that found it meaniful or easn't completely deluded around the whole process to due to craving, aversion and delusion. We aren't talking about subtle delusion or craving, aversion.. this is a big gross form.

Craving, aversion and delusion of what? Aversion to the current feelings and sensations that make up our experience... resulting in craving of pleasant sexual feelings and sensation....deluded that the pursuit of these feelings and sensations leads to anything but suffering (they are void, empty and dukkha).
Maybe you are the one who is deluded and doesn't find it meaningful, and everyone else is having a lot of fun emoticon

(Hint: the process/mechanism is exactly the same one as before. The only difference is the reason why the Arahat does the prostitutes behind his wife's back. Normal people don't tell their wife because then she is angry at them. Arahats don't tell their wife out of compassion because they know that she would suffer if she knew.)

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/7/19 3:36 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I know you weren’t targeting Greta or other people with selective mutism, but the problem is that you used selective mutism as a pejorative, which contributes to and legitimizes harmful attitudes against autistic people.

This is extremely off topic and I am not sure why you are so obsessed on this, but I feel I have to answer because you are misrepresenting my views.

Anyway.

1. Do not put words into my mouth, not even indirectly. I never brought autism into the picture. (It is, in fact, as far as I understand, not possible to have both autism and selective mutism, according to the DSM-5. But this is besides the point. I did not bring autism up.)

2. Do not put words into my mouth. I was not using selective mutism as a pejorative. I was pointing to the way her selective mutism is used by all newspaper articles that mention it as a proxy for authority, the argument going more or less invariably as:

I. Greta Thunberg has selective mutism.

II. She only speaks about things she feels are important.

III. She speaks about climate change.

IV. Therefore, climate change is important.

Now, before you jump to conclusions again, and put words into my mouth again e.g. to the effect that I might be claiming that climate change is not important, which I am not, as I believe that climate change is important. What I am pointing out to is that the reason climate change is important is because climate scientist say that it is important, and not because a child with selective mutism who only talks about things she feels are important talks about climate change. Let me be even more explicit. What follows from (I-III) is not that climate change is important, what follows from those premises is that a child with selective mutism feels that climate change is important, which does not mean that it is. Attributing authority to a child on climate change because she has selective mutism is, again, like attributing authority to a heart surgeon on quantum mechanics because he likes Pokémon(s?).

I was, in other words, making a point that:

EXPERTISE > FEELINGS.

Which is, unsurprisingly, something that has to be spelled out step-by-step in the current political climate in which FEELS > REALS.

By the way, did I say do not misrepresent my views and do not to put words into my mouth?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/7/19 7:22 AM as a reply to neko.
I said that I was hoping that I was misunderstanding you, and I’m really glad that I did - or rather, I’m really glad that you didn’t intend for the wordings to be a pejorative. My comment was an invitation to explain yourself. If you really believe that people give a child the status of an expert because of her selective mutism, then I can see that it was not a pejorative. You could have explained that directly, because that was not something I could have guessed, but it was probably similarly difficult for you to see what possible connotations your wordings had for people who do not share your taken-for-granted knowledge and assumptions. Thankyou for explaining it now! I’m very relieved that you are not one of the many people who use this kind of diagnosis to discredit people. Maybe it’s good to know that they often express themselves just like you did and really intend it as a pejorative (which becomes clear as the conversation continues), so if you don’t want to be mistaken for one of them it might be helpful to be more explicit about why you bring it up. This wouldn’t be a problem if the pejorative use of the wording weren’t so common, though. The fact that you didn’t even realize that it could be interpreted as a pejorative actually brings some hope about humanity. Therefore I’m grateful that you cleared that out.

Are newspapers really presenting her selective mutism as a merit? I have never seen that. I think you may have misunderstood that. Maybe they are just making the rhetorical point that at least some people have understood the urgency of the situation. That has nothing to do with merits, only personal priorities. Or maybe newspapers in your country are even worse than those in Sweden. I guess that’s a possibility. Still, the way you present it, it sounds like they are talking about personal priorities and try to make the point that, given the current situation and the scientific data available, more people should open their eyes and make the same prioritization.

Greta is autistic/aspie according to her herself (she is very open about it), the doctors that diagnosed her, and her mother who is an advocate for the rights of autistic people, but perhaps you know better. Or rather, perhaps the media think they know better (that’s more fair, since it is now clear that you are talking about media logic rather than actual diagnosis). The media logic that you are criticizing seems to have emphasized one part of Greta’s way of functioning and labelled it as selective mutism, but it is really part of her autistic wiring regardless of what they or you call it. I have autistic friends that are selective mutists at least in function, but they prefer to describe it as being non-verbal. I don’t know what description Greta prefers.

I apologize for my poor wording in the post where I explained explicitly how your wordings appeared to me. I should have phrased it as being about my interpretation and continued to ask for your reason to bring it up.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/7/19 6:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Tom C --

What exactly is reduced? Can anyone give concrete real world examples of how things would have been before or after 4th path - namely perception and reaction, and how suffering would have been in both cases so we can understand some sort of tangible difference.

"Reducing" anything is just the wrong way to think about this stuff. It's about understanding, having a deep grokking of how the mind works. When you reach certain junctures in your practice you will see more deeply into the process. Those peeks at the process are what people call "insight" and it is accumulating insight that leads to what people call "awakening." What's happening is not some automatic reduction in human capabilities - those are, by definition, human attributes. They don't magically disappear no matter how much insight we have or how awake we might become.

What CAN happen, but doesn't HAVE to happen, is that as we accumulate insight and awaken we can apply those insights to our own behavior, our own life and how we interact with the reality we find ourselves experiencing every second. If we're motivated to do that then we can change and improve our interactions.

You need to understand this because it's one of the motivating factors, for me it was THE motivating factor, to do and see this for yourself. You're not practicing meditation to become some kind of god-like figure, super-human, or a mystical creature. You're practicing to understand your humanity and the way your human mind operates at the very deepest level. This is why Daniel Ingram doesn't talk much about "reducing" capabilities. It's because awakened people are still people with personalities and varying desires to use their insights for the good of others.

If a dharma teacher makes awakening sound mythical and like there is some kind of automatic reduction in any human attribute, or like they have some secret sauce, formula or understanding that you need them and only them for, run away. Fast.

The tangible difference is in how deeply you understand your mind - this is usually called "wisdom." It's not a difference in what you can or can't do, but in what you can or can't see and understand.


Thanks Chris,

I enjoyed this post. There however seems to be some preconceived notions regarding the idea that everyone looking to reduce suffering is also looking for constant Jhana bliss. This isn't the case.

Surely they're not mutually exclsusive. We can talk about reducing suffering - and also know that life isn't going to emotional bliss. It's seems irrational to think otherwise.

I think talking about what types of suffering, in what quantities, via what mechanisms is essential to disucssing Dharma. This is primarily how the Buddha spoke - it would make no sense to speak in other terms.

I know form my own practice and experience suffering is reduced - thats a fact - from identifiation with sensations and thought - the amount of thoughts or reactions you have (in the form of thought) substantially reduces - you suffer less frequantly with less intensity.

The only caveat being is the more you walk the path you suffer less, but are much more aware of any suffering that does arise.

If at each post mental induced suffering - isn't reduced - I'd posit it's not true insight or true Dharma. 


N.b. I whole heartedly agree that sitting thinking of an end goal of reducing suffering doesn't reduce any suffering - only following the process of practise and insight does - so the answer to all questions on the absolute level always points back to practise or noticing what makes up our sensatory experience.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/7/19 2:31 PM as a reply to Tom C.
I know form my own practice and experience suffering is reduced - thats a fact - from identifiation with sensations and thought - the amount of thoughts or reactions you have (in the form of thought) substantially reduces - you suffer less frequantly with less intensity.

That's consistent with my view, Tom. Suffering (dissatisfaction, discomfort, etc.) can be reduced to the extent that one has the capability and motivation.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/7/19 8:26 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Right. Physical and emotional pain will never go away. The thing that does is identifying with it as "mine".

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/7/19 8:35 PM as a reply to svmonk.
What about the cravings for prostitutes?

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Afllegations
Answer
9/8/19 7:37 PM as a reply to Shaun Steelgrave.
C'mon Shaun! If the guy's horny and he isn't getting it from his wife, what does it matter who he f***s? He's, what 70 and she's, what, in her late 60's? When women get to that age, sometimes they lose interest in sex, even though men don't. If he didn't and she did then there is a problem in the relationship that they need to talk about. That's not the issue. The issue is that he lied to his wife rather than talk with her about it and misrepresented himself to his sangha and to the world. He didn't take a vow of celebacy after all.

Compared to the the Sakyong, former head of the Shambala lineage, Culadasa's a saint. The Sakyong's been accused of beating up and raping his female students and after the allegations were raised, he discretely departed to India for a period of "reflection and meditation" (I wonder if the US and India have an extradition treaty?). Similarly with the recently departed Sogyal Rimpoche (Sogyal Rimpoche died  week before last). According to his obituary in the NY Times, Sogyal beat up his male attendent and threw food at him when he was having problems with his girlfriends (plural). Nobody has accused Culadasa of that level of inappropriate and even illegal behavior. Culadasa just behaved like a normal, flawed human being.

Anyway, I kind of wish this thread would die.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations
Answer
9/8/19 8:09 PM as a reply to Tom C.
The tricky part with explaining exactly what is reduced is that the primary mechanism is the reduction of Avidyā https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avidy%C4%81_(Buddhism), i.e. lack of knowing the nature of reality (and theoretically, ultimately the complete removal of suffering caused by not knowing). Because not