Sex and the Spiritual Teacher

  • All Craziness, No Wisdom Paid Member

    When crazy wisdom is used as a scam or excuse by unscrupulous teachers, it can take any of three general forms. In the first, teachers claim outright that some or all of their actions are crazy wisdom. In the second, they make no such claim, but publicly sing the praises of crazy wisdom, behave badly, and refuse to explain their actions—thus encouraging their students to connect the dots and infer that crazy wisdom is behind (and justifies) their misdeeds. In the third, teachers delude themselves into believing that a universal wisdom is acting through them, and that they can therefore do whatever they please, because that wisdom is running the show. They thus give up their own power to analyze, evaluate, test, or discern—and become puppets of their own impulses and desires. This delusion can be especially harmful to both the teacher and their students. More »
  • Levels of Enlightenment: How enlightened should a Buddhist teacher be? Paid Member

    My premise is my shakiest part: That enlightenment is not a black and white thing; there are levels to it that land in shades of gray. I say this because I've experienced different levels of realization myself, where my understanding of something has transcended my previous understanding. If you accept this premise, my question is this: How enlightened does one have to be in order to authentically teach the Buddhadharma? Where do we draw the line? Can a Buddhist teacher be addicted to cigarettes? Eat meat? What about sex—can a Buddhist teacher sleep with their students?Many think that the line is drawn at sexual misconduct. Consider a recent comment at the Tricycle Book Club, where we're discussing Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: More »
  • Sexual ethics for Buddhist teachers Paid Member

    As @rebelbuddha said on Twitter yesterday, we’re discussing a “hot topic” right now at the Tricycle Book Club. Author Scott Edelstein is responding to everyone’s comments as we explore the many important issues he raises in his new book, Sex and the Spiritual Teacher. And he’s not shying away from any of the hard-hitting questions either. Here's a some of the dialogue happening at the book club right now about sexual ethics for Buddhist teachers:

mgh writes: More »
  • Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: Sexual Addiction Paid Member

    We students often believe that great spiritual insight and sexual addiction (or, indeed, any addiction) are mutually incompatible. We think, Surely anyone with such wisdom would recognize the painful consequences of addictive behavior and be able to hold themselves in check. Once again we are ignoring reality and clinging to a cherished ideal. Not only do some spiritual teachers suffer from sexual addiction, but a few have become notorious for their compulsive sexual encounters, which typically involve their students. More »
  • This month at the Tricycle Book Club Paid Member

    It’s a good month to be a member of the Tricycle Book Club. We’re discussing two very excellent—and very different—books through the end of March. The first is Sex and the Spiritual Teacher by Scott Edelstein. It’s a levelheaded, honest look at a serious and real issue—and it couldn’t be more timely. Here’s an comment from the discussion already taking place, from Edelstein: More »