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“Shaving one’s head cannot make a monk out of one who is undisciplined, untruthful, and driven by harmful desires.” The Dhammapada 19:264

You never know when you might be walking by a Buddha. You never know when you may encounter an enlightened being at a wedding. You never know when you might be sitting next to a really powerful person on the bus. You may never see this, because often the Buddha, one who is awake, looks just like everyone else. They rarely appear as we think they should.

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Mindfulness has become a huge part of the spiritual and popular lexicon over the last 10 years or so. Everyone from celebrities to TV anchors to Fortune 500 companies are looking to mindfulness as a way to reduce stress and bring greater happiness. It is a powerful process in of itself, but we should never forget that mindfulness is only part of a multifaceted method. Mindfulness is a means, not an end, and mindfulness divorced from the moral precepts that accompany it only gets us halfway home.

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One of the most common deflection tactics used by insecure teachers in the spiritual subculture is what I call “deflected reality” or “debased reality.” When you offer a critique of a teacher, call out poor behavior or questionable morals, or question the teacher in any way you are told you are being “negative” or “defensive.” Or the teacher will say something like “maybe you should look inside yourself for the same qualities as I am just a reflection of you.” Maybe sometimes you’ll hear, “It sounds like you are really triggered right now, and maybe you should look at that, as your reactions are all about you.”

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Teachers. . .

Stop being nice.

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I have been noticing an interesting shift in the yoga world over the last 5 years or so. It began as something difficult to put my finger on, a wispy shadow of uncertainty, a thin cloud passing over our golden Om-symbols.

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