Panel Discussion at the Science and Nonduality Conference on Sexual Misconduct, Money, Power, Trauma & Ethics in Spiritual Communities
Introduction by Rick Archer
- The spiritual awakening sweeping the world may be critical to addressing our critical problems.
- Ethical breaches by spiritual teachers sabotage this awakening.
- How the ASI was founded. Its role & perspective.
- Qualities and Characteristics of a healthy teacher, student, and spiritual community.
- What to look for in a spiritual teacher
- The student’s responsibility.
- Healthy teacher/student relationships.
- Support for teachers recognizing their blind spots.
- Are higher consciousness and more ideal behavior correlated?
- Continual growth and learning, even in the teachers’ seat.
- Discriminating between Awakening, Integration process and actualization.
- Abiding exclusively in nondual awareness vs. developing a multi-layered perspective.
- What contributes to unhealthy behavior or cult-like tendencies.
Questions and answers
- Guru addiction
- Money issues in spiritual communities
- The responsibility teachers and students share
- The importance of therapy.
- Teachers referring students to other teachers.
- How long to stay with a teacher
- Teachers inviting students to give them feedback
Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.
Recorded October 25, 2019
Video below and audio and audio near the bottom of the page. Audio also available as a Podcast.
Forty-five spiritual teachers, members of “The Association for Spiritual Integrity”, met for four hours prior to the start of the 2019 Science and Nonduality Conference. For the first couple of hours, we engaged in a deep, honest discussion about the challenges teachers face, seeking to learn how we might better support one another. We then broke into six groups, each focusing on a particular topic. Then we reassembled and recorded the remainder of the meeting.
This video includes:
Introduction by Rick
Summary of discussions in each of the six breakout groups.
- (1) Bringing forth women and feminine empowerment.
- Distinguishing between women and yin-style teachings in a way to not exclude men from the conversation.
- Action items:
- to have each day of SAND have a 3-hour session led by women.
- to have more yin-style teachings on the SAND website
- (2) Ongoing growth for teachers and continuing education, trauma, attachment, and shadow work.
- Teacher survey: what is working for you?
- Online teacher assessment through which teachers can assess themselves.
- Regular peer-group meetings, including teachers with younger teachers
- Workshop around developmental trauma that shows up in the teacher role.
- (3) Creating community and peer support
- Among spiritual teachers
- How to include more people of color and young people in the spiritual community, which tends to be white and middle class.
- Monthly online and annual in-person peer group meetings for spiritual teachers
- A system whereby teachers can refer students to other teachers, if appropriate.
- (4) Healthy power dynamics and dual relationships
- People will naturally come and go from spiritual training groups.
- There should be a balance between teacher and student accountability.
- (5) The Ethics of the Spiritual Community
- Have something like the Better Business Bureau which would keep the data on teacher abuse.
- (6) The importance of awareness of teacher misbehavior and discerning between real misbehavior and false accusations.
A personal or professional commitment expressed by each teacher in the meeting.
Recorded October 24, 2019
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.