I have been curious lately about people who seem bitter about spiritual practice. First, I found some sites talking about Byron Katie as a cult leader (!) and then the email from someone with a bone to pick in regards to nondual traditions.
So this is a good opportunity to come up with some projections to explore for myself.
The first thing that comes to mind is that there is always some truth to whatever folks are saying, so it is good to find it.
Then, why the bitterness? Well, if we go into anything thinking that we will actually get something out of it, we set ourselves up for disappointment. This may be especially true for spiritual practices, which are not at all aimed at getting us anything, quite the opposite.
I guess this goes back to the recent post on motivations for practice: If what we need and are looking for is to feel better about ourselves, it is more than sufficient to practice with the aim of maturing and finding more of our wholeness as a human being, and find practices aimed at that. But if we are drawn by a quiet love for truth or existence itself, then spiritual practice – with the aim of waking up – may be appropriate.
Also, whatever practice we do – whether aimed at feeling better about ourselves or waking up – it is helpful to also work with beliefs and projections directly. And these include any beliefs and projections we may have about teachers, teachings or whatever we think we may get out of it.
Can I find what I see out there also in here? If I hope to get something out of it, is it true that it is not already here? What are the truths in the reversals of the stories I go to as true?