In a recent Vortex Healing course, a few things came up for me. I thought I would write down some of these and see how it is to use them as a mirror for myself.
HOW STUDENTS RELATE TO WHAT’S SAID
Some students seem to take the teacher’s words as the gospel truth. He says something, and they repeat it as fact even if it’s something they cannot check for themselves.
I prefer to put it on the “he said” and “maybe” shelves. If I cannot check it for myself, and it doesn’t have any practical importance, I don’t pay much attention to it.
One example is when the teacher says that Vortex Healing students at a certain level likely won’t have more incarnations. I have no possibility of checking that at this point, it sounds a lot like the unverifiable claims almost all traditions make about their own process, and it makes no practical difference, so I leave it.
I am sure many other students also hold what he says lightly, for similar or other reasons. And I know that, to some, it may be important for them to believe it for a while. It may give them some comfort, even if they somewhere know they cannot know and are in practice deceiving themselves.
HOW STUDENTS RELATE TO THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE
Similarly, I notice that some students seem to take temporary experiences as signs of something more. They may feel lighter, elated, or something apparently unusual, and see it as a sign of deep and lasting shifts.
Again, I prefer to hold it all lightly. The content of my experience always changes and sometimes changes a lot, and I have no idea if it represents anything else. During class, I experience all sorts of things, and I cannot know if it reflects any deeper shifts or not. For me, it’s more peaceful to notice and leave it at that.
I am sure many other students hold this too lightly. And I understand that some may feel a need to make assumptions about temporary shifts in order to feel a bit better, even if they cannot know and it may not be accurate.
TEACHER’S STABS AT BUDDHISM
For whatever reason, the teacher singled out Buddhism for repeated stabs.
Here is a small selection of what he said: “Buddhism is veeeery slow”, “there is no energy transmissions or energetic support in Buddhism”, “there is no differentiation between consciousness and awareness in Buddhism”.
Most of the time, he referred to a very simplistic caricature of Buddhism. It may be accurate in some outlying cases, but Buddhism itself is immensely diverse and what he said is in no way true for Buddhism in general.
Buddhist practice can be fast, especially in terms of allowing us to notice what we are. It can also support living from this noticing in a deep and thorough way.
There is definitely energy transmissions and energetic support (for awakening and embodiment) in Buddhism, and especially in the more shamanic and tantric influenced branches.
And there is obviously a differentiation between what the VH teacher calls consciousness and awareness. Buddhism has very detailed maps of the mind, how it works in unawake and awake states, and the process from one to the other.
Why did he feel a need to take these stabs at Buddhism? Why did he feel a need to present a simplistic caricature of Buddhism? (Straw man arguments.) Is it because he feels insecure? Does he feel that Buddhism is a threat to Vortex Healing? Does he worry that Buddhism is inherently more mature, differentiated, and in many ways more effective than Vortex Healing? (Which it is, in my experience.)
This did trigger something in me. Not so much because it was about Buddhism, but because it seemed unfair and many VH students take his words as gospel truth and may get a distorted impression of another tradition.
Note: I find it interesting that this teacher seems to love Adyashanti. Adyashanti is pure Buddhism. (I trained in the same lineage as him for a while and we had the same teacher’s teacher.) And the teacher seems to feel a need to put down Buddhism. It doesn’t seem very consistent.
REFERRING TO MEDICINE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING
I have also seen this teacher refer to information from mainstream medicine, and he clearly doesn’t have a very good grasp of it. For instance, in a VH course that relates to genetics, the way he presents mainstream genetics is almost painfully inaccurate. (Medical doctors in VH also point this out.)
He has no background in medicine, so why does he refer to information from medicine? Why does he use this information when he clearly doesn’t have a very good grasp of it?
It may be because he wants to give legitimacy to VH and because he mostly can get away with it since more VH students understand even less about these topics than he does.
It doesn’t matter so much since VH is very different from mainstream medicine. But this, and how he talks about Buddhism, does tend to undermine his authority on any topic.
All of this is a mirror for me.
I get to see my own reaction, which comes from my own unexamined assumptions and unhealed parts of me.
And I get to see myself in them.
I sometimes take what someone says as the gospel truth. This especially happens with what I tell myself. I tell myself something, take it as gospel truth, and perceive, feel, and act as if it’s true. I tell myself the teacher shouldn’t misrepresent another tradition and take that thought as true.
I sometimes tell myself stories about my own fleeting experiences and take them as true and meaning something far more than what may actually go on. I have a CFS crash, and my life seems darker and more hopeless. In the past, I have noticed a shift after a session (inquiry, energy healing), and told myself it meant there was a real and perhaps lasting shift.
I sometimes misrepresent someone else or even myself. My thoughts sometimes exaggerate to fit a wound I have. I get triggered by someone, and have a one-sided view of them and what they did. I tell myself the VH teacher tries to elevate VH by putting down Buddhism and does so due to his own insecurity. (While, in reality, I cannot know.) In my own life, I sometimes tell myself everything good falls away in my life. When I am on the threshold of something that feels deeply right, something happens so it all collapses. And so on.
I sometimes pretend to know more about something than I do. Every single article I have written here is an example of that. I pretend something is a certain way while, in reality, I cannot know. I am just guessing. (As I assume we all do, which is also a guess.)
This is a very rudimentary start. To go deeper requires working directly with the contractions coming up in me in these situations, identifying and examining the stories, looking at how it plays itself out in the sense fields, using tonglen, and so on.
- some reflections on a recent VH class
- students taking the teacher’s words as gospel truth
- instead of holding it lightly
- checking out for themselves etc.
- many do, of course
- students creating a lot of stories about what’s happening
- taking temporary states and feelings as signs of major shifts
- repeated stabs at Buddhism
- one-dimensional caricature
- may be true for some traditions / teachers, but Buddhism is wildly diverse
- veeery slow
- not neccesarily true, if devoted and use a combination of practices under guidance
- no energy transmission, divine support
- not neccesarily true
- no differentiation of “consciousness & awareness”
- not true, very detailed maps, in-depth understanding
- all as mind + how mind operates/functions
- veeery slow
- easily seen through by people who know Buddhism, or just notice the pattern of wanting to put it down
- suspicious when he talks about other topics
- seems insecure, threathened by Buddhism?
- for me
- bring up some issues, injustice, abuse of power/influence
- can see the same pattern in me, when I react to this,
- students taking the teacher’s words as gospel truth
We all have our own process, and I know