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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Or very nearly. New Age guru Andrew Cohen has staged a kind of dialogue between self-help human-potential specialist Tony Robbins and Buddha Shakyamuni, in effect equating their teachings or at least their authority and rhetorical position.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/integral-life-m ... 21-13.html

Quote:
Moderator: Master Gautama, thank you so much for that—I feel like my mind is going quiet. But before it shuts down altogether, I need to ask my final question to both of you.

Tony, now that you’ve clarified what it means to better ourselves and also how we can become a good person, I have one more query. What does it mean for each and every one of us to be on our edge—to live on the very edge of our potential?

Robbins: Well, I think in many ways I’ve already answered this question. First of all, to be on our edge means that we are evolving in the most important areas of our lives. And second, to live on our edge, to me, has to mean that we’ve stopped living selfishly. To put it simply, if we’re really on our edge, we’re helping to change the world.

Moderator: Thanks Tony. Gautama?

Buddha: I agree wholeheartedly with the great one Robbins! I would say that to be on our edge and to live on our edge means that we are either aspiring Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or fully realized Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Remember, such individuals incarnate for the sake of others. They are no longer in this world merely for their own benefit. Such illumined ones are here solely to bring the light of higher awareness into this world so that more and more of us can awaken . . .


I'm interested in the ways in which the Buddha is used as a way to authorize certain contemporary ideas of "the good life," "peak performance," and so on. It's easy to dismiss these bits of fluff for what they are (bits of fluff...), but I have reason to think this is the kind of material many people bring with them to Dharma practice: the expectations they may have before the expose themselves to traditional teachings. So we would do well to make ourselves aware of them.

:broke:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:52 pm 
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I vomited in my mouth just a little after reading another one of Cohen's "Buddhism as New Agey Stuff" pieces. At least this time, he wasn't whoring for Ken Wilbur.

Jikan, you're right to point out that people will be coming to the Dharma in the West with 'Cohenized' ideas of What the Buddha Taught. Tony Robbins may have inspired a lot of people. However, I have a client that has sent over $100,000 to Robbins to be a part of his inner circle of disciples. My client is one of the most opportunistic, attached, and neurotic people I know. He wants to make more money, have more girlfriends, and he takes steroids and works out fervently to build his body/ego.

If Cohen were truly interested in furthering the Dharma (and not himself), he'd contrast the teaches of Gautama, not compare them favorably to Tony Robbins. He'd illustrate the point that what Robbins promotes, it seems to me, is more attachment, more clinging, and in the end, more dukkha.

Maybe part of our job in the world is to help rescue people from these delusions.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Wow, Andrew Cohen has really drunk the integral Kool-Aid. Has anyone noticed that they are always going on about how they are the wisest visionaries, the most respected leaders and producing the best avant-garde art and culture. This started after they were essentially thrown out of the traditions they started in and lost all their credibility. All I see them producing is shit. The Integral Life+™® seems to lead slowly away from reality to delusional grandeur and smug self assurance.

Does anyone here consider them anything other than a cautionary tale and a sad indictment of Western consumerism/spiritual materialism?

I paraphrase,...

I can tell you more in my candid, heart-to-heart video advice spotlighting the ways that spirituality is evolving right now, and why it matters to all of us on a meditative or contemplative spiritual path. These intimate and lively video sessions delve deeply into many compelling topics. Even the Buddha would learn something from these videos.
This extraordinary video collection is priced at $199, but you can purchase now for just $149!
Image http://integrallife.com/product/future-spirituality-why-it-must-be-integral

Maybe they are satire? Could anyone be so self unaware? Just shows that reading Sutras and understanding them are two completely different things.


Last edited by Nemo on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
All I see them producing is shit.

That's insulting. Sh*t is very helpful for making plants grow if you spread it on soil.

:lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
Does anyone here consider them anything other than a cautionary tale and a sad indictment of Western consumerism/spiritual materialism?


The same phenomenon is found around here in Kathmandu where it attracts the kind of people you're alluding to, though many locals capitalize on the market demand for all things New Agey and Buddhist. The merchants know a good thing when they see it.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
Does anyone here consider them anything other than a cautionary tale and a sad indictment of Western consumerism/spiritual materialism?


That's my take.

Quote:
Maybe they are satire?


Or, rather, they have fallen into unintentional self-parody.

I bring it up because there are more than a few people who take this material seriously, at least at first. Their exposure to such materials inflects they way they approach Dharma practice. It helps to see it coming and it doesn't hurt to call it out where you see it. For instance:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=10756

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=8006

http://www.dianemushohamilton.com/Home.html

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