Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some of the Lesser Knowns...

I have an on-going joke with my 8 year old son about the "Lesser Fairies" - they're like the Tooth Fairy (in whom my son does not have a belief), but not as well known.

There's the Toenail Fairy, the Bellybutton Lint Fairy, the Nose Hair Fairy, and, of course, the Booger Fairy. My son tells me there are more fairies, but I won't mention them here. Let's just say they get harder to clean up after.

In that spirit, I'd like to bring to the attention of my little corner of the blogosphere some of the Lesser Known "gurus," "spiritual teachers" and the like.

All of these folk are connected by 1 or 2 degrees of separation to folks like Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, Dennis Genpo Merzel, Freddie Lenz and the like. Don't say I didn't warn you. Behold the Bellybutton Lint Fairies of the New Age!

  • Tripp Lanier (don't you love the name? it sounds like a Simpson's character) is a "men's coach," and host of the sounds-like-Soviet-propaganda "New Man" podcast. From his blog I learned that I missed the opportunity to "hang with Vidyuddeva and the controversial Marc Gafni." That brings us to the next 2 guys here.
  • Marc Gafni, a former "modern Orthodox rabbi" did not rape anyone in Israel. And you shouldn't believe Vicki Polin either, regardless of whether or not she ...uh...sacrificed babies.
  • "Vidyuddeva" is a Zen priest, or so he claims, studied for nearly ten years at Dharma Field under Steve Hagen, and was ordained in the American Soto Peregrine Lineage in 1999. Dharma Field's website makes no reference to anyone named "Vidyuddeva" that I could find, and judging from the looks of the site, I doubt they'd ever give anyone that name. Likewise, on Google, Zen sects based on the search "American Soto Peregrine" doesn't exactly come up prominently. All of which lead me to question, "who is this guy and why would anyone take him seriously?" He was at one of those Dharmapalooza events at one time, but still...for more on this guy visit here.
  • Diane Musho Hamilton is a gifted facilitator, mediator, and spiritual teacher, or so she claims. Look at that beatific face on her website. I bet she has that expression when she stubs her toe. Seriously, that expression looks nothing but posed to me. She's a Dharma heir of Dennis Genpo Merzel. Maybe she has good teaching and a bad publicist. But then that would call to mind the question of why she might have a publicist in the first place. OK, maybe she has good teaching and a bad sense of esthetics. That could be true.
  • Roger Cantu was a student of Frederick Lenz, but he was gifted with male pattern baldness, unlike his teacher. To Cantu's credit, he did seem to try to pursue Tibetan Buddhism after Lenz's death, but the idea that this is anything special, or that Cantu is any kind of a certified teacher, well, that seems a bit beyond the pale. A few years back, Cantu expressed his intention to be like Lenz.
  • Carl Sheusi is a Yoga guy and Big Mind guy and a "Holistic Life Coach."   Too bad; casts a bad light on Yoga (which I've found has been quite helpful).
  • Last, but not least, may I present Shiva (a.k.a. Tony Chester). Although this site's password protected, Google's cache helps provide some info on this guy.

    His experience of Samadhi at age five set him on a life long course of Spiritual Self-discovery and esoteric thought. Throughout his life, his awakening process was full of unexpected epiphanies, visions and awarenessŐs of the Divine.

    He was initiated into Enlightenment in 1982 by his Teacher and has taught Tantric Mysticism seminars and headed spiritual communities for over twenty years.

    Like Ramakrishna, Shiva draws from all religions to successfully reconcile the awareness of God in all. His approach to spiritual awakening is eclectic and draws from many sources. His lifelong experience in religious, philosophy and esoteric teachings, makes it possible for him to provide a unique approach to the spiritual awakening process.

    Chester's association with Lenz can be seen from here.

This list is of course by no means exhaustive, and I'm sure there's even more fascinating people out there.

But if that isn't a motivation to authenticity, I don't know what is.  The idea that these guys are, uh, breeding,  in terms of spreading these practices, should be a concern to us.

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