An important new book is out called “Evolving Dharma” by Jay Michaelson and therein is included a chronicling of how the “dharma” is essentially entering deeply into mainstream places (like schools, the military, psychiatry, medicine, commercial outlets, essentially everywhere). The meditation practices from the earliest of Buddhist teachings are in particular what is “infiltrating” our western culture in a more big way. For more about this new book, which does include a great examination of the two basic aspects of meditation, calm abiding (with expansive energy and bliss) through one pointed concentration and clear seeing/insight through mindfulness, see the following page:
Also just now coming out is a new book of memoirs by a woman serving Ammachi for two decades. For a few years or more it seems that more and more peeks behind the curtain at the Ammachi scene in Kerala have suggested very disturbing things going on in the “background” of that scene. For more information, go here:
These two books, coming out at this time, seem to add to the other signs (see the Andrew Cohen and Kalu Rinpoche stories here, for example) of an unfolding trend or development showing a dying Guru model that initially took shape around 1200-1300 years ago. (During the development of the Tantric movements, ritualization, the rise of “deity worship”, and the adoption of “initiation” practices imparted by the Guru–or Lama and Rinpoche; and also contributing to this initial shaping of the Guru model was the work of Shankara 1300 years ago, formalizing Advaita Vedanta with the Maths.)
Jay Michaelson’s new book chronicles what is replacing that dying model. Gail Tredwell’s new book shows why that old model is now just barely hanging on.
The company of mature practitioners and stably Realized persons is good. Listening to what they have to say is good. And, moving on is apparently the key in waking up and easing into a free condition.
Though others may disagree about this moving on part, or the spirit of the relationship I note in the above paragraph. This quote was posted by the host of the Facebook page called “Amma for Nobel Peace Prize” (around the beginning of November):
“Only those who are willing to stay on, in spite of even being beaten and killed, will progress. A bramachari has to carry the whole world on his shoulders, so he should not be weakened by little things. I will really shake my children up. Those who desire only Self-realization will stay, the others will leave.” —AMMA
For an in depth examination of Ammachi (and based on going into the field, including into Ammachi’s arms last year), see this major public media article in the Rolling Stones (August 2012):
In that article, there’s a hint or glimpse of what would be later detailed in Gail Tredwell’s book. (Which came out only recently, long after this article.) The above article has some reporting on what Tredwell was beginning to share publicly over a year ago.
At this moment, there is a developing and very extensive comments thread to a posting by the host of the Facebook “Guruphiliac” page. It includes a good look at multiple perspectives people have regarding the revelations in Gail Tredwell’s book:
And, a few months ago the New York Times in its Business Day page profiled the huge Charity/Financial Empire of Ammachi’s (posted before certain revelations in the Tredwell book):
A blog by an Ammachi follower has been set up in recent months obviously designed to respond to the book by Gail Tredwell. (Only a few posts so far but most recent one relates to Tredwell herself.) It’s address starts of with “ammascandal” so persons searching with similiar keywords will most likely find this site:
The following news article from the Telegraph (a British paper) is from last month and covers Ammachi’s visit to England. It briefly mentions the then pending publication of Gail Tredwell’s book and is a detailing of the reporter’s observations and impressions of the Ammachi scene (including of her hug):
Over a year ago, Gail Tredwell initially reported (via a yahoo discussion group) on the reasons she left Ammachi after 19 years with her, that itemization reposted here: