Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: Why It Happens, When It's a Problem, and What We All Can Do

Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: Why It Happens, When It's a Problem, and What We All Can Do


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780861715961
Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Scott Edelstein has studied happily and productively with several spiritual teachers, including Toni Packer, Dainin Katagiri, Tim McCarthy, and (currently) Steve Hagen. As the friend of several spiritual teachers, he has also spent much time with them "off duty," sometimes serving as confidant. He is a longtime practitioner of both Buddhism and Judaism, and a committed proponent of serious spirituality in all forms and traditions. Scott's short work on spiritual topics has appeared in Shambhala Sun, American Jewish World, The Writer, the anthology What About God?, and elsewhere. He is also the author of 15 other books on a wide range of subjects.

Table of Contents

What You Need to Know About This Book vii

Introduction: Sex, Spirit, and Safety Mic Hunter 1

Part 1 Spiritual Teachers and Sexual Transgression

1 Five Narrow Views 5

2 Exploiters, Errants, and Exceptionalists 23

3 Tangled Webs 35

4 Creating Healthy Teacher-Student Relationships 49

5 The Spiritual Teacher as Role Model 55

6 Why Spiritual Teachers Are Sexy 59

7 Sex and Spiritual Experience 63

8 The Paradox of Masculine Sexuality 71

9 Common Pressures, Projections, and Temptations 83

10 The Power of No 87

11 The Spiritual Teacher as Alpha Figure 91

12 The Sexual Power of Students 97

13 Spiritual Insight and Arrogance 101

14 The Spiritual Teacher's Partner: Soulmate or Saboteur? 105

15 The Shadow Side of Celibacy 109

16 Monogamy and Its Skeptics 113

17 The Power and Pitfalls of Gurus 117

18 Sex as a Spiritual Teaching 121

19 Tantra and Pseudo-Tantra 127

20 Crazy Wisdom and Its Shadow 133

21 How Exploiters Crash and Burn 141

22 How Errants and Exceptionalists Fall (and Sometimes Rise Anew) 147

23 Disillusion and Dissolution 153

Part 2 Cultivating Trust and Reducing Exploitation

24 Spiritual Community and Sexual Transgression 159

25 Double Helix or Tug-of-War?: Balancing Spiritual and Organizational Authority 165

26 Why Codes, Policies, and Therapies Aren't Enough 169

27 Building a Healthy Spiritual Community 175

28 Hiring a Spiritual Teacher: Mindful Guidance for Spiritual Communities 181

29 Building Support Systems for Spiritual Teachers 187

30 Training, Encouraging, and Culling Potential Teachers 195

31 When a Spiritual Teacher Transgresses: Responses of a Healthy Community 201

32 An Open Letter to Spiritual Teachers 215

Some Further Questions 219

Afterword: Knowledge, Action, and Power Anne Katherine 223

Recommended Resources 225

Notes 229

Acknowledgments 237

Index 241

About the Author 251

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