01 April 2007

Maitreya: The new Guru game.

2500ish years ago, it's said Buddha predicted the next world teacher. Maitreya is said to be the name, and many look for a particular fellow to fulfill the role. There's never been a shortage of volunteers.

My take on this is that the name more describes a mode of teaching, it indicates the approach of teachers, the way of spiritual teaching 2500 years after Gautama. That he was describing a characteristic of the enlightened teacher in the future, a considerable contrast indeed to the autocratic way he, Jesus, Mohamed, Mahavira, Nanuk had to do things, even up to the days of George Gurdjieff. Maitreya means "gentle and friendly".

If there has to be "one" Maitreya, my vote's for Osho. His teaching made the transition from the authoritarian way to the gentle, friendly way. As he said, there was always something basically undignified, insulting in the Master–Disciple relationship. He really made the transition and modeled a new way of spiritual learning in the world.

I love the new "Maitreya" way. It's a delight to not have to send the beloved sannyasin to the burning ghats for three months to gain an awareness that for sure, the body will die. I just know they have or will soon be having an experience that provides that awareness. This and other archetypal steps of the path used to appear to be a matter of the Guru's control, his orders. I never have to order anything. Just, I sometimes hint for a beloved to be ready for something coming, or indicate the "old school" equivalent for what they are currently going through.

Probably the main reason I'm necessary to the path of those who work/play with me is that I can suggest practice and approach that's currently appropriate. There's a huge spiritual practice database now in the world, and teachings designed to be useful at various specific levels of awareness have gotten badly mixed up. Things that were once "inner circle secrets" for adepts only are now common knowledge among beginners and initiates. They need to be encouraged to back off a little and approach those "higher" truths appropriately. With adepts, that is advanced students, because they heard those "secrets" long ago when it was not yet appropriate to their path, it's just the other way around. They need extra encouragement to absorb those teachings at the appropriate time, when they really are ready. The "been there done that" attitude has to accommodate that maybe it wasn't appropriate then, but it's worth seeing if it's appropriate now.

Zsa Zen and Vipassana silent siting meditations are an example of this. If they are taught forcibly to a busy mind, and with a busy mind there, they can only be forced, they are at best a sedative and at worst, they create a physical and attitudinal rigidity. Taught in their appropriate timing, when other techniques have cleared the bulk of the mind-noise, silent sitting is not at all forced. One likes it then, as in the sentence "I like to breathe".