How We Work: An Important Advisory
Making the Unconscious Conscious – Money Sex and Power
Money, sex, and power are central to our all lives; these spheres can be a battlefield, but they can also be exciting explorations.
As Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners, we don’t deny any aspect of life, but instead embrace all aspects as nourishment for spiritual unfoldment. This is how we’ve been taught and trained and it’s how we teach and train others.
When a Vajrayana aspirant enters into an apprenticeship with a spiritual teacher, learning to integrate issues around money, sex and power are considered fundamental for deeper realization. Money, sex and power are central to our lives and to our neuroses, so true spiritual unfoldment depends on us transforming any and ultimately all of our neuroses into healthier qualities.
The three lower chakras (security, sex, power) are all conditioned through our families and our culture. In order to access the four higher chakras (love, communication, creativity and wisdom), the lower three need to be explored and integrated.
Given that how we think, feel and act around money, sex and power have been influenced by our parents, culture and religion, these explorations often directly challenge the deeply held beliefs that gave us a sense of belonging within our tribe.
From the perspective of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, these topics threaten our sense of security (money), identity (sexuality) and control of our lives (power).
In order to experience spiritual awakening, we must transcend the conditioned ego, and this can be uncomfortable. Yet in so doing, the realization dawns that the only true security we can have is inner peace.
For this reason, it’s incumbent upon all of us who seek transformational change, greater awareness, and spiritual awakening to investigate these foundational realms of human experience with intellectual (and in some cases, embodied) rigor, valor, and emotional integrity.
Some of our teachings might be considered controversial, especially in the current climate of discussions around sexual misconduct, scandal, and abuse of power within spiritual teachings.
We are not trivializing the pain that people have suffered through inappropriate relationships. Instead, we use it to open up constructive discussions and investigation that lead to deeper understanding and personal empowerment.
Please take note: we are not advocating sex between teachers and students. We’re also not discouraging it. We encourage healthy sexual expression (which, importantly, can include celibacy) as part of a full and meaningful life. How that manifests is up to the individuals involved.
What we are doing is promoting the notion of self-sovereignty. We are each sovereigns of ourselves. We are each in charge of our own choices. We have the power to say yes or no or let me think about it. We have the power to leave or stay. And we have that responsibility.
For our personal unfoldment and communal well-being, we advocate that all of us be educated about how to exercise our self-sovereignty.
We recognize that these teachings are not for everyone. If you are not comfortable exploring these topics, we honour your choice to study elsewhere.
To learn more, we invite you to explore the following resources:
Read our article: Unconscious Forces in the Psyche: Money, Sexuality and Control (Power)
Looking at each of these three key areas in turn, this article seeks to bring more light to the unconscious forces behind our views and behaviors around money, sex, and power.
Listen to this Podcast Episode: Make Money, Sex & Power Conscious: Integrating the Lower Chakras
In this talk from their online course, Crazy Wisdom, Doug and Catherine discuss the three lowest chakras and the energies they manifest. They look at the problems that are created in our lives when these energies are activated unconsciously and they explain the benefits that flow when we integrate and balance them.
Integrating the Shadow
Exploring mental models and blocks around money, sexuality and power are part of the wider work of uncovering and integrating the shadow. Transforming the shadow into a fully integrated human being is what medieval alchemists referred to as turning lead into gold. We can consider it top-quality psychic composting.
To learn more about the wider context of how we approach shadow work see Integrating the Shadow.
Download Reflection 17, ‘Money Sex Power’ from our book Wasteland to Pureland.
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