“A diabolical dilemma”. Open letter to my long-time teacher Isaac Shapiro.

(Also see the next blog)

 The following is a painstaking report of my personal process.

Dearest Isaac,

As you know, I have a habit of writing in great detail when I think that something needs to be clarified.
Why so?
The to be clarified subject is known to a certain level of specificity and is on that level apparently in need for clarification.
This can be done by a shift in perspective or by taking a more detailed look, or a combination of both approaches.

For the ones not interested in details I have developed another habit: I give a short version of what it is that brought me to writing and what my main point is.

And then the longer version with all the details follows.

A one sentence summary of the short version goes like this: I hear that you have sex with your disciples and I think that is not such a good idea.

I could leave it with this, but there is more.
What follows is basically an extensive description of my personal process after hearing this.

The short version goes like this: A few weeks ago someone, later I will introduce him to you as Chiv, told me that you admitted to him during a retreat in Hamburg last July that you have sex with your disciples.
And you said to this man that there is a man in Holland that also critisized you for this.
After some reflexion I take it for granted that you were referring to me.
That stirred up a few things in me and I decided to write you an open letter.

(By the way, by now I have heard that another Dutch guy also has written you a letter on the same subject. I guess this my letter will be the longer one).

Recently I told you that I was working on this and asked you for a reaction from your side. Which you gave.
Before going to the detailed version I first reproduce here my mail to you and your answer to it.

Your answer made me even more aware that it is my own process that I am describing.
The process is the reclaiming of daring to speak my truth to you.

Here is what I wrote and asked you:
On 28 May 2019, at 11:58 pm, Hans van der Gugten <gug@hansvandergugten.nl> wrote:

Dear Isaac,

While I was in Laxmanjhula someone told me that you confirmed to him that you are having sex with your disciples.

He quoted you as adding to that: “Because I’m also human and want to be held sometimes”.

Hearing that set off quite a process for me and I am writing you an open letter about this.

It is going to be a very long epistle.
In the introduction I explain that this is so and I give a shorter version for those not interested in more.
And the summary of that goes like this: “A one sentence summary of the short version goes like this: I hear that you have sex with your disciples and I think that is not such a good idea.
I could leave it with this, but there is more. What follows is basically an extensive description of my process after hearing this.”

Is there any update from your side that deserves to be included in this?


Here is what you answered:
On woensdag 29-05-19 7:30, Isaac Shapiro wrote:
Hi Hans,

I have no disciples. You of all people should know that. I invite people who have an interest to see for themselves what they have always known. I make no claims to be any different then anybody, frequently stating we are all in the same boat.

My interest is and has always been to meet beautifully, really being in tune with each others signals.

For me that is a love dance. I have no interest in having sex. I love meeting as deeply as is possible, gently being in tune and moving appropriate to the meeting.

Not interested in a long story about a long process started by rumours that have judgement and positions.

Wishing you all the best, isaac

So, basically this is all there is: when I heard from a German guy in India that you,  my long-time teacher, admitted to him that you are having sex with students (he called them disciples), this triggered in me a process of looking back in our history.
The summary of the below is as follows: as you know I have a long and strong hang-up history with secrecy. In my family and amongst a wider circle of relatives it was specifically about incest. I have been busy for years to unravel this Gordian knot. And in general, secrecy was hanging over my existence as a doom, as the bitter fruit of a upbringing in a simple protestant environnement, where a alledgedly  angry God was seeing all of your actions and even thoughts and where the stronger forces like sexuality were tabooed.

Being with you has assisted me in cleaning up a lot of dusty places in especially the mental plane. And it has guided me through this process of cracking this family secrecy, I have often tested your patience with this topic.
Also the angry God was demasked in a way. I write below for instance this about it: “For me things are often solved big chunks at a time. On a sometimes rather abstract level.
This one was the ultimate: “the people that raised me were always leaning on a invisible quasi all knowing authority. God the highest, the widest, was all the time used to narrow you down.”

Almost four years ago I shared with you my observation that you shifted your attention to your own interest in a woman on a moment that I (and she) considered that to be inappropiate.
My sharing this was swept forcefully aside by you as just being my opinion.
The whole proces that I describe below comes down to the discovery that that action had brought shame back to sharing my truth.
For all those years you have been my practice model and sparring partner in sharing the truth and nothing but the truth.
For me satsang has become the definition of openness.
And I practised it full-heartedly:
>Most of our one on one sessions are on my website.
>Most of our email exchanges are on my website.

And suddenly, after this for me shocking event, you denied me access to the next retreat, admittedly afer having written you a rather grumpy letter, and you started complaining about me writing you long emails and not respecting your borders.  (“Ah, finally human”, I later exclaimed to a friend. this is actually in a facebook exchange from 2016 that i happen to have stored as an email, on facebook is seems to be deleted, will give the text at the very end of all of this, for the stupid completeness of it all).

About completeness, or in other words perfection  this quote, to make it (finally) a bit relative: “Nirvana is an asymptote.” I was raised with an absolute and angry God. Then came the Indian idea of Enlightenment, also absolute. You yourself used it as a place to hide from reality: Why don’t you go into the Absolute? Then no more problemo.

Professor Richard Hayes, who I have followed for years on the web, in the email list Buddha-L, says “Nirvana is an asymptote.”
And about that he says: “Of course one might very well hold the view that nirvana is something like an asymptote, an ideal limit that no one ever reaches; this is the view I in fact am inclined to take, which means of course that I also regard enlightenment and buddhahood as ideals toward which we Buddhists all strive but that no one ever actually attains. So this is perhaps a bit like saying that nirvana is a myth, in the sense that it is not a historical achievement but rather an impossible goal.” (dayamati.org/nirvana.html#asymptote)

There is another remark that I need to make, so why not here?
Even the slightest disdain for the mind and the ego is coming from a in fact not even subtle denial and in the end it bites you in the tail.

This subject is recently quite often adressed by various satsang givers. For instance here by Jeff Foster: facebook.com/LifeWithoutACentre/posts/2200298353401094?comment_id=2200684583362471&reply_comment_id=2201540733276856&comment_tracking=%7B”tn”%3A”R”%7D
By the way, I can so relate to this story of him and his mother: some fourty years ago, I made my mother so totally confused and angry by expressing the then fashionable ideas in the rebirthing scene about physical immortality that my father forbade me to come visit again, a mode that lasted several years.
Also related is this story of how Ramana Maharshi in no uncertain terms corrected Poonjaji about his way of taking the idea of life being ‘just’ a dream:

“If you call it a dream, why are you afraid of the dream? It is better if you go into the dream and look after your wife and relations. Why be afraid of the dream? Your dream hand is quite safe in the mouth of the dream tiger. Like this, live in the world, and call it a dream. Don’t be afraid and work as you work in the dream. The dream is a dream and nothing in it is real, but you, as their son, are also in the dream. So let the dream son go to the dream country and save the dream parents in the dream.”

And now for something completely different:
For fun and with a sad undertone, even with a slight feeling of embarrasment, I will gather all the recordings of satsangs with you that I have acquired over the last twenty years. It’s about time to regain the space that it occupies.
(And no one wants any of it,  I tried a year ago).
Here is the one time and last time full gathering of all those information carriers:

So, again, the process that I describe, is my wiggling myself through old stuff, stories, memories, to end up with the realisation that since this happening almost four years ago you apparently have changed your way of life from a serial monogamist to a freer lifestyle that admittedly includes students. Of which I think, ‘of course that can happen once in a while, but as such I do think that it is not a good idea’ . Certainly it gets a tad suspicious when as a teacher you start defending this with statements like: ‘as a teacher you are not supposed to have relations with your students, but I am not a teacher’.

As your response to my question if there is any update from your side, the answer came that you are not interested in having sex.
And: you are not interested in “a long story about a long process started by rumours that have judgement and positions.”
Sorry to say, but when a visitor of one of your retreats tells me what you told him, than to describe that as “rumours that have judgement and positions” is clearly not accurate.
And it is not new also. Since the retreat after the one where you ‘left swiped’ my already mentioned observation, also being the one that you happened to deny me access to, you travel alone again. And also since then I have heard statements by or about you related to your new outlook on the world. I will mention quite a few in the detailed version of my process description.

So, if you made it up till here (and now), feel free not to read the rest.
It is just the very detailed description of my journey that lead to the above, a miscellaneous melange of talking to you, of stories, memories, anecdotes, associations, hearsay and ideas.

As always, from the heart to and through the mind and back.


PS 1. I myself am over and over surprized again and again about what memories and other old stuff surfaces while and by looking back at the lead of all that comes up and associates with the statement that you admit to having sex with students as the starting point.
And up till now it keeps flowing. By looking back to my own history of having sex with students, it dawned on me that they were basically on invitation.  A good share of all my having sex was initiated in that way. All this brought back a memory from the last year of basic school: I was trying to get the attention of one of those girls that I was fascinated by. The way I did this was best described as a clumsy attempt to get her into wrestling with me. At some point this beautiful curly red haired angelic being whose appearance got me into harassing her, became so angry at me that I stopped my action kind of in shock. It dawned on me, kind of, that I was emotionally hurting the one that I loved so much. In hindsight I can see now that this moment made me very very reluctant, hesitant and shy to approach girls directly.
I even remembered her name. This is how I wrote about it to a friend recently, her name  replaced by a phantasy one with also three syllables:
Na mezelf volstrekt te hebben afgekeurd in mijn gedrag naar meisjes nadat een ervan me op een gegeven moment zo woedend toeschreeuwde dat ik op moest houden (roodharige Zahara Judaszn, vijfde of zesde klas lagere school, ik was smoorverliefd op haar en mijn gedrag was bespottelijk wanhopig en maakte haar razend), heb ik mezelf verder ingehouden.
En wat in de werkelijk wereld niet mocht werd opeens in abstracto, maar glashelder, in blote plaatjes en mijn eigen fantasie mogelijk.
Dus gedrag, gefantaseerd gedrag, voor geld door anderen gespeeld gedrag dat in de werkelijkheid totaal ongewenst was, ook iets gênants in zich had vanwege de hebberigheid, (hormoongestuurd dat wel, maar toch), werd met een niet zo goed gevoel (dat makkelijk overstemd werd/wordt door de veel grovere opwindingsenergie) een soort surrogaat voor het in het echt onbereikbare.

And the introduction grows and grows, it grows like cabbage.
So be it.

PS 2. What is also interesting to watch, is the resistance that I met in some people when I asked them for what they know or heard.
Reminds of the term ‘cordon sanitaire’, whatever that means in this context. (It’s not as relaxed in relax land as one might expect.).
Practically it means that I am blocked for some reason from double checking certain stories, or to check where they are in the time line, by the people that I trusted myself to approach with that intent.

Which in and of itself is a bit bizar to experience, but also not really a problem. I mean, you are not interested in sex, and this is totally my personal process. So, on we go.

PS 3  Recently I wrote Chiv about your answer to my request for an update. He was very surprized by your answer, to say the least.
Also he asked me, as so many others do too: “What do you actualy want from Isaac ?”
I wrote back to him my current answer:
On dinsdag 18-06-19 21:37, Hans van der Gugten wrote:
What do I want from Isaac, you ask?
I want him to listen to me, I want him to read what I will write him.
And whether he does that is not in my hands.

So, what do I want from or for myself?
When almost 4 years ago I myself pointed him to his behaviour towards a woman he fully denied my observation.
I have discovered, triggered by what you told me, that I have let myself be intimidated and suppressed, as happened long before in my family.
Again a layer of secrecy crept in my life: I couldn’t freely speak my truth anymore to him, to Him, my role model for unconditional acceptance of the truth.
What I am doing by writing him this open letter, (it will be a blog on my website), is kind of reclaiming my human right to do so.
And from now on, if he can’t handle that, it is his problem.
But also, (people keep asking me why I just don’t shrug and walk away


), he is worth it to me.
Something like that.

PS 4. A recent update from my side is a new insight in the why, as in why am I all the time writing and confronting teachers and other authorities. As by now it is clear that I partly am just taking the opportunity to talk to you and the world about things that matter to me in a way that did not fit in the format in which you work.
(My way of breaking out of this limitation over the years has been writing you a letter before every retreat for years, so basically two mails per year. When I wrote you the first not so nice one, you right away started complaining about your borders not being respected and you denied me access to the retreat).
So, far below I will also write more about this fresh insight.
And will also make a list of all those people that I have treated with my feedback. And I can already reveal that my Tao trainer gets the prize for the optimum way of dealing with that.

PS 4. Then there is another thing that I wanted to write you about.
It was planned as one of the 108 I am ….. texts that I have anounced long ago (here: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4902).
And that I gave up a few days ago like this: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=5176
Below it will appear as a paragraph that starts like this: I have shared a lot with you but there is one thing that I never told you before.

The detailed version.

What to say first?
The Lord’s ways are infathomable, Isvara works in mysterious ways.
I’m reminded of a bible text.
I’ll find it.
It is 1 Samuel, chapter 3. “Here I am. You called me.”

Some time ago I penned down a bold statement as a possible beginning of a letter to you.
You have to begin somewhere and somehow.
It goes like this: “Dearest Isaac, isn’t it time for you to take an extensive sabbattical, finding a good therapist and maybe hire someone to hold you on a regular basis and shake up your asleep sangha? Why, do you ask? I will tell you.”

For some weeks now I have been chewing on the question if I indeed have to write you.
Again, after all this time?
The answer is yes.
How come?

Through a rather weird happening in satsang with ShantiMayi in Laxmanjhula I came in contact with a German guy. And we had a few conversations.
At some point, yeah more and more often around the ‘après satsang coffee table’ that topic pops up, he expressed his surprise or better said his astonishment about the apparently growing amount of satsang teachers that are having sex with their students.
Like whom? I asked, always open to learn some new names.
He summed up a few names and also mentioned yours.
Wait, I said, that one is new for me. I have been with him for eighteen years and he used not to do that. He was explicitely opposed to it, it was absolutely a no no for him.
So, something apparently has changed. How do you know this?
Well, he answered, Isaac admitted this when I specifically asked him last summer in Hamburg.

Since then I have asked him in detail about what has happened according to him in this satsang and before and after.

One thing that happened is that you at some point told him that also a man from Holland has critisized you for the same that he was questioning you about.
When he told me this I felt curious who this could be.
Only minutes later in our conversation I said that I myself might be this guy from Holland.

It took some time, but by now I take it for granted that you were referring to me.
Which has set in motion a whole proces of re-evaluating what has happened between us less then four years ago.
I have re-read my  extensive account of that event and its aftermath.
Still crystal clear to me. (hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4464).
The event that lead to all this is also in a blog: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4307

In that time I needed rationalisations to live with what had happened.
One went kind of like this: “I am a quite good observator by nature and this skill has been honed by being with Isaac for almost two decades. Now I used this skill on him on a apparently sore spot and he behaves like an idiot. When he cannot handle what I see any more, he better takes me as a teacher, which is very sure will not happen, so I better leave”.

Now, after chewing on this for a few weeks, it feels more as if you energetically have kicked me out. As if I was in your way and had to be removed.

About two month ago I met in Tiruvannamalai a woman that I know from retreats with you. She gives now satsang herself and had just finished giving a retreat when we briefly met and had the social talk exchange that comes with it.
How is you and Isaac? Oh I left already a few years ago after something unpleasant happened between us. What did you mirror him, she asked. Eh, something about his attitude to women. Ah, she said, we all were doing that, all the time.
I was a bit surprized, even a tad disappointed. It made me less special I guess.

And for sure, you always have had an aura around you of sexually being rather active.
And I have seen you playing around with sexual energy openly with women in satsang.
But, as far as I knew, always within the limits that you had outlined openly for yourself:
you explicitely expressed your conviction that sleeping with students was not a good idea.
For me you were a, let’s say, convinced serial monogamist.

What I observed almost four years ago, my summary, is that you went very quickly, for my taste way too quick, immediately after a woman went through a very deep trauma release, to expressing your own (sexual) interest in this woman.
In that time I had the idea that my observation was not made by a substantial part of the “sangha”. But for sure the woman herself made that observation, I had checked this with her before I shared my observation with you in satsang.
And then you downplayed it to it being just a opinion, one out of many.

Strange, just a few weeks ago you posted something on facebook about discernment and I had strongly the feeling that you were talking to me.
I followed the reactions that your post elicited. At some point I also wrote something that was meant to shed some light.
For some reason I had strongly the feeling that what you wrote contained some resentment toward me, related to over three years ago. This can all be my  hallucination.
And it happened way before Isvara planted this German guy as my left neighbour in a chair in ShantiMayi’s satsang hall in Sachcha Dham Ashram.
Where he also spoke up on behalf of women.
Partly about what then happened I wrote ShantiMayi a open letter.
Dearest ShantiMayi,

I have written you a open letter.
It is in this blog:


I think that letter is worth your reading time, in the context of this letter.

Somewhat later I’ll come up with a detailed report of what the German guy told me.

But first more about myself in relation to this, especially after you have mentioned me in this story, some nine month ago and about 6000 km from Laxmanjhula.
By the way, the woman that started the whole thingy in ShantiMayi’s satsang lives over 8000 km from here and also knows you well.
(She is a tantric from South Africa and called the speaking up for women by men chivalry, reason for me to call this German guy Chiv).

More first on the already mentioned facebook exchange on discernment.
You wrote already something in 2014 on discernment.
“The automatic habits of attention, which nobody does, but produce the sense of a doer and are the sense of identification and separation, can only function unconsciously.

In this love affair with Truth, discernment appears and instead of believing thoughts and feelings, a gentle enquiry starts to caress and be available for these unconscious movements to become conscious.

At some point there is the recognition that this love of Truth serves totality. Then it becomes a privilege that existence is using this expression that was once called “you”, as love, loving itself.” December 26 2014.

Then recently this:

“The difference between discernment and judgement. Discernment, clear seeing. Judgement seeing through a filter of right/wrong, good/bad. With judgement, there is always a discomfort that is projected onto the judged, so no possibility of it coming to peace and a sense of separation arises.” March 8 2019.

There were quite some reactions. And there was clearly some unclarity amongst your readers.
I also wrote as few things, partly to share something about myself and partly to elicidate on the subject:

“Funny, just this morning something cleared up about an exchange we had some five years ago that all this time and still functions for me as a to be solved puzzle. Let me ponder over your statements above: discernment is direct perception of what is going on. For instance the perception ‘it is raining’. The judgement or evaluation that you do not like the fact that it is raining, does not change or undermine the discernment or clear seeing that it is raining. So, clear seeing or discernment of the fact that that is so, so keeping or making it clear that first there is (best case scenario)  discernment and along with it a judgement of what is perceived, will keep all options open to coming to peace again. Of zoiets.”

Someone then asked me this: “Does that mean that perception coming from a negative or unreal view becomes judgment?”

My answer:
“Perception is perception. A just born baby  just perceives. Or better,  because there is not yet a ‘person’  in the baby that witnesses the perceived being percieved, it is to say that there is perceiving going on.
Later, when we are raised in a culture, we may perceive that someone is stealing something. This as such does not imply a judgement. It might be discernment pur sang. And depending on your conditioning  you either judge it as negative or positive. The tension around this subject we find in for instance the Robin Hood stories.”

The last weeks it has become clearer to me what the impact has been on my behaviour toward you basically since you, as it is called nowadays, have left swiped my crystal clear discernment as being just one of many opinions.

It meant for my nervous system that is was not safe anymore to be honest with you.
This was a shock with the size and force of an avalanche, a breathtaking freezing cold shower.
Enfin, in a way it was also about time to hit the road.

Only after I had left I started to meet the people that had left you after one single meeting or after several month and even years.
And people that knew you when you were with Poonjaji.

And it felt suddenly almost old fashioned a sin to speak openly my truth to you.
Openly, as I have done it for more than fifteen years.
Almost all our one on one meetings are on my website as you know.
(Satsang archeology, hansvandergugten.nl/?page_id=738  ).
And many of our conversations are in various blogs.

Last year in Tiruvannamalai I received a massage from a Russian woman. As it goes, we had some social talk and then soon you popped up as someone we both know.
I spoke about you being declared enlightened by Papaji, at least that you claimed that implicitly by telling us (and it was on all your printed stuff too) that he told you that you had found the diamond.
She told me that that was something that Papaji would tell people at moments when he saw that someone was momentary merged in oneness.
So, in the same way as you have many times enthousiastically told me (and hundreds of others) ‘this is it, this is it”.

By now it is clear to me that what you and I and so many others were met by is what they call in India the initial or pre awakening.

The Russian woman also told me that you alsmost begged Papaji to allow you to give satsang, he kept saying no and you kept asking, one of your arguments being that by doing something you learn to master it, and in the end Papaji said ‘you do as you wish’. And that you right after that satsang started to give satsang and that you must have prepared your flyers beforehand.
She backed off when I asked if she could order me the video of that satsang with Papaji.
Reflecting on this all I found that I could better understand that the first years that I was with you, I myself was also strongly in the mode of ‘I’m learning my new profession’.

The German guy, Chiv from now on, told me that he went to a retreat with you in Hamburg. At some point you were sitting upfront with a woman and you made contact with her with your bare feet on hers. And that you expressed your wish to have sex with her, and you added that you could feel that she also wanted that with you.
At some point, after telling that for you it felt clean, you asked your audience, and you repeated that question at least once, if what you were doing, or what they saw happening before their eyes between you and the woman, if that felt clean to everyone?
Apparently that was so, but Chiv expressed that for him it was not clean.

Then a typical I would almost say cult like thing happened: Chiv was attacked by members of what I used to call the “sangha”. It was his dirty mind, he just was jealous, etcetera.
He asked you directly if you do have sex with your disciples.
And in the end you answered this question with yes.

As I said before, I was surprized, I interrupted him, telling him that you used to have a high bar in this. Now it seems as if you have dropped the bar on the floor.

Chiv and I have talked about his experience extensively.
He asked me for instance how can it be that Isaac says that you critisized him for the same? While you tell me that he didn’t do this in that time. So it must have been something else that you critisized him for.

I speculated even that maybe I have pointed out to you maybe the beginning of lowering the bar. For me it was clearly the situation: a very vulnarable woman in satsang, where the guru, the teacher, this expression that was once called “you”, or whatever you want to describe your role, suddenly, yet very subtly, probably not even noticed by yourself started popping up again as a you.

Chiv wondered why you have to ask the “sangha” twice if they consider what is happening (what you clearly are doing, or can not not do) as clean, when there is not somewhere a doubt about that in you.

What I see happen there is that a woman in a vulnarable situation, in a conversation with a teacher, a guru, a counseler, a therapist, in other words in a unequal relationship where for sure at her side is the hope and or the expectation that light will be shed on what she came for to lay at your feet for that reason.

And then you express, not as this expression that was once called “you”, but clearly as a you, that you feel like having sex with her and you add that you can feel that she also wants to have sex with you.
And then you ask your inner circle this for them by now rhetorical question if anyone who does not feel that it is clean there on the stage can speak up.

When there is an atmosphere that it is considered clean by everybody in the audience, that as such puts a not even subtle pressure on the woman in front of you, half your weight and half your age as Chev mentioned, that you meanwhile are touching with your foot/feet.

Looks very spiritual, I know, I have seen it often, except for the verbally expressed invitation for sex. That makes it weird.

And the hostile reactions from the so called “sangha” toward Chiv the game breaker speaks volumes.

I saw that I have stored an article that I found on facebook.
I now see that you are related to the author as a facebook friend.
So you might already have seen the text before.
Maybe read it with fresh eyes.
When Abuse Intersects with Spirituality- Understanding Predatory Mindsets And False Spirituality by Maya Luna.

I asked Chiv if he could write his version of what happened, but he is a dyslectic, but later found a way to speak to a program that typed what he said.
It is totally unredacted, yet it gives a clear report of his experience:
Hamburg 2018 July at the Isak Shapiro
Weekend satsang retreat.
In the chair next to Isaac the young beautiful woman sitting and talking about her personal problems
at a certain point Isaac put his naked feet on the girls naked feet and made physical contact. he was talking about the pure love ,the unconditional love . just moments later he was saying :”i feel sexuel attractions towards you and i can feel that you have sexual attraction towards me .(he was saying that ,not asking her)
the girl did not say much.
Isaac ask her: does it feel clean for you when i say this ? the girl and said yes wonderful.
Then he turns to the sanga and ask: if there is anybody here thae feels this is not clean then please speak up he repeated this request .
so I had to stand up and i say please excuse this arrogant mind ,you don’t have to answer this questions, but do you have sex with your disciples????
in his answer he speak a lot but it was not clear if he was saying yes or no .
I ask is that a yes or a no??
again he spoke a lot and in the end he said yes i have sex with my disciples.
I said : for other teachers this is a absolut no go, this should never happen .
Isaac said : I take care that they are meture enough and i am not fishing girls.
I said:i feel you are flirting here and you are checking wich of the women is awailable and how do you know how they feel after you are gone. you are in a absolut Power position and the women here are open and rezeptiv and volnerable.
I don remember what Isak then said ,he spoke a lot without saying much but it sounded like excuses.
Then he said: there is a mann in holland and he is critisising me for that strongly.
I replied : i don t know this man.but why you mention it?
Now some of the sanga spoke up how bad i am and it must be my dirty sexuality
And i am just jelous and so on.
I did not react on that.
Isaak ask the sanga not to be angry with me.
The sanga made the impression to know about the sex issue of Isaak and
It feelt like : we know,we know but lets go on with satsang.
Only one women said this is not o.k. what Isaak is doing.
Later Isaak kind of shrinkt (became small) in his chair and said with a almost
Craying soft voice: i am also just a human being and i liked to be hold somethime.??
Feelt like another excuse to me .
The woman that said this is not ok and i did not continue the weekend.

Now about what happened to me.
I have realized that after you could not let in my observation and downplayed it, I no longer could upheld the by me cherished and cultivated obviousness of satsang with you being the space where everything was openly shareable.

I came to realize that since that happening it has felt bemuddled and unnoticed there was shame and fear to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. My truth that is.

I have told you a lot the last two decades. And I have shared it generously.
Basically all our one on one sessions are on my website under the specially for that created button Satsang archeology.
And quite some email exchanges are in blogs.
For more then a decade I wrote you twice a year sometimes quite long emails before either the retreat in Venwoude or in Chieming.
(I just happen to stumble over the very first one. Sixteen years ago: Prepared story.  hansvandergugten.nl/?p=2243).

When I wrote you a rather grumpy letter before the Venwoude retreat in May 2016 (meanwhile I had started following a Tao training and had decided to keep coming to you one week per year), you suddenly blamed me for not respecting your borders.
Time to pick up my openly sharing again. (I am aware that there is a relation between how strong I feel the need to openly share and the whole story in my family with secrecy about incest. So be it).
Here is my somewhat grumpy letter to you:

On woensdag 18-05-16 23:53, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Dearest Isaac,

In two days we will meet again, Nibbana Volente.
The last week a few times in my dreaming the Underworld was playing a role.

I notice in myself a irritability towards you and the ‘sangha’.

For sure there will be something yet unnoticed going on in me.
And I can’t visualize anymore that I will investigate this deeply with you in front of the so called sangha.

In retrospect I can hear myself express a kind of contempt towards the sangha.
I can feel that it means that I have rarely, if ever, felt safe in there.
Only by in a way disconnecting from the audience (by playing a role of being in front of an audience), could I feel safe enough with you.
Safe enough, not even really safe.

‘And nowadays he is even sitting there with his girlfriend’ I heard myself say recently.

And about the sangha I scoffed: “the deepest question that comes from the sangha is ‘are you coming to South Africa, are you coming to Ibiza, are you coming to Hamburg, are you coming to Byron Bay?’ ”

The new seeker identity, the new arrogance, seems to be, as worded recently by someone in ‘Friends of’: “I’m so happy that we are no seekers; we just enjoy hanging out together”.

When I told one of the oldies before I did it, that I was going to again write you in detail about your answer to my feedback about your way of adressing N., he was almost shocked. ‘Do you really have to do this!?’ (My answer was a firm yes).

There is also a titbit of confusion left about you (and I) having started from ‘being enlightened’: in your outer appearance this has slowly slowly disappeared.
Yet explicitly this has not been spoken, as far as I have noticed.
My way of dealing with stuff was often with more words than fitted in your ‘format’.

I could write a booklet about what I want to express.
Not going to do that.
A few shorthand indicators:

I wrote to Swami Atmananda (http://www.ajatananda.org/satsang-with-swami-atmananda-udasin-rishikesh.php) this:

I have a question about stream enterers. Is this the same as pre awakened? (He later confirmed that).

Already for long i have the idea that what in the satsang world is experienced or labelled as enlightenment (as i did myself, or what happened to me) is something else.
You call it pre awakening
I from memory thought of the buddhist concept of stream enterers.

His statement that waking up (what you and I and many others used to call enlightenment, he calls it pre awakening) is happening nowadays very often, yet self realisation (enlightnement) is still very rare, made me aware of a few things that are not yet so clear.
But the need for a practice to get things moving makes more sense now.
(A practice that you and I and who knows else are doing more or less seriously).

After I felt that going to Germany was over for me, there was suddenly and apparently space for something new.
And this Tao training sneaked into my life.
It is in a way refreshing to me to suddenly have a trainer who says wholeheartedly that he hates ‘enlightenment’ from his guts AND can explain it.

Your sentence “I appreciate the gentleness that this email expresses. I can find some of what you talk about.”, has been in my system as a conditional one:
only because you wrote me from gentleness, I can admit that you were right in some of what you talked about.

And now I read it again, and I see that it is not in there.
My projection again.
Me are tricky. :—)

For the very first time I will have a room in Venwoude next week.
Suddenly looking forward to it.

And one more email to go.



And here is your answer.
Actually two answers. First you express that you do not look forward to my coming to the retreat. And a bit later you ask me not to attend the retreat.

On donderdag 19-05-16 5:42, Isaac Shapiro wrote:

Dearest Hans,

I find myself not looking forward to your being here.
The persistent dwelling on the past in a way that is consistently producing upset, seems unproductive and I am not willing to continue in that.
If you have an interest to meet fresh, then you are welcome. If not please reconsider coming and go where that is welcome.
Also your long letters, that take my time, if everyone wrote to me like that, it would be overwhelming. You seem to have no consideration for my boundaries.
Love as always, Isaac


On donderdag 19-05-16 5:58, Isaac Shapiro wrote:

Dearest Hans,

On further reflection, please do not attend this retreat.
Please let Ine know where to send your refund.
Wishing you well and that you find someplace that the upset can come to peace.
Love always, Isaac


It took me also two steps to accept:

On donderdag 19-05-16 9:51, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Dearest Isaac,

I fully see where you are coming from.
I am sorry that my mail tipped you over this edge.

On short reflection I dare ask you to reconsider.
Also for practical reasons as someone living in my house the coming week.

And I am looking forward to meeting you once in person.
With mixed feelings indeed.

If not, then not.



On donderdag 19-05-16 11:27, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Dearest Isaac,

On longer reflection the following:
It is probably the best for you, me, us, when I do not come to the retreat.

The practical problems solved itself by sitting on it:
I found a place, an ashram in Germany, where I will go for a week.
So this wandering from place to place sangha member can live in my houseboat next week.
And the person running my B&B will make the expected money.
And I myself will anyhow be out of my comfort zone for a while.

I deeply regret not being able to meet with B., my friend from Geneva.
We will find another route for meeting I guess.

On we go.

(sadly smiling)


I had a great week in the ashram of Premananda, nowadays known again under his own name John David. He himself was not there. I know his people and him from their annual visit to Tiruvannamalai. They have a long retreat there and they have open days where I go and meet them. Anecdote in our current context: I went to check him out because a friend told me that he didn’t like him, ‘he should have stayed a journalist’, in this context maybe funny to mention that long ago his nickname was “……..”. (On second thought: censored).
I like him. And go to two of their open days every year now. Satsang, food, music, movie.
Enfin, he was not around and I had a great week being the handyman that I am, repairing and restaurating stuff.

After we divorced you suddenly started travelling alone again.
A year later, finding myself blocked to write openly about satsang, while having a strong urge to do so, I wrote you a letter again, with things in it that at that moment I felt could not be openly said.
Now I see that already in that letter I tell you that I had heard that you almost openly, also in satsang, advertise for wanting to have sex.
Also this letter I make public, i only will change the name of one person to L.

On zaterdag 27-05-17 0:51, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Dearest Isaac,

Last Thursday evening (by now 8 days ago) I was psychologically ready to write you a mail/blog.
It fitted as to the date while it was the last night before the start of your retreat in Venwoude.

Yet, it had and has to be written and I want it to be well considered and not in any way affected by haste.

In private I want to share with you that when you shared about twenty years ago that you and Kali met on a daily basis ‘in the flesh’, the thought came up right away, despite myself, that this was by male manipulation, because a woman would never insist on this on her own initiative.
Be it as it is, I was not surprised when she left you.
I have had a similar intuition about your insistent speaking about you and Meike not having a relationship.

Three years ago I wrote you, clumsy reach as it was maybe, this:
I see a tendency to develop clearity by getting rid of the supposed cause of stuff.
Like you call your relationboat with Meike nothing anymore.
Because there is a lot of old load on the concept relationship, there is reason enough to clear and clean.
But to end up not using language anymore for description of things that at least appear to happen is also a bit silly maybe.
And it does not work: every description that says that something is indescribable is a description. And moreover, a vague one.

Last year in the Vondelpark when I had joined a coffee meeting with people of the so called Circle, I heard that you were going to do the retreats on your own again.
I joked that I would come back then, maybe.
The Circle members wisely told me nothing more after that remark.

Only a few weeks ago a friend told me that you had shared (In September in Chiemsee I guess) that this ‘having no relationship’-thing had not worked out.
He also mentioned that one of the women (he gave me a name) was very angry with you about this.
I reminded my friend about my chronic aversion against this no relationship thing and that I wrote you about it long ago.

So, again no surprise here.
There are some things that I want to ponder about and I will do that in a blog.
But there it will be more from the intellect and with quotes and stories, as a public way of getting my reflecting thinking straight on topics around satsang and spirituality in general.

Also no surprise about what I hear being leaked out of the retreat and what your behaviour triggered in some people.
Even leading to containing quotes from Meike. Like: I am enjoying Paradise here now.
That’s the saddest comment from Eve since long, was my comment.
It’s this kind of half jokes that make me aware that I am a tad cynical about something.
Painful stuff.

I hear that you openly and in satsang shared that M. did not want to have sex with you for five years.
(This was by my messenger experienced as not respectful, yet another woman on facebook had a lot of enthusiasm about what you had shared. She was also the one that today requested L. to be banned. Tsja.).
And that you almost openly, also in satsang, advertise for wanting to have sex.
I know, this is hearsay.
And it is your own business.
And again i’m not really surprised.

I saw your exchange with L. on facebook.
Your reply was that he was “not feeling or checking in to see if that is how the persons you are speaking of sensed it that way“.
That’s right, yet he expresses an energetic pattern that many recognize. The people that are sensing it that way stay away soon after they have arrived.
I met several of them and it seems to be so that people tell me about this since I stopped coming to the retreats.

And don’t take me wrong. I just share with you what I saw come along in this body/mind. What also appeared here was that I have envied you for your apparent ability to have a woman around all the time over long periods and to clearly take a lot of joy, companionship and growth out of it.
I myself have no clue how to do that, and once in a while I regret that.

In the context of the Educación Permanente I have send you a little booklet by Swami Tattvavidananda called Spirituality and Science in India.
Before he took sannyas and became the Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta scholar that he is, the Swami had a career as a University graduate chemist. I mean he knows his Periodic System.
This booklet is my give away book at the moment.

In this yet to be written blog I want to put something in words that is not really easy to put in words.
I think and contemplate a lot on it. Sometimes I speak it.
I am fully aware that this line of thinking/investigating is put in motion by what I have experienced as being blamed by you for wanting things to be different.
I already have reacted to this, also in a blog (hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4464).
Here is the relevant quote:

In your rather short reply to my letter, you make a few quite strong statements, about me and about yourself.
About me, you remind me of having a history of wanting things to be different.
Yes, thank god for that.
We are human beings. And social beings. And beings with a culture. And a language.
And we have a lot of garbage stored in our nervous systems, our fascia, our muscles, our memories, our languages, our ideas, et cetera.
For me is being in the moment with what is, and with all the ecstasy about the miracle of life that comes with it, not able to do away with the seeing,
the noticing, of inherently not okay constructions or patterns.

Like for instance finding myself and my family constricted in a fully unfair family secret about incest.
As you know I worked on altering this situation for the better for a long period of time.
And yes, I have bothered you with this subject many times, without giving up.
Meanwhile not being blind for your withhold impatience with me in this.
It was just noted over the years.

All this together put me on a thinking/reflecting trail that keeps me busy and that will end up being a blog.
Hopefully containing some insights for the happy few that are able to read such a long story and then enjoy finding a few uplifting thoughts in between quite some not so self evident stories.

I also think that it is not by coincidence that I only now get moving on this blog, after the book of my sister has been published and presented.
A book that for sure partly has been made possible by my wanting things to be different and having put my weight and all my skills behind it.

Enough for now.



You answered thus:

On zaterdag 27-05-17 7:20, Isaac Shapiro wrote:
Dearest Hans,

Thanks for reaching.

Some people love and highly value what happens in them 
from the invitation that this expression is, some get 
triggered and use the opportunity to enquire, some form 
options and judgements and blame me for that. 
Not much is in anyones hands.

I trust you are doing well and going deeper.

Love always, Isaac


Your answer felt adult to me (at that moment) and that led to this:

On zaterdag 27-05-17 15:17, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Dearest Isaac,

I trust in that too.
Thank you for your answer.

Would love to meet up and give you a hug.
(Have car/bike/legs, will travel).

All is well, though not uncomplicated.

Virtual hug,

You invited me over to the Muiderkerk:

On zaterdag 27-05-17 15:22, Isaac Shapiro wrote:
Dearest Hans,

I will be at Muiderkerk next weekend. Does that work?

Love, Isaac


My answer:

On zaterdag 27-05-17 15:51, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

How uncomplicated simple.
Didn’t think about that.
The thought in between is that I don’t feel like meeting you together with the ‘sangha’.
Everything has its price.

Will come to Muiderkerk one of those days as close before lunchtime as possible.
Thanks for reaching.



And so I went to your satsang in the Muiderkerk.
And we hugged.
You explained that you wanted to go to the kitchen to have a quick bite and go to your home stay address so you could have some rest. I asked if I could come along to the kitchen.
It feels a bit stupid to confess, but, having been already for long rather disappointed about the totall lack of intellectual reflection in satsang on the process that is called satsang, I had the idea of maybe maybe we can have a meta conversation started in the kitchen.
In the kitchen I felt that there was not a grain of attention from you to me and as I looked up I noticed that you were eating from the same plate as the woman standing next to you.
I assume that she was your new South African girlfriend that people had mentioned.
I left without much ado.

Again a year later I wrote you again a letter.
Already for long I have had difficulty with the sometimes sloppy or even very sloppy way you dealt with information. Both in satsangs and on facebook I have critisized you for this and given you informed feedback. In this letter I for the first time use Donald Trump’s way of let us say dealing with information in relation to what I have seen you do with info.

Later on I will mention Trump once more.
Two weeks before I wrote this letter to you I kind of announced to the world that for me “Trump” was a longtime and intense learning project. hansvandergugten.nl/?p=5017

On zondag 26-08-18 20:33, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Subject line: Feedback (is always for the next time).

Dearest Isaac,
I feel like writing a blog in which I connect a few things.

Yet it is not the right time to put this in a blog

Yet again there is a message that I want to deliver to you.

It is sharing an insight more or less.

Yesterday I saw the best analysis of how Trump is an expression of a bigger movement.

It is about a certain way of (not) dealing with reality and confusing it with stories.

Background info: I find myself following what is happening around and by Trump with a oversized interest. (Two to three hours per day. Especially Rachel Maddows show is terrific).

There is some crisis going on in our civilisation.

Also I see a human drama unfolding.

I post about this often on facebook.

[A friend, kind of totally surprised, said that he saw one of my posts and said that he noticed that I wrote about Trump from compassion. That’s what the surprise was about.]

Here is the analysis as I posted it on facebook:

Totally worthwhile watching!!


There were elements in this that reminded me of your behaviour.
I feel that I have often confronted you about your sloppy way of dealing with facts.
You often have expressed your amazement about me valuing facts so much.
I even have felt often that you kind of made me feel ridiculous about my behaviour.

A few days ago I communicated with one of the guys that I know from your retreats who is giving satsang now himself.
We Skyped for 15 minutes. He also does not understand what I am talking about when I challenged him on facebook about dealing sloppy with information.
I promised him to send him the blog that describes the event that kind of pushed me over the line into leaving you.
So, I looked around in old emails and happened to notice my answer to another ‘Isaac Shapiro retreat veteran’ who informed about us 2 years ago.
One sentence out of my answer: “Yes, Isaac and me is over. Like as if ended my relationship with the man who still can’t help saying all the time that he does not have a relationship with Meike.” ***

I send this guy (Is was Gaia) the link to the blog I was referring to: https://www.hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4464

And I highlighted this paragraph for him as a separate quote:

“Another thing that recently dawned on me is that there is a similarity between how I felt when James Swartz swept my feedback to him aside
with a appeal to something higher and when you swept my feedback aside.
First as just a opinion amongst many. And later with the denial of the existence of perception as such.”

This analysis mentiones also the example of this movement against vaccination.

I remember that I documented meticulously for you that you posted complete nonsense about millions of childrens having been poisoned by dirty caccinations.

Your only response was ‘I don’t trust big pharma’.

For me it was already clear that you are/were leaning closely against conspiracy theories. At least that is what i took as my personal conclusion some years ago.

Especially the thing around vaccination has a strong resonance in many people in the so called sangha.

So much so that I posted a cartoon, joking on that subject and I even felt the need to mention that it is slightly dangerous to post a thing like that.

I mentioned the prophet in it (also dangerous, right?).

Here is the cartoon post:

August 23 at 10:12 PM · 

Er zijn mensen die vinden deze strip net zo blasfemisch als anderen een cartoon over ‘de profeet’.

My intro says: some people find this cartoon as blasphemous as others consider a cartoon on ‘the prophet’ blasphemous.

Sigmund, the famous Volkskrant cartoon therapist and a child:

Kid:Mom and dad decided not to have me vaccinated.

Sigmund: Does that make you worry about your health?

Kid: Yes. I am so afraid that stupidity is hereditary.

Through this Analysis in the video I became aware that the similarities that i notice once in a while in how you  and Trump relate(d) with ‘facts’ are part of a Zeitgeist.

So, in a way, I have been fighting an uphill battle.

Fully in character, that’s for sure. It seems to stick to me, rolling things uphill I mean.

Yet, someone has to do it.

But is that true?

Who knows.

By the way, I met a few other veterans these days.

They had great retreats.

One said that he had been looking with much appreciation how you were ‘handling’ people.

You were firing from all cylinders he said.

I take that to mean that you are doing well and are in good shape.

Great to hear that.

I wish you well.



PS. While rereading I decided to get one more thing from my chest that i will not put in a blog:

Someone told me last year that you shared in satsang that you didn’t have sex with Meike for (5?) years.

One year before that you wrote to me when (again) I asked you something from this continuous tension that was occurring in my system when confronted with how you communicated about your relationship with her and what it radiated from the stage down. And you wrote back: “For me, when in love making, we go past the habits and meet fresh, its nourishing and exquisite to me.”
The logic tells me that you were speaking from a fairy tale in the past.
(And that is probably what I am doing now also. Smiley).

PS 2. End of the week: iboga


Your answer:

On maandag 27-08-18 22:19, Isaac Shapiro wrote:

Subject line: Feedback (is always for the next time).

Hi Hans,

we have such different interests.
I never said that about myself and Meike. Amazing what people hear and then repeat. No slopes for that.

Love always, Isaac


My response to your answer:

On donderdag 30-08-18 17:33, Hans van der Gugten wrote:

Subject line: Feedback (is always for the next time).

Hello Isaac,

We share the love for truth.
And yes, we are differently challenged.

No slopes for that?
There is an uphill road from everywhere when you live in the Netherlands.
So, I’ll give even this a shot of the by its very nature a bit shameful Sisyphus work out.
Stay tuned.

For now, it’s time for a few days of iboga ceremony.



The longer I immerse myself in looking back into mails and blogs related to this all, the more I see that it goes way further back than I could have imagined.

I found a concept paragraph that I wrote to a friend as a possible addendum to this mail that has ‘particles’ in its title.
It sheds a glimmer of light on the lack of intellectual reflection that I have so much been missing.
Here is this paragraph. I wrote it on 10-10-15  and it contains a report of what you said when you were critized about something that was experienced by many as being very rude.
I describe in fact your defence:
When you mistakenly thought that I was sharing being upset about something that happened the night before, (Actually I was referring to another thing that also happened that turbulent night), you explained that it is just bad luck for the “sangha” when they are dissatisfied with what you say, because you have a deal with totality to speak everything that comes on your screen. Actually you said: if you don’t like it, f*ck you.
This comes close to saying to your audience that you are channeling and that it has nothing to do with you. Take it or leave it.
Here is a difference between us. With my temperament and overall constitution, you also can say with my leftovers of shame and guilt, (intellectual) reflection is closer to my expression of what comes up then it is for you. Of zoiets.

And nowadays, as we learned from the report of Chiv, you have a sangha that attacks someone who speaks up for women.
In this case for a woman who is under your charming spell. But she comes for satsang, she has expectations and hopes for maybe, probably, healing of old wounds and trauma.
And then you start making advances. And you tell her that you feel like wanting to have sex with her. And instead of asking how that is for her, you tell her that you can feel that she also feels like wanting to have sex with you. And then you ask, after (with all your authority) saying that for you it feels clean what you are doing, if what is happening on stage feels clean for your audience. You put, unconsciously maybe, a lot of pressure on her shoulders. And on the shoulders of the members of your “sangha”.
In fact you (hope to, or think to) ask a rhetorical question. You expect, based on earlier experiences with your so called sangha, (“sangha”) that you will only get agreeing nods.
And you repeated your question. More agreeing nods would increase the pressure. And override any possible doubt that someone might have, or vagely feel or  not even be aware of. And then Chiv the outsider spoke out.

As announced, for the second time “Donald Trump”. The man who, to the astonishment of many, cheats and lies and lowers bars by the dozen, and is proud that he does it all in the open, using the openness almost as an excuse to blame others to speak up against him.

“Sanghas” that defend their leader for behaviour that outsiders see for what it is, are  slowly slowly created. (Consciously or unconsciously).
I recently saw a very clear description of how Trump’s “sangha” is molded to the docile herd that it is, as observed and described by James Comey in this 2’40 video.
Comey: Trump eats your soul in small bites


I have noticed the last weeks that the amount of times that I speak about your “sangha” is way out of proportion.
And last night I suddenly remembered something simular from my past: about forty years ago I learned vipassana from a young Buddhist monk named Dhammawiranata.
After about two years I followed the strong urge to leave him. I told him that I left because I could not stand his sangha. It cost me a friendship, cause the friend that brought me there stayed and I was not allowed to ask my critical questions anymore.
Many years later this same friend lead a disrobing operation: he had become aware that Dhammawiranata, who spoke about sex with contempt, was sexually satisfying several of the women whose husbands behaved as if they had taken a celibacy vow instead of the monk.
(But I am often so lonely, was the defence of this way too young monk).
Dhammawiranata was one day invited for dāna and there the women testified about what happened. With  the helpfull pressure of the authority of a head monk in England he had to disrobe on the spot. Which was practically doable, cause they had brought him a pair of jeans.

Chiv mentions at the end of his report that he and the woman that later that satsang also spoke out and told you that she did not consider your behaviour clean left the retreat.

This woman had had a simlar experience with you during a satsang in the days before the retreat and for her it was like a Aha-Erlebnis, an example of history repeats itself: she once had to deal with the sexual advances of another member of the apparently growing row, the subset of satsang giving males that approach students for sex.
And she saw you do the same routine again a few days later.

You seem to have become a guru with an agenda.
From my notes of two month ago, made during a lecture of Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati (March 24 2019):
The most sad situation: the guru has an agenda for you, you have an agenda for the guru.
This is called mutual exploitation.

After I came back from India I spoke with a friend about all this. He remembers that you said about two years ago: as a teacher you are not supposed to have relations with your students, but I am not a teacher.
I smell confusion. Swami Tattvavidananda would say: you have to take the teaching according to its intention.

Your saying that you are also human and you want to be held sometimes, reminds me of two life stories.

One is about myself. I very much like to be touched. And I live basically almost like a hermit. What to do? Since more then eleven years now I go to the sauna twice a week and there I get a massage. And I pay for it.

The other is about one of the women that I know. She has had an enormous amount of sex in her life. With quite a lot of men. At some point she figuered out that basically this was not bringing her what she really wanted and needed. She wanted to be held and cradled.
She found a student who was willing to hold and cradle her on a regular basis. And she payed for it.

I have always said about you that as far as I can see or feel it, you can not be alone.
And practically you always had company, I myself was not so lucky to have that.
Over forty years ago my marriage ended and from then on I have been most of the time on my own. I was not happy, yet that was not new for me. But I also figuered something out.
I went to the the organisation in Amsterdam where you could get therapy. Being trained as a social worker and giving therapy sessions myself, I took it as a challenge to formulate my request for help as short as possible. I came up with this: “I can not be alone. Help!”
And they helped me.

Coming back to the before mentioned mechanism that James Comey outlined: members of cult followers, members of cultish “sanga’s”, and victims of abuse have in common that their souls have been eaten, in small bites.
And once this is noticed by those people, often still children, it is too late.
They have been encapsulated into a web, they have been made complicit.
All in all they are compromised, expected to help keep the abuse a secret, or to meet the expectations of the leader(s) and or the organisation.
To not be submissive to that can cost you, it can cost you deerly.
So to say no is not just an easy thing. It needs courage, it needs clear thinking, it might need a strategy.
(I have known a woman, I met her in satsangs and retreats, who decided consciously at the age of sixteen to not kill her father. Killing her dad would end a horrible way of beng abused, yet she knew that her story would not be believed and that she would end up in jail).

I will tell you a story from my own life too.
Some forty years ago, after my marriage broke down, I ended up on my own on a newly acquired yet wrecked houseboat. It took years of work, next to the job I had in that time, to turn this mess into a livable environment.
In that time, as you might describe it, I was not a happy puppy. I worked my ass off and started drinking quite some alcohol. There was one pub close by where I would go. And there I met this older man who was totally interesting to me. He said that he was clairvoyant and that he could see energies around people. I liked meeting him very much.
At some point he expressed his longing to have sex with me. I told him that that was a very frightening thing to me. Also I told him that I knew that I would not be able to say no.
So I begged him to not act on his longing. I also told him that if he did, I would never want to see him again. He was not impressed, (lust gives you blinkers), and went for what he wanted. Which indeed made it impossible for me to meet him again.

So, saying no can be a rather complex thingy.
Robert Mueller wrote in his report that Trump’s attorney told Cohen to “stay on message, and not contradict the President.” That is where it comes down to. No matter what “The President” stands for, be it a group ideology, a family secret or a scary boss.

I am aware that I am here also still fulminating against ShantiMayi’s claim that women always can say no. (Will send her a copy of this epistle).

Isaac, you are 100 % a teacher, telling yourself and others that you are not does not change this at all, not one iota.
You are probably fully aware that having sex with your students is problematic and why that is so.
Yet, I keep hoping that you are innocent in this, it is the least I can do.
So I will refer you to a good and very detailed description about the workings of attraction between students and teachers. It is written by Mattijs van Katwijk, a fellow Tao student and himself a Tao instructor. It is in Dutch, you can easily translate it into English using google translate for instance.
I will translate three paragraphs for you and put them in here, followed by the link to my blog with the full text.

Quote 1
“Every student should be a little bit in love with the Tao instructor. The instructor is the model of health, vitality, balance, strength and all those attractive things that we so much like to share with the students. Or, at least he is an example of entering into the process for the benefit thereof.
In class, the instructor represents the best of himself. Even in sharing his
personal struggles and weaknesses, the instructor is in the position of strength. That is
attractive. However, the instructor is not only optimally in his own strength.
The instructor is also in the power of the Tao “Lineage”. Using the techniques that have come to us thanks to our teachers, the power of Taoist tradition flows through the instructor.”

Quote 2
“If you use the attention generated by your students in this way to establish personal relationships, they are interspersed with the inherent inequality of the relationship. Namely, the instructor presents the healing (in the broadest sense of the word) that the student wishes to receive.
The love that originated in the context of the lesson (or private session) has its origin in this
Inequality. – That of course does not mean that you are ‘better’ (healthier, more vital, more powerful) than the student, but that in that relationship, there is by definition an element of inequality.”

Quote 3
“In order to sexually “open” in a group, under the supervision of an instructor, it is essential for students to feel safe. In the training the student lowers her “shield and armor”. When an instructor makes use of this admissibility to express his affection or to give it some other scope, it does not have to be unpleasant with the student involved (see above). Whether it stays here or if the affection develops into sexual intimacy; chances are that the student does not feel abused at all. She may feel very appreciated! Complaints from that side will therefore not be received. But the availability of the instructor is experienced in the group! This generates a, often unknowingly, range of subtle energetic currents (such as competition among themselves) – with sexual charge. And at this sexual level (do I still have to say: connected to the childish years of development, with trauma, etc.) patterns are now unknowingly activated that cancel out the intended safety!
The entire group becomes unsafe!
A clear signal must therefore be sent to all students: the instructor leaves no room for sexual intimacy with students. Terminating the training relationship to continue the love relationship outside of it irrevocably still undermines the signal. After all; if the
instructor is available for one student, he can also be for me!”
Full text here: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=5091

By now, spending quite some time on writing this, I begin to see more and more how often and how detailed I have given you feedback from my perspective.
My perspective is often quite detailed, and my stories can be rather complex.
In a way I can say that (not just your) satsangs were partly experienced as the tyranny of the simple story in the land of the short sentences.

Especially in relation to bringing my longterm strategic dealing with this family secret in satsang was not often easy. Sometimes I had to keep you with me with my will power.
I have written about this experience this:
“And yes, I have bothered you with this subject many times, without giving up.
Meanwhile not being blind for your withhold impatience with me in this. It was just noted over the years.”
It is in the already before mentioned blog (hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4464) that also contains quite some feedback from me to you.

Also in this blog is a minute description of how I observed you to bring in your own interest in a conversation in satsang. And already then (December 9, 2015) the subject was your interest in sex.
I described your behaviour as being manipulative and as creating confusion. Maybe you couldn’t imagine this to be true. Well, now you can.
(At least I hope so.You once said to me after I told you that I could not separate two things that I mentioned by name and your response was: “And yet, right now, you can see it.” It took a second for it to ground, but for me than it worked. It happened in Germany, Chiemsee, September 6, 2002. See hansvandergugten.nl/?p=2222).

The other day I stumbled upon the report of a for me very important event in satsang.
So important that after that I could have packed up and leave satsangs with you behind. Yet I didn’t.
Apart thereoff that being in satsang is in a way always a pleasure, despite all the pain and confusion that you see and feel people deal with and go through, there was some unfinished business. Newly created by you right after this top event.
But first this top event, about which I wrote you a year later a thank you letter/blog.
In the title is summarized what was the essence of the revelation during the happening:
“Oh, my God. (Top dog god turned out to be a hippo).”
From here: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4195

About what happened then and there for me, way back in May 2014, you spoke from your remarkable seeing before I had expressed what was strongly coming up: “I see that you waited for this your whole life actually”. And that was totally to the point.
For me things are often solved big chunks at a time. On a sometimes rather abstract level.
This one was the ultimate: “the people that raised me were always leaning on a invisible quasi all knowing authority. God the highest, the widest, was all the time used to narrow you down.”
Here is the blog with the video of this happening: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=3566

Immediately afterwards a stain was added to this event that shocked me deeply. This is also evident from the metaphor that I used in my description of it. Strongly sexual, I felt raped, now it reminds me of the example I gave of not being able to say no. My alas deceased girlfriend Viennetta Adams also had a strong sexual overwhelming image by watching the video of you doing what I am referring to.
Anyway, I also described this feedback in detail at the time.
Only now , looking longer and longer back, I see a line of power play, ending in telling someone in satsang that you have a desire to have sex with a woman that comes for satsang.
The long description is in this blog: Meta mumbling 2: taming the wolverine (hansvandergugten.nl/?p=3450)

Here is one quote from it to give a glimpse:
My direct experience on stage was thus: you took me totally by surprize, while at my most vulnerable ever, pants down, on my knees, just being in my sense of humor to help mine and others energy to settle and what do you do? You ask me to do something that feels as being against my own interest, and you do it in the most velvet way, with a attitude and a smile that says ‘you know that we know that you only can say yes now’ and you make the sangha laugh, so in an instant the sangha is not a sangha anymore but dripping wax in your hands and another example of why I up till now have never trusted the sangha as such. (As I have expressed over and over again during the years). It is only safe when you are safe and at that moment you were not. Not at all. For a moment you were again the best camouflaged authoritarian alpha male that I know. And my survival tool humor and gayety did the rest. It even sugested a irrelevant compromise. In a vain attempt to safe my face. But it felt as if I had been put in place again.

It begins to look like you have a unseen pattern or tendency to unload on vulnerability.
And, as I said years ago, very well camouflaged.

This whole long story is, has been, I see that more and more, a way for me to clean out and clear up a a few loose ends between us.
Bits of my natural courage had been suppressed by intimidation, by allowing myself to be impressed.
And by disappointment, by not wanting to accept what I saw and felt and heard.

It is the good old doubt of my clear seeing/feeling/sensing.

The strongest pain of this kind I have experienced through my visit to Rasjneeshpuram in 1984. Recently the whole world can learn about the criminal behaviour of Ma Anand Sheela thru this series that Netflix has made about Rajneeshpuram (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Wild_Country).
But I was there, the only one in blue between thousands and thousands of faithfull devotees dressed in orange. And after a week I said to the sannyasins that I had travelled with, that according to me Sheila was lying. I was heartely laughed about. For many years I had a knot in my belly because of the expectation that something like that could not, should not happen around a (allegedly) enlightened being.
(Report in this blog: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=3282).

You also indicated that you check “if they are mature enough”.
How is that done? Teach us.
Is it a questionaire?
Does it involve sex?
Is it done in an interview, with a say of the woman in question?
I mean, the flip side of the question to or about the woman if she is mature enough to have sex with you, is of course the question if you are mature enought to have sex with her.
Or mature enought to make that decision for her.

I hear reports that suggest that this particular skill of yours is still rather fallible.

This all apart from the commonly accepted rule, often law enforced,  that workers that have a asymetric relation with the people they are working with, just because of their function, preferably stay away from having sex with this people.
This goes basically for all functions that are meant for education or mental or physical aide to all those who need others for this.
This includes all kinds of teachers, from Kindergarten till university, from priests till satsang givers.

The way out is never getting creative with language. Like calling a relationship nothing, or describing yourself as not being a teacher.

When it comes to confusion about sexuality, we have a lot in common.
I have enough addictive threads running through my life to know strongly that lust and longing, or flight and freeze, avoiding and suppression, can overrule our knowing.

One of the challenging questions of yours that have had a impact on my life has been this one: are you living up to what you know?

Rules are there.
Rules will be broken once in a while.
It is a slippery slope to develop ideas that deny the value of rules.
Or the value of facts for that matter.
(I guess that you are the only one that would consider you not to be a teacher).

Sitting on the chair that you sit on brings, given the wish to have sex,  a diabolical dilemma. On the one hand it is a relative easy way to get it. On the other hand it is widely considered to be the worst place scenario.

As already memorized before, the Lord’s ways are infathomable and Isvara works in mysterious ways. I had in mind to phone a certain woman to kind of get some double check on the latest news about you.
But decided to wait at least till this epistle was kind of ready, to prevent unwanted influence on it to happen.
Last week my long time collegue and handyman came along. He knows you through me and he knows this woman because I advised him to go to her for sessions.
When I mentioned you and the starting trigger for this letter, he said that this woman had expressed her dissatisfaction about your behaviour in relation to sexuality.

Last week we had a phone call and she told me about another example of a woman who was very disappointed about your serial approaching women from the Holy Chair.
Your maturity check doesn’t seem to work very well.

She also told me about another Dutch guy that has written you a letter about your new way of relating in satsang. So, I might be the second Dutch guy writing to you on this.
So be it.

Theory and practice.
In the article of my Tao student collegue titled ‘Leraren en seksuele veiligheid, een visie’ ,  he unfolds a clear description of the dynamics in unequal relations when it comes to sexuality and the need for teachers to not engage sexually with their students.

It is the motivated sketch of an ideal.
And every teacher is expected to live up to this ideal.
Living up to this ideal is not an easy task.

The living up to this ideal presupposes fully matured teachers. Or blind followers of that rule. Which carries the danger of repression, secret behavior, or even cramped fanaticism.
Some of my own experiences came up the night after I posted that blog. When I woke up, I remembered a few of them.

Once, about forty years ago, I gave a workhop rebirthing somewhere in Germany. At the end of the first day I found myself with one woman in the sauna and we ended up making love.
In that time I was just out of a five year marriage that I once described as a non celibatary monastic life. I was a sexually starved and by a narrow minded Christian upbringing totally confused around sexuality unmature male being.
This woman told me later that she already at home had had the intent to seduce the leader of the workshop.
She was way more mature then I was and an artist too.
For me this once in a life time happening was a blessing.
The next day she said that she had meditated on the essence of my being and she had made me a small piece of art. I still have it. It brought colour in my life.

About two years later I gave a rebirth session to a woman the day before christmas. Afterwards she wanted us to make love. I resisted, despite a strong longing to do so, just because it is supposed to be not done.
On New Years Eve something stronger than me, basically my loniness I guess, pulled me over to her place and I rang the doorbell.
She opened the door and said ‘I thought it would be you.’
We have a son together.

This is not yet finished, it is more and more clear that I am by now just speaking about myself in the form of speaking to you.
A few days ago I wrote you with the question if there is an update from your side on the subject that I am adressing here. I decided to start this text with my mail to you and your answer.
Your answer makes it even more surreal that I am writing all this, cause you wrote that you have no interest in having sex.

Either you are being misunderstood by many, or you are in denial of a few things.

I already know that once you enforced your position toward me by even denying the existence of experience.
(“At the level of direct observation or perception, there is no reality.”)

Reminds me now of a direct observation or perception of pure denial that I have described years ago in a blog:
“I recently had a Bed and Breakfast guest, who shared with me that he was so happy that he no longer was drinking.
“Man, I see you drinking all day,” I said despite myself.
To which he said that it was years ago that he (with help) had stopped drinking. Now he didn’t drink anymore. Only a few beers in the morning, some wine with lunch and in the evening “A couple of beers”.
In other words: Real denial is not known by the real denier.
Only bystanders perceive it.
In my family I have seen a lot of denial.
That is why I have to adjust my expectation, that all information that I bring up, automatically, logically, will have the desired  effect.
I discovered that I had that expectation.
And based on that I blamed people beforehand for not acting according to my expectations.
Now I think I’m clear that that is a much to high expectation.”
(I quoted myself from this Dutch blog:

In a way this is the lesson of the law of karma yoga: from love you do what you have to do, without any expectation for a result.
By now I get it, but it took ages.

Another jump: during a satsang ShantiMayi told a story about the first meeting of Paramahansa Yogananda with his guru. In fact she told two stories about that event.

The first one I could verify on the web, the other one might be apocryph, made up by herself or from a for me/us unknown source. Whatever.
By now I found both stories, they were apparently on different occasions

The first story goes  like this:
“(…….) Yogananda’s meeting with his guru, Sri Yukteswar. The guru said, “I give you my unconditional love. Will you also give me yours?”

“How can I love you unconditionally?” the young man asked. “What if you were ever to slip from your spiritual ideals?”

“I don’t want your love,” the guru stated. “It stinks!”

At these alarming words, Yogananda understood and gave Sri Yukteswar his unconditional love.
Found here: yoganandafortheworld.com/gurus-celibacy-and-spiritual-authority/

The second story goes thus:

“I give you my unconditional love.”

Precious words! A quarter-century elapsed before I had another auricular proof of his love. His lips were strange to ardor; silence became his oceanic heart.

“Will you give me the same unconditional love?” He gazed at me with childlike trust.

“I will love you eternally, Gurudeva!”

“Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.” He added humbly, “If ever you find me falling from a state of God-realization, please promise to put my head on your lap and help to bring me back to the Cosmic Beloved we both worship.”
Found here: crystalclarity.com/yogananda/chapter-10/

Something in me is deeply touched by this stories.
I love to think that I operate from this motive.
Or in other words: something in me thinks it is great to think that it is my good intention to act from the bodhisattva ideal.
See for instance this blog: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4833
As you can see, in the end even I am a romantic soul.

I am going to round up this text this weekend.
(I wrote this, optimistically weeks ago).
Will just add, without caring much about the structure of this essay-like mind selfie study, a structure that is probably only really clear to me at this point, just add whatever is left and has popped up as being of value to be contained in this.

Reminds me of a nice sentence of the comedian Bec Hill:
“Thank you for letting me share those words of wisdom with you. I know they mean more to me than they do to you.”
(From her clip Bec Hill does puns for 3 minutes).

Nice point to quote something more.
For instance a letter that I wrote you and never posted, because of the developpements that came soon after writing this concept text.
Here it is, with a delay:
On woensdag 12-08-15 21:17, Hans van der Gugten wrote:
Subject: We’re all in the same boat while not having relation ships
Dearest Isaac,

A few weeks ago suddenly, in a flash, a insight dawned on me in the form of a short sentence: Isaac, you are trying to transform reproduction sexuality.
This is basically all I want to share with you.
Yet it comes from a for me new thinking and conceptual framework.
So there is the need and the willingness to explain what this insight means, at least for me.

The floating around of this thought, as a possibility, touches a lot in me and brings up quite some memories
and perspective changes when looking back at the last decade of being with you in retreats.

I report on those things with a double agenda.
1. It makes things clearer for me.
2. Hopefully it makes things for you clearer too.

One issue that comes up is the question if I will write this to you in person, as a friend.
Or as an open letter, as I used to do over the last 15 years, from the principle that satsang is public.
(And that as satsang friends we can openly share).

Yet, are we friends?
One memory that slowly came back to me was a moment during the last retreat where I mentioned, as a separate category, having a personal relation with someone, as opposed to for instance having the relationship with someone of meeting already for years in the intimate and special environment of the retreats.
Your reaction was one of surprise: you realized, you said, that you never before had thought about this distinction, it was non existent for you.

Recently I had a clear experience of this difference that I expressed and which has to do a lot with this one line insight that I started out with.

Two years ago I did a session with someone during a retreat in Venwoude.
Just a few weeks ago I suddenly felt the urge to do another session with the same woman, and I did.
As we know each other from your retreats, I behaved unconsciously as if we had a personal relationship.
So we took quite some time to update our stories via a long chat.

Only after that the actual session happened.
It was at the end of the afternoon, so having enough time was kind of evident and natural.
I booked for another session the next week , also on a Thursday and she asked if I could come at 13.00.
I agreed.
But for me a time at the end of the afternoon felt better, so later I phoned and asked if it was actually impossible for her to do it at the end of the afternoon.
Oh no she said we also can do it at 4. I  happily agreed.
(The first session had been at 5 in the afternoon).

Before the second session again we talked for quite a while; I was telling stories, actually about this discovery
of thinking that you have a personal relationship with someone and later finding out that you have not.
Another story was about watching porn being the ultimate consequence of how we live nowadays:
hiding not being alone and needy, by watching on a screen others acting out the ultimate but insane projection
that we have collectively created out of centuries of suppressing sexuality: fucking your brains out is satisfying and making you happy forever.

Then we started the session.
After some 20 minutes of intense work, she suddenly said that we only had 10 minutes left.
Then, without giving it a thought, I uttered: “Oh, I didn’t know that it went off my time”.
We finished the session and it turned out that she had another session at 5.

Although I was fully satisfied with the session, also the chatting beforehand had brought me clarities, there was something not fully clear yet.
At some point it became clear and I wrote her this:
It dawned on me that I talked with you from the idea that we have a personal relationship.
And not just a formal one.
That made me being surprised that practically our conversation had been part of my paid session.
And from the personal relation I had expected you to warn me that we only had 50 minutes this time.
And even from the formal relationship you could have warned me.

She was happy that I had put this into words.
She also was not happy with how things went.
And she offered to do the rest of the ‘lesson’ another time.

What does this have to do with my one line insight?
When we have a personal relation I would write you in person.
If we have a formal relation I can write you another open letter.
Yet, that would be about very personal matters.
And although you radiate that nothing is personal, slowly slowly the open discussion about sexuality has disappeared from the satsangs.
It’s a lot about what is happening between you and Meike, yet it is all psychologized and interactionalized.
Yet you do not stop telling us that you do not have a relationship with Meike. No past. No future.
It sounds like 100 % theory, not embodied at all. Yet your main story nowadays is about embodiment.
Its this smal remarks of Meike, for instance that she knows your buttons, which raises understanding laughter in the whole ‘sangha’.
(And I think ‘she has him by the balls’).
And to a remark of you that between you everything happens that happens to all of us, she adds “And a lot more”. There I hear ego and pride.

For a decade I have felt not at ease when sitting opposite to both of you.
I have been playing with it, etcetera, etcetera, you know, you have witnessed me doing it.

The last time that I went to Jonathan, I had the idea that it would be the last time.
And it is.
After that retreat, by itself things started to happen.
Result: I started a 7 year Tao training.

I love the new stories.
Much is about sexuality.
New distinction: reproduction sex and tranforming sexual energy.
Different ways of dealing with sexual energy.
In short: you deal with your own sexual energy, you transform it into life energy that you do not project out, but keep it in.
What we do in the West, the story goes, is keeping up our habit of sex for reproduction,
while chemically (the pill) or mechanically (condoms) we prevent babies to be the result of it.

I am in the very beginning of exploring this.
Yet, I’m not a beginner in reflecting on sexual energy.

In short, suddenly, in a flash, a insight dawned on me in the form of a short sentence: Isaac, you are trying to transform reproduction sexuality.

I sent you this as a friend, in the clear awareness that we do not have a personal relation.

Or something like that.

Greetingz and a hug,


The whole Tao story, including the so called sexual kungfu was brought to the West by Mantak Chia.
I knew the name, and only now I met this Tao trainer that was also trained by Chia and brought about
a schism in the Dutch Tao world on the subject of sexual safety of the trainers in relation to their students.
The whole thing is still in Dutch, here is the link: https://taotraining.nl/
Part of this training is the mentioned sexual kungfu.
There is a training online for women and one for men that is actually required for and thus part of the 7 year training.
The one for the men is called plural orgasm: https://meervoudig-orgasme.nl/
The one for the women is called the valley orgasm: https://vallei-orgasme.nl/

Another paragraph:
Already quite a while ago during a coffee meeting in the Vondelpark with people from the Amsterdam circle, when the subject was for a while that you now travelled alone again, without Meike that is, I heard someone say that nowadays you have a South African girlfriend
I also heard things like ‘he says that now he wants to explore his sexuality more or wider or deeper.
I heard one woman say ‘let him live his boys dream’.
I just wonder if she would be as indulgent and tolerant if it was her own grandpa, suddenly going for the girls on the workfloor.

By the way, I mentioned that this one woman brought colour in my life. I showed you the postcard size trigger thereof.

By now I am reminded of another meeting with a woman, also long ago, that also brought colour in my life.
It was the very first time after my divorce that I went on holidays alone. And I ended up on a naturist campsite in the south of France.
A place that was a summer hang out place for tout Paris. (For me it was the Summer of the two Parisiennes and again I remember a name: Campsite Arnaoutchot). I made love with this woman (I mean, humbly, that I was allowed and invited to make love with her) in my tent in between the pine trees, an amazing experience in the dark. And suddenly I saw colours with my eyes closed!!
That was the very first time that I saw colour in this mind.
Before that night I lived in a inner world in black and white. And some shades of grey probably. Don’t remember.

Why am I all the time writing and confronting teachers and other authorities? A new insight. In short: I am lacking a Plan B.

The last Tao weekend there was talk about the difference between the traits that we are born with, simply said our character with our personal characteristics on the one hand. And, again simply said, the development of a defence system around it, that we develop in reaction to the feedback that we are not (always) appreciated when we act innocently according to our character.
What dawned on me, in a flash, was that by character I am honest, whyich is not always appreciated. And strange enought, caused by many circumstances, the defence system, the persona, the mask, that was developped is also based on honesty. So, no Plan B.
Suddenly I saw this rather weird double construction, caused by a concurrence of events and circumstances, as the source of this peculiar drive of mine to, I mentioned it before, all the time writing and confronting teachers and other authorities. (Just sharing this premature glimpse, fwiw).

Then there is a story that starts like this: Isaac, I have shared a lot with you but there is one thing that I never told you before.
Yet to write. it is about trance, liminosity and that I have all those years been aware that it was a kind of trance state in which we were hanging out together. And it has served me well.

I will finish this story by giving a by me stored in a email facebook interaction with a friend in ‘Friends of Isaac and Meike’. It shows that the talking about your new life style is already going on for years. (The link does not work, so its seems to have been deleted at the source, or whatever).
And with a short string of quotes, kind of weird sentences that came into my life since focussing on this process and asking people questions.
The weirdest one is this sentence: “Nowadays he has a girlfriend from South Africa and it seems to be so that Meike is coaching her family how to deal with this.”

And excusing sentences like this one, from a female: I will go to this retreat, just to hang out with some people there. I know I was always annoyed when he started talking about sex and relating because something was wrong there according to my perception.

And (hearsay) from a ‘colleague’ (also giving satsang): it is a blessing for  women to be with him.

And from a woman who I met when she came to a retreat in 2012, right away her last one: it is sad to find out that I was right then, I wondered already in 2012: am I the only one seeing this?

And fearful ones: Never, never, never ever dare to mention my name in relation to what I have told you.

And innocent ones: I have not heard any rumours at all about this.

And someone said that on the question if it was okay for you to relate with women in your audience, you reacted with the rhetorical question: where else can I meet women!
For your information, keeping in mind your “I make no claims to be any different then anybody, frequently stating we are all in the same boat.”, this is in fact not a rhetorical question then. One of the possible answers is: Tinder.
(I admit that also this I know from hearsay only, actually from a friend who is still a member of your ‘family’/”sangha”).

And when I told a friend what Chiv has told me in India, she said: Oh, I heard him say that himself already two years ago in the Muiderkerk.

As an encore the synonym display for Teacher, the Dutch version, just because it is the most beautiful graphic synonym display that I know of: https://synoniemen.net/grafisch.php?zoekterm=leraar

And last, but not least I announce a yet to write, more article like story about what I have found to be a important trait or an active ingredient of satsang, of story telling, of religion, of teaching situations in general. It would start with: Dearest Isaac, over the years I have shared a lot with you, but there is one thing that I have never spoken. Up till now. After long reflection and a bit of thinking this might lead to an attempt
from my side to articulate a few things.
I thought that it might be called a personal religiosity.
Or maybe better a personal attempt of religiosity.          Looking up this words opens up a whole new conceptual field. For some reason I found that the Polish word for religiosity is religioznawstwo.
So sooner or later there might show up a blog called:
I am! Musings about religioznawstwo. Of zoiets.
Funny, I just saw that already long ago I already announced this blog, also using the word musings: “PS. I am already for long been busy trying to come up with a reflective piece of text about almost 20 years of satsang.
Working title is: Memories and musings of a counter dogmatician.

Addendum: More honest would be to speak about a rather dogmatic counter dogmatician I guess.
This self observation gives me Delphi associations.
Gnothi Seauton: “know thyself”. Picture:
Delphic Tholos
(By tamara semina, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59622650).

As promised above somewhere, here follows the facebook thread from october 2016, anonimized and cleaned from abundant links:
My friend A, thanks for the question. I was breeding on a answer and now I reread your text, it dawns on me that you have misread or misinterpreted what I wrote. I intend to translate my Dutch text for us. And I will comment on this later. Four days ago, on October 17,
I started two blogs. They both start with the same sentence. The one with the working title ‘Intentional rebelling in words’ will be a ongoing report of my intention to get past the state that is described in this first sentence. The other one is work titled ‘Wrap up.’ and is meant to write an overview of the last decades of so called spiritual activities and what it brought me and what not. The opening sentence goes like this: ” ‘A tad or two too fat and quite a tad too lazy too’, that’s one way of describing myself the last few years and even nowadays.” It might take weeks, or even months for those blogs to reach the point of publication.
Reply · October 22 2016 at 9:58 pm
My friend A, I try to make my description clearer about how Isaac created unsafety for me. That is not for the reason as you described it. For me the 1 on 1 SE sessions with Caitlin were 100 % safe. Otherwise I would not have gone again and again for sessions with her. And for me being on the chair with Isaac was 100 % safe. That’s why I kept doing that for 15 years. The last years more and more often I saw him advise people to work on certain items not with him on the chair, but in 1 on 1 SE sessions because that would be safer. That bloody fact implicitly meant for me that Isaac himself considered being with him in the chair was not always safe anymore. I just noticed that this worked for me in this way. On top of that, him sitting there with Meike, with all the unspoken relational and hierarchical fuzz that came along with that, felt more and more uncomfortable for me. Isaac kept this on a distance by repeating over and over the words ‘we don’t have a relationship’. Recently saw in a interview that he added: “Because the word relationship is a noun”.
I have said this before, but let me repeat it again: a word being a noun just means that what the word is referring to only seemingly has a status quo status. (Frozen firework, as I have called it in the past). To open that up you don’t have to deny the existence of what is referred to, it is better and more effective to question the thing back into process status. So, when two or more people are interacting on a regular base, the habit in our culture is to say that those people have a relationship. And of course it is so that the very concept of ‘having a relationship’, like all concepts, has lots and lots of connotations, many of them including prescribed behaviours. Denying that a relationship is there does not alter anything. Opening up the apparent frozen thing called relationship by forcing/forging the noun back to it’s process source does. The process source of a noun is the underlying verb. The process source of a reationship is the behaviour of its members toward each other. So, a way out of freeze in a ‘relationship’ is the asking of the question of the members to themself and to the others: how are we relating? From here things can move. Amen.
[For some benificial entertainment here the educational TEDx video on the same subject that I stumbled upon a few days ago: youtube.com/watch?v=dNlkHtMgcPQ]

October 22 2016 at 11:26pm

Hello friend A, it’s me again. Reflection happened on what it is that I described as ‘Caitlin brought me stronger into the here and now then Isaac’. There are glimpses of what the difference is about. What’s seen about it is so comprehensive that it could fill a book. I will sketch us a few outlines. As you know since last year I am learning a new language. Hindi this time. Really from scratch: different sounds, different script, different culture. It so happened that twice within two month I started learning Hindi with two different teachers. The very start was in Auroville with an experienced Hindi teacher that started to learn me the script, the Devanagiri script. Within twenty minutes I physically became so nauseous, that I had to stop her from going on. I needed a break. This in a way became a friendly fight; she went on in the tempo she condidered approriate for a total beginner and I had to stop her over and over again, a bit embarrassed but I had to stand up for my short term well being. This went on for ten days. Then, almost two month later and about 2400 km up north, I ran into a Hindi teacher in Rishikesh, also a very experienced one. And guess what? I thought that we were going to have chai and a chat on that terrace where we had our first appointment, but within five minutes he started to give me his standard first lesson. He started with teaching me four words and saying them one after the other. And alle hop: mera naam hans hain. And you can say your name. And on it went. Again within twenty minutes nausea came up and the ritual of stopping the teacher came into swing. The last months I take lessons from him over Skype. And the first weeks and less often till today I had to create breaks. I am a slow learner, but learning is happening. Shortly I made the observation that the state of utter concentration in which I end up during these lessons is similar to the state I got into while doing sessions with Caitlin. From here a whole line of thoughts and observations arise.
By the way, the Dutch text that you reacted on (and which I promised to translate into English I know, but for now it does not feel urgent to do so) was a quickly written email to a friend, without much reflection about it being publishable and clear enough for a wider audience. Yet, I know from experience that this kind of quick expressions most of the time contain all the important stuff. (Important for me, in hindsight). In the aftermath of writing it and a cafe discussion over it I also said with the same ‘locker room’ quality (bold and unmotivated) that, compared to the model of the world in which I am slowly slowly being initiated in this China rooted Tao training, the model of the world in the retreats and in the satsang world in general is a rather two dimensional one.
This again is related to the whole discussion about advaita vedanta en neo advaita, that I only found out about after and because I critisized James Swartz for his way of critisizing the so called ‘Neo’s’. As a side effect I found out about this whole discussion and studied it a bit. (For my blogs on this google for Ramji and Meji).
The main difference is the idea that you have to do nothing, as opposed to that you do need a practice.
I have realized that with Isaac; being with Isaac was from the very beginning based on ‘you don’t have to do anything’. That lead to a lot of misunderstanding in those years. Even people stopping to clean their houses. And Isaac explicitly stopped using the expression in this way.
Yet, energetically, let’s say after having been drowned into the ocean, by being invited by Isaac with where he began with (Who are You?), a happening that for sure in the first years was experienced and labelled as becoming enlightened. And was seen as the final That’s it, from now on everything is fine and blissful. Only later, when the thingy wore out and the insight came dawning over the horizon that there was work to do, the embodiment came marching in, slowly slowly. In the form of Feldenkrais and later in the form of Somatic Experience.
In a way there was in Isaac’s approach an attitude, an axiom even, that having improvement as a goal was counter effective. Yet, after years, I heard Isaac say that he did not get further with certain people.
The axiom, the assumption was that if only you (with all the well known confusions about ‘no one being there’ and so on) allowed yourself (or your self, or your Self, or It, or That) to dissolve into oneness, into the Ocean, all the unwanted cramps, trauma’s, blockages, misunderstandings, disbeliefs would melt away like snow in the sun.
And for over fifteen years this has served me well. More locker room talk: compared to this Chinese model of the world the satsang world is Kindergarten, and apparentely I had to be there all those years and only now it is, also apparently, time to move on.
And there is another side of the coin. Dropping the idea of needing a practice and trusting it all to happen by itself kind of neglected, at least in me, the active learning capacity. In a way it undermined the physical fitness of my learning muscles.
I became aware of this by my starting-to-learn-Hindi-nausea.
And then the simularity of the one pointed focus during my Hindi lessons and the sessions with Caitlin popped up.
And the two things have in common that there was a clear goal and determination to learn specific things. For Caitlin’s sessions most of the time I was fully prepared and knowing what it was that had to be worked on.
As you know, shortly after I decided to break up my habit of going twice a year for two weeks to the retreats with Isaac (and expressing a willingness to keep going one week per year), a whole new landscape came over the horizon. First in the form of a online training about sexual energy and then by attending a introductory lecture for a 7 year Tao-training. In short, for the second year now I attend weekend trainings in this new stuff. The difference in let’s say the culture or style of teaching couldn’t be more apart. For instance, in Isaac’s retreats I brought my own low seated camping chair in which I have been hanging on my fixed spot for years next to the doorpost of the exit. Ha, the first day of this Tao training I came in with the same chair. Big mistake. Several time per day there are exercises for which you have to sit on a regular chair, the men a bit more upfront then the women in order to allow the genitals to dangle in front of the chair. AND a few time per day it is changing positions: Okay, find another chair, so your perspective keeps changing, that’s better for learning. In a way this Tao training is one big practice. And having a trainer who says that he hates enlightenment and can explain clearly what he means by that, is great for a change.
This whole oceanic floating that was a main ingredient in the retreats, reminded me recently of this containers of bath tub toys that were lost from a ship during heavy weather. Those plastic ducks, turtles and frogs are in a way good models for going with the flow: ://dailymail.co.uk/…/Thousands-rubber-ducks-land…
My friend A., let me be clear, I will never forget the miracles that I have seen happening to me and to hundreds of other people. And in a way especially we as participants were the floating ones. Isaac was always also at the surface of the ocean, being fed from this miraculous gift of his to be able to put words to inner experiences of the people he was communicating with. Ah well, communicating, maybe he was channeling us and himself throught the ocean. It was a great cruise, that’s for sure.

I keep writing new paragraphs. This is the newest:

Teachers and gurus are just like people. Strikingly often they start angling with their fishing rod in the family pond that they so gladly call their “sangha”. In that respect there are striking similarities with what happened in mine and so many other families, and in all those other Sangha-like communities such as there are parishes, congregations and cults. The vibration is incestuous.
The only way I know how to deal with this is speaking out. The most direct consequence of this? I keep leaving families.
Ah well, others stay and shut up, even when they know what’s going on.
Out of their need for company for instance.
There are more ways to deal with this, like suppressing, denying, blaming the messenger, and mentally wearing earplugs, to mention a few.
There are many shades of loneliness, I guess.

Am reminded of this black sheep uncle, the one that as her brother sexually abused his sister, the one that later would become my mother.
The man was totally shameless, was successful in his businesses, till he went broke and then he started something else again. Meanwhile everybody in the family knew that he was fucking around and he was proud of it and he always drank too much and dominated birthday parties. (To mention him once more: Donald Trump is at the moment the incredibly overproportioned black sheep uncle, the prototype of the man in need of everything he keeps himself away from out of fear for melting away the mask that is believed to be him. Of zoiets).

Toe curling behavior, yet the at first sight well-behaved other men where deeply hidden jealous of him. I could sense and observe that as a boy.
Very confusing. And it still is. I mean, his kind of joke would be that joke about the young bull and the old bull.
And who doesn’t want ‘to fuck ‘m all’?
Attraction, sexual attraction, for sure the kind of sexual attraction that is only hormone driven without any consciousness whatsoever, is hard wired and impersonal and based on an experienced duality, a separation that needs to be bridged, resulting in procreation.
Here is the joke that I was reminded of: A young bull and an old bull were sitting on the top of a hill overlooking a large group of cows. The young bull looks at the older one and says “lets run down there and fuck one of those cows.” The old bull smiles at the young bull and says, “lets walk down there and fuck em all.”

In other words, we have to be educated about how to deal with our sexuality.
The world in general is not so good in doing this. In my eyes I and we are the offspring of a culture that suffered for two millennia from Christian repression of sexuality. And of course we understand that it was not easy, with all those diseases and without contraceptives. Yet, I wrote the pope a letter recently to express myself about something he told the world: hansvandergugten.nl/?p=5125
What can we do? We can try. I love the idea that at least one person in Rome will have read it.

And yet another new paragraph:

One more remark that came up after my findings about the possible why of my expressing intuitions and observations about discontinuity between claims, pretensions, projections and reality

Although it was not a contest, I became aware that the reactions to my actions are very divers.
From plainly defensive with the Absolute as something reachable for a happy few and the scriptures as a shield to hide yourself behind.

Like James Swartz in his very first reaction to  my sharing that I experienced his way of nagging other teachers as being painful: people who can’t stand this kind of criticism are not qualified for Advaita Vedanta.

Sheela, the wrong right hand of Osho: when I asked her, way back in 1984, why she called her frightened neighbors fascists, she just hissed from within her bubble: BECAUSE THEY ARE FASCISTS!!!!

It dawned on me that my current Tao trainer Reinoud Eleveld is in my eyes the relative absolute winner of this non contest: his analysis was that my way of training apparently consists of what he calls ‘spying the teacher’ and a need to expressing my findings and that in that mode I still am welcome to his training and even invited to publish my findings. Chapeaux.

And another new paragraph.
Two things about Papaji.
The fact that I mentioned twice the idea of channeling in relation to you, reminds me thereoff that I heard you several times, with a touch of disdain for the idea and a joy of being able to quote Papaji on the subject again: ‘Channeling, doesn’t that mean to make narrow?’

The other thing is that this always present in  your satsangs idea of the world not  being real, reminded me of the fact that Ramana Maharshi made it clear to Papaji that this so called dream has its own reality, and that it is in this dream that you have to do what you have to do.

And last but not least:

After  a conversation about again the question why I am writing all this, it became again clearer that you for me for a long time have had the function as the opposite of the God of my youth.

You repreresented safety for me. And from the beginning you have made it clear, not just in general but also in a specific one on one conversation that we had an eon ago, that you considered it not done to get involved with women from your audience.

In that sense I feel just plain betrayed by you.
It was already getting less safe for me, I have described that above a few times en detail.
But now there is the situation that, unlike in the past, I cannot and will not refer anyone without thinking/warning to your satsang.

When I showed Chiv your answer, (your answer that I labeled as not being accurate) to my question about an update, he wrote me this: Strange, he talks about rumors, he is making me a liar.
I guess from compassion he wrote: “
Being let down and betrayed by someone you are so close and in love with is the worst that can happen. But sometimes necessary to get rooted in ones own truth.”
I must admit that that is a accurate description of my deep down feeling.
Plain disappointment, stemming from my own projections on you.
So it is, so be it.

There are a few more discoveries that I would love to share here, but I can’t find any time and space for it anymore in here.
Will save that up to my future musings.

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5 Responses to “A diabolical dilemma”. Open letter to my long-time teacher Isaac Shapiro.

  1. Snarf says:

    1001 reachings / teachings will show u the way out the Labyrinth of the personal mental reflections with its big sticky spiderwebs in hidden corners…GET OUT, BE FREE! But no other person/teacher/njani can do that for u except U yourself I.

    You fight wind(mills).
    Typical dutch :-)))
    Love u

  2. Marionetta says:

    May peace and love deepen in all beings involved. May all bondings of pain, longing and dissapoinment to be healed. May all painful unconsious behavior and blind spots be revealed and healed. Healing Love for every being involved.

  3. Graeme Porteous says:

    Was re-evaluating my time on the nOby group and Google gave me a link to here. Given me some food for thought. From my POV the whole Ramana lineage has been about experiencers whose intellectual and thus philosophical depths were not radically transformed. All is Awareness, also implies the World is an illusion, and both statements are false.

  4. Bhakti says:

    Hi Hans,
    Meeting you in an old old forest , Venwoude.
    No words,
    A huge relief of being always on watch , such as whats or who is behind one of those trees , as an unsafe be en garde.

    It dropped ! What appeared ?
    Always silent peace .

    That meeting is still here . The Hans and the trees what was that for ?
    For meeting peace?
    If so thank you trees thank you Hans.
    Dag vogels dag bloemen dag kinderen.

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