Chandra Easton and Michael Taft talk about gender and sexual misconduct in Buddhism, why compassion must be a part of spiritual practice, and the place of the guru in modern culture. Chandra shares her personal story of dealing with sexual misconduct at the hands of her teacher, tantric practices as a technology for awakening, internalized patriarchy, and how love and kindness is the whole point of spiritual practice. Also included are guidelines for choosing a teacher, reimagining Tantric practices in non-binary ways, and much more.
Chandra Easton studied Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India, and translated Tibetan Buddhist texts on meditation with B. Alan Wallace. Chandra has taught meditation and yoga since 2001. She has studied with many Tibetan and Western Buddhist teachers such as H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, Lama Tsultrim Allione, B. Alan Wallace,Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, and Jennifer Welwood. She is currently the Assistant Spiritual Director & Head Teacher at the Tara Mandala Retreat Center. To learn more visit www.shunyatayoga.com and www.taramandala.org.
2:57 – Chandra’s move to Colorado
4:14 – The Tara Mandala retreat center
6:35 – The Chöd practices
11:33 – Namkhai Norbu and “self-secret”
14:33 – The technology of Tantra
20:38 – The motivation of compassion
25:54 – Guru sexual misconduct and The Feminine in Buddhism
34:04 – The Buddha’s views on women
37:38 – The Tantra movement
40:01 – Women in Buddhism and what needs to change
44:41 – Women-run sanghas
47:39 – Gender in Tantric practices
52:16 – Sexual abuse and spiritual leaders
59:05 – How to choose a teacher
1:05:04 – Qualities to look for in a teacher
1:10:11 – Is the guru still needed?
1:13:05 – The Soul Friend
1:15:40 – The story of the Grandma and the Dog’s Tooth
1:19:54 – The teacher vs. the teachings
1:28:35 – Education changing the female experience in Buddhism