I Do Not Suffer Gurus Lightly

gordon geckoYesterday I was helping my neighbor hang her Halloween lights. The old hook no longer worked so I was spotting her as she nailed in a new one. I looked down for just a second and the nail she was hammering away at ricocheted out from under the hammer and the blunt side hit my head. Had I still been looking up, my eye would have been hit. She got flustered and I was just shocked. There was no blood, but my head was smarting. We went inside to put ice on it and she profusely apologized. I told her not to worry it was an accident. A few minutes later, half joking she asked if I would sue her.

The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. Accidents happen and they are unpleasant. Money hungry is not an adjective for me. I live simply, but  I laughed and we watched the telly to take our minds off the scare. I was in awe that seconds earlier my green peeper could have been a goner. I vowed to light a Archangel Michael candle in thanks. After being dropped off, I promptly lit one and laid down. SO dramatic I thought as snuggled into my huge blue bed. Still, I was lucky. Still early I looked for ways to entertain myself. Meditation would require too much focus and I wasn’t in the mood to do my kirtan. So I answered emails and set up ghostwriting appointments.

In my inbox was a note from the man I saw on Saturday from MantraFest asking if I was interested in his programs. Sure I replied. I love finding out about new things. Sleep hit me hard and when I woke up at 4 I checked my email and the candle that I had left on. It was from the Mantra man saying he was giving a special for a mentoring program. It would be a steal at $3,000. I must be dreaming I thought turning over. No one would expect anyone to pay that.

As I pulled into work I checked my email again. It was there, the email with the unbelievable price tag. Who, claiming to be enlightened, would feel comfortable charging that much? God is free and more than that since I have done a bit of self-help ghostwriting, I know firsthand that those “helpers” are somewhat egomaniacs who hate challenges of any kind. Humans are human and they only claim to know better. This was disgusting.

I wrote him a terse email telling him the price was outrageous and ridiculous. In Buddhism, followers feed the monks as the walk the streets in the morning. I have done this before and they are grateful.  I buy the monk buckets in the Thailand equivalent of Walmart. You have to admire a country that sells pretty sweet gift baskets for their holy. Some have cellphones and tattoos, but they don’t wear Rolexs, just saffron robes. They have chosen a life of service.

Within a half hour he had written back saying I was misinformed and my anger was inappropriate. First of all, I was not angry. I had written I was disappointed in his price gouging. Second, I had called him out on his greed. Yes, you have to live, but you don’t need to live like a king when you are in a life of service. I guess he had a change of heart and sent me or “Barbara” as he mistakenly labeled me a long email thirty minutes later. Here’s the best part:

“Your disappointment is based on what I consider a misunderstanding. I good friend of mine tried to teach by donation only. She was an excellent teacher, but she died penniless after a heroic struggle with cancer and much unneeded suffering due to lack of support by her community. Do you want that for your teachers?
I invite you to look at this issue from a space of openness, then it may appear differently to you. I wish you well on your path.”
I would like to invite you to stick my foot up your ass, I wanted to write back. Bringing out the big guns: cancer and teachers. Please. As a teacher I am always amazed at the gifts my students give me. One brings me cupcakes once a week, another brings me miscellaneous items such as angry birds usbs and another anything with a pig on it. I treasure these gifts because they come from the heart. Any little note they write is put behind my desk. What they give me matters because they are expressing their thanks that I bust my bum to help them be good writers. I never expect it.
     If I charged them to do it, it would be a different story. I know how to write from experience and they are coming to me vulnerable and unsure. Yes, I receive a paycheck from the school, but the caring is free. They need my help and that is enough. What really bothered me the most was the fact that someone who was desperate would gladly pay the price seeking enlightenment. What if it didn’t help? It could cause a crisis of faith and turn the person against God. It has happened and then who would win? What would this man say? He could blame it on them or offer extended tutoring. Anything but give the money back I’m sure.
It is just wrong  to charge for meditation or someone seeking solace. If you feel you have this innate wisdom then share it, don’t hide behind cancer and teachers. Light a candle talk to whomever you feel is out there. The best part is that it is free.

About bluebeadpublications

I am a writer living in Miami who loves reading, writing, and editing. If you need a ghostwriter, I am your chick.

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