February 3, 2012

Here’s what elephant has to say about the web site accusing a prominent yoga teacher of various things.

The above Buddhist symbol, of a vajra, or “thunderbolt of discriminating awareness wisdom” has been featured instead of the below “Forgive” image because the vajra represents a few things more appropriate to this situation. First, the vajra is the coolest symbol ever: it represents the relaxed certainty that arises when we ground our body, speech and mind in the present moment. So let’s all take a step back from curiosity, and breathe, shall we?

The vajra represents two other things: an openness to wisdom and discussion (the gaps in the vajra let truth in) and at the same time a cutting of discursive harmful intent (the vajra itself).

We are all here for compassion and waking up, at the end of the day. That doesn’t mean we ought to suppress anything, or exploit it. Middle way, all the way.

~ Waylon, ed-in-chief.


Update: a timely comment/image via a senior teacher’s page. Updated note: I take this image to mean “take a step back, and remember the point of all this–practice.” But it could also be taken to mean “shut up.” Which is not what we’re about. An unwillingness to openly discuss such issues is a huge problem in the Buddhist world I grew up in, too. I’ll leave it up, but with this caveat: we are happy to discuss controversy, but only if 1) it’s sourced fact and 2) there’s a point to doing so. If we could have an intelligent, constructive discussion around the issues involved in this case, I would welcome that. That is what elephant journal is here for. ~ ed.

‎”Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~ Mark Twain

Here’s what elephant has to say about the yoga web site accusing a prominent teacher of various things.


We are not afraid of publishing anything. We often post controversial issues. That said, we do not publish slander or rumor. If facts come to light, or anyone directly involved including the accused wish to comment, we will share such. Until then, we will not fan the flames when lives are involved. ~ Waylon.

An anonymous career, reputation and family-ruining web site is not the way to deal with such painful community issues, whether true, or no, or halfway in between.

For those who don’t know what’s going on, an anonymous web site has gone up with various accusations about various people. I am ashamed to say the site has been passed along like wildfire. Elephant is here to talk about difficult questions and raise gossip into intelligent, thoughtful discourse. We talk about controversies and we love writing popular articles. But we are not here to hurt people. An anonymous web site is not the way to do this.

Here is my statement to the hundreds of elephant writers:

A really sad controversy has come up. We do not seek to profit off this controversy by publishing gossipy articles. Jenn Cusano has asked, and been given permission to write something simple and link to an article about it on another yoga web site. If anyone else wants to write something intelligent, thoughtful and ahimsa-ish, great. But no, no, no links to the web site in question.

Sorry to be vague, but I do not wish to fan the flames. Please relax your curiosity, and remember that people’s lives and reputations and families are involved. You can read Jenn’s article if you’re curious to know the basic situation, which is sad, whether it’s true or no, or halfway in between.



Here is my statement that I asked Jenn to include in response to her wondering if we should write about this.

“Having a serious discussion about healthy community can be hard, and important, and is a part of our mission. The anonymous site in question does not do so in the form of a dialogue, and we will not link to it. If you want more info about it, go to Yogadork.”

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