I submitted this over 12 hours ago and it did not post. Retry.
 A core ethical issue for the non-dual community is whether teachers are 
offering something of value, if they are delivering what they promise, and if 
they can speak with high veracity and confidence supporting these claims.  
 That is, 
 a) have they achieved the states and live the attributes that they claim to be 
able to teach others, 
 b) are they able to effectively teach others to attain them, 
 c) if so, what time frames are required, how much commitment is necessary 
(time and money), and 
 d) are all, or only a subset of students, able to attain these states.   

 It seems reasonable that there may be a correlation between teachers and 
organizations pursuing unethical actions and the degree to which they are more 
bluster than bliss, more talk than performance.  Addressing performance could 
in turn address unethical actors in the community. 

 A strong objective framework for evaluating a teacher’s attainments and their 
method’s effectiveness is testing and measurement by the tools of cognitive 
science. For example, a lot could be gained if the teacher, along with their 
top 10 or 25 students offered to undergo a standardized set of evaluation 
measures (fMRI, advanced EEG, blood work, comprehensive sophisticated batteries 
of cognitive tests, etc.)  While the results of these tests do not, at least 
per current models of consciousness, provide definitive proof of any 
Enlightened state, they can provide insight into whether the practitioners have 
achieved various markers of achieved by other advanced practitioners. And 
possibly exceeding thresholds or prior studies, and or novel brain activity or 
cognitive responses. 

 If on the other hand, the results of the test showed nothing special or unique 
of the normal non-practicing populace, one would question what the practice is 
achieving. If no change in brain, cognitive, neurotransmitter or other activity 
is observed, then claims of refined mental, cognitive or emotional capabilities 
would be in doubt.    

 I would think that a group called Science and Non-Duality would be 
aggressively seeking to validate non-duality states with state-of-the-art 
research (and help identify / weed out, non-performing teachers and 
organizations.) Yet I don’t see any research agenda on the SAND website. SAND 
or other non-dual groups could become a powerful conduit of advanced 
practitioners to the many university and research centers doing research on 
meditative methods.  How to facilitate and fund such research is a larger topic 
which I may try to address in a separate post. 

 At a minimum, core ethical values and codes of conduct revolving around full 
disclosure and a culture of transparency would be of value. Some useful areas 
of for consideration:  

 1) Encourage all non-dual teachers and organizations to provide evidence of 
the teachers’ attainments and the effectiveness of their teaching methods. 

 2) Guidelines as to what to do when witnessing or experiencing ethical 
breaches by spiritual teachers and/or organizations. Possibly implementation of 
hotlines or database of unethical reports.

 3) Full disclosure of possible adverse effects of the practices.

 4) Financial transparency. Ability to audit the financials.

 5) Ethical considerations of requesting or promoting “Surrendering to the 

 6) Disclosure (or some indication of) what’s in the back rooms
  (the esoteric teaching, the weird and wild stuff that may not become evident 
for several years after the student has made substantial time, effort, identity 
and financial investments in the teachings, practices, etc.)

 7) Seva -- work/study/service practices. 
 A time-honored and useful tradition in many circumstances and implementations 
where students work at ashrams, retreat centers, teaching centers, etc. for 
room and board and often reduction of tuition and fees for courses and 
instruction. However, over time, in some situations, this may evolve into a 
type of indentured servitude or guilt-driven labor bondage. Some ethical 
guidelines would be useful in this arena.         



Reply via email to