In this edition of the Deconstructing Yourself Podcast, Michael Taft interviews Buddhist teacher Chandra Easton. Chandra was teaching out of the Against the Stream center in San Francisco until it was shut down due to sexual misconduct by the founder, Noah Levine. Chandra discusses sexual misconduct by Buddhist teachers and the guru issue.
Students of the former ATS-SF center took over the space and formed the San Francisco Dharma Collective—a teacher-less, self-organizing sangha. Chandra feels that this is the direction many sanghas in the West could go.
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.