cautionary tale about blind faith, spiritual betrayal, and abuse of power

First Friday Dharma series discusses impermanence with Robert Schneider

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On Friday, Dec. 4, from 6 - 8 p.m., Robert Schneider will give a public talk entitled “Impermanence and the Enlightened Master” via Zoom. The program is part of the First Friday Dharma Talk Series hosted by The Dancing Elephant. It is open to the community by donation. Registration is required to receive Zoom link.

Why are so many revered spiritual teachers also such flawed human beings? What message does their unethical conduct contain? Join Robert Schneider for a frank conversation about the institution of the “enlightened” master, impermanence, and the Bodhisattva way of life. Schneider will discuss the Aghori sadhus of Northern India who believe that all opposites, such as right and wrong, are ultimately illusory. He will reference his semi-autobiographical novel, The Guru’s Touch, a cautionary tale about blind faith, spiritual betrayal, and abuse of power. This book is loosely based on Schneider’s experiences in the orbit of Swami Muktananda and his successors in the early 1980s. The talk will be followed by a guided meditation session and discussion.

Robert G. Schneider was born in Queens in 1964 and raised in Ithaca, New York. In the 1980s, he left college to follow the Indian guru Swami Muktananda, living and working in the guru’s Siddha Yoga ashrams in India and the U.S. for four years. While living abroad in Brussels, Belgium during the 1990s and 2000s, Schneider became a student and friend of the esteemed Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Lama Karta, who passed away in 2013.

Schneider now lives in Maine and is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at the University of Southern Maine. He has been a practicing Buddhist since 2000. 

The Dancing Elephant is a community center for yoga, meditation, and art located in downtown Rockland. All programs are donation-based and available for all levels.

For more information and to register, visit or contact Rachel at or 207-594-1694.

Event Date: 

Fri, 12/04/2020 - 6:00pm

Event Location: