By now, the news of scandal has become widespread on the internet. The Huffington Post has put in its two cents in the way that modern journalism does–highlight the bad, forecast turmoil, and invite continued readership. Put John Friend or Anusara scandal into your favorite search engine and you will get a couple of dozen blog entries about broken-hearted yoga teachers feeling they need to resign from the organization (though many say they will be teaching the method, just not articulating it as the brand, which confuses me somewhat).
Last week, I chose to post only a guest blog on the District Kula website (since that posting, District Kula is no longer affiliated with Anusara). Though I have much more information now than I did last week, I am still waiting to see. I will be gradually revealing more of my thoughts here as things develop now that I believe that those far beyond the immediate (though large) community of practitioners are discussing the allegations and potential repercussions with intelligence and kindness or gleeful malice or somewhere in between.
One thing I can say, is that I have always consistently separated the man from the message, and I continue to believe in the soundness of the Anusara principles. I also believe that the situation is emblematic of the uneasy, but inseparable relationship between spiritual practice and commercial enterprise in our current market-driven world. While it is unfortunate and sad that it is in my chosen community, I am no stranger to upheaval and controversy in either workplaces or communities and there may have been no better time to have this discussion both within the community and as a broader societal matter.