Understanding the psychology of spiritual groups requires understanding group psychology and the unique challenges of the spiritual path. In many ways our path to spiritual maturity follows the IDR cycle, as we learn to move from idealization of ourselves and our teachers to spiritual maturity.
Psychology of Spiritual Groups
Devotion is essential on the spiritual path, but we must also avoid cults and cultishness. Some points from Khandro Rinpoche are summarized here.
Avi Magidoff’s profound response to Elizabeth’s post on the Psychology of Spiritual Groups and the IDR Cycle, and Elizabeth’s comments on his response. Avi Magidoff is an internationally known teacher of spirituality, Buddhism and acupuncture. He emphasizes the role of compassion in the IDR cycle, and the role of the teacher in holding or alleviating the student’s suffering. Elizabeth’s comments relate his insights to mediation and the Theory of Holes, among other things.