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Compassion and Spiritual Bypassing: Exploring how to Balance Empathy with Discernment

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March 20 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm EDT

Pre-register now for the member-only event…

LIVE March 20 @ 7 – 8:30 pm EDT. Convert your time here.

If you can’t attend this event live, all members will have access to the recording.

Compassion and Spiritual Bypassing: Exploring how to Balance Empathy with Discernment

Spiritual bypassing has been a much-discussed topic in the communities of yoga, wellness, and contemporary spirituality in the past several years. In the face of social and political turbulence, spiritual practitioners often struggle to stay grounded and acknowledge what is, rather than escaping into more rarefied realms of contemplation. The most insidious form of spiritual bypassing might be when our own practices of compassion seem to turn against us, and lead us to be overly permissive towards evil, and people who carry out evil acts. How can we remain compassionate, warm-hearted, and open individuals, without dissolving into someone who tolerates even that which ought not to be tolerated? In this With-In, EP Wisdom Editor Trish Tillman will hold space for participants to share their own experiences of meeting and wrestling with spiritual bypassing and she will examine the relationship between compassion and spiritual bypassing, and debates over spiritual bypassing as they’ve related to contemporary issues in the realms of spirituality.

OUTCOMES: Wisdom School Members who attend this With-In will:

  • Learn how misguided compassion could lead to spiritual bypassing.
  • Learn more sustainable ways of practicing compassion that also integrate healthy boundaries.
  • Compare the duality of justice and mercy as it appears in many spiritual traditions of the world.
  • Discuss and share their own diverse personal experiences of spiritual bypassing, and how it has cropped up in discussions on social issues and equity amongst spiritual people.

The With-In is a community conversation on a timely topic. Modern spiritual communities, in various ways, are attempting to integrate ancient teachings and traditions with the challenges and questions of modern life. This intersection provokes excitement and curiosity that can be deepened through a co-creative process of community discussion. Questions, confusions, and controversies can arise when one attempts to bridge the ancient and modern. This can be illuminating, but not always comfortable. The With-In provides the community members of Embodied Philosophy an opportunity to learn through the lived experience of others. It is a container through which you can creatively and compassionately sit with these experiences in discussion and community.

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Trish Tillman is a history professor and yoga teacher in the Washington, DC area. She holds a PhD in History from the Catholic University of America, and currently teaches at University of Maryland – Global Campus. She teaches yoga for, and helps to manage, District Flow Yoga in downtown DC near Capitol Hill. She is also the Wisdom Editor at Embodied Philosophy. Since completing her original yoga teacher training, Trish has been steadily involved in the study and practice of Bhakti yoga, via her teacher, Hari-kirtana das.

Trish Tillman