It seemed like such a good idea – spending three years, three months and three days in a Buddhist retreat seven thousand feet up an Arizona mountain, living in rustic conditions and meditating silently, with a charismatic Princeton-educated monk for a “spiritual leader,” in order to “employ yoga and deep meditation to try to answer some of life’s most profound questions.”
How would yoga and deep meditation enable anyone to answer some of life’s most profound questions? Unless, I suppose, some of those questions have to do with how boring it would be to spend three years, three months and three days meditating silently, no matter how charismatic one’s Princeton-educated spiritual leader is.
Erik Brinkman, a Buddhist monk who remains one of Mr. Roach’s staunchest admirers, said, “If the definition of a cult is to follow our spiritual leader into the desert, then we are a cult.”
Yes, that’s one pretty good definition of a cult. Following spiritual leaders into the desert has “cult” written all over it. Pro tip: it’s because of the following, and the spiritual leader, and the desert.