This Kelly Morris Video is Easily One of the Worst (Things I Have Ever Sat Through)

Because this is long, I am putting it up on its own for you to watch. We are gonna talk about this tomorrow, but figured you’d might like the day to process it. I promise you, it’s a tough one….

Again, we will be covering this in depth tomorrow:

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36 comments

  1. amphibi1yogini

    There is no either/or in real life. You can’t live in New York City? Too masculine?

    The only middle ground: Get rich and own a beach house? Move to the country?

    I used to admire Dr. Oliver Sacks. He’d found sanctuary, nature, both a maritime and an aquatic lifestyle just living here in New York City–on City Island.

  2. Greenpoint

    well, made it to 1:02, “360 degrees different”, had to stop, take a break…think it will take a while for folks to get through this…

    • Exactly. A freakin’ 10th grade geometry student can tell you that it’s 180 degrees which means the total opposite. 360 degrees brings you back to the same place you started from. Duh.
      I’m going to try my best to watch the whole thing because tearing this apart is gonna be fun. (is there a transcript somewhere?)

      • I knew you’d get a kick out of this. We’ve started compiling a list of all the stuff we find awful and misinformed about this talk. Will have it up tomorrow.

        • the moment already came

          Great! Let me lend a hand. I only got through 20 minutes before I had to go walk around the block. I’ll be back.

          ~2min: Kelly reminds us that Feminine and Feminist, Masculine and Patriarchy are different! Yay!…. and then proceeds to forget and conflate those terms for the next fifty minutes straight. In my opinion, this is the curly hair by which all the shit coming out of her mouth dangles.

          ~5:45 “I’ll be using woman but I mean feminine…” No, you won’t and you don’t, Kelly. In the NEXT SENTENCE, you equate the presence of a male Dalai Lama with a masculine Buddhist tradition.

          ~7 “Do you mind if I sneak in (the mother, the daughter)…to your Episcopal prayers?” Sure, Kelly! Take someone else’s spiritual tradition and do whatever the fuck you like with it!

          ~8:55 “So I got up and I gave the prayer of…whatever…and I did it well. (People were crying).” I bet you did great! I can practically hear the devotion and respect in your voice.

          ~9:30 They name storms after women, how insulting! Actually, storms have been named for about 150 years. During that time, the convention of naming storms after women only existed from about 1953-1979. So 25 out of 150 years ain’t a great track record of raging misogyny.

          ~11 “What are the words the use to describe (storms and women): capricious, out-of-control, dangerous.”
          -a google search for “Capricious Woman”: 8,600 results. “Capricious Man” 66,200.
          -a google search for “Out of Control Woman”: 266,000 results. “Out of Control Man” 249,000.
          -a google search for “Dangerous Woman”: 594,000 results. “Dangerous Man” 2,380,000.
          Try again Kelly.

          ~12:15 “does a mother distinguish between her children? No…(fast forward 2 seconds) she treats each one differently…because each person is different.”
          Distinguish (v): to recognize or treat someone or something as different.

          ~14:30 “ALL (my emphasis) of the indigenous cultures have …sympathetic beliefs, consistent from tribe to tribe… (in which) the woman, the femine, is held in an esteemed position.” Baba, I’ma hand this one off to you…go for it.

          ~15:15 “I think Beyonce, she looks normal.” Beuler? Anyone?…Anyone?

          ~16 “Sarah Lawrence was feminist…but it wasn’t feminine.” (12:10: “Sarah Lawrence was configured around a feminine perspective”)

          ~17:15 “Does that [spiritual philosophy] not sound more fun than, ‘take a bite of that apple’?” Right, because the primary value of spiritual philosophy is fun. Hard and boring things are never of value.

          ~19:40 “I have all my little people in the front…” The masculine, patriarchal setup for this talk is really getting you off, isn’t it.

          Whew… I gotta wash my eyes off.

        • the moment already came

          …took a stiff drink and swallowed the last half hour:

          ~20min Magical plants making themselves tasty to heal sick deer.
          Bullshit pseudoscience. Here’s what the vast majority of plants spend most of their chemical lives doing, according to your very own beloved New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/science/22angi.html?_r=0
          (hint: your salad would kill you if you gave it a chance)

          ~22:30 Shamanism is 30,000 years old! The first shamans were probably pterodactyls!
          Or probably not:
          http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/docserver/09433058/v22n1_s4.pdf?expires=1361910994&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=5CEE8931FCDC05967A409D408512DE13

          ~24:10 “I’ve been studying for about six months.” Kelly, you still can’t get a certificate in VCR repair in six months. Simmer down and look a bit before you go touching. After all, you’ve got 30,000 years of wisdom to integrate, right?

          ~28:15 “You’d see what a raging bitch I was 12 months ago…”
          I believe we have footage of that:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QLLIJ3d47k
          Compare and contrast at your leisure.

          ~34:30 “Where do you think women get sixth sense? It’s the right brain…”
          Duh, any man with half a brain knows that!

          ~ 35 “It’s very hard to be connected to the feminine if you live in New York. I don’t live there.”
          Then how the fuck would you know?

          ~42:30 “The karmic result of looking out for others is everybody looks out for you.”
          (sigh)

          ~44 “As an adult, you really can’t be concerned what other people think of you.”
          This is actually a characteristic of sociopaths, not adults.

          ~46 to the end. Grand Finale! Kelly hits it out of the park with the deepest spiritual message of Wanderlust:

        • What I find interesting, the moment, is that the video you linked to of her from 2011 is so much more lucid and inspiring than what we have today. I still find her schtick to be way too much of a schtick, but there’s a sense of groundedness to what she says. Could it be that it’s because she was still a student of a Teacher? Personally, I have found that the most inspiring Teachers are the ones that still have Teachers. Once they shirk that, they go through this wayfaring period where everything they say sounds like a chorus of “Look at me. I’m cool too!”

          Obviously, this doesn’t go for everyone, and not everyone must “have a Teacher,” but perhaps it’s something to note?

        • the moment already came

          My thoughts exactly on that 2011 video. She didn’t appear as “a raging bitch” there at all–she seemed to me to be at the top of her game, and while it’s not the game for me, no doubt she’s playing it hardcore.

          But this… see, if she would’ve given a talk that basically said, “Hey, so I threw everything I had into this thing, and it kinda blew up. I’m feeling pretty much up a creek, and now here’s what I’m paddling with. Isn’t that wild?” I would’ve sat in the front row of that talk. I mean, the ashram in my tradition basically imploded, and the school that survived (and thrived) has been in and out of very charismatic and galvanizing leaders for nearly two decades since. So I’m totally game for the, “Where the fuck do I go from here?” talk–that’s a teaching I think she has some unique access to right now. And I wish she would teach it.

          But this just sounds like someone grasping desperately for anything to hold up and scream, “Hey, I’m still a teacher, see?!” Which is one of the things about yogalebrities that I actually haven’t seen on this site in this way: They can’t be unfinished, or in process. Or human. By virtue of the commercial path she’s chosen, she has to stay polished, with an appearance of completeness which now looks very hollow.

  3. Garuda

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>NEWS ALERT<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>GET IN LINE.
    This seems to be a absurd example of intermittent enforcement. Being born on third base can be poisonous to the mind.

  4. gross

    omg, my name is GROSS for a reason. Grossed OUT! her manner of speech is so flat and dis-passionate and just gross. i won’t be able to spend my time on this video. its baffling that anyone looks to her as a voice in anything that matters.

  5. Apparently she does not understand the idea of lineage or laying your life at the feet of a guru. You don’t just turn around and say, “Hahaha. Joking!” when it gets tough. Of course you have to choose the guru with utmost care because, as we have seen, the guru can turn out to have psychotic delusions of grandeur. But perhaps she was too busy with her other “lineages” to pay much attention to that.

    She has always struck me as a spiritual materialist. When I first read her bio (before Ian Thorson was found dead in a cave), she claimed to be a lineage holder in 3 different lineages. Most of us find it hard enough to walk one spiritual path with the greatest integrity we can muster. Somehow she was walking 3.

    On another note, is it just me or does it seem she has botoxed the hell out of her face? I had to just listen to parts of it because it was disturbing to me how little her face moved. And the part that does move seems to look like a trout (collagen injections anyone?). Feminist (or feminine?) uncanny valley?

  6. Garuda

    Oh for the love of Pete. Now shes blaming men because J-Lo has back?…OK so she has a nice ass. That doesn’t mean that every woman must, nor has anyone said that. Women are every bit as competitive as men when it comes to image and vanity. Her logic is like a snake eating it’s own tail.

  7. Sorry for another rant. This video highlights all that is wrong with modern, new age spiritual movements. People who are too young or too immature with too little information are putting themselves out there as teachers and authorities. As a consequence, people are being lead to problematic “gurus” like “Geshe” Michael Roach and “Lama” Christie McNally. How many of KM’s students have gotten entangled with Diamond Mountain because of her? How many dismissed the Dalai Lama’s denouncements of MR because of KM and her “authority”? Perhaps DM and MR and CM are not as bad and dangerous as I think it are, but from what I have read of it, and the teachings that I have heard and read from MR and CM seem far from spiritual teachings.

    Now, she has decided that being aligned with them is not beneficial to her. Who knows why? She claims it is because of ideas of feminism (as if the male dominance of Buddhism is a new thing), but it also seems to conveniently coincide with the scandal at DM. Up to a few months ago she was still claiming to be part of Gelug lineage and CM was pictured on the main page of her website. Now that has all been washed away.

    I may be unfair. I have never met her and I certainly have no idea what she is thinking, but this makes me very uneasy. I do know some followers of MR and CM who have stuck with them after the scandal. I don’t know if this is better or worse, but it at least seems at little more genuine.

  8. Itstrue

    I really appreciate the comments from this moment already came. You speak to how I felt and thought when watching this severely immature and underdeveloped understanding of the feminine!!!

  9. I’m only half-way through this but you know… although her way of presenting these concepts of the feminine and nature are uhm, convoluted, the essence of what she’s trying to communicate is interesting, valuable and there’s a definite need to address it.
    I think by constantly referring to feminism and the subjugation of women we’re only reinforcing those ideas.
    It’s really easy to sit in the comfort of our free world in Amerika while women are being raped and beaten and burned and stoned in far corners of the globe.
    How to deal with limits on women? *Behave* in ways that negate those perceptions.
    That is, embody the feminine without shouting it from the rooftops.
    Subvert the masculine imbalance by awakening it within yourself (ladies) and empowering it within men (thereby fulfilling a need which has been exercised externally upon nature/business etc); this is a more subtle psychological task.
    This is a heavy topic and there’s no sweeping generalization that can be made with any sort of accuracy or finality (I think we’ve seen some fumbling with that already) but I do think a good place to start is not to dismiss the importance of the topic but to ponder and come to understand the basic relationship to the masculine and feminine we each carry and if that private relationship is at all actually satisfactory or sustainable as it manifests in our interactions and relationships with others.

  10. voxygen

    her contempt for women is as astounding as her obliviousness to it – looking forward to your interrogation, Baba.

  11. i made it through 40 minutes; i am really proud of my endurance. the gender stereotypes she is spouting are so ridiculous, i had to stop. and the picture slideshow in the background struck me as exploitative. i don’t know enough about buddhism nor indigenous culture and shamanism to posit just how wrong she is about all of that, but her teaching has the feel of a cosmo quiz, or a comic strip horoscope: women are like this, men are like that, you act like this is you’re a man, you act like this if you’re a woman.

    and can we talk about how “living in nature,” aka living outside of a city can be just as abusive to the earth as an urban existence? shit, my sister lives in the suburbs, and has deer tramping through her backyard all the time – and she has to drive her car everywhere, has a ridiculously outsized house filled with crap she doesn’t need, but i suppose she’s “closer to nature” than i am, technically. i gleefully await tomorrow’s blog post!

  12. Garuda

    The essence of what she is saying is that ‘Masculinity’ is bad unless she gets to define what masculinity is. Claiming the Earth as Feminine to feel superior is just as insane as claiming that a hurricane’s name choice is an insult to Women everywhere. The Maundering of circular logic at play.
    Nature has a way of finding balance. It always has and it always will.
    To be honest, I have been in three hurricanes in my time. Erin (95) Opal (95) and Danny (96).
    All three were awesome spectacles , and the most humbled I have ever felt. To have one named after me would be an honor, not an insult. But that kind of perspective does not fit this psycho’s predetermined narrative. Does it?

  13. gross

    what is up w/ her sexy granny pjs?

  14. gross

    what has happened to her lips? did she get a feminine injection? to fight the power of men? gross!

  15. It is best to turn off the sound and just watch her face. Does helium ballon botox injections speak to soul issues?

  16. Nick

    Good to see you writing again babs … But I won’t be watching this video. I have better things to do.

    I don’t personally know her at all, and I’m only vaguely familiar with her marketing. Seems pretty bad. I remember that nonsense she wrote after the yoga community crucified John friend – the piece in which she pretty much describes conducting an unliscensed group therapy session in her yoga class.

    Come to think of it,I’d love to see an informed discussion of what the scope of a yoga teacher’s practice is.

    All the best.
    -Nick

  17. Linda-Sama

    who’s Kelly Morris?

  18. (sigh)

    I can’t do it. I really tried. I really, really tried.

  19. Dolphin Bunnywolf

    The way she picked at her feet was really distracting. I was half expecting to see a pool of blood by the time she got done talkin’. Either way, I wouldn’t exactly want to shake hands with her after seeing this, god knows where it’s been.

  20. I watched the first 20 min of this, then I quit. This whole conflation of some sort of mythical/spiritual feminine with earth and womanhood and the juxtaposition of feminism to this feminine, just wow, is really hard to stomach. Then the misunderstandings about what patriarchy and matriarchy actually mean and what their relationship to gender(enforcement) is. And the ugly pseudoscience. And the icky noble savage thing re shamanism. And then the way she shuts people up from the stage and how she seems to be holding court. But really what gets me is the conflation of women/earth/feminine, it makes me want to puke my lady parts out.

    Also whatever happened to Shiva and Shakti? I thought these feminine/masculine-blah types where all over that? And there she goes around saying that the masculine (Shiva) is the disruptive energy.

    That her face is eminently creepy, because of it’s expressionlessness is also true.

  21. jc

    Ah, the diversions that attract us! Baba, I quite enjoy reading your stuff, and I do hope your tendency to micro-analyse slime isn’t taking time away from your practice!

  22. giggity

    There’s just too much to say…BUT…
    First, it’s “woman and earth are synonymous”
    Later, it’s “have you noticed that hurricanes (a function of THE EARTH) are named after women?!” (gasp!)

    Can’t have it both ways, now can you…

  23. melissa

    sadly, Geshe Michael Roach was an early yogalebrity. He had the knowledge and actual lineage until he went off the path and created an ego cult that went against almost every Buddhist concept. That KM was so enamored with it, and stuck around as long as she did is pretty telling.
    The self-proclaimed shaman stuff is just pathetic, the botox extreme. Hopefully most people see right through it and no one else gets hurt.

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