The wound is where the light enters- Trauma and Spirituality

Dawn Boiani
7 min readSep 6, 2020

Spiritual Bypassing, Using Religion to Build Up Ego

As westerners who chose to be involved with eastern religion, it’s safe to say, we were looking for something greater. Tibetan Buddhism took root in the United States during the 1960s where people were spiritual seekers and often involved in the psychedelic movement. A lot of us came from a great amount of curiosity, disappointment and loss. A large portion of us came from dysfunctional families, divorce or even outright abuse. We were told that if we were to take complete refuge in this religion that all of our cares would cease. We could follow a very tried and true graduated path that would bring meaning to our lives, quell our emotional, spiritual and psychological problems and result in us attaining enlightenment, if we devoted ourselves to it sufficiently.

The problem is, is that unless we come into the spiritual path with having a basis of feeling well, a basic sense of warmth, well-being, groundedness, and the harsh barbs of our trauma being resolved, there’s a tendency for ego to slip in and use even positive methods of liberation for it’s own constructs. If we use the dharma to feel superior, pretend that we are more spiritually evolved than others, hide, cower and escape from our vulnerability, our fears or are our deep karmic wounding, the dharma itself becomes a method to spiritually bypass and therefore itself, a worldly dharma. Spiritual bypassing is akin to hopping over our issues, our deep karmic blocks by denying, projecting them into others or ignoring, and then using one’s religion or spirituality as a faux front.

We will have devoted our lives to something wheres it’s impossible to make any progress because the fundamental obstacles have never been touched, opened and routed out. Chögyam Trungpa clearly explains this process in his book Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. It’s like my teacher would say-

“If we don’t practice properly and really use these methods to evolve, it’s like going to an island of diamonds and coming back empty-handed.” Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

84000 Methods Can Be Absconded By Ego

Dawn Boiani

Dawn founded Sakura Designs, in 2005 after studying Tibetan Meditation & Yoga, Eastern and Western Art, and Web Development.