Saturday, December 17, 2016


As the title of this fawning documentary suggests, Tony Robbins is not your guru. Mine either, and all I can say is "good thing." After watching (almost all of) I Am Not Your Guru, a two-hour glorified infomercial filmed at Robbins' 2012 "Date With Destiny" in Boca Raton, I'm pretty sure I don't want a guru, not even if it were Gandhi himself.

Don't blame me, he's not my guru.

The film covers the annual 6-day love-fest and supposedly life-altering event hosted by the self-help giant for 2,500 attendees at $5,000 a head, just one of the ongoing, worldwide mega-events that have made Robbins incredibly rich. (Think preacher Joel Osteen but without God.) I found it on Netflix after a friend, just back from this year's event at the very same venue, told me about it. He had only good things to say about his experience last week in Florida, but I have only bad things to say about mine last night in my living room in Maine. I guess, as the saying goes, you had to be there.

Besides a string of touchy-feely moments between Robbins and several attractive women he chooses from the audience, there are lots of close-ups of his teeth and I'm pretty sure he has a few extra. I Am Not Your Guru also offers an intimate look at the inner workings of a successful huckster and what makes him tick. Apparently submerging yourself in ice water and jumping up and down on a tiny trampoline are great ways to jump-start your mojo. (Note to self: Buy mini-trampoline.) We also see the inside of the Robbins Palm Beach home, one of those ultra-swanky temples of wealth nestled alongside the Atlantic that are hidden from view by creative landscaping. It's even more luxurious than imagined, with an infinity pool and a home gym to die for. And to think: Robbins makes all his money from telling the lonely and dejected masses things like "Buck up, motherfucker" and "You can change your life in an instant."

Two-thirds of the way through I decided to take his advice and change my life in an instant. I turned off the TV and guess what, Robbins was right! I felt better immediately.

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