Sunday, January 31, 2010


From Swami Sivananda's daily readings, for Sunday 1/31/10:


Be simple, be humble, be gentle. Be straightforward, be honest, be sincere. Be truthful, be bold, be cheerful. Be tolerant, be generous, be virtuous. Be serene, be self-controlled, be self-delighted. Love all, embrace all, be kind to all. Discriminate and be dispassionate. Reflect and meditate. Know Thy Self and be free. This is Vedanta in daily life.


Again with the kindness. It's a theme. It's a constant struggle. It's yoga in action:

“Reduce your wants and lead a happy and contented life. Never hurt the feelings of others and be kind to all. Think of God as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.”

-Sri Dharma Mittra

Bhagavan Das had us chanting til 'round Midnight, on full moon.



And when I got home there was:
-a parking space
-heat in the apartment
-noise that awakened me at 2:45am

Two outta three ain't bad.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Conan's Final Thoughts - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

I know it's a week after the fact, but Conan O'Brien's farewell speech about not being cynical has special resonance today - the day I'm giving a workshop on regulating your mood with yoga.

(For anyone who cares, I have used yoga practices, diet and Bollywood fillums to successfully taper off antidepressants).

Also, Rosie O'Donnell spoke about Conan's speech earlier this week on her Sirius radio show (where Howard Stern made a surprise appearance on Tuesday. Talk about awesome radio! They both speak such truth (Satya)....Howard has practiced Transcendental Meditation for years (Dhyana). And goes to therapy (Svadhyaya). And is kind to his staff (Ahimsa). Rosie does the same, plus she has a great attitude. After listening to her show for three months, I am convinced that she is a yogini. (NOTE: A person who does asana is not necessarily a yogi).

Anyway. Cynicism is defined as:

"a skeptical, scornful or pessimistic attitude; an emotion of jaded negativity, or a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of other people."

Here's what Conan said about cynicism:

"It's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere," he said. "Nobody in life gets exactly what they want. But if you work hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."


I find it interesting that Conan has some idea of ahimsa - non-harming. Indeed, Dharma is always saying to be kind to others - which is one of the hardest things to do in yoga. Although, from a yoga point of view, amazing things may or may not happen, according to your deeds from the past. But cleaning up your act in this lifetime - and visualizing positive things and practicing ahimsa, rather than dwelling on the past hurts and negative outcomes and acting like a victim - can indeed have a positive effect. The trick is to actually do it. Kudos to Conan for going beyond the obvious hurt and using the final minutes of his platform to do good. That's what a yogi would do.

Friday, January 29, 2010


For some reason I woke up missing my records today. I gave away my vinyl record collection and half of my compact discs before moving exactly one year ago.* Instead of mantras, Flipper's "Ha Ha Ha" has been going through my head (The song begins, "Isn't life a blast? It's like living in the past...."). But there's no reason to despair - pulling up a video on YouTube is even easier than firing up a turntable and wiping down the vinyl (and, and 5am, waking the neighbors).

Interestingly, I've not been missing all the books I've given away since 2007. That's when Chandra Om explained to our teacher training group that Dharma once told her she needed only two books - The Bhagavad-Gita and the Yoga Sutras. Since then, I've given away over three-quarters of my book collection. But there are still far too many remaining. (I received a note from a fellow Sadhaka today mentioning that Dharma recently spoke about how one should, upon reading a book, give it to someone else as opposed to keeping books and letting them pile-up since "book learning" can only take one only so far; a variation, I think, on Pattabhi Jois's assertion that yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory).

It's a process, I suppose....

What is poison in the beginning is nectar in the end.


*I did not digitize a single record before giving them away - that would have been cheating - and so far the only 33s I've replaced are The Roches' first album and Brian Eno's Music for Airports. For the record (ha), I was a college radio and punk rock club DJ for over 15 years, so it was a rather bittersweet letting go of the past. Ha ha ha indeed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yet so *so* funny

I almost ruptured something while watching this episode of Dexter the other night.*

In fact, the loud guffaw that escaped probably scared the hell out of the new neighbors.....


*I've been mildly addicted to Dexter since Mr. and Mrs. Dreyfus made me watch four back-to-back episodes on Boxing Day. The premise feels frightingly familiar; due to his obsessive, time-consuming compulsion, Dexter Morgan has no friends, no social life, no hobbies, and no idea how to connect emotionally with other people.... Only he's a serial killer, not an ashtangi.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


How can I nicely ask the upstairs neighbors to walk a little more lightly? One of the new neighbors has an incredibly heavy step that makes the whole house shake (and makes the cat and I stare up at the ceiling in fear, and awakens us in the middle of the night). We're not all that fond of the new stereo, either.

I tried asking the landlord for their phone number; that didn't go over so well.

Bo suggested going up and introducing myself and gently weaving it into the conversation. So last week I went up with a plateful of warm cookies when the louder neighbor got home, in order to open the door to conversation. I knocked twice. Hard. But she never came to the door. (NOTE: In her place, I probably would have done the same).

I don't want to resort to banging on the ceiling. That didn't work very well the last time around.

Any advice (humorous or reality-based) would be greatly appreciated.

I don't want to have to move again.

Not for awhile anyway.

Monday, January 25, 2010


....are upon us.

There are two ways to liven things up this weekend:

Beat the Winter Blues with CK: Yoga for Anxiety, Depression and Stress

Saturday, 2:30-5:30 at Yoga Trek in Oak Park.
Learn timeless poses, breathing practices and other simple techniques to improve your mood.
Details here

Kirtan with Bhagavan Das

Saturday, 8-10pm at YogaNow Gold Coast.
Singing to God elevates the mood - and makes one feel connected - like nothing else.
Details here.
(Baba will also be leading a Nada [Sound] yoga workshop Sunday from 2:30-5:30).

See you Saturday!!


Photo shows a downtown Chicago alley and was snapped earlier this month. Is there any city that's grayer in the winter?

Saturday, January 23, 2010


That is what investigative journalist Greg Palast is calling the US government's response to the earthquakes in Haiti.

He says the US put security before helping people; that we had soldiers at the airport standing between starving, thirsty people and food and water. They were pointing their guns at these "threatening" people, guarding the supplies that could save their lives. He says U.S. troops also turned away rescue teams from Venezuela and from Doctors without Borders.

Palast says that the US could have been the first there with aid, due to the proximity of Guantanamo and Puerto Rico and Miami. Instead, we dragged our feet while the first help came from far-away Iceland and China.

He says the US has no emergency rescue team or plan, and that the same thing would happen if an earthquake hit Los Angeles.

Read his article, with historical context, here.

Hear the "This is Hell" interview with Palast here. It should be posted later today.

Click here to donate to FINCA - the only major microfinance organization still providing much-needed small loans to desperate Haitian women trying to rebuild their lives. Click here to make a donation to Doctors without Borders. Both organizations are squeaky-clean, according to this website (always check out the organization before making a donation!).


*I suspected that hackles would be raised by the old title, so I took it down. But Palast's research unveils a systemic problem that persists in spite of the recent regime change.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Only in America - the land of bulimia, food fights and cutting.....

Apparently there are Americans in cold climes who willingly live without heat.

(These are not poor, uneducated people, mind you. They know better than to live without heat).

They are hipsters, artists, off-the-gridders, iconoclasts and - of course - New Yorkers.

“The best thing about living in a non-isothermal house” — isothermal means “constant in temperature” — “is that you’re able to walk from indoors to out of doors all the time,” said one of the people quoted in yesterday's New York Times article. “What limits us is only our fear of the cold.”

I got cold just reading about it.

See for yourself here.

And note that not a single one lives in the Midwest.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


is CHIRP - the Chicago Independent Radio Project:

2.5 years in the making,

an all-volunteer staff,

great music,

great graphic,

and an even greater mission: to bring independent, community-based low-power FM radio to Chicago.

Hear it here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Yesterday there was very little heat in the new apartment. In fact it was off all day.

And all day long the neighbors clomped around and played the stereo.

Annamaya Kosha (the physical body) was cold.

Pranamaya Kosha (The energy body) was tired.

Manamaya Kosha (the lower mind) thought, "Why did I bother moving?"

Vijnanamaya Kosha (the higher mind) said, "Because it had to be done."

Anandamaya Kosha (the bliss body) made a brief appearance during practice and then disappeared.

And the Atman stood by as usual, watching.


Click here to learn more about the Koshas.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

(He Who Wins is the Conquerer)

I just watched this 1992 Bollywood fillum, which features a young Aamir Khan in a early leading role.

He plays Sanjay Lal, the ne'er-do-well younger brother of favorite son Ratan. They and their father run a popular cafe in the hill station of Dehradun, which is dominated by several major universities. The locals or "townies" attend lowly Model College, where Ratan is a top athlete and Khan is always causing trouble. They are in constant rivalry with Rajput College for girls from Queens College and for the inter-college Sports Cup; the rich kids always win.

There are a few plot points are borrowed from the 1979 American blockbuster Breaking Away - such as the big bicycle race at the end that pits the townie against the pampered rich university jock (and his dirty tricks), and Sanjay pretending to be a rich kid to woo the out-of-reach university girl. There's also an awesome dance competition. The fashion, music, etc. is very 80s.

Interestingly, one of the songs contains several bars from The Who's "Pinball Wizard." Plus there's a scene in the video above lifted from “The Seven Year Itch.” (Apparently the song, "Pehla Nasha," was the first filmi song to be shot entirely in slow motion).

Another side note: Aamir Khan plays a college kid in the latest Bollywood blockbuster, Three Idiots - which is currently playing at Piper's Alley in Chicago.

Not bad for a 44-year-old.

You can watch the entire fillum here:


This oldie-but-goodie was never published due to copyright issues, and explains the three doshas or body types in a way that (almost) anyone can understand. It's still one of my all-time favorites....

Which character are you?



Friday, January 15, 2010


No post yesterday due to a long, long day....

Some high(and low)lights:

-It was over 40 degrees in Chicago! Positively balmy. There were people wearing shorts. Shorts!

-Someone walked out of the new DM class (and it wasn't at a health club).

-While on the phone with Dreyfus I got on the wrong "L" train - only in such a segregated city would a such a mistake be so obvious - and had to take the Pink Line back to the Loop. The Pink Line!

-Kirby ate a ton of broccoli (his favorite). Today it is brown pudding. "What is nectar in the beginning becomes poison in the end"

-I came across this quote, from George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans):

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yesterday I did Dharma's master sequence, which includes a lot of forearm balances.

I haven't fallen over the pose in eons, so I practiced near the front of the mat.

Suddenly, I slammed legs-first into the bookcase and harmonium. Candle wax flew everywhere.

Both shins were a bloody, stinging mess.

The harmonium looks kind of broken.

And the ego was crushed.

* * *


I used the bathroom just before the 11am led primary class. As I was washing my hands, my bangs, which are overdue for a trim (once I find a new hairdresser who listens to me and doesn't leave me sitting there for 20 minutes after our appointment start-time while he goes to the bank), stuck in my right eye. I brushed them away... and suddenly my contact lens was folded in two and stuck in some far-away crevice of the eyeball. I could not get it out. And class was about to start.

So I did what any trouper would do and taught the class, after telling them briefly what had happened. I only forgot one pose - Navasana. (Funny, no one reminded me or complained. Perhaps that's why it won "least favorite pose" at YogaNow's Christmas party).

Afterwords I went into the club's best-lit, least-used bathroom and dug and dug. But still I could not get out the contact. The eye was a sore red mess, which put me into quite a sad state. I gave up, and decided not to run the day's many errands. Instead, I drove straight home - where I still couldn't get it out, even after reading and trying many helpful online tips.

I started calling around to eye doctors. The one nearest my house wanted $70 to come in, and said it would probably cost more "depending on the problem." I said I didn't have that kind of money.

Then I called Pearle Vision.

They said the most it would cost would be $20.

I went in.

The nice lady doctor did a search.

She was quite thorough.

She found nothing.

She charged nothing.

And the ego was crushed again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In NYC it was quite cold. Even the people with hairstyles were wearing the faux fur hats with the earflaps.

(Of course it wasn't nearly as cold as Chicago, where the stuff in the nostrils freezes when you inhale. I did the test; I know).

But at least they had the sun.

Each and every day it was there, beaming at us as we walked everywhere we had to go.

Here, 'most every day, it's been gray gray gray.


And it's only January.


Photo was snapped on a rare sunny morning on Lake Shore Drive.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Actually, I returned on Thursday evening (Southwest + Midway x massive snowfall + short runway = no problem).

I'll be sharing what I learned at these Dharma Mittra classes - two of which are brand new:

Thursdays 7:30-9am Lincoln Park Athletic Club. Level I/II

Thursdays 10-11:30am YogaNow (Gold Coast). Level II/III

Fridays 10-11am DePaul University's Ray Meier Center. Level I/II

Sundays 10-11:30am Chicago Yoga Center. Level II/III+

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Stuyvesant Square Park, where Little E and I hang out in the warmer months.

Peter/Pieter/Petrus Stuyvesant (1612 – 1672) was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland (New York) from 1647 until it was ceded to the English in 1664. Among his first proclamations were orders to enforce the rigid observance of Sunday, prohibit the sale of liquor and fire-arms to the Indians, and protect the revenue and increase the treasury by heavier taxation on imports. He also endeavored to erect a better class of houses and taverns, established a market and an annual cattle-fair, and was also interested in founding a public school. His accomplishments also included the great expansion of New Amsterdam beyond the southern tip of Manhattan; his administration built the protective wall on Wall Street, the canal that became Broad Street, and Broadway. He was a bit of dandy, from what I understand, and had a wooden leg. More on him here.

Xmas Jockeys

Each of these man-size cannisters of liquid nitrogen contained a hose leading to the sewer under Third Avenue, and gave me pause every time I passed. One of them was covered with band stickers, the other with snow.

Friday, January 08, 2010


I forgot to mention two more things Dharma said this week:

-The mind becomes depressed when we neglect our spiritual practice.

-Relaxation is the best antidote to impurities. (He says this one all the time).

I managed to make it into one more noon Master Class, despite being knackered from taking six classes in three days. This time, I received some incredible adjustments from senior disciple Andrei Ram. I also felt his unseen hands helping my tired carcass get into pinca mayurasana - even though he was on the other side of the room.

At the end of class Dharma spoke of watching the mind, body and senses, and to keep going back and back to examine who is doing the watching and finally come to the Source. (This is not unlike Ramana Maharshi's "Who Am I?" inquiry).


I've been listening to this Lakshmi mantra since I got home (and realized how much I spent - and how much income was lost - going to NYC. But it had to be done). The mantra is incredibly soothing, and goes forever.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


The body of the 30-year-old returned for today's noon master class - although there were times when I felt like I did back when I trained for triathlons (ie; nearly hitting the wall). The heart beat fast and there were gallons of sweat; the long holds are torture for ashtangis (as is doing poses you're not used to). As with the previous two noon practices, I felt like I was falling ill part in the middle of class, and a massive headache cropped up and then disappeared. Detoxing, I suppose.

Dharma reminded us in class that the mind plays tricks - like telling us it doesn't want to do this or that pose.

With his help I was able to Vastisthasana (the pose above)-to-backbend on the difficult/weak side, and for the first time I was able to go from BB back into Vasti. Plus he had me touching the toes in Kapotasana - for the first time in years. So much for the mind.

And the Savasana was out of this world.

Dharma spoke a lot at the end of class about meditation, ahimsa or non-harming (not eating animals, and how the compassion must extend beyond the loved ones and pets), what is temporary and what is real, and the nature of Brahman. It was magical.

Then it was time for a raw vegan lunch with L. at Caravan of Dreams.

And then two more classes with Dharma.

He took mercy on us in the 6pm class, which was a bit easier than the Monday evening one.

And Psychic Development was wonderful. At the end he spoke about forgiveness, among other things, and the need to be physically/financially comfortable when you are on this path. He also defined concentration, meditation and samadhi.

Plus Boodiba was there!

(Apparently she was thinking about forgiveness on the way to Psychic Development.

Dharma has a way of picking up on such things....)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Yesterday the body felt like it was someone else's, twisting itself into new (to me) poses, going from Vasisthasana into backbend, and dropping back and standing up like it was no big deal - for the first time in over a year.

Today, the body was stiff and tired.

But the mind was calm and less distracted (and that's what really matters anyway).

The noon Master class was again wonderful. Today Dharma had us put our mats in a grid pattern, and there were more new people / fewer old-timers. Again there was a focus on leg-behind-head poses; Dharma gave a lot of information on what to do if you're not there yet (which I can't wait to share). We also got to try Mayurasana and Chakrasana (the head-to-feet backbend, not the somersault). The former was fun; the latter less so. Suffice to say it is unlikely this body will do the pose in this lifetime. But somehow progress was made in my sad little attempts to walk the feet in and get the head off the floor - primarily because Dharma was a few feet away, watching, and told me to lift the pelvis; voila, the head got off the floor! (while the shoulders screamed in protest). He also busted me on my headstand, for which I was grateful.


Top photo shows discarded Christmas trees in Grammercy. There are no alleys here, so refuse ends up in the street. Bottom photo is my wonderfully quiet little cell-like hotel room. The bathroom's down the hall.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Two classes with Dharma and all is well again.

Actually it took about two seconds, and the tears started.

Not long after, I was in poses I'd never tried before -

despite the Xmas excess and just stepping off the plane.

The magic is still here, maybe moreso.

A highlight, from the end of the evening class:

"You have an obligation to find out who you really are."

Not an option, but an obligation.

And something to focus on in the new year.

Photo snapped this afternoon on Bleecker near Lafayette (and not far from the Puck Building, Eddie Stern's, and the great curry-and-chai stall, Lahore.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


I spent much of New Year's Eve eve driving back-and-forth between the vet in the sticks and yoga classes the city. On Tuesday the cat woke up with a tooth sticking out of his mouth (the lower canine). It was quite loose and the gum around it was red... but it wasn't loose enough for me to use my new Christmas vise-grips and pull it out. So I called Bo-the-cat-whisperer, who told me about a vet in the sticks who does extractions for far less than the usual exorbitant fee. Hence the day in the car. It took coffee to get through all the driving, and when I finally got the cat home that night, he acted drunk and his hind legs wouldn't work. He kept falling over. I thought I'd left him in the carrier too long and his legs hadn't gotten enough blood. I thought I'd broken him. But Bo and the vet told me it was just the drugs.

That night, the heel-striker couple upstairs moved out. Late into the night.

The next day, New Year's Eve, Kirby was still woozy and I had to teach a couple of classes - including a final one at the suburban studio, which was sad. Then I headed to the city to give blood. The last time I gave blood was, like, 2006. The trips to India render you ineligible for a year. So did December's trip to see Dharma in the Mexican jungle. December 31 was the first day I was eligible. I thought it would be a positive way to end a difficult year.

As usual, I was concerned that I'd fail the hemoglobin test for iron. But after a second try I finally passed. More sobering was when they asked me if I'd been out of the country in the past year, and I had to answer "No."

I felt fine after giving blood.... until I went to Best Buy and tried to exchange a Sirius satellite card for an XM card. (I learned after a long, long time on hold with the two companies on Monday that even though Sirius and XM merged in July of 2008, their billing cycles are still separate. And because the car has an XM tuner, I cannot use the Sirius gift card that Dreyfus gave me for Christmas. Neither company would budge, telling me to exchange it at the retailer.... even though I kept arguing that they were the same company and there shouldn't be a problem, and that this was a surefire way to lose customers to the internet [which will kill them off in a few years anyway, once it's installed in cars]).

Not only was Best Buy out of XM cards, but they wouldn't take back the Sirius card. I learned this as I started to become lightheaded and irritable. "It says on the back of the receipt that we don't accept return on prepaid cards," the supervisor told me, as I became faint and dizzy from losing that pint of blood. I held onto the counter and swayed and sweated and fought not to faint as I tried to make my case: "But both Sirius and XM told me to exchange it here," and "No one even gets the receipt until after they pay for the thing! The customer can't be liable for information they don't have!" And "No one warned us ahead of time that it couldn't be returned." At some point it seemed better to leave than to faint and be forced to pay for an ambulance, emergency room, etc. So I left.

But I did think a bit about satellite radio and how much I love listening to Rosie O'Donnell - she has finally found her perfect venue, not to mention her ideal listener - and to the Bollywood station, which also plays ghazals, bhajans and Qawwali . And I thought about how upset I got that the card wouldn't work, and how attachment can creep up on us when we least expect it (like in the Cancun airport last year, when they made me throw out my cute shampoo bottles). Everything is a lesson, it seems. The same lessons, over and over.

At that point I knew I could no longer deal with people. So I went home and closed the shades and drew a bath and ate some of Mrs. Dreyfus's home-made bean soup and had a nap and woke up and ate again and watched a few episodes of Dexter. By then, Kirby was starting to act normal and I was starting to feel human again.

That night I had my first good night's sleep in eons, without the usual stomping, scraping and dropping of heavy objects at 11pm, 1:45am and 4am. I did wake up at 12:18 to the sound of fireworks, but went right back to sleep.

On New Year's morning, Kirby was back to normal, chasing and biting me. And I was refreshed and ready to teach three-in-a-row.

And I thought, "My blood has replenished itself."

I could almost feel the fresh stuff coursing through me, and felt healed.

"New year, new blood."


Photo snapped today, when the sun made another rare appearance (on a -5 degree day of course). It came out during a rather strong if distracted second series practice. This time, the belly did not hit the floor.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Dear Students, Teachers and Friends,

Yoga doesn't mean all these fancy poses and breathing exercises; these are just preparatory techniques that will settle the mind into silence.

It is my highest desire to help all aspirants make spiritual progress in this lifetime. Yoga teachings are so necessary in this period of time, when un-truths can be spread quickly to the public through all mass media forums. I continue to teach daily as I always have, helping practitioners from all walks of life: householders, office workers, dancers and gymnasts achieve physical prowess in asana practice. But my heart felt life mission is to give all the tools and understanding to know that Yoga is a divinely efficient set of techniques devoted to Self-Realization that requires nothing, no mats, no props, no expensive clothes or costumes, just the body itself. Realized by Celestial Beings (enlightened ones), Yoga is a short-cut to Immortality. It is not a religion, but a science that if practiced correctly, will bring to the Sadhaka (practitioner) radiant health, and mental and psychic powers within a short-time. These may then be used to achieve Self-realization, the goal of all life.

To succeed in all aspects of life, much concentration is required. Increased ability to concentrate is a direct consequence of regular Sadhana (spiritual practice), in the Eight Limbs of Yoga, which then may be applied to discover answers to essential questions such as, Who am I?, What is beyond the mind?, What is the cause of all pain and suffering?, What is the greatest of all impurities? and How can I be free from pain and suffering?

The Classical Limbs of Yoga System know as Astanga Yoga is divided into eight steps or stages through which the body and mind are prepared, purified, and then surmounted. They are as follows:
Yama (The Ethical Rules)
Niyama (The Observances)
Asana (Postures; the Exercises)
Pranayama (Control of the Vital Life-Force)
Pratyahara (Control of the Senses)
Dharana (Concentration)
Dhyana (Concentration without Interruption; Meditation)
Samadhi (Absorption with the Object or Subject of Contemplation; Bliss-Absolute)

Yama and Niyama are the foundation, and without them, there can be no success in meditation. Constant application of Yama and Niyama develops in the Sadhaka a strong desire for liberation. Asana (posture) practice, combined with Bandhas (locks), Mudras (seals) and Kriyas (cleansing-techniques), brings radiant health and long life. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, and only a mind which is calm and steady can achieve unbroken concentration (meditation). Pranayama (breath control practices) will purify the nerves, calm the mind and, consequently, allow the Sadhaka to take control of Prana (vital life-force) and the mind. With passion and emotions under control, success in meditation is surely in sight. Pratyahara is the ability to control the senses. Dharana is one of the results of Pranayama practice as concentration is heightened when the senses are controlled. With the practice of the previous steps, Dhyana (meditation) is easy to attain. Last is Samadhi, when the practitioner becomes completely absorbed in the object or subject of contemplation as the self rests and is completely absorbed in divine perception.

One of the purposes of meditation is to “realize” the things that we believe. But belief alone is simply not enough, as we must then experience “it”; or see “it”, only so we (the mind or personal self) may become content and happy. Many believe that we are immortal souls, but still, everyone is full of doubts and miserable. The mind must enter into silence in order to realize the “Self” or what many call “God” and enter a state of constant bliss. This is when absolute truth is realized; when belief becomes accepted fact.

The final stage of permanent absorption, Nirvana-Samadhi, is known as “enlightenment”. Scholars and spiritual teachers may tie themselves up in knots trying to explain this state. It is Turya (the fourth state) beyond waking consciousness, sleep with dreams, and deep dreamless sleep, when one recognizes the Self in every shining atom of existence. Then one moves like a dry leaf, the winds of life carrying them where they will. This highest state of Samadhi is beyond pain, suffering, happiness or joy. One is supremely established in that which is beyond this. Of this my friends, I call Yoga.

Please make sure to begin, or continue in the above mentioned understandings as we all open the book to a new decade of 2010. Let me remind you of the importance of become vegetarians this year! Make sure to LOVE your inferior brothers, and the world will become a saner and better place. Follow Paul McCartney’s plea for a Meat Free Monday, go beyond to every day. You will feel better, become healthier and live longer.

Much love to all,

As they say: Live long and prosper.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih

Dharma Mittra


Photo of Dharma taken on Christmas Day. Thank you, Eva!

Some sentences were put into boldface by the blogger (me).