Monday, December 29, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

May all beings be happy and free from suffering

Thursday Quote

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

-Jesus of Nazareth

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Even kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God."

-Guru Nanak

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Quote

Worldly affairs are all deceptive;
So I seek the truth Divine.

Excitements and distractions are illusions;
So I meditate on the non-dual Truth.

Companions and servants are deceptive;
So I remain in solitude.

Money and possessions are also deceptive;
So if I have them, I give them away.

Things in the outer world are all illusion;
The Inner Mind is that which I observe.

Wandering thoughts are all deceptive;
So I only tread the path of wisdom.

Deceptive are the teachings of expedient truth;
The final truth is that on which I meditate.

Books written in black ink are all misleading;
I only meditate on the pith-instructions of the whispered lineage.

Words and sayings, too, are but illusion;
At ease, I rest my mind in the effortless state.

Birth and death are both illusions;
I observe but the truth of no-arising.

The common mind is in every way misleading;
And so I practice how to animate awareness.

The Mind-holding Practice is misleading and deceptive;
And so I rest in the realm of reality.

-Milarepa, The Song of the Twelve Deceptions

Monday, December 08, 2014

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Thursday Quote

"There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing."

-Hildegard of Bingen

Monday, December 01, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday Quote

“When one loves, one does not calculate.”

― Thérèse de Lisieux

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Quote

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

* * *

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."

-St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Quote

“I'm simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I'm saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes.

"It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say “this is good, this is bad,” you have already jumped onto the thought process.

"It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher.

"And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.

"That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.”

― Osho

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Seek divine wealth, not the paltry tinsel of earth. After acquiring inward treasure, you will find that outward supply is always forthcoming."

-Lahiri Mahasaya

Monday, November 03, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Wisdom is not assimilated with the eyes, but with the atoms. When your conviction of a truth is not merely in your brain but in your being, you may diffidently vouch for its meaning.

"The rishis wrote in one sentence profundities that commentating scholars busy themselves over for generations. Endless literary controversy is for sluggard minds. What more quickly liberating thought than ‘God is’ - nay, ‘God’?

"But man does not easily return to simplicity. It is seldom ‘God’ for an intellectualist, but rather learned pomposities. His ego is pleased, that he can grasp such erudition."

-Sri Yukteswar

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Quote

“Be afraid of nothing. Hating none, giving love to all, feeling the love of God, seeing His presence in everyone, and having but one desire - for His constant presence in the temple of your consciousness - that is the way to live in this world.”

― Paramahansa Yogananda, In the Sanctuary of the Soul: A Guide to Effective Prayer

*A new documentary about Parahansa Yogananda screens this week at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Showtimes here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Detachment is not indifference. It is the prerequisite for effective involvement. Often what we think is best for others is distorted by our attachments to our opinions. We want others to be happy in the way we think they should be happy. It is only when we want nothing for ourselves that we are able to see clearly into others' needs and understand how to serve them."

-Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, October 06, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Quote

"After the demands of the ego and its greed [are] surrendered, the struggle for fulfillment of personal desires lessens; life takes on a new zest like a breath of fresh air. "

-Swami Radha

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Quote

“If you have done something meritorious, you experience pleasure and happiness; if wrong things, suffering. A happy or unhappy life is your own creation. Nobody else is responsible. If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody. You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy.:

-Swami Satchidananda

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Quote

"What difference does it make to you what someone else becomes, or says, or does? You do not need to answer for others, only for yourself."

-Thomas à Kempis

Monday, September 08, 2014

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours."

-St. Teresa of Ávila

Monday, September 01, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Quote

“…Actions by themselves do not bind a person. It is the attachment and identification in regard to the work that binds us and brings ups pain and misery. It is the motive that binds you. It is the motive that liberates you.

“Work, but work with detachment. In every act kindle the light of divine love. Always remember your essential divine nature and act in the world in a spirit of divine dedication. This world is ruled by the Lord’s eternal laws. In the east, the great law of cause and effect is called karma. In the New Testament the same truth is expressed in the words: ‘Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.’ (Gal. 6-7).

“Actions produce samskara that coalesce and form tendencies. Tendencies develop into habits and character. Evil deeds generate bad character.

“Actions, without the idea of agency, without expectation of fruits, without attachment to the action, and not being balanced in success and failure, will not bind you. Selfless actions purify your heart and lead to the attainment of wisdom of the self.

“Karma yoga is skill in action. It is a great art. You have to take as much interest in each act that you perform daily, as an artist takes in his dearly loved paintings. Note how, after keen deliberation, the artist puts the brush – his entire mind is centered on the work in hand – his entire being is focused on the painting – he works self-forgetfully. This should be your attitude. Take this interest in all that you do and at the same time be detached from all of your actions. Then you will not be bound to samsara.”

-Sri Swami Sivananda

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Quote

"You are all great beings, and you have to stop pretending you are not."


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mid-Week Video

Oṁ tryambakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭi-vardhanam
urvārukam-iva bandhanānmṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt

Monday, August 18, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

—Lao Tzu

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Thursday Quote

Student: "If I come to your school [The Clearing], will I become a professional landscape architect?"

Jens Jensen: "If you come to this school, you'll learn not to ask that question."

Monday, August 04, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Quote

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

-Mother Teresa

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Quote

"The mind creates reality. Our actions create bondage."


Monday, July 21, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Quote

"The quality of a yogi's meditation and other actions, the guru's help, and God's grace—these are the three requisites of liberation. No matter how much a devotee strives for salvation — and he is required to make the effort wholeheartedly for God — that effort constitutes only 25% of the requirements for liberation. Another 25% depends upon his guru's blessing, spiritually stimulating the disciple's striving. But the guru's help and the devotee's effort notwithstanding, it is necessary to have also God's grace, which may be said to constitute the remaining 50% of the requirements."

-Parmahansa Yogananda

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Guru Purnima!

Click here to learn more about this important day for yogis to re-commit to their practice.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday Quote

“Peace originates from inside, but it manifests outside. Love is the same; love for a person develops into a broader love....

“You start with inner peace. When we find inner peace, all have a way of coming to us."

-Swami Sankarananda Saraswati
(who is in the middle of a peace walk across America that brought him to Chicago last weekend)

Monday, July 07, 2014

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thursday Quote

"In all cultures there are legends about a war between demons and divine beings, and often the forces of light lose the battle. In Indian mythology the defeated bright souls either run to higher powers for protection or hide in remote regions, often on isolated mountain peaks, and commit themselves to intense spiritual practices. Only after they have gained the grace of God and attained inner strength do they challenge their opponents again and reclaim their rightful status. During these 'divine calamities' the sages come forward and help the defeated souls gain self-mastery by gathering up the virtues of fearlessness, self-confidence, unwavering faith, and the indomitable power of will and determination. Self-mastery entails cultivating all of these qualities collectively. It enables us to conquer our subhuman tendencies and allows us to become fully human. But achieving mastery over ourselves is a gradual process which keeps unfolding as we continue to walk on the path of self-transformation. The purpose of life, as Swamiji often said, is not to know God as an external being, but to transform ourselves so that we are constantly aware of the divine within - which is our essential nature."

-Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday Quote

"We are all portions of this universe of Consciousness. We are not different from one another and we are not different from God. We believe ourselves to be men or women, rich people or poor people. We believe that we are teachers, soldiers, psychiatrists. We believe that we are young or old, fat or thin, happy or miserable. We believe that we are Americans or Indians, Russians or Arabs, Hindus or Christians, Muslims or Jews. But in reality the Truth within us is one. We all come from the same seed and that seed is God. We are simply playing different roles. If we could only penetrate beneath these roles to our own divinity, then once again we would all know that we are God."

-Swami Muktananda

Monday, June 23, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Quote

“There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind's immobility and thought-free stillness.

"When mind is still, then truth gets her chance to be heard in the purity of the silence.”

― Śrī Aurobindo

Monday, June 16, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday Quote

"A Yogi is a man of control."

~Sri Swami Kailashananda

Monday, June 09, 2014

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Thursday Quote

“Live the golden rule. Purify your heart. Lose the ego. The greatest impurity, the most negative energy, is ignorance. You must accept non-duality and God consciousness. If you devote all your actions to the Lord, he’ll show you bliss.”

- Sri Dharma Mittra

Monday, June 02, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Quote

“Be young. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity; of the appetite for adventure over love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than in a boy of twenty…Youth is not a time of life—it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees. It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions. It is freshness of the deep springs of life. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Swami Bua (lived untill age 121)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday Quote

"As long as a man has desires there is no end to his transmigration. It is the desires alone that make him take one body after another. There will be rebirth for a man if he has even the desire to eat a piece of candy."

-Sri Sarada Devi

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday Quote

“If the many and the One be indeed the same Reality, then it is not all modes of worship alone, but equally all modes of work, all modes of struggle, all modes of creation, which are paths of realization. No distinction, henceforth, between sacred and secular. To labour is to pray. To conquer is to renounce. Life is itself religion. To have and to hold is as stern a trust as to quit and to avoid.”

―Sister Nivedita

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy Birthday

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुरेव परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥१॥
Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vissnnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah |
Gurure[-I]va Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah ||1||

1.1: The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru Deva is Maheswara (Shiva),
1.2: The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Brahman); Salutations to that Guru.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Thursday Quote

"When you say 'I love you' there is an 'I,' there us a 'you' and there is love that links the two. Eventually, the 'I' will disappear and the 'you' will disappear and only the love will remain. The 'I' and 'you' will merge into one"

- Swami Sitaramananda

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

New Sri Dharma Mittra Book

There's a new book of unedited quotes by Sri Dharma Mittra. Click here for more.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sri Dharma Mittra Interview in Yoga Chicago

Click here to read my new interview with Sri Dharma in Yoga Chicago magazine.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Thursday Quote

“The best thing to give
your enemy is forgiveness;
to an oponent, tolerance;
to a friend, your heart;
to your child, a good example;
to your father, deference;
to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you;
to your self, respect;
to all men charity.”

― Swami Sivananda Radha

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday Quote

“A man’s belief is greatly influenced by his environment; therefore he should choose the company of the Holy and Wise. Belief means to believe in one’s Self, disbelief to mistake the non-Self for one’s Self.”

- Sri Anandamayi Ma

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Bonus Quote

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same."

* * *

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

-Jesus Christ

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday Quote

"All worldly pleasures become insipid to him who gets a taste of Divine bliss. What is there in the world? Be it name or fame, wealth or children – nothing can bring peace to man. These only add to his misery and anxiety."

-Swami Brahmananda

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday Quote

"There is very little oil in the vessel of life, and the night is vast."

-dancing girl, in Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama

Monday, April 07, 2014

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Thursday Quote

"‎The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war."

-Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Monday, March 31, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Knowing that I am different from the body, I need not neglect the body. It is a vehicle that I use to transact with the world. It is the temple which houses the Pure Self within."

-Adi Sankaracharya

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dharma in Chicago

Sri Dharma Mittra will lead a workshop in Chicago June 13-14 at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. More info here.

Read my 2005 article about his last visit to Chicago here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Detachment is not indifference. it is the prerequisite for effective involvement. Often what we think is best for others is distorted by our attachments to our opinions. We want others to be happy in the way we think they should be happy. It is only when we want nothing for ourselves that we are able to see clearly into others' needs and understand how to serve them."

-Mahatma Ghandi

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday Quote

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 07, 2014


-Young boy walking down the street, wearing a parka (hood up), eating an ice cream cone

-Lincoln Park guys in shorts


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Thursday Quote

"By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired."

-Zorba the Greek

Monday, March 03, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Quote

"Perfection will never happen for those who are devoted to worldly attachments, who do not have faith, who do not worship their gurus, who are very social, who delight in lying, who speak harshly, and who do not please their gurus."

-Lord Shiva

Monday, February 24, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Belize 2014

Our next Belize retreat will be Feb. 7-14, 2015. Click here to learn more and register.

Click here to view photos from our 2013 retreat.

Thank you to Narayani, Jess, Helen, Harley, Dee, Maur, et al. for the photos.