Svadyaya: Self-Study

“Attaining the already attained…” Meet Clay Pot. A lesson and tradition explain a logo and an offering.

"Attaining the already attained..." Meet Clay Pot. A lesson and tradition explain a logo and an offering.

Introducing Citta Chats and the new yogaNexus2013 Serving S V A D Y A Y A Traditional Spirit in Contemporary Relevant Forms. East Bay Citta Chat #1: An introduction to Svadyaya, self-study, the means and the desired end. This class and meditation are good introductions. At the first Orinda Citta Chat session we just held [...]


Consider the Mockingbird…

Consider the Mockingbird...

In the city tumult of Valencia street, I hear his song, clear amongst all the street sounds as though skating through them. The calls rise above all else, then fall pervasive like fireworks on all of us who would notice. Sure enough, true to his nature, on the highest rooftop pinnacle, there sits the Mockingbird [...]


Why am I staying?

Why am I staying?

Since the cancer first hit a couple of years ago, or three? Hard to believe… Since the cancer hit there have been several periods where the efforts to rid the body of the disease have dangled it on the edge of expiring, the edge of death, only to be given a chance to try again. [...]


What is Svadyaya, “self-study” and self-knowledge?

What is Svadyaya, "self-study" and self-knowledge?

What is Svadyaya: Self-Study, a key pillar of yoga? At the first Orinda Citta Chat session we just held we began by reading a quote below by my teacher through this path of svadyaya, self-study, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, as it beautifully describes and honors this kind of gathering in the tradition of self-study and what [...]


Action & Reaction, Choice & Impulse in the Bhagavad Gita

Action & Reaction, Choice & Impulse in the Bhagavad Gita

On Action & Reaction, Desire and Anger: Includes video of Citta Chats LIVE segment on this very topic, from a student question. Watch the discussion to further explore the article and topic: you. As human beings we have a unique ability to be motivated by something other than instinct.
We can exercise choice in relation to [...]


Asti, Bhāti, Priyaṁ: All that is, is luminous and cherished.

Asti, Bhāti, Priyaṁ: All that is, is luminous and cherished.

asti bhāti priyaṁ rūpaṁ nāma cetyamśapañcakam ādyatrayam brahmarupam jagadrūpam tato dvayam. ~ DrgDṛśya Viveka v. 20 the Seer-Seen Discernment, attributed to Śankaracarya, foremost teacher of self-knowledge “All that is, is luminous and cherished…” You’re a shining star, no matter who you are, shining bright to see, what you can truly be…” ~ Earth Wind & [...]


The Most Glorious Side of Humanity ~ On cancer and empathy

The Most Glorious Side of Humanity ~ On cancer and empathy

Here is a piece just published in Elephant Journal I kinda started in 2010 when I first got cancer and I was the recipient of such outpouring of compassion. In many ways this is a big “Thank You” to all those who showed care and support. “Empathy, the gateway to our essential nature. When this [...]


Beyond the Divisive Power of Belief, a path towards shared values

Beyond the Divisive Power of Belief, a path towards shared values

I just published this article in the Elephant Journal. I’d love to see a dialog, please comment on the Elephant Journal page, share it, tweet it, like it… let’s discuss. This is part of an ongoing conversation across media, including a video series on YouTube, “Citta Chats.” “I see a road toward shared, universal values [...]


On Happiness, Now, and Thou…

On Happiness, Now, and Thou...

Happiness is universally cherished and sought, and yet so elusive and often associated with experience, rather than our essential nature of Being. I wrote this originally around New Year’s day, touching on the motivation we often have at that time of year to reaffirm values important to us, to invoke happiness for the year to [...]


Yoga and Occupy Wall Street

Yoga and Occupy Wall Street

Re: Day of Action targeting Banks October 15th, Occupy Wall Street [feel free to share freely, post it, past it on... please discuss, comment, critique.] Before I am capitalist or anti-capitalist I am human, before I am Tea Party or Democrat I am human, before I am the 53% or the 99% I am human. [...]


Yoga as Coaching: Personality, temperament, samskaras and change

Yoga as Coaching: Personality, temperament, samskaras and change

Are we innately inclined to certain temperaments? Am I “Just the way I am” or is there choice in change, discernment in action and impulse? Both Yoga and Science explore these questions and arrive at similar conclusions. The persistent nature and nurture interplay continues to evolve in our understanding. A recent article in Psychotherapy Networker [...]


Beyond Tribal: On Empathy, Wholeness, Yoga & Vedanta [books, J. Rifkin, video]

Beyond Tribal: On Empathy, Wholeness, Yoga & Vedanta [books, J. Rifkin, video]

For some years now I have been pondering ‘identity’ as I study and seek to practice Yoga and Vedanta. Identity meaning sense of self – in community, in society, in relation to spirit and divinity, in relation to our apparent tribal nature.

Yoga and Vedanta teach the nature of Wholeness, brahma vidya, knowledge of Brahman, and the practice of karma yoga…
Recent studies in neuroscience, psychology and behavior point to empathy and compassion being strong biological drivers[...]


Pepsi’s Nutrition blog inspires protest departures at Science Blog

Pepsi's Nutrition blog inspires protest departures at Science Blog

Several scientist are removing their blogs from Seed Media’s Science Blog in response to a sponsored ‘nutrition’ blog by Pepsico wrote Columbia Journalism Review today. As publishing morphs with the times, as traditional credible print sources fall or adapt, as authorship and intellectual property shift with open sharing and free publishing, as we are glutted [...]


Beyond Belief: Yoga & Vedanta are for Understanding

Beyond Belief: Yoga & Vedanta are for Understanding

It really struck me one year at Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s place when he said “Vedanta is not a matter of blind faith or unverifiable belief, but a matter of understanding.” It hit me then why his teachings sat so well with me. The primary message is listen, inquire, question, discuss and if you disagree speak [...]