Isn't It Crazy How Things Arise Daily?

In 1993 my pal Kyle Silfer and I decided that printing our zine, Reign of Toads, was excessively too expensive and that we should publish on this newfangled thing called the World Wide Web. (Fifteen years later, we have esteemed acharyas like Clay Shirky [READ IT!] & the publishers of Namarupa trumpeting the same tune). We snuck into the University of New Mexico computer lab, onto a computer with the appropriate internet connection, and took the world's first web browser, Mosaic, for a spin. Herewith & hence, we decided that our last printed issue ought to spell things out loud & clear right on the cover: The Internet Sucks.

Oh boy, what an understatement! It sucks. Us. All. In. Our energy. Our jobs. Our prana. Our time. Our money. Our political and economic systems. All of this, in transition: the whole world has arrived onscreen. What do we do when we behold ourselves simultaneously connected, across the planet?

What does this all mean? Who knows for sure. My first thought is that we are embedded within this change because we are the change: as individual humans on this planet, as agents of communication, and as practitioners of yoga.

Huh? Chew that dried chunk of soul for a little while.

In the interim we at Souljerky, like our financial system, are headed to the Dark Side of the Moon for a spell. But again, just like our economy, will reboot and reincarnate in a local/nonlocal ma&pa shop kind of way.

Until then you can still hear us chirping, linking, and thinking about this stuff by following Souljerky on Twitter.

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posted by
Spiros Antonopoulos

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2SxmhmY3i0" title="YouTube - Durga Slays Mahisha (from &quot;Adhiparasakthi&quot;)">YouTube: Durga Slays Mahisha</a>

Her basic myth is simple, as the greatest stories tend to be: Mahisha, a great demon (asura), has undertaken extraordinary austerities, and thereby accrued such vast power that even the Gods can no longer defeat him. In successive battles, they lose the three worlds to Mahisha's superior might -- and the Cosmic Order in thrown into disarray.

Clearly, a hero and savior is needed—but who can defeat an enemy that is mightier than the Gods? Answer: The Power (Shakti) that created both the Gods and the enemy in the first place. In order to access that Power, the Gods must reverse the downward unfolding of Divine manifestation, i.e. the cosmic tattvas. (Not coincidentally, this is also the goal of any sadhana undertaken by a human devotee. To help understand the lesson offered here, think of Mahisha as the individual human ego.)


—Devi Bhakta, ShaktiSadhana.org

You might also enjoy the Sri Durga Chalisa video at YouTube.

Komilla Sutton's recently published piece about Navaratri is also worth a read.

May Devi bestow upon us knowledge, strength, compassion, contentment, enjoyment, kindness, awareness, and great blessings!

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Spiros Antonopoulos

I am Indian Tea | The symbol of friendship.

Chai walla.

Click to enlarge! | What is chai? collage.

A new chai blog. Dig it! And rest assured, these guys know chai —we are from the same chai walla tradition.

They're now open for business and serving up some tasty stories, yummy audio clips, scrumptious art and photography, and a tempting authentic masala chai recipe for all ya'll chai walla upstarts. Om!

Link.

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Spiros Antonopoulos

Tendzin Choegyal, the Dalai Lama's Youngest Brother.

There’s no such thing as the “original culture”—we are always in a state of flux.
—Tendzin Choegyal, the Dalai Lama's Youngest Brother, on Tokyo Mango

Some of you have already seen this, since it was Boing Boinged and all, but I just love this drawing.

And, well, Tendzin Choegyal wields a rare combination of down-to-Earth sweetness and biting criticism.... Maybe a bit heavy on the bite...

Link.

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Spiros Antonopoulos

[A YouTube video is embedded here. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_QAPjtO2cA&amp;fmt=18&amp;eurl=http://souljerky.com/" title="YouTube - Devendra Banhart - Carmensita">Link</a>.]

Beautiful!

Link.

Thanks Khamasea! (via)

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Spiros Antonopoulos


[The links are NOW UPDATED. Purchasing the digital files is now a very simple, automated procedure!]

It is one of the goals of Namarupa to celebrate the many possible approaches to knowledge, and to the Divine, that India has offered to the world. Therefore, this day of Guru Purnima as an inaugural day is fitting, as it continues to set our intention of exploring traditional knowledge systems, passed down by the great teachers.
—Robert Moses and Eddie Stern, Namarupa Publishers & Founding Editors

Babas in conversation. Hari Puri Ashram, Haridwar, North India, April 2008. Photograph by Robert Moses.

The brand new, all-digital edition of Namarupa is completely tree-free. There's no filler: it's all far-out, engaging, and a joy to read. Check it out—

Tantric Prospects by Dr. Robert E. Svoboda— Herein the good doctor elaborates upon how he came to India, the 'coincidences' surrounding his path to Ayurveda, and ultimately to his guru, the Aghori Vimalanada. He also enchants us with tales of his guru's guru, 'Junior Guru Maharaj'. (I want to go on Junior's tobacco-only, raw diet plan!) He elucidates upon a number of questions like, "Can you explain simply about Tantra?", "Where can we find the real practice of Tantra in India?", and the Lonely Planet koan, "Where is Vimalananda’s ashram?" Chock full of gems, it is.

Oral Tradition & The Naga Baba by Ram Puri— Quoting Jorge Luis Borges and Dattatreya in the same flow, this cat understands how the world is composed not of atoms, but of language. Splashing us, just a bit, with a moonlit stream of non-Euclidian poetics, he pointedly articulates the disjunct of language in the Kali Yuga. Into this, he weaves some teachings of yoga, of Sattva-Rajas-Tamas, of the Advadhatu Gita, the correlation between the dome of the mouth and that of the night sky, and of Gutenberg's legacy upon the living word.

Notes on Pagan India by Shri Gurudev Mahendranath— "Within the sections of this Notebook, it is intended to present the great spiritual sciences of Yoga, Shastra, Tantra, Vedanta (Upanishads), the early Vedas, and to deal with initiations, rites, rituals, customs and practices. We will base our fundamentals on Absolute Wisdom, realized by Saints and Yogis in the heights of Samadhi, and brought down to a worldly level as their teachings. India is a land where the ancient way of life continued for thousands of years and presented a happy, contented people who knew the real joy and rhythm of life. These were a people who knew how to fulfill their duties, attend to their livelihood, and enjoy the harmony of sexual pleasures, just as did the Great God Shiva and Parvati the Mother Goddess, to whom all Hindus bow in respect. This way of life goes beyond the sterility of mere theory. It finds fulfillment only in the living fire of practice."

Mata Ganga The Silent Teacher by Robert Moses— A remarkably vivid and colorful photographic journey to the source of the Ganges, adorned with the words of luminaries like Sri Swami Sivananda, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, and Shirdi Sai Baba.

Ganga Stotram translation & chanting by Vyaas Houston— "Whose waves break at the lotus feet of Hari; Gangā, the white froth of your waves like | snowy moonlit pearls; carry the burden of my mistakes far away. | Take me, out of your compassion, to the far shore of the ocean of existence."

Subscribe now. Read it instantaneously.

Link.

Photo credit: Babas in conversation. Hari Puri Ashram, Haridwar, North India, April 2008. Photograph by Robert Moses (in Namarupa).


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Spiros Antonopoulos

55:27 minutes, black-and-white, color, with sound.

Dan Graham's classic documentary art video, Rock My Religion (1982-84), explores the similarities between religion and rock music in today's culture. From the "liner notes" at UBUWEB —"Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the 'reeling and rocking' of religious revivals as his point of departure, Graham analyzes the emergence of rock music as religion with the teenage consumer in the isolated suburban milieu of the 1950s, locating rock's sexual and ideological context in post-World War II America. The music and philosophies of Patti Smith, who made explicit the trope that rock is religion, are his focus. This complex collage of text, film footage and performance forms a compelling theoretical essay on the ideological codes and historical contexts that inform the cultural phenomenon of rock `n' roll music."

Original Music: Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth. Sound: Ian Murray, Wharton Tiers. Narrators: Johanna Cypis, Dan Graham. Editors: Matt Danowski, Derek Graham, Ian Murray, Tony Oursler. Produced by Dan Graham and the Moderna Museet.

Link.

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Spiros Antonopoulos

“Can you see the truth of it boys?... Life and death. The eagle and the washing up and the outhouse. The stove and the snow. The horse and the mountains and the 'baca juice. No doubt about it. The whole stew is only a passing, you and me and all the rest. The goddam joke is on us, boys!”
—Annie May (Ma) in The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudy Wurlitzer

Delilah, Countess and witch.


I just finished reading The Drop Edge of Yonder, a smooth and hypnotic yarn about self and other, tales and truths, fate and nobility, chasing your dreams and having a drink. Good shit. Legendary cult novelist and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer knows more about the sordid reality of spiritualism, yoga, and the pursuit of freedom, truthfulness and right livelihood than most of us. And he shares a few well-digested golden nuggets with us in this tasty, genre-drenched in spaghetti-western existential technicolor, tall tale. But be careful, he's libel to crack you upside the head and leave you dead in a ditch if you don't pay attention... Quién es?


“‘Perhaps this life doesn’t exist or has never existed. Perhaps this is not a ship but a floating coffin. Perhaps we are dreaming and will wake up to find that everything is the same’ ...The following morning, the Captain’s eulogy was brief. ‘We are guests on this earth. We come and we go. No one knows when or how his time will come. We can only have faith and abide.’”
Captain Dorfheimer, The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudy Wurlitzer


Plaxico, brujo.


“‘You're confused about who is dreaming who. Your problem is that your dreams are controlling you, not the other way around. You no longer know how to stand on the earth. Too much hanging around the Dream Palace and following lost men.’.. He took a pair of dice from his sack and rolled them over the ground, muttering an invocation in a foreign tongue... After he had covered their bodies with dirt, except for their eyes and nostrils, he reached into his sack and took out a round mask of a grinning monkey... ’This mask is your face and the face of everyone who has ever lived. When you understand that the separations between people are illusions, the spirits will go back where they came from. Right now the spirits are angry and confused. All they care about is sucking everything out from inside you and replacing it with greasy smoke. That can be very uncomfortable if you don't know the remedy.’”
—Toku in The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudy Wurlitzer


Eightball honey.



“‘Quién es?’ he [Zebulon] asked Plaxico. Or was he speaking to himself?...‘I did what I come to do... Some of it worked and a lot of it didn't... One last thing... Don't either of you hold on to whatever was said or done, even it it comes from me or that power witch over there, or anyone else. If you're foolish enough to hold on to what don't exist, one of you might go up in smoke and the other find himself driftin' between the worlds, not knowin' how to shake loose. If someone pushes your head underwater and laughs about it, or you snake a card off the bottom, or you get suckered from behind, let it go. And even if you don't, let it go anyway...’”
—primarily Plaxico, The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudy Wurlitzer

Zebulon Lives, the book site: Link.
Erik Davis' review in Bookforum: Link.

More Rudy Wurlitzer: official site, Wikipedia, IMDB, Riding The Dharma Trail.

Illustrations by Adam Collison.

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Brahmanism: The Gods of the Indian Triad.

Courtesy of Google Books---The New Larned History, 1922. (I think it's copyright free, or damn close...)

BRAHMANISM: Essential features.—"Although Brahmanism has exercised a vast influence over the beliefs and worships of Asia during many centuries, and still numbers, at the lowest calculation, more than two hundred million votaries, it is not a Faith that can itself be traced back to an epoch or a founder ... In the first place, it is neither militant nor aggressively missionary; it does not openly attempt to make proselytes, in the sense of persuading them or compelling come in. Secondly it is not historic; it has sacred books but no sacred history. And, thirdly, it has never been defined by formal creeds, nor has it ever accepted a single personal Deity. The general character of Indian religion is that it is a boundless sea of divine beliefs and practices; it encourages the worship of innumerable gods by an infinite variety of rites; it permits every doctrine to be taught, every kind of mystery to be imagined, any sort of theory to be held as to the inner nature and visible operation of the divine power...

"But the Indian philosophy does not ignore or hold aloof from the religion of the masses; it underlies, supports, and interprets their polytheism. This may be accounted the keystone of the fabric of Brahmanism, which accepts and even encourages the rudest forms of idolatry, explaining everything by giving it a higher meaning. It treats all the worships as outward, visible signs of some spiritual truth, and is ready to show how each particular image or rite is the symbol of some aspect of universal divinity. The Hindus, like the pagans of antiquity, adore natural objects, and forces—a mountain, a river, or an animal. The Brahman holds all Nature to be the vesture or cloak of indwelling, divine energy, which inspires everything that produces awe or passes man's understanding. Again it is very common in India, as it was in Greece and Rome, to deify extraordinary men, and the Brahman does not tell his disciples that this is absurd; he agrees that such persons must have been special embodiments of all-pervading divine power. In short, he accepts every variety of cult and objective worships as symbolical; it is merely the expression or emblem, suited to the common intelligence, of mysterious truths known to the philosophic theologian. In this manner, the gross idolatry of the people is defended, and connected with the loftier ideas. it is maintained that God is a Pure Spirit, but to make Him wholly impersonal is to place Him beyond the reach of ordinary human interest and imagination; so it is well for the less advanced minds to be encouraged by forms and signs of His presence. All worship, it is said, is expressed through the senses symbolically. A temple or church is a visible mark of our belief that the divinity abides among us; an image is the mystical token of the indwelling spirit of the indwelling spirit; while prayer and sacrifices are the preparatory training toward more intelligent devotion. What we can conceive in our minds we may well picture to our eyes: and, by this method, the innumerable shapes and sacred places of Hindu polytheism are consecrated and adopted into higher theology... Above and beyond the miscellaneous crowd of things and persons, living or inanimate, unseen or embodied, that are worshipped as possessed b divine power, we have the great deities of Brahmanism, from whom all this divine power proceeds, and in whom the principal energies and the fundamental laws of nature are personified. Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are the realistic abstractions of the understanding from of objects of sense. They denote Creation, Preservation, and Destruction, the constant succession of birth and death throughout all existence, the process of destroying to produce, and of producing to destroy. Here we perceive that, as soon as we pass upward through the disorderly mass of ordinary paganism, we come upon polytheism backed by philosophy; we may scatter the irregular levies, and are confronted by the outworks of disciplined theology. The great Brahmanic Trinity are adored with various rites and sacrifices; they have innumerable temples, images, and personal attributes. Yet to all the more intellectual worshipers, Vishnu and Siva represent the course and constitution of Nature. And, if you inquire further about these things, you will leaner all phenomenal existence is a kind of illusion, to be gradually dissipated by the acquisition of knowledge; for the reality becomes intelligible only to those whose souls have been strengthened and clarified by long meditation, by ascetic exercises, by casting out all worldly thoughts and desires...

"But all Hindus worship directly the high gods of Brahmanism. Brahma, having accomplished once for all his work of creation, has retired in to the background of the popular Pantheon; he has very few temples or images; Vishnu and Siva divide the allegiance of devout and orthodox people. It is impossible here to give the diverse names or emblems under which they are worshipped; yet some mention must be made of the Shaktis—that is, of the divine forces of preservation and destruction, especially the female principle of productiveness, as personified by goddesses, the mates or consorts of Vishnu and Siva, thus Vishnu and Siva, with their consorts, are the pinnacles of the visible Brahmanic edifice; they are different manifestations of the Supreme Being; they represent among educated men separate systems of worship, which, again, are founded on separate schools or opinions regarding the relations between God and man, and the proper ways and means of attaining to spiritual emancipation. For, the whole purpose of the higher Brahmanism is to find and show the path which leads upward, from the simple unvarnished popular superstitions to the true and pure knowledge of the Supreme Being, by laying out a connection between the upper and lower aspects of religion... This, then, is the philosophic religion at the back of the popular worship, to which it gives an explanation and a final purpose. For Brahmanism holds out to all men, as its scheme of salvation, the hope of escape from the pain and weariness of sensitive existence in any shape or stage...

"In regard to the Sacred Books, they contain, partly, the sayings, precepts, and mystic utterances of the ancient sages; partly, prayers and psalms; and partly, abstruse speculations on the divine nature, with scholastic dissertations and commentaries. The modern students and teachers of the various schools or sects of Brahmanism treat these books as authoritative, and are constantly discussing, expounding, or adapting them to the ideas and circumstances of a people that is becoming profoundly affected by European modes of thought. One thing must be noticed in these Books, that they are not historical: they give no account of the rise of spreading the religion, they do not trace it back to a founder, as in Christianity, Mohammedanism, or even Buddhism. [See INDIA: B. C. 312.] The Hindu would say, in the words of an early Christian Father, that the objects of religious knowledge are not historical, that such things, in their essence can only be comprehended intellectually, or through divine inspiration. And the fact that Brahmanism has no authentic and universally accepted sacred narrative, that it is not concentrated round the life and acts of a personal founder is, I think, one reason why it has remained diffuse, incoherent, without a central figure or dominant plan. On the other hand, this very want, so to speak, of dogmatic backbone has left the religion elastic and tolerant, has enabled its teachers to assimilated and adapt the lower forms of worship, instead of endeavoring to destroy them." —A. C. Lyall, Brahmanism (North American Review, Dec., 1900, pp. 920-928).—See also EDUCATION: Ancient: B. C. 15th-5th centuries: India.

"The first general impression produced by a perusal of the law-books is that the popular religion has remained unaffected by philosophy. And this is correct in so far as that it must be put first in describing the codes, which, in the main, in keeping the ancient observances, reflect the inherited father. When, therefore, one says that pantheism succeed polytheism in India, he must qualify the assertion. The philosophers are pantheists, but what of the vulgar? Do they give up polytheism; are they inclined to do so, or are they taught to do so? No. For there is no formal abatement in the rigor of the older creed. Whatever the wise man thought, and whatever in his philosophy was the instruction which he imparted to his peers, when he dealt with the world about him he taught his intellectual inferiors a scarcely modified form of the creed of their fathers... With rare exceptions it was only the grosser religion that the vulgar could understand; it was only this that they were taught and believed. Thus the old Vedic gods are revered and worshipped by name. The Sun, Indra, and all the divinities embalmed in ritual, are placated and 'satiated' with offerings, just as they had been satiated from time immemorial. But no hint is given that this is a form; or that the Vedic gods are of less account than they had been. Moreover, it is not in the inherited formulae of the ritual alone that this view is upheld. To be sure, when philosophical speculation is introduced, the Father-god comes to the fore; Brahma sits aloft, indulgently advising his children, as he does in intermediate stage of the Brahmanas; and atma brahma {the impersonal aspect of the Supreme Soul} too is recognized to be the real being Brahma as in the Upanishads. But none of this touches the practice of the common law, where ordinary man is admonished to fear Yama's and Varuna's bonds as he would have been before the philosopher grew wiser than the Vedic seers. Only personified Right, Dharma, takes his seat with shadowy Brahma among other gods."—E. W. Hopkins Religions of pp 247 249 See also BRAHMA; UPANISHADS; VEDANTISM.

Modern Hindu view.—"The one thing comes out most prominently when we study history of the progress of all religions, great and small, known to man is that anything like wooden uniformity in religious matters is both unnatural and impossible. Whether your religion is merely historic, or higher than historic including as a part of it the historic manifestation of divinity within its wide embrace, whether again your religion is defined by formal creeds or not so defined, the limitation of uniformity imposed by force upon that religion cannot but make it unsuited to the ever growing spiritual capacity the human soul. In Brahminism, for instance, the Avatar of Sri Krishna is positively historic, and Sri Krishna is well known to have been a great religious teacher. Indeed it is chiefly to Him that Brahminism owes its universality and comprehensiveness. It is He who first proclaimed to humanity the great truth that any form of religion is better than irreligion, and that in religious endeavors the human mind rises gradually from lower to the higher, and that in man's effort to realize the divine in his every day life even lowest forms of religion are, when suitably adopted, more or less productive of good. The idea that Brahminism has not accepted a single deity can be attributed only to ignorance. Brahminism is absolutely monotheistic and believes only in one God who is however worshipped under many names... Do the names Lord, Christ, God, Jehovah, Heavenly Father—all mean same thing, or do they imply that the Christian does not worship a single deity? We have no doubt that there is nothing wrong in calling the one God of the Christians by these many names. Only in Saivism and Vaishnavism the similar existence of many names to denote the God, that the followers of these religions worship, leads the critics of Brahminism to assert that this does not accept a single deity... Even an Christian mystic like Novalis has declared if God can be seen in flesh and blood he can seen also in stalks and stones.

"Thus what appears as gross idolatry to the unphilosophic fanatic becomes in the eye of Brahmin a source of great helpfulness to the weak worshipper in the conduct of his devotions and prayers. Is the Brahmin really wrong in supposing that God is apprehended only symbolically by man and worshipped also only symbolically? The relation of symbols to worship and to the apprehension of religious philosophy and final religious truths is a question of perennial interest to man. Man can never do without symbols in these matters, and his progress herein consists simply in his rejecting one set of symbols to rely more and more upon another set, human language itself being nothing other than such a symbol. Brahminism is high and true philosophy expressed in accurate language and concretized into visible symbols and practices, and the worth of such a religion is to be judged more from the philosophy which forms the life of it than from the symbols which form its external embodiment."—Brahmavaddin, May, 1901, pp 460-466. —See also BUDDHISM; ETHICS: India; CASTE SYSTEM OF INDIA; RELIGION: B. C. 1,000.

Brahmanism: Caves on Elephanta Isle, Near Bombay.

Text and source images from— The New Larned History for Ready Reference, Reading and Research The Actual Words of the World's Best Historians, Biographers and Specialists; a Complete System of History for All Uses, Extending to All Countries and Subjects and Representing the Better and Newer Literature of History By Josephus Nelson Larned, Augustus Hunt Shearer.

Download the a PDF of the entire book here and now: Link.

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gbSk & I caught a preview show of Mike Myers doing this Guru Pitka schtick a few years ago. It was horrendous. Totally disappointing... and we were sooooooo excited about it. The show was all guru-student sex jokes with no juicy bits; nothing to draw you in.

Nonetheless the concept holds promise and with just a few added morsels of pseudo philosophy or mystical enchantment, it could have been great.

Happily, the years have passed. And practice prevails. The Guru Pitka's new web efforts are really strong. Great design and costuming. Elegant transitions. Funny stuff. Maybe the movie won't suck after all.

Link. (MySpace).

(Thank you, Joe Hova!)

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Souljerky (in co-operation with Process Media, the Knitting Factory, The Shala, Tee Pee Records and Cold Sweat) are overjoyed to welcome The Source Family and Ya Ho Wa 13 to NYC next week for several rare appearances and special events to celebrate the creation of the Process book The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod.

Souljerky is co-hosting an evening with The Source Family at The Shala next Wednesday (April 9). Join authors Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian, editor Jodi Wille, and ex-members of the Source Family for an intimate gathering in New York City featuring slides, rare home movies, '70s cable access video clips, and numerous Ya Ho Wa 13 musical selections. First class chai will be served by the Sri Ganesha Tea & Book Stall. Please procure tickets early because the event is expected to sell out. For more information, and to purchase tickets, you can visit the Souljerky events page.

Also you may be wise not to miss the heavy, mystic vibrations of Ya Ho Wa 13 at the Knitting Factory on the night before (Tuesday, April 8). Details for all The Source Family related events in NYC are listed here.

[FYI, Souljerky posted a while back about Yod & The Source Family (with MP3's too!). Check it.]

Download video for iPod. Interesting text snippet about the video.

Link.

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What You May Have Recently Missed

Thu 13 Mar
2008

Aum Shiva Trident - 5th Street NYC

06:32 PM

REMARKS (2)

My daily Shiva darshan in the East Village, NYC....

Tue 11 Mar
2008

Yoga Festival Puducherry Advertising Campaign

09:49 AM

REMARKS (1)

This excellent yoga advertising campaign exploded throughout the blogosphere a couple of weeks back while I was busy smelling flowers elsewhere. Some of you have already seen this stuff, but I felt it prudent to post and share nonetheless....

Thu 28 Feb
2008

"Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac on the Road"

12:12 AM

REMARKS (0)

“’You boys going to get somewhere, or just going?’ We didn’t understand his question, and it was a damned good question.”—On the Road For some devotees of Jack Kerouac, seeing the scroll on which he typed On the Road is...

Fri 15 Feb
2008

Radha St. Denis

11:54 AM

REMARKS (0)

Dance is spiritual expression —but not all dancers explore the spiritual in quite the way modernist pioneer Ruth St. Denis did. This we discovered when searching with the keyword “yoga” at the New York Public Library’s picture archive (Check...

Sat 02 Feb
2008

Abdi Assadi | Shadows on Groundhog Day (A Souljerky Yoga Vine Podcast)

03:49 PM

REMARKS (2)

Abdi Assadi's wonderful new book, Shadows on the Path, is an unflinching and inspiring discussion of spiritual seeking and crisis in today's world. Through Abdi's generous and colorful personal history, and via a cavalcade of lurid client stories culled...

Mon 28 Jan
2008

Ultraculture Journal One

11:22 AM

REMARKS (1)

Real magic happens when you drop the bullshit and remember that you’re God. Just like everybody else. No ritual required. So what are you doing? Jason Louv, Mokshadelica, Ultraculture Journal One Jason Louv, of Generation Hex infamy, has recently published...

Fri 18 Jan
2008

Chai And Bhakti Collective Roll-outs

05:41 PM

REMARKS (1)

First off, a big shout out to Kaustubha Das. If you haven't already tuned into the sweet nectar at the freshly incarnated Bhakti Collective blog, you're in for a treat. Kaustubha Das has been curating a wonderful blend of punditry...

Thu 17 Jan
2008

At Equinox: Yoga Your Freak On

08:16 PM

REMARKS (0)

I don't know how Equinox even expects people to finish watching this. Further comment is redundant. Why doesn't Equinox just hire her? Equinox ad link. (Thanks, Antonio!) YouTube contortionist link. (Thanks, Alan!)...

Tue 08 Jan
2008

Green Hermeticism

11:44 AM

REMARKS (1)

The Brooklyn Rail ran a great discussion between Souljerky-fave Peter Lamborn Wilson, David Levis Strauss, and Christopher Bamford on "Green Hermeticism" —a smart effort to infuse a (much needed) spiritual dimension into today's popular Green movement. Convincingly, they assert...

Thu 20 Dec
2007

Yoga Swami Baba Ramdev Honors BKS Iyengar

11:36 AM

REMARKS (0)

Swami Ramdev (yo), the Rishikesh-based pop yogi media sensation and guru recently visited BKS Iyengar (yo) in Pune during Iyengar's 89th birthday celebration. “You are the ‘Bheesma Pitamaha of Yoga’!...I have been yearning to meet you for long. Finally, the...

Raga Dvesha

The Vatican forgives John Lennon for saying, "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus"....But they still won't admit it. -[gbSk]

It's not news that yoga is popular with hedge fund managers and financial types, but it is surprising how the Wall Street Journal groks some of yoga's more profound teachings— "...one key principle poses an implicit challenge to Wall Streeters: Value the process of hard work rather than the rewards it brings." Good article. Yoga just might be a more effective means of political transformation than rioting the streets. Link. (Thanks, Susan!) -[SA]

Dr. Dragan Dabic, a practising mystic medicine man in Belgrade, is Europe's most wanted war criminal. Apparently he hid out at the Ostrog monastery, a Serbian Orthodox holy site, studying the traditional Balkan practices of energetic medicine and stillness meditation. Link. (Bruce Sterling visits the Doc's website.) -[SA]

Gardening has long been known for its relaxing, grounding, satisfying effects upon the mind. But now scientists have discovered a friendly and plentiful bacteria in soil which reportedly affects the brain in a way similar to antidepressants. Link. -[SA]

Yoga classes over the telephone... I wince to imagine somebody saying this with a straight face, "It's such a beautiful way to have a spiritual connection with someone." Link. (Thanks, Susan!) -[SA]

The New York Times Magazine published 20 questions for Robert Thurman. Pretty good questions; cagey, astute answers. They had me giggling out loud. Link. (Thanks, Erin!) -[SA]

Fidel Castro —“When I speak of consciousness I am not referring to a will capable of changing reality but, on the contrary, to knowledge of objective reality which can determine the path to follow.” Link. -[SA]

Just ask the J. M. Smucker Company, after relocating of the White Lily flour mill while using the same ingredients: the whole must be more than the sum of its parts. And rasa is bound to time and place, established vis-a-vie ongoing repetitions over long periods of time. ”It means something to have been made in the exact same spot for 125 years, and it’s unconscionable not to respect that.“ Link. (Thanks, Erin!) -[SA]

Probably the smartest couple of sentences in the recent New York Times article about "advanced yogis" in the USA— “Lots of young strong people want crazy tricks, and that’s fun and part of it, but in my view that’s not advanced at all.” Link. -[SA]

"Religious leaders have contended for millennia that burning incense is good for the soul. Now, biologists have learned that it is good for our brains too. In a new study...an international team of scientists...describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses." Link. (Thanks, Robert!) -[SA]

Erowid now serves honey: “Honey is perhaps the only predigested food that humans know.. [It] has a long history of use as a healing remedy or a 'heavenly medicine.'" Link. -[SA]

When Virupa was asked to throw in his robes for eating pigeons and drinking liquor, he confessed and complied. Some Buddhists however, the New York Times reports, prefer to have their cake and eat it too. Link. -[SA}

Hindu groups in India are showing no love for the Love Guru. (Who can blame 'em?) Link. (Thanks, gbSk!) -[SA]

More news on the use of yoga for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorders. Link. (via) (Thanks, Antonio!) -[SA]

The Wall Street Journal— “Yoga's Next Twist: Turning a Mystic Discipline Into an Olympic Competition” —Wouldn't breakdancing be better? Or how about Vipassana? (On second thought, maybe I have a future in yoga sportscasting...) Link. (Thanks, Susan!) -[SA]

Craigslist's Craig keeps it real in today's NYT's Business section — "While unwilling to discuss his wealth, he said he could be a lot richer if he wanted to. 'We know these guys in Google and the eBay guys,' he said, 'and they are not any happier than anyone else. A lot of money is a burden.'" Link. -[SA]

The NYT's sweet profile of a zen gardener in California— "But poison hemlock holds a special place in her heart.... Without the presence of this pernicious carrot look-alike, a potent vertigo-inducing poison that when ingested can cause death, she reasons, her garden would be all cloying lilac- and lily-scented perfection — boring, in short. The innocent-looking malevolent weed, which she allows to flourish for its capacity to draw rich minerals from the soil for compost, 'gives the garden its punch,' she said, 'snapping me back to my senses.'" Link. (Thanks, Chrysanne!) -[SA]

Muslims in western India have been observing a bizarre ritual - they've been throwing their young children off a tall building to improve their health. Link. -[Nike]

From the NYT's obit for Dr. Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD: "More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug’s value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity’s oneness with nature." Erowid has links to obituaries and remembrances world-wide. Link. -[SA]

As if the writing wasn't on the wall already-- Time is up for yoga in Mysore. (Those who know don't speak. Those who don't, teach.) Link. [SA]

Finally, an expression of yoga in the West that doesn't leave me embarrassed to be a practitioner. Keep it up! Link. The Street Yoga site. (Thanks, RF!) -[SA]

On teaching dharma to a dog. A really cute dog. Link. (Thanks, a-dub!) -[SA]

File under Kali Yuga cringe: Karmasheetra. Link. (Thanks, RF!) -[SA]

"Paambukalkku Maalamundu!" --he got them Malayalam blues. Link. (Thanks, Josh & Henry!) -[SA]

More yoga in advertising: now Apple's chiming in. (Notice how the Windows guy and the yoga girl are the losers here. Is yoga is officially uncool again?) Link. (Thanks, RF!)-[SA]

A wonderful animated rabbit film that obviously (but obliquely) says something about the poisons of the mind, like violence and greed. Karma, too, plays a role; as does idle idol worship. Wow. Link. (Thanks, RF!) -[SA]

Space Invader: Varanasi. Link. (Thanks, gbSk!) -[SA]

Yesterday's New York Times Magazine features a pithy piece on the influence of the Source Family's outlandish attire upon modern fashion designers. Link. -[SA]

Happy Dent surrealist Jyoti gum makes use of yoga poses in advertising, but easily transcends. Link. (Thanks Eddie, keep on kickin'em at me!) -[SA]

A real-life Hindu Janus has been spinning the interweb's gawking wonder wheels & is being worshipped as Goddess. Link. (Thanks Eddie, Roberto, and RF!) -[SA]

Souljerky pal and historian of yoga culture, Stefanie Syman, first pointed this phenomenon out to me in a talk last year —that "the yoga lifestyle" is now being used to sell other products, like this cell phone service in Italy. Link. (Thanks, Antonio!) -[SA]

NPR just ran an article about the Source Family with great music and slides. Link. UPDATE: It's 3 part series.. Damn! Day 2. Day 3. -[SA]

Enlighten Up is a forthcoming yoga movie that could actually succeed in articulating some of the ironies, idiocy, and vanity in which we find ourselves tangled, in mind and practice, amdist the reality of yoga teachings in today's shrinking world... but I'm not holding my breath. Link. (Thanks, Eddie!) -[SA]

Over 1500 villagers marched to the Coca-Cola company's bottling plant in Mehdiganj in Varanasi, India yesterday demanding that the bottling plant shut down immediately... Breaking a police barrier, the villagers rallied at the plant's gate accusing the company of creating severe water shortages and polluting the water and land. Link. (Thanks, Eddie!) -[SA]

Indeed, yoga in America has gone to the dogs. Link. -[sb]

The Application of Yoga Meditation Techniques to the Use of Psychedelic Sacraments by Sri Brahmarishi Narad. This article originally appeared as an uncopyrighted set of mimeographed sheets sometime during the late 1960’s, which was freely distributed on a limited basis, probably in San Francisco. Link. (Thanks, Stefanie!) -[SA]

Ganesh gets a bag - and the designer assures us that the "puja room-like icon" with 12,000 crystals in 30 colours is indeed special. Link. -[RF]

Scientists are beginning to uncover evidence that meditation has a tangible effect on the brain. Link. (Thanks, gbSk!) -[SA]

"Everyone's trying to get that spiritual moment of perfection. We had it. We lived it." —the Surf Wise trailer. Link. Apple Trailers link. (Thanks, RF!) -[SA]

The Army just unveiled a $4 million program to investigate everything from "spiritual ministry, transcendental meditation, [and] yoga" to "bioenergies such as Qi gong, Reiki, [and] distant healing" to mend the psyches of wounded troops. Link. (Thanks, Rachel! -- also via) -[SA]

The sacred moais on Easter Island, monolithic statues of Polynesian ancestors, are phenomenal works of human ingenuity. By defacing one of them and stealing a chunk of its earlobe, a tourist has reminded us of the folly we are also capable of. Link. -[sb]

The spiritual side of beauty: Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, and other fabulous hair extension fans often end up wearing a hairy prasadam "outsourced" from women who offer up their locks to Hindu gods in Indian temples. Follow one pilgrim's hair from Bangalore to Munich. Link. -[RW]

A still-at-large bear has been convicted of honey theft by an exasperated beekeeper. "For a while he kept the animal away by buying a generator, lighting up the area, and playing thumping Serbian turbo-folk music." Link. -[sb]

A bandit-infested region of India is trying to persuade men to undergo sterilisation by offering to fast-track their gun licence applications. Link. -[RF]

In honor of Equinox, Toby Sifton just emailed this lovely, ancient description of the onslaught of springtime—“During Spring the subtlety and vastness of the universe, the intelligence and intuition of the human being, the ability of the earth to produce the ten thousand things, the natural movement of wind, and the upward motion of plants, collectively produce the movement of the tendons, the color green, the shouting of the voice, spasms and convulsions, the eyes, the the sour taste, and the angry emotions. These are all associated with the liver, since the liver is responsible for maintaining the patency of the flow of energy, and its nature is movement and expansion.” - Qi Bo, The Yellow Emperor's Classic. Link (pdf excerpt). -[SA]

Chinese officials have given their first formal account of clashes in Tibet, as violent protests spread. Link. BBC slideshow. TibetNews link. (Thanks, David Newman!) -[SA]

This moving TED talk was passed around by emails last week —Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight. (It's interesting how both Dr. Bolte Taylor and Ram Dass become transcendentally informed by this tragic occurrence). Link. (Thanks Dom & Jamie!) -[SA]

Okay, so nadis work via some kind of bio-electrical mechanics, right? And by stimulating certain channels and chakras, specific results can be achieved. Fine. But it's all-too-easy to get stuck in the mud on the way up the spine... Move over Orgasmatron, move over Excessive Machine, electric orgasms are now being served. Link. (Thanks, David!) -[SA]

Buddhist monk, a.k.a. "Mr. Happiness," plans to hip-hop you out of suffering. Link. Mr. Happiness blog (in Japanese). -[RF]

NPR's show New Sounds recently aired a program on the music of South India. Link. -[sb]

The Jimmy Kimmel security team takes yoga at AYLA. It's a pretty silly talk show situation. Link. (Thanks, Roberto!) -[SA]

Is bottled water becoming as uncool as smoking indoors? Link. -[RF]

Researchers recently revealed the first 30,000 pages of the online Encyclopedia of Life, a collaboration between the general public and scientists to document all life on earth—an estimated 1.8 million known species. Link. -[sb]

A clinic in Goa has a new program for treating mental illness in the developing world, with talk therapy, yoga, and medication. Link. -[sb]


More praise for turmeric. Link. -[sb]

Holy Moses! —"The acacia tree also has psychedelic properties... is mentioned frequently in the Bible, and was the type of wood of which the Ark of the Covenant was made." Was the man tripping? Link. -[SA]

A chunk of incense shows how the making of Maya blue, the superpigment used in Maya ritual, was a ritual in itself. Link. -[sb]

Cheer up: depression's not so bad. "Psychological unease can generate creative work and the rebirth after depression brings a new love affair with life." Link. -[sb]

Remote participation for the Oneironauticum is open —“Shakyamuni Buddha taught his followers to consider reality a dream. All phenomena, in waking and dreaming states alike, arises and dissolves around our own impermanent subjectivity... waking and dreaming worlds are merely different states of being in a world forged from thoughtform.“ Link. -[SA]

Somehow The Golden Child blipped by me unnoticed upon its 1986 debut, but it now tops my Netflix que —a hair-lipped, mustache-era Eddie Murphy goes to Tibet to save the world. Link. (Thanks, David108!) -[SA]

Unchained monkeys get hitched. Link. -[sb]

Spock to White Rabbit: Feed your head! Link. (Thanks, l.i.!) -[SA]

"Indian music seems to embody universal principals... a language in itself which is spiritual in nature..." explains Alice Coltrane as she drops an audio love bomb on Bombay circa 1978 w/ Don Cherry, Zakir Hussain, and violinist L. Shankar. Link. (Thanks, Marcus!)-[SA]

Oxford academics have been awarded 1.9 million pounds for scientific study on "why we believe in God". Link. -[gbSk]

Were yogi samskaras engrained into our soft young minds vis-a-vie Sesame Street? Link. -[RF]

A prison in Norway has stopped holding yoga classes after it found that instead of calming inmates, they were actually making some more aggressive. Link. -[RF]

The hero, his wife, and the demon king get a makeover as the Ramayana hits the TV screen, again. Link. Link. YouTube. -[SB]

Souljerky homie Erik Davis talks with Sun City Girls guitar legend Sir Richard Bishop about India, tantra, Assam, Kamakhya, shaktipitha, goddess, death, Varanasi, pilgrimage, deity, and of course, music. Link. -[SA]

Aditya "Romeo" Dev is the world's smallest bodybuilder. Link. (Thanks, gbSk!) -[SA]

Dis-ease curing shirts and trousers... Link. -[RF]

More fruits from Hin-jew diaspora: the Kirtan Rabbi! Link. -[SA]

Trained by monks: tea pickin' monkeys. Buy some. Link. (via + via: Thanks, Robert!)

“What he wanted was to stop looking at history through a rearview mirror and to probe the meaning of the present. Whether he liked it or not, however, he was a futurologist, if only because he never stopped repeating that with information travelling at the speed of light the present is the future." --from In the Garden with the Guru. Link. (Thanks, Rachel!) -[SA]

“On the highest point of the mountain is a mound of earth, forming an altar of Zeus Lykaios, and from it most of the Peloponnesus can be seen,” penned ancient greek travel writer, Pausanias. Now archeologists have found evidence that this super-puja site enjoyed some pre-Greek, pre-Zeus use. Link. (Thanks, Barry!) -[SA]

There's a church in NYC that sports 150+ (and growing) weekly congregation with ceremonies held in a rotating (and seemingly endless) set of yoga studios across the city. Now the LA Times Magazine reports upon this swelling cultural tide --the popularity of Ayahuasca, its ceremonies and churches, particularly amongst 20+30-somethings. Link. -[SA]

Liz Claiborne Inc. sold active brand Prana for $36.5 million (+$4 million or so depending upon 2008 performance) to Prana Living LLC, a company formed by Prana's management team, and Steelpoint Capital Partners, a private equity firm with a portfolio that includes Kidrobot and Tasti D-Lite... Claiborne is to receive $18.1 million in cash after settling a contingent earnout of $18.4 million owed to Prana's founders, who reinvested the money in the buyout. All of the estimated 80 staffers on the Prana team will stay. Link. -[SA]

Baba Ramdev: ‘I have cured more than 1,000 cancer patients.’ Link. -[SA]

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi steps down and retires from his empire: "His work is done and now he'll be concentrating on the field of silence and dedicating himself more to pure knowledge rather than administrative matters." Link. -[SA]

Sometimes Rob Brezsny can really hit the nail. From this week's Real Astrology (Pisces) —"Neither God nor the gods are dead, but they've virtually disappeared because so few people are capable of carrying on authentic relationships with them anymore. The materialist delusion rules our world: Millions believe that nothing is real unless it can be perceived by the five senses. So what can the deities do, having been banished from our midst?" (He gives a decent answer.) Link. -[SA]

The Boston Globe just ran a story about yoga in the workplace. Link. -[SA]

Just because they're hot & nude doesn't mean they can't take it to the Himalayas and get knocked up. Link. -[SA]

Buy a car, get a free puja. Link. -[SA]

Advertiser-funded "scientists" create brilliant "new" colors with mind-bending, psychedelic franken-mooshikas: "Using genetic tricks to develop fluorescent proteins, the scientists were able to colourize the grey matter in the mice, resulting in the emergence of about 90 new colours. Unfortunately, you need an expensive telescope equipped with a neon light (or a tab of mellow yellow [LSD]) to see them." Link. (Drat! Link just switched to a pay-based article scheme. Although not nearly as culturally weird --or well written-- you can read about Brainbows at Wikipedia... ) -[SA]

A solar-powered IT rickshaw, "Telecentre On Wheels": A manually run tricycle featuring two solar panels which power a laptop computer with Internet, a printer, and facilities for digital photography. LInk. (Thanks, Antonio!) -[SA]

Modern cosmologists in the New York Times slowly begin to wrap their minds around an old quandary —"How do you compute the probability to be reincarnated to the probability of being born?" Link. (Thanks, Stef!) -[SA]

Dow Jones and Dharma Investments to launch new indexes measuring the performance of companies according to the value systems and principles of Dharmic religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. Link. (via the stellar Bhakti Collective) -[SA]

Scientific American surveys the new, rising wave of interest in psychedelic therapy. Souljerky-pal Dr. Strassman is featured (I participated in his early-mid-90's, ground-breaking study). Maybe the times are a changing. Link. (Thanks, Chris!) -[SA]

Dewy Cox in India with the Beatles. Link. (Thanks, A-dub!) -[SA]

John Cleese reports on laughter yoga. Link. (Thanks, A-dub!) -[SA]

How modernization is making the age-old profession of the Indian letter writer obsolete. Link. -[gbSk]

A new law will allow woman to work behind the bar in India. Link. -[gbSk]

Daytona, Florida yoga teacher gets tasered. Link. -[gbSk]

The Washington Post celebrates Laura Huxley as "a devotee of yoga, the trampoline and natural foods." While the New York Times lists her as a concert violinist, freelance filmmaker, lay psychotherapist, self-help author, head of a children’s foundation, lecturer on the human potential movement, and "a restrained investigator of LSD." She died this month at age 96. Aum Nama Shivaya. Link. Link. -[SA]

Salon has a smart interview on the "atheist delusion". Link. -[SA]

Dig this Anandamayi Ma archival love explosion, brimming with video, bhajans and more from the late, great 20th century master. Link. (Thank you, Shambavi!) -[SA]

Our Beloved Mooshika is not the only fearless rodent on the block. Link. -[gbSk]

This is not what i though i would get when i saw a headline that said "Lakshmi" and "Eight Limbs", but well worth posting. Link. - [gbSk]

One's perspective alters the material world: "Simply by telling 44 hotel maids that what they did each day involved some serious exercise... [researchers] were apparently able to lower the women’s blood pressure, shave pounds off their bodies and improve their body-fat and 'waist to hip' ratios." Link. -[SA]

National Institute of Ayurveda to begin its online consultancy service within a month. Link. - [gbSk]

The Wall Street Journal: "Real kung fu monks don't fight. They meditate and practice kung fu to reach enlightenment." And my favorite quote of the article: "Every fist contains my love." Link. -[SA]

In India, death is a part of life — and, at one restaurant in western India, a part of lunch. The bustling New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmadabad is famous for its milky tea, its buttery rolls, and the graves between the tables. Link. (Thanks, Shankara!) -[SA]

The Japanese lunar explorer Serene beams back HD video of the earth. Link. - [gbSk]

TIME magazine posted the "Top 10 Religion Stories" of 2007: #3 The Reverend Jerry Fallwell dies; #9 The Creation Museum opens. Link. -[gbSk]

Is Bal Ganesh is available on DVD? Link. (Thanks, Robert!) -[SA]

The resident monks of Divya Dham temple are bringing the Himalayas to Queens —via a replica that spans almost an entire basketball court. Link. (Thanks, David!) -[SA]

Discovery throws down a pretty snazzy clip on dabawalas and their crazy routing algorithms: "To work, you need a strong mind and body. God has given us this. Not education." Link. (Thanks, Kelley!)

A judge in India has summoned two Hindu gods, Ram and Hanuman, to help resolve a property dispute. Link. (Thanks, Shankara!) -[SA]

An open letter to Ram and Hanuman ...."You failed to appear in court despite notices sent by a peon and later through registered post. You are herby directed to appear before the court personally", Judge Singh's notice said. Link. -[gbSk]

After being pressured by the Chinese government to run as "Miss Tibet/China," Tsering Chungtak pulls out of "Miss Tourism" pageant. Link. -[gbSk]

Fly. (Thanks, A-Dub!) -[SA]

Jesus loves His Dark Materials —“They relish spirit and the magic of belief and love, are soaked through with divine inspiration of a kind any intelligent Christian (or honest spiritual seeker of any stripe, for that matter) should crave the way Lindsay Lohan craves cocaine.” Link. -[SA]

This one's on my must-see list: How To Cook Your Life. Link. -[SA]

I would really love one of these bad boys to help me out with my asana practice every now and again. What is frightening is that the military seems to get it's paws on all these gizmos first. as Maxwell Smart used to say "if only they used their powers for good instead of evil." Link. - [gbSk] (You might have to hit 'refresh' on your browser.)

A retired Italian insurance broker uses his powers of 'remote vision' to construct an underground temple the local government has dubbed "the eighth wonder of the world". Link. -[gbSk]

I've always noticed the "MADE IN INDIA" imprint on New York City manhole covers. A New York Times reporter uncovers the story. Link. Slideshow. -[gbSk]

A Chicago Tribune columnist cures his insomnia with guided meditation podcasts that bore him to sleep. Link. -[SA]

Will Smith, who has studied Hinduism and Buddhism, studies Scientology with Tom Cruise —wherein, Smith points out, 'spirit' is called a 'thetan'. In yoga that might be called a purusha. Now Smith might try explaining that to Amy Winehouse, who apparently has taken to the practice. Link. More. -[SA]

Children's yoga classes deemed "un-Christian" and banned by Somerset vicars...too many priceless quotes to choose just one. See for yourself. Link. - [gbSk]

Foreign tourists to many of India's most famous landmarks will no longer be able to pay the entrance fee in dollars, the government says. Link. (Thanks, Shankara!) -[SA]

The Palestinian philosopher Sari Nusseibeh: "If you think about it, when we talk about politics and history and how events unfold, sometimes we talk as if it's all about metaphysical forces. We assume...that there are objective impossibilities. I am a pragmatic philosopher. And...in the final analysis it's not so complicated. It can be reduced to the actions of a person, and that person can in fact make a lot of difference." Link. -[SA]

A Thai painter has the nation in a Saturnian uproar over Monks With Traits of a Crow. Link. -[SA]

This is hilarious: Lululemon may have shown Wall Street that there's money in yoga, but there's something fishy (Why would they lie?) about their seaweed fabric. Link. (Thanks, Erin!) -[SA]

Acupuncture is more effective at relieving lower back pain than conventional methods, German researchers report. Link. (via) -[SA]

"What establishes the authority of the Buddhist teacher in America is the book... I can't say for sure whether that is good or bad, but let's at least be honest about it." (It's even worse in yoga, where you don't even need to write. Just speak in platitudes and hire a stylist.) Link. -[SA]

An Indian man marries a female dog to help him atone for stoning two dogs to death. Link. (Thanks, Shankara!) -[SA]

I lived on the moon. Link. -[SA]

An Aussie radio program (podcast too) explores the neuroscience of meditation and its increasing use in evidence-based mental health treatments: Dr Mindfulness: Science and the Meditation Boom. Link. (via) -[SA]

Back in the 80's I saw a sign in a LA tattoo shop that read, "Life is uncertain, get her name in Japanese". I guess in this new millennium it's more trendy to get her (or his) name in Sanskrit. So, if you don't wanna screw up like Beckham ...this guy's here to help. Link. -[gbSk]

Richard Davidson, a University of Wisconsin neuroscientist and among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People for 2006, is spearheading a national pilot study on the effects of contemplation in the classroom: "The brain can change in response to training," he says, dismissing any notion of unwarranted mind control. "I think this is actually deprogramming" children from media influence and "returning the mind to its natural, unprogrammed state." Link. -[SA]

Even a rough morning at your local yoga class will seem like a cake walk after seeing this flickr set from the "Mongolian Contortion School". Link. -[gbSk]

JAXA (Japan's version of NASA) and uber-broadcaster NHK team up to bring the first ever HIGH DEF video of the moon's surface shot from lunar orbit. Link. -[gbSk]

Now the LA Times is chiming in on western medicine's new interest in yoga and meditation, particularly for pain management — "Doctor's orders: Cross your legs and say 'Om'"! Link. (via) -[SA]

She may have sold sanctuary, but these days it's more about Buddha Dharma. The classic psychedelic metal band, The Cult, is taking cue from the American Beats and singing more about liberation and detachment from the wheel of suffering. "I think everyone is looking for spiritual authenticity, not only in the arts, but in life." Link. -[SA]

ABC News ran a hefty piece about yoga for heart failure patients that's making waves at the American Heart Association: "There was considerable improvement in their overall ability to do well... [They had] improved moods and felt better, with not as much depression... They slept better, they were more energetic." Link. -[SA]

The simple message that a Cleveland Clinic doctor couldn't say on Oprah —that proper breathing, meditation and a sensible diet can extend your life. He has nice x-rays too. And recommends a neti-pot. Nice! Link. -[SA]

This past Sunday the New York Marathon began (for professional men and the general public) at 10:08 AM. I find that somewhat peculiar and magickal. Link. (Thanks, Eddie!) -[SA]

Gifts for the Gods: Images From Egyptian Temples. Exhibition: Link. NY Times review: Link. -[SA]

NPR ran a news piece on Mysore's status as a yoga mecca and how that spells cash money to the local economy. Plus it makes yoga fashionable (again) to the indigenous middle and upper class. How cool is that? Link. (Thanks, Heidi! via) -[SA]

Ground breaking ceremonies for the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple were held this weekend in Berlin. When completed in 2009 it will be Europe's 2nd largest Hindu temple. Link.....(who's the BIGGEST?). -[gbSk]

Without comment: Yoga for Indie Rockers. Links: Amazon. Netflix. MySpace. (Thanks, Stefanie!) -[SA]

“I Am” —Brion Gysin's classic existential machine-sound-poem from 1960. Link. (via) -[SA]

Maybe we can blame god for global warming. The bible is filled with fire and brimstone, floods, and other fun ecological disasters. Now you can listen as contemporary scholars go back to the good book to look for modern day answers. Link. - [EdSh]

Donovan, David Lynch, and What-the-Bleep talking-head, physicist John Hagelin have been touring the UK promoting the Invincible Donovan University — offering "traditional" university subjects as well as training in transcendental meditation— "I know it sounds like an airy-fairy hippy dream to go on about '60s peace and love... [but] the world is ready for this now, it is clear this is the time." Link. -[SA]

Disney's Ratatouille has our lil' rug-rats clamouring for pet Mooshikas. Link. -[SA]

The outsourced brain. Link. (thanks, Dom!)

FOLLOW UP - while most of the space rock failed to bring in the big dollars, the bovine killer fetched $1,554. Link. -[gbSk]

I've been in condom-plation over the term "Nirodah": used both by Patanjali in his classic summation of yoga, and in this pro-condom television jingle. Link. (via) -[SA]

"I am Shiva the God of Death!"— a phrase repeated twice in Michael Clayton (and in the trailer). The movie's pretty good too. Link. -[SA]

'Cow-eating' trees of Padrame. Link. -[gbSk] UPDATE: Now on video! Link. (via) -[SA]

Praise the lord and pass the hotdogs! No more philandering, gambling, or bearing false witness for these sports players, for if they want to win the big game they rely on the big guy upstairs. Link. -[EdSh]

Souljerky pal Barnaby Harris, of Fuck Yoga infamy, has Frank Gehry wearing one of his new shirts: Fuck Frank Gehry. Link. -[SA]

Bid against Steven Spielberg and Yo-Yo Ma as a bovine killing space rock goes on the auction block in NYC. Link. -[gbSk]

Delicious and brilliant: Let's get drunk and meditate. Link. (via) -[SA]

Running all the way 'Om'. Link -[SA]

I’m not sure if these guys will have the impact that bands like Shelter and the whole straight-edge scene had on raising Krishna Consciousness, but Boston based MC's Govinda Sky are takin' the bhav to the streets with tunes like Black Smoke Rising and My Samadhi. (Read more about the Krishna-core scene by our BFF Erik Davis.) Link. –[gbSk]

In an NPR interview, Condoleezza Slice, captain of Scare Force One, a DC women's roller derby team says, "I think some people find stress relief in yoga, ya know, things that are more calming and some people need a more maybe violent…maybe contact sport." Hmmmmm! Link. -[gbSk]

Dutch levitator, Ramana, outsourced his trade from India. Link. (via) -[SA]

Discover Magazine recently had a contest to...create a two minute or less video of everything you need to know about string theory. You can view some of the best entries (video) as well as the winning video: String Ducky!” Link. (via) -[SA]

In the spirit of Charlie Manson, former U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft and other psychopathic crooners, it seems that Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo's jailed leader Shoko Asahara was a bit of a mischevious minstrel himself. Link. -[gbSk]

A new yoga school in Brooklyn, popular with journalists (Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Salon, Glamour, The Observer) — “New York is a great laboratory—when the guy on the subway won’t move, how do you make that a yogic moment, instead of flipping him off?” Link. (via) -[SA]

It's the 50th anniversary of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency. And what better metaphor for the nation than the almighty (on the) dollar? Link. -[EdSh]

Good luck finding Jesus. He's sold out. Link. -[SA]

Cody throws down a solid first draft of a plain english version of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, Sadhana Pada (Book 1). Link. (Thanks, Rachel!) -[SA]

The story of Oedipus in 8 minutes, performed by vegetables. Link. -[SA]

I come from a long line of shepards, so what's the big deal, science? You think you's so fancy. It's 15% human, sure. But I'm 15% sheep. Link. (Thanks, Kelly D!) -[SA]

Christmas and the fourth of July may only come but once a year, but if you live in New York City you can have the lights and fireworks concurrently. On Oct. 14th over 100,000 people are expected to visit the day-long Diwali mela. Satiate your spiritual cravings at Americas largest Diwali celebration. Link. -[EdSh]

A Calcutta community is building a huge model of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in celebration of the Durga Puja festival, and JK Rowling is suing for copyright infringement. Link. (Thanks, Shankara!) -[SA]

Check it. Madlib's mindnumbing audio-video globalist mashup groove rises up above the chafe: Beat Konducta in India. Link. (via) -[SA]

"The commercialization of holy festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi ("festival") and Durga Puja ("worship") has meant people want bigger and brighter idols and are no longer happy with the ones made from eco-friendly materials." Link. (Thanks, David!) -[SA]

Feeling short of “divinely superfluous neurons,” and really who isn’t, then you might not have spent enough time at recess as a kid. In an interview on the NPR program Speaking of Faith Dr. Stuart Brown draws a link between play and the development of spirit and character. He suggests that play, in its many forms, reduces levels of violence and promotes trust and empathy. This is one more example of modern science confirming ancient wisdom – the shastras told us ages ago that it was through divine play (lila) that world was brought into existence. Link. -[EdSh]

If you can describe the most profound act of kindness that you've ever witnessed or received by the end of tomorrow, and email it to Beliefnet, you can win free tickets to attend HHDL's teachings on Nagarjuna's 70 Verses on Emptiness. Link. -[SA]

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Deep respect to Ashtanga Yoga New York & Sri Ganesha Temple for many blessings, including the creation and incubation of the Sri Ganesha Tea & Book Stall. Further still, thanks and praise to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. Also a big up to Namarupa, we are continually surprised and inspired by the magazine's wit, reverence, and dedication. Stay tuned peeps, God willing, a real links page will be here soon.

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Credits

Foremost credit goes to my wife Erin for her tireless patience + support of this endeavor. Thanks to Barry Silver for the artwork in the above banner and for his friendship, to Robert Beer for the illustrations. Thanks to Eddie Stern for his ongoing support and for providing inspiration. Thanks to my fellow farmers at One Digital Farm for help growing this.

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