Buddhism, Hinduism / Sanatana Dharma, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 29: What is Advaita Vedanta? — Interview with Swamini Brahmaprajnananda


1920-1024x727

As Swamini’s guru most eloquently put it: ‘In psychology there is no solution to the human problem. In Vedanta, there is no problem.’

Swamini was classically trained as a modern psychologist and moved her consciousness forward, based on the limits she saw within this framework. Thus, she trained under her Advaita Vedanta guru and master, H.H. Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji — renowned as the best teacher of his time until his death in 2015.

Advaita Vedanta is an ancient body of wisdom which has two functions: to realise God/Brahman fully and to live day-to-day life well. Advaita aims to realise non-duality and also relies on the Vedic Upanishads as core guides to truth and realisation. Thus, we see these two functions in action: direct recognition of God and also living a wise life.

As a follower of Advaita Zen (also called neo-Advaita), I have gained a deep intellectual understanding of non-duality, the formless, emptiness, and being. However, the experience or manifestation of these has been few and far between, leading me on a more gradual approach to enlightenment via the Buddhist path — because I found that I was still suffering, or experiencing dukkha (dissatisfaction) in my everyday life.

As a seer of this, Swamini points out to us what neo-Advaita lacks in terms of longevity for the awakener, which my direct experience has also taught me. She elaborates on these points in our episode with ease and grace:

1. Neo-Advaita lacks lineage, gurus, and disciples
2. Simple reliance upon the Netti-Netti method (Not-this, Not-this)
3. Based on the individual human being only, without a larger context
4. De-emphasis on the importance of a guru, prepatory practices, and maturity of the student/seeker
5. No scriptural basis, as scriptures point out ‘what cannot be figured out by my own perception or logic alone’

We also go over Hinduism in relation to Advaita and whether Buddhism and Advaita share the exact meaning in the face of spiritual awakening, where I believe that they do and Swamini believes they do not… unless we interpret the Buddhist Dharma in the correct way

Listen, enjoy, and send your questions to me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com and find Swamini at www.discoveratma.com and on The River of Wisdom Podcast.

 

Buddhism, Interview, Society, Spirituality

Episode 28: Music & Buddhism — Interview with Bill Protzmann


BillProtzman-Headshots-2008-027 copy
Welcome Bill Protzmann to the show!

Bill has a wealth of experience with Buddhism, spanning back 30 years; along his spiritual path, he has come to view making music and specifically playing the piano, as embodying Buddhism and being in the moment.

There is a Zen proverb that says that the best way to enlightenment is through laughter… because you’re thinking about nothing! The second best way to enlightenment is through music… because you can’t guess the next note or how you will feel when in the middle of a composition.

Music has a way of being right there with us, and this feeds into the performer even when he’s practicing. We do mess up, we do feel fear, and we do feel all the emotions connected with our audience and what we’ve written — our “private world” is shattered when we play with and for others. Music connects ourselves to ourselves and each other to each other.

Though he has done a plethora of interviews, our episode must be unique, as Bill lets his personality flower as we connect as two musicians on the Buddhist path and even touch on a bit of quantum physics, issues in the United States, entrepreneuriship, and tips on music and podcasting.

As a beginner of piano at the age of three, Bill has come to be now involved in music care, which is a therapeutic approach to using music as a tool to aid in mental and physical wellbeing.

He runs both www.practicalheartskills.com and www.billprotzmann.com where you can find out more about music care in San Diego, California.

Buddhism, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 26: Living Life as the Tao – Interview with Harry Sherwood

yin-yang

Is there a way to be in harmony with life itself?

Harry Sherwood was a seeker for 10 years to reach the way in which life could truly unfold for him. Englightenment had been his grasp for quite some time — he studied all across the world with various yogis, monks, and shamans; practiced Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and yoga; witnessed dozens of ceremonies; and has been in touch with many states of consciousness… and they were all deeply valuable to him, as he was finally handed the “way of the Tao” in the end.

…Yet it is not the end of his human story!

Resistance and discomfort and disharmony can still be in one’s consciousness. Can we accept that, within the larger framework that life is handing us? Can we surrender to the divine and come back into balance? If there is tugging – can we simply let tugging be there?

Harry’s illuminating interview gives a grasp on what it means to be living in the Tao and exploring what subtle energies lie just beneath the surface waves of consciousness. These are subtle yet powerful indicators of where there is balance or imbalance. And it’s all okay.

I highly recommend consulting Harry, who runs www.consciously.org, as this beautiful being is clearly in congruence with an open gateway to the divine. As we are all spirits subject to the human condition, we can choose to harness the awareness of our sixth sense and to find our rhythm, our Tao, and our flow here on earth.

Also join Harry’s Master Soul group running from this summer, 2019 through 2020. The focus is on Dharana & Dhyana, The Sacred Tao, Chi, and Dzogchen. “We are purposefully going to keep the group small and intimate so we can make sure everyone involved is dedicated to the practice.

Enjoy the interview, and have a listen to the absolutely beautiful Tao Te Ching below:

For all beings everywhere:

May you be happy. May you be peaceful. May you be free from all suffering. Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Buddhism, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 25: The Prospective Billionaire Who Walked Away – Interview with Danny Levin


themosaic2
Danny Levin was a prospective billionaire who gave it all away to focus on connectivity in the human kingdom. When speaking with him, his humblnesss came across; when you listen to the episode, you can feel what sort of vibe Danny has. His interest is clearly not on himself but on a wider message for humanity and his role in the mosaic of life.

I wondered, “What leads a person, verging on being a billionaire and dining with the finest, to throwing it all away? And what is the solution he found after this noble step?”

He also doesn’t delve deeply into this topic, nor the fact he had been a monk for 10 years — but he does reveal what fascinates him most deeply as we open up and talk.

Clearly in the present, he found what has meaning in terms of appreciation and gratitude for the differing perspectives in the world: the farmer is just as important as the business man… they just have a different view. And we are inextricably interlinked and interdependent on each other.

Danny has authored the book, The Mosaic, where different characters in the puzzle intertwine to find their connectivity. Find The Mosaic and connect with Danny at www.themosaiconline.com!

As always, you can reach me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com.

mosaic-book

 

Interview, Society, Spirituality

Episode 21: Energy, Tantra, and Awakening with Julie Jancius


PODCAST_Angels_Awakening.webp

Welcome Julie Jancius to the show! Julie noticed she could communicate with the Other Side as she was mundanely brushing through her daughter’s hair, and her deceased father’s voice rang clear through her mind. He had a message for her! Far from being a one-off, she now honed her gift and brings through messages for people having a hard time on this planet from the Other Side, where passed relatives, friends, and angels give their advice from this higher vibration. She explains clearly how this happens in our episode together.

This has me wondering… is the Other Side completely omniscient? Or do they know more than we know about ourselves, simply because they are no longer “people like us” but “transformed energy” that operates on a level that knows energy, love, and wisdom with ease?

Aside from the Other Side, we share our knowledge on energy, both within and without the physical body… dive into the true meaning of Tantra and Kundalini… and share our personal awakening stories that may resonate with yours.

If you have an awakening story to share, please email curiousbodhi@zoho.com so we can get you on the show!