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

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


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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, Satsang, Spirituality

Episode 12: Going to the Roots of “Being”


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In this episode, we talk about Be-ing and how to “get there”. It’s a bit disingenuous to say that anybody can “get there”, because in reality, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. It is a recognition of Being and going back to your roots.

This is what is meant by the great perfection; meditation. To be, and to simply watch your thoughts, emotions, sensations, patterns, concepts, and basic human experience arise and pass away from moment to moment from one eternal, unchanging, permanent place. Any moment.

If all is passing through and changing, then what is left?

As always, give me a shout at curiousbodhi@zoho.com!

Interview, Spirituality

Episode 5 – Interview with Tattooist Jeffrey Segundo on Following Instincts


image00028Tattoo Art by Jeffrey Segundo

As the birds chirp in the backdrop to this episode, I speak to Jeffrey Segundo straight from Melbourne, Australia where we have an organic conversation about his humanness and spirituality.

We met when he made the decision to do a guest spot at our tattoo studio, Fifth Dimension Tattoo & Piercing in London. Jeff really inspired us with his positive attitude and the willingness to be open to any situation that stood before him — he’s such a natural character, and it’s such a blessing to be able to have met and keep in touch with him! He gives “going with the flow” a new name.

All artists have the gift of taking the mundane and making it more precious, more beautiful. This is exactly what Jeff does with his tattoo art form, as he’s been practicing for the past eight years, and he also does so with his gratitude for life. You can connect with Jeff at @juxtagram on Instagram.

Enjoy listening with us in this podcast, and please be in touch at curiousbodhi@zoho.com if you have a story about your own spiritual awakening.

Interview, Spirituality

Episode 4: Interview with Jana Rosenbergova on Freedom


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Good morning or afternoon, wherever you are! Jana Rosenbergova is a massage therapist working out of East London — in London Fields near Broadway Market, to be exact. She has been in the trade for around six years. With her expertise, she has been growing and learning the art of massage through traditional techniques such as deep tissue and Swedish massage, hot stone, and even Indian head massage, yet she integrates her own spin on the practices that can only be described as divine.

Jana’s instinct towards freedom, imbibed in her personality, comes out in each and every treatment session as she meets her clients where they are.

I am one of them. For years, I have experienced back pain; chronic, to the extent that it has been hanging around for as long as I can remember, but also just another human facet of busy London-life, breakups with ex-partners, a dash of ruffled-up sleeping habits, and perhaps not enough yogic postures to keep my spine limber. I am also a daily runner, trekking between 5-10 kilometres per day every morning, so massage is paramount in the weekly routine to keep my body happy and healthy. Jana has met me in this juncture, as a runner and as someone who has carried around a bit too much in her past.

Knowing Jana for just over a year has been such a pleasure and we have created a bond that will last a lifetime. (We even joke that we knew each other in the past and the bond will last multiple lifetimes!) She knows not just my physical pain but also my mental and spiritual pain, and I’m completely safe to put that into her “hands” and let the tensions melt back into the source.

Jana is first and foremost a healer and takes seriously the desire for spiritual and emotional growth and wellbeing for the people and natural elements of this planet. In the future, she hopes to go to a more lush and natural setting, like South America, to further her skills and learn from more masters.

You can email Jana for a massage at holisticandhair@gmail.com or visit her website at holisticandhair.co.uk.

Have a blessed human experience today!