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, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

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

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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.

Interview, Society, Spirituality

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


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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!

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

Episode 19: Building an Ecological House – Part II


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Building an ecological house… is what I am going to do. Because I feel a responsiblity towards taking care of myself and changing the current situation on earth.

People, like you and me, are starting to wake up and bypass the status quo, because the disillusionment of pleasing authorities that exist in our imaginations is over-grown, like disengaged tree branches falling and crippling away at their stems.

Bodily freedom comes with enjoying life’s blessings and eliminating the stress of chasing bills for energy companies who could give a damn if we stay warm or not. Freedom comes when we are living authentically, under less pressure, acknowledging the inner space to let thoughts, emotions, sensations, and material sense objects flow through our experience without having to cling to them. Our current cultures all encourage clinging: to business (busy-ness), to success, to sense stimulation, to future events, to familiar people, to our reputation, and more subtly, to habits (“Samskaras” in Buddhist/Hindu philosophy), and to self-image. That is: the external world and its multiplicity of situations.

In my previous episode (#18), I talked about how the Industrial Revolution ignited massive economic change in Europe and North America, spurring the growth of the consumer society we now live in. It’s not our fault, but we made rash decisions when the population boomed and kept growing larger. Cities replaced rural lifestyles, factory lines replaced craftsmanship, and railroads promoted long-haul transport. Now we have a system (again, imaginary, but passed right along by our forefathers) that encourages working to get by while life passes us by.

So… I will build an eco-house and harness wind and solar power to create a home where the family are reliant on nature and live closely with her; we will grow our own fruit and vegetables and freeze them over winter. We will nurture animals who come to live with us. We will spend time making music, taking long walks, reading, podcasting, painting, building guitars, and have a healing centre with massage and meditation.

I feel the responsiblity to be free — to inspire the rest of humanity to be free.

If you have similar ideas that need expression or an inspiring thought to share, then comment below!