Torah and Veda are two ancient sources of spirituality still vibrant today. Torah is conveyed through the sacred language of Hebrew and Veda is conveyed through the sacred language of Sanskrit. The focus here is on meditation, mysticism, philosophy, psychology and the underlying spirituality that has been incorporated into religions, and not as much on the religions themselves. Your comments and posts are welcome.

An Interspiritual Journey
Find Your Inspiration and Follow It

Quote of the Week 321 -Reality is a Sound

Reality is a sound, you have to tune in to it not just keep yelling.

-- Anne Carson


I will be making the following presentations at the Vedanta Center of Atlanta on Sunday, May 17, 2015. The morning program begins with 30 minutes of meditation starting at 10:30 AM. The morning presentation will begin at 11 AM and last for one hour. The afternoon session will run two hours, from 1:15 PM through 3:15 PM. There is a little meet and greet coffee session between the two sessions, and enough time to catch a quick bite to eat. The public is welcome, there is no charge for either session (although donations are accepted, but no plate is passed around) and no reservations are needed. The Vedanta Center of Atlanta is located at 2331 Brockett Road, Tucker, GA 30084; 770-938-6673. It is at the corner of Adrian and Brockett, one block from LaVista.

Morning Session

Abstraction, Form and Meditation. A good deal of spiritual and religious expression, like the paths of bhakti and karma, is engaged in exploring phenomena whereby spiritual realities are experienced as or through form and ritual. Another avenue of spiritual expression and experience focuses more on the abstract, the formless, like the paths of jnana and raja. This presentation will focus on the intersection between these various approaches, which are not mutually exclusive, and on meditation as a practice that can help access and heighten all of these expressions. Can the abstract, the intangible, the formless feel “real”? And what is the origin of all of these forms? Are they mere projections, fabrications of the human mind seeking to make concrete and comprehensible in more digestible pieces something that is difficult to grasp and comprehend? Or are they something more, expressions originating from other dimensions that we can access to provide us with inspiration and guidance?

Date: May 17, 2015

Time: 11 AM to Noon (preceded by 30 minutes of meditation starting at 10:30 AM)

Location: Vedanta Center of Atlanta; 2331 Brocket Road, Tucker, GA 30084; 770-938-6673. (Corner of Adrian and Brockett, one block from LaVista.)

Cost: Free. Donations accepted, no reservations needed. Open to the public.

Afternoon Session

A Foundation for a Fruitful Meditation Practice: Science of Breath/Pranayama/Relaxation – Theory and Practice

Some meditative traditions emphasizes the significance of the breath and its associated, more subtle life force, called “prana”. This tandem serves as a significant layer of the soul and physiological and spiritual function that connects the body with the deeper levels of lower and higher mind, and beyond. This session will start with an in-depth theoretical presentation exploring the physiological functions of the breath and corresponding internal subtle functions of the flow of life force prana. It will conclude with a detailed experiential relaxation/meditation exercise putting the theory into practice. These exercises provide a firm foundation for a fruitful meditation practice. This material will provide a “refresher” course for those who have taken a previous meditation class, but there are also some new elements incorporating more advanced and effective techniques. Beginners and experienced meditators may therefore both benefit.

Date: May 17, 2015

Time: 1:15 PM to 3:15 PM

Location: Vedanta Center of Atlanta; 2331 Brocket Road, Tucker, GA 30084; 770-938-6673. (Corner of Adrian and Brockett, one block from LaVista.)

Cost: Free. Donations accepted, no reservations needed. Open to the public.

About the Presenter

Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder/director of Torah-Veda (fka the Yoga and Judaism Center) in Atlanta, GA. He has been a student, practitioner and teacher of spiritual self-realization and its related philosophy and psychology for over forty years, including yoga, Vedanta, kabala and eastern and western mysticism. He is an initiate and practitioner in the Tradition of the Himalayan Masters, as propagated in the West by the late Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas. He is the author of Yoga and Judaism, Explorations of a Jewish Yogi; IVRI, The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality, 21st Century Perspectives on an Ancient Tradition; Torah Portion Summaries, With Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi; Basic Spiritual Principles; Writings of the Dawn, The Spiritual Journey of a Baby-Boomer; and The Book About Always Being At Home (spiritual children’s book).

* * *


In the spirit of inter-spiritual adventure, you are invited to attend a Tish-Satsang gathering:

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time: 11 AM to 1 PM

RSVP by June 10 and I will respond with the location

While “tish” is a Yiddish word related to a table, its historic meaning relates to a communal gathering of the spiritually-inclined around a table. “Satsang” is a Sanskrit word with a similar connotation of a gathering for spiritual inspiration, “sat” meaning “spiritual truth” and “sang” coming from a root connoting community.

This is an opportunity for communal sharing with the goal of building a spiritual community. Each person is asked to share something meaningful with the group.


We will assemble in some semblance of a circle and begin with twenty minutes of silent meditation, so bring a meditation cushion, chair or blanket. Following the meditation period:

1) A hat containing numbers will be passed around, with each participant taking a number.

2) A facilitator will call out a number. The participant holding that number will “have the floor” for 30 seconds to 5 minutes to do anything legal, with the idea to share with the group something of a spiritual/inspiring nature, loosely and broadly defined. There are no limits on what the participant can do while they “have the floor”, and they can enlist participation by others. Examples: sing a song, lead a chant, drum (including inviting others to drum), play an instrument, play a cd, dance, read (poetry, fiction, non-fiction), tell a story, share a piece of art, deliver a dvar, enact a play, tell us about your week, roll a ball around, play duck-duck-goose or musical chairs, show and tell, do nothing, guide a meditation, etc.

3) When your number is called, you can “pass”, but the idea is to come willing to participate. Nothing much will happen if there are too many “passes”.

4) No-one is to interfere while somebody else has the floor, although, as described above, that person can enlist participation by others. Even if you might elect to pass when your number is called, you should come expecting that somebody else might seek your participation when their number is called.

5) After each period, there will be a short period for comments/discussion, followed by the next number being called.

Afterwards, there will be a potluck Shabbat lunch. Please bring something to share.

Bring whatever else you want, including musical instruments, drums/other percussion, books, art, etc.

Please RSVP to me by June 10, so we have some idea of how many people are coming.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quote of the Week 321 - Reality is a Sound

Reality is a sound, you have to tune in to it not just keep yelling.

-- Anne Carson

Friday, April 10, 2015

Nice Jewish Boy Meets Rabbi Jesus

I have previously posted an article with this subject, but I have now added to it an audio of a presentation I made at the Vedanta Center of Atlanta this past Easter Sunday, 2015. You can check it out under the "Audio" section in the right column. Think about it...a Jewish guy talking about Jesus in a Hindu Temple on Easter...you don't get more interfaith than that!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Quote of the Week 320 - Scripture, Myth and Concentration on Spiritual Matters

Religion has attempted in the past to dogmatise on Cosmology. But wiser theologians always recognized that when Scripture tells us stories telling HOW creation happened, these must be understood as Myths, that is the attempt to describe a spiritual requirement in seemingly historical terms. For example, the creation myth about God making the world in six days and resting on the seventh is a way of teaching that Man, created in the image of God, needs to rest once a week from all earthly matters to concentrate on spiritual matters.

--Bill Heilbronn, from The Courage of Uncertainty; A Jewish View of the Continuing Evolution of Faith in the Fields of Religion and Science

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Quote of the Week 319 - Interconnecting Fibers

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.

--Herman Melville

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Quote of the Week 318 - Different Kinds of Silence

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?...Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause in a roomful of people when someone is just about to speak, or most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re all alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful, if you listen carefully.

-- from The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Quote of the Week 317 - There's Nothing to Get

I think a lot of people come to Zen practice because they want to be free of their suffering. They’ve read about Zen enlightenment and want to attain that. So it’s really sad when I have to tell these people, “You know, actually, you have everything you need. You don’t have to get anything. You just have to get clear in yourself, and then you’ll recognize that it’s already there, that there’s nothing to get.”

--Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, interviewed by Sam Mowe, in Spirituality & Health magazine, January/February 2015 issue

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quote of the Week 316 - Looking Within the Human Heart

I look out into the world, and I see a deep night of unthinkable cruelty and blindness. But when I look within the human heart, I find something of love there, something that cares and shines out into the darkness of our times like a bright beacon. And in the shining of that inner light, I feel the dreams and prayers of all beings. In the shining of that beacon, I feel all of our hopes for a better future. In the shining of our heart lights, we find the strength to do what must be done.

-- John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America, Voices of the Food Revolution, No Happy Cows, quoted in Spirituality & Health magazine, Sept/Oct 2014 issue

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quote of the Week 315 - Universal Vision: Seeing the Divinity in Everyone

Above all else, those who are established in the consciousness of one-ness have universal vision. They see the divinity in every human being. Enlightened individuals can discern how each person fits into the greater whole, how each is an essential piece of the puzzle that we call life. They understand that both the saint and the sinner, the virtuous person and the scoundrel, the wise man and the fool, are part of the play of this material existence. They know that all of these actors are part of the wondrous manifestation of God’s Eternal Spirit in this finite physical world.

-- from Living the Life of Jewish Meditation; A Comprehensive Guide to Practice and Experience, by Rabbi Yoel Glick

Friday, February 6, 2015

Quote of the Week 314 - Abraham

When the Guiding Force of the universe wants to introduce new ideas and energies into the consciousness of humanity, a plan is constructed to facilitate the revelation and growth of this fresh divine imperative on the earthly plane. Then, a shoresh neshama (root soul) is formed to take up this spiritual mission and bring it to fruition in time and space.

Great souls from the higher reaches of the celestial planes are sent down to anchor the divine thoughtform in our world. The lives of these souls are filled with suffering and struggle, but they are lives where the Eternal presence is real and tangible.

After these souls pass over, they form a spiritual nucleus in the higher realm. This nucleus becomes a new outpost of energy and consciousness in the Kingdom of Heaven. It acts as an intermediary link between those on the physical plane and their supernal source.

Avraham was the first Jew. He provided the anchor for the Soul of Israel in this world. Avraham is the archetype of the father in Judaism. He is the father of the Jewish people and the father of the Jewish soul. This understanding is explicit in his original name Avram, which is composed of two words: av, “father” and ram, “high” or “esteemed.” Together they form “high father” – the spiritual definition of his life and work.

As his life journey progresses, Avram receives a new name in a vision. He is blessed that he will become a father of many nations, and the Hebrew letter heh is added to his name. His name now becomes Avraham. The heh is one of the letters in the sacred Divine Name Yud He Vav Heh. By the addition of this letter to Avram’s name, he is bound to God forever.

The addition of the heh to the name Avram is also a symbol of the spiritual initiation Avraham underwent, whereby he was linked to a new, greater collective soul. This initiation transformed him into a soul “father of fathers” – av: father; ra: high father; ham: father of fathers. It led him another step in the journey to his Source.

-- from Living the Life of Jewish Meditation; A Comprehensive Guide to Practice and Experience, by Rabbi Yoel Glick

Friday, January 30, 2015

Quote of the Week 313 - Being Comfortable with Paradox and Confusion

Enlightened space, the place of unconditional love, cannot be achieved until and unless one is willing to be comfortable with paradox and confusion.

--Ralph Walker

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rabbi Yoel Glick Shabbaton

In Partnership with Limmud Atlanta + SE
Daat Elyon presents:
Living in the Presence of God
A Contemplative Shabbaton
with Rabbi Yoel Glick
Atlanta, GA

February 27, 28, March 1,2015

Come join us for a Shabbaton with the renowned teacher, spiritual guide and mentor Rabbi Yoel Glick. During this weekend, Rabbi Yoel will share insights, practices and experiences from his new book Living the Life of Jewish Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide to Practice and Experience.

Friday Night, February 27 – Contemplative Kabbalat Shabbat
Rabbi Yoel Glick will lead a contemplative Kabbalat Shabbat service to greet the Sabbath Queen with short guided meditations, chanting and singing.
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave. NW, Atlanta 30327

Saturday Morning, February 28 – Meditation Workshop: Building a Jewish Meditation Practice
At the heart of the meditative life is our daily practice. Our day-to-day meditation is the key to transforming our consciousness. In this workshop, we will explore the five categories of meditation techniques – stilling the mind, visualization, concentration, mantra chanting and contemplation – and delve into the inner processes that they set in motion.
Time: 10 AM to 1 PM
Location: Lang Carson Center (at Lang Carson Park), 100 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta 30316
Fee: $20.00. Pre-registration/prepayment required. Send fee payable to Yoga and Judaism Center, PO Box 1769, Decatur, GA 30031. Space is limited; first-come, first-served. Bring yoga mat, meditation blanket/cushion.

Saturday Evening, February 28 – Celebratory Havdalah
In this Havdalah service, Rabbi Yoel will utilize the traditional rituals, Kabbalistic chanting, Hasidic melodies and mystical teaching to conclude the Shabbat and draw its spiritual power into the consciousness of the new week.
Time: 7 PM to 8 PM
Location: Vista Yoga, 2836 LaVista Rd., Decatur 30033 (behind Napoleon’s)

Sunday Morning, March 1 – Seeking the Living Presence of God: The Story of My Spiritual Journey
In this talk, Rabbi Yoel will talk about his spiritual journey and the vibrant encounter between Judaism and Hinduism which has become his life’s path and work.
Time: 11 AM (silent meditation from 10:30 AM to 11 AM; program starts at 11 AM)
Location: Vedanta Center of Atlanta, 2331 Brockett Rd. Tucker, GA 30084

Sunday Afternoon, March 1  - Building the Temple of the Heart: The Three Pillars of the Spiritual Life
In the Hebrew Bible, God commands Israel: “Make me a sanctuary and I shall dwell in your midst.” The Baal Shem teaches that each of us is a living temple. The rabbis set out the three pillars of this inner Temple: Torah (study of spiritual wisdom), Avodah (Worship) and Gimilut Hasadim (Acts of Loving-kindness). These three pillars correspond to the three Yogas of Hinduism: Jnana yoga, Bhakti yoga, and Karma yoga. They can also be defined as the expansion of our consciousness, the constant remembrance of God, and the inner work of self-transformation. In this talk and experiential workshop, we will explore how to use these three paths to build a sacred space inside us where the Divine Presence dwells.
Time: 1 PM to 3 PM
Location: Vedanta Center of Atlanta, 2331 Brockett Rd. Tucker, GA 30084

For more information, contact Steve Gold, Yoga and Judaism Center, yajcenter@aol.com, 770-270-8290.
All sessions are free and open to the public, except for Saturday morning, as noted. Donations are welcome to help cover costs. To donate, go to yajcenter.blogspot.com.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quote of the Week 312 - The World's Breathing

The world’s continual breathing is what we hear and call silence.

-- Clarice Lispector