WELCOME TO TORAH-VEDA

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.

Torah-Veda
An Interspiritual Journey
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Quote of the Week 346 - Contrasting and Bridging the Scientific and the Indigenous


From as far back as I can remember, I had this notion of plants as companions and teachers, neighbors and friends. Then, when I went to college, a shift occurred for me. As an aspiring botany major, I was pressured to adopt the scientific worldview; to conceive of these living beings as mere objects; to ask not, “Who are you?” but, “How does it work?” This was a real challenge for me. But I was madly in love with plants, so I worked hard to accommodate myself to this new approach.


Later in my career, after I’d gotten my PHD and started teaching, I was invited to sit among indigenous knowledge holders who understood plants as beings with their own songs and sensibilities. In their presence, and in the presence of the plants themselves, I woke from the sleep I’d fallen into. I was reminded of what I’d always known in my core: that my primary relationship with plants was one of apprenticeship. I’m learning from plants, as opposed to only learning about them.


Let me add that my appreciation of plants has been greatly enriched by knowing the beauty of chlorophyll and photosynthesis, and hormones and cellular biology. Ideally the two ways of knowing can reinforce one another.


Both Western science and traditional ecological knowledge are methods of reading the land. That’s where they come together. But they’re reading the land in different ways. Scientists use the intellect and the senses, usually enhanced by technology. They set spirit and emotion off to the side, and bar them from participating. Often science dismisses indigenous knowledge as folklore – not objective or empirical, and thus not valid. But indigenous knowledge, too, is based on observation, on experiment. The difference is that it includes spiritual relationships and spiritual explanations. Traditional knowledge brings together the seen and the unseen, whereas Western science says that if we can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist.


Western science explicitly separates observer and observed. It’s rule number one: keep yourself out of the experiment. But to the indigenous way of thinking, the observer is always in relationship with the observed, and thus it’s important that she know herself: As I watch that bee and flower, as I study how water moves, as I observe the growth of the grass in this meadow, I understand that the kind of being I am colors how I see and feel and know. Furthermore, my presence might even be influencing how the world is working around me. It’s important to recognize the relationship that exists between the observer and the observed.


--Robin Wall Kimmerer, a native American with a PhD in botany, interviewed by Leath Tonino in The Sun magazine, April 2016


CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS











GUIDED MEDITATION SERIES

As a follow-up to the wonderful weekend with Rabbi Glick, I am presenting a series of three guided meditation sessions at my house. Following are descriptions for the three sessions and related details. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who may be interested. Although this is a series, and one would benefit the most by taking all three sessions, they are also stand-alone sessions, and no commitment for all three is required. Although previous meditation experience would be helpful, it is not a prerequisite.


Cost: $10.00 per session, or whatever can be comfortably afforded (nobody turned away for inability to pay). Minimum four registrations per session for the session to proceed. Email me to reserve and follow-up with payment via mail payable to Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Ct., Tucker, GA 30084 or via PayPal: Torah-Veda/Yoga and Judaism Center PayPal


Dates and Times: Sunday mornings, 11 AM to 12:30 PM; March 27, April 24, May 15, 2016


Location: The home of Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Court, Tucker, GA 30084


Sunday, March 27, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:

SESSION #1: Guided Meditation – I am an Empty Shell, Therefore I am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis

The opening lines of Genesis are usually construed as a mystical/metaphorical description of the creation/manifestation of the totality of the macrocosm, of all of creation, that happened some time ago in the mythic past. However, they can also be regarded as describing processes of ongoing creation/manifestation occurring all of the time, and not only in the macrocosm, but also in the microcosm, within each of us. This presentation will analyze some of the clauses from these opening lines of Genesis as an introduction to a guided meditation experientially incorporating these spiritually powerful images into our inner being. Come experience the ongoing Genesis within and its relationship to “the thin voice of silence/stillness”.



Sunday, April 24, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:

SESSION #2: Guided Meditation – The Stage

As The Bard has insightfully observed, “All the World’s a Stage”. This presentation will set the stage for meditation that will lead you through a journey into the deep, non-dual reality suggested by this pithy saying.



Sunday, May 22, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:

SESSION #3: Guided Meditation – The Rod, The Staff, and The Star

“Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” What does that mean? This meditation will guide you through one interpretative experiential journey of this famous Bible quote, entwined with an inner vision of the six-pointed star, a major symbol of Judaism, but also the symbol of The Heart in traditional Indian metaphysics.


ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR. Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder/director of Torah-Veda (formerly the Yoga and Judaism Center) in Atlanta, GA and the author of Yoga and Judaism (2007) Ivri: The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality (2010), Torah Portion Summaries; With Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi (2010), and Basic Spiritual Principles (2011). He has been an initiate, student, practitioner and teacher in a Himalayan meditation tradition for over 35 years and a student of Kabala and Jewish Spirituality for several years. He focuses on spiritual teachings and meditation practices that incorporate non-dual elements from Torah and Veda, two ancient spiritual traditions sharing common principles at their core.




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guided Meditation - The Stage






Thursday, April 21, 2016

Quote of the Week 346 - Contrasting and Bridging the Scientific and the Indigenous

From as far back as I can remember, I had this notion of plants as companions and teachers, neighbors and friends. Then, when I went to college, a shift occurred for me. As an aspiring botany major, I was pressured to adopt the scientific worldview; to conceive of these living beings as mere objects; to ask not, “Who are you?” but, “How does it work?” This was a real challenge for me. But I was madly in love with plants, so I worked hard to accommodate myself to this new approach.

Later in my career, after I’d gotten my PHD and started teaching, I was invited to sit among indigenous knowledge holders who understood plants as beings with their own songs and sensibilities. In their presence, and in the presence of the plants themselves, I woke from the sleep I’d fallen into. I was reminded of what I’d always known in my core: that my primary relationship with plants was one of apprenticeship. I’m learning from plants, as opposed to only learning about them.

Let me add that my appreciation of plants has been greatly enriched by knowing the beauty of chlorophyll and photosynthesis, and hormones and cellular biology. Ideally the two ways of knowing can reinforce one another.

Both Western science and traditional ecological knowledge are methods of reading the land. That’s where they come together. But they’re reading the land in different ways. Scientists use the intellect and the senses, usually enhanced by technology. They set spirit and emotion off to the side, and bar them from participating. Often science dismisses indigenous knowledge as folklore – not objective or empirical, and thus not valid. But indigenous knowledge, too, is based on observation, on experiment. The difference is that it includes spiritual relationships and spiritual explanations. Traditional knowledge brings together the seen and the unseen, whereas Western science says that if we can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist.

Western science explicitly separates observer and observed. It’s rule number one: keep yourself out of the experiment. But to the indigenous way of thinking, the observer is always in relationship with the observed, and thus it’s important that she know herself: As I watch that bee and flower, as I study how water moves, as I observe the growth of the grass in this meadow, I understand that the kind of being I am colors how I see and feel and know. Furthermore, my presence might even be influencing how the world is working around me. It’s important to recognize the relationship that exists between the observer and the observed.


--Robin Wall Kimmerer, a native American with a PhD in botany, interviewed by Leath Tonino in The Sun magazine, April 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Quote of the Week 345 - Zen Perspective on Gardening

Nevertheless, the flowers fall with our attachment, and the weeds spring up with our aversion. --Dogen

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Quote of the Week 344 - Intoxicated Joy

But the Jewish tradition also contains something else, something which finds splendid expression in many of the Psalms, namely, a sort of intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur of this world of which man can form just a faint notion. This joy is the feeling from which true scientific research draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to find expression in the songs of birds. --Albert Einstein

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Announcing Guided Meditation Series





GUIDED MEDITATION SERIES

As a follow-up to the wonderful weekend with Rabbi Glick, I am presenting a series of three guided meditation sessions at my house. Following are descriptions for the three sessions and related details. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who may be interested. Although this is a series, and one would benefit the most by taking all three sessions, they are also stand-alone sessions, and no commitment for all three is required. Although previous meditation experience would be helpful, it is not a prerequisite.

Cost: $10.00 per session, or whatever can be comfortably afforded (nobody turned away for inability to pay). Minimum four registrations per session for the session to proceed. Email me to reserve and follow-up with payment via mail payable to Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Ct., Tucker, GA 30084 or via PayPal: Torah-Veda/Yoga and Judaism Center PayPal

Dates and Times: Sunday mornings, 11 AM to 12:30 PM; March 27, April 24, May 15, 2016

Location: The home of Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Court, Tucker, GA 30084

Sunday, March 27, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:
SESSION #1: Guided Meditation – I am an Empty Shell, Therefore I am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis
The opening lines of Genesis are usually construed as a mystical/metaphorical description of the creation/manifestation of the totality of the macrocosm, of all of creation, that happened some time ago in the mythic past. However, they can also be regarded as describing processes of ongoing creation/manifestation occurring all of the time, and not only in the macrocosm, but also in the microcosm, within each of us. This presentation will analyze some of the clauses from these opening lines of Genesis as an introduction to a guided meditation experientially incorporating these spiritually powerful images into our inner being. Come experience the ongoing Genesis within and its relationship to “the thin voice of silence/stillness”. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM
SESSION #2: Guided Meditation – The Stage
As The Bard has insightfully observed, “All the World’s a Stage”. This presentation will set the stage for meditation that will lead you through a journey into the deep, non-dual reality suggested by this pithy saying.

Sunday, May 15, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM
SESSION #3: Guided Meditation – The Rod, The Staff, and The Star
“Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” What does that mean? This meditation will guide you through one interpretative experiential journey of this famous Bible quote, entwined with an inner vision of the six-pointed star, a major symbol of Judaism, but also the symbol of The Heart in traditional Indian metaphysics.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR. Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder/director of Torah-Veda (formerly the Yoga and Judaism Center) in Atlanta, GA and the author of Yoga and Judaism (2007) Ivri: The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality (2010), Torah Portion Summaries; With Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi (2010), and Basic Spiritual Principles (2011). He has been an initiate, student, practitioner and teacher in a Himalayan meditation tradition for over 35 years and a student of Kabala and Jewish Spirituality for several years. He focuses on spiritual teachings and meditation practices that incorporate non-dual elements from Torah and Veda, two ancient spiritual traditions sharing common principles at their core.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Quote of the Week 343 - Anchoring the Sacred Presence in the Material World


Thirty-five hundred years after the Israelites constructed the original Sanctuary in the desert, the divine thoughtform of the Mikdash is still very much alive. Each of us has a part to play in its revelation. Each of us draws forth one small portion of its awesome spiritual power. Together we are working to fulfill its thousands-of-years mission to anchor the sacred presence of the Infinite and Eternal in our finite material world.

--from Walking the Path of the Jewish Mystic, by Rabbi Yoel Glick 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Guided Meditation: I Am an Empty Shell, Therefore I Am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Quote of the Week 342 - Chakras and Sefirot


According to the science of Yoga, beneath a human being’s physical frame is a subtle field of energy centers. These centers infuse the physical form with life and consciousness. In Sanskrit these centers are called chakras.

In the Kabbalah, the mystical teachings of Judaism, we find a similar description of a network of energy centers…In Hebrew, these energy centers are called sefirot…The centers, or sefirot, have two major functions. First and foremost they are conduits for the passage of energy. Every living thing is composed of energy. There is a dynamic exchange of spiritual power flowing back and forth all the time. Everything is emanating and absorbing the life force at every single moment. Each sefirah is composed of a particular energy, and this energy is of a grosser or more refined nature depending on our state of evolution. Our goal in life is to develop our centers until they are composed of pure spiritual force. We then become effective instruments for the distribution of this refined energy into the greater world around us. The second function of the centers, or sefirot, is to establish the nature of our consciousness.

--from Walking the Path of the Jewish Mystic, by Rabbi Yoel Glick

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Quote of the Week 341- The Great and Only Real Heresy

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The great heresy and the only real heresy is the idea that anything is separate, distinct, and different essentially from other things. That is a wandering from natural fact and law, for nature is nothing but coordination, cooperation, mutual helpfulness; and the rule of fundamental unity is perfectly universal: everything in he universe lives for everything else.

--Gottfried de Purucker, Golden Precepts of Esotericism

Monday, February 1, 2016

Guided Meditation, Sunday, February 7, at Vedanta Center Atlanta


I will be making the following presentation at the Vedanta Center of Atlanta on Sunday, February 7, 2012. The 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. There is a little meet and greet coffee session afterwards. The public is welcome, and there is no charge (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.

Date: Sunday, February 7, 2016

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.

Guided Meditation – I am an Empty Shell, Therefore I am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis

The opening lines of Genesis are usually construed as a mystical/metaphorical description of the creation/manifestation of the totality of the macrocosm, of all of creation, that happened some time ago in the mythic past. However, they can also be regarded as describing processes of ongoing creation/manifestation occurring all of the time, and not only in the macrocosm, but also in the microcosm, within each of us. This presentation will analyze some of the clauses from these opening lines of Genesis as an introduction to a guided meditation experientially incorporating these spiritually powerful images into our inner being. Come experience the ongoing Genesis within and its relationship to “the thin voice of silence/stillness”. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quote of the Week 340 - The Result of Studies



Studies taught me the only thing they could, namely, that the truth is one and that some respect and love are enough to discover it in the depths of our consciousness.

--O.V. de L. Milosz

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rabbi Yoel Glick Coming to Atlanta March 4 - 6

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Come join Rabbi Yoel Glick for a weekend of teaching and meditation in honor of the release of his new book Walking the Path of the Jewish Mystic: How to Expand your Awareness and Transform your Life                  
Shabbat March 4-5, 2016
Torah-Veda Center
3562 Castlehill Ct, Tucker 30084
Friday March 4 at 7-9 pm
Part I: Contemplative Service
Rabbi Glick will lead a contemplative Shabbat service that combines guided meditation, prayer, chanting and singing.
Saturday March 5 at 11 am – 1 pm
Part II: Meditation Workshop
Immersed in the Divine Presence
In this workshop, we will enter into the secret world of the Shekhinah to discover the varied aspects of Her nature and the special spiritual blessings that She bestows. We will tap into the heart of Her sacred presence using meditation, chanting, song and prayer.
Event fee: $30 one event/ $50 for the two events
Space is limited, reserved first come, first served.
To Pay/RSVP send check payable to Yoga and Judaism Center to the above address or click:

Please indicate Friday, Saturday, or Both with your payment. For more information, contact Steve Gold torahveda@gmail.com, 770-270-8290.
Rabbi Yoel Glick is a rabbi with Orthodox ordination, the founder of the first school for Jewish meditation and spirituality in the Old City of Jerusalem, director of daatelyon.org - an online center for spiritual training and wisdom, a spiritual seeker who has spent time in ashram and studied the mystical traditions of the major world religions. Reb Yoel is a teacher, guide and mentor who moves between the city of Jerusalem and a small village in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, opening people’s hearts and minds - connecting them to themselves, to the world around them - to the truth at the core of their being.
Sunday March 6, 2016
Vedanta Center of Atlanta
2331 Brockett Rd, Tucker
Part III: Public Talk at 11 am
The Essential Qualities of a Spiritual Seeker
The spiritual life is an extraordinary adventure. The Bhagavad Gita calls it the razor’s edge. The goal is lofty and the rewards are great, but the path is both difficult and demanding. We need to be well equipped if we are to succeed in our quest.
Congregation Or Hadash
7460 Towbridge Rd, Sandy Springs
Part IV: Public Talk at 7 pm
Walking the Path of the Jewish Mystic
How to Expand your Awareness
and Transform your Life    
In this talk, Rabbi Yoel will explore how we use the seminal teachings of the Kabbalistic tradition to deepen our self-knowledge and live our lives with greater meaning and awareness.



  
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