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
Find Your Inspiration and Follow It



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



CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS


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).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quote of the Week 260 - The Revenge of the Spirit


Perhaps environmental pollution and the painful gap between the rich and the poor do not constitute the major challenges of our civilization. Perhaps the real challenge lies in the way humankind meets the world- that is, in human consciousness. Consciousness is what makes us unique in the history of evolution. But we have yet to embrace fully what it means to be human…

External evolution requires internal evolution. That was the dimension Abraham Maslow added to the basic Freudian needs: our search for meaning. We strive to develop our consciousness to achieve self-actualization…

The time has come for the spirit to escape from institutions, organizations, structures, strictures and systems. The development of the economy, technology and society is bringing human autonomy closer and closer. Modern individuals have infinitely more opportunities to organize their own lives than did those of previous generations We are at the threshold of a revenge of the spirit. This is the top of Maslow’s pyramid; self-realization. Consciousness separates the human being from other living creatures. We are all recognizably unique and our desire is to fulfill that uniqueness. The next phase of evolution is about becoming conscious beings that direct ourselves. That’s the way to happiness vitality intelligence and health.

The vision of the autonomous individual should not be confused with the current culture of individualism. At a higher level of awareness, the autonomous person realizes her independence relies on the respect and tolerance of others. As more and more people find their own way to spiritual development, they realize that every person, every creature, is part o a greater whole. This growing awareness is changing society. Personal development on a large scale – in sharp contrast with the collective mass hysteria of the various religious – adds a new dimension to the evolution.

If the expansion of consciousness is the mark of the future, it will have a profound effect on the way we equip and organize our world. As awareness rises, equality and community become stronger forces at the expense of old-fashioned, overly controlling rules and overly dominant institutions that promote competition. We will see less emphasis on power, more space for self-organization. That will amount to less winning or losing and more spontaneous synergy on the road to a common outcome.
We are discovering that the pollution of the mind gave rise to the pollution of the environment and that ecology is not just about preserving resources and nature but about realizing humanity’s place in the creation of the universe. “Self-realization will make us spontaneously inclined to value and defend the integrity of the world around us,” said Arne Naess, the founder of the deep ecology movement.

Self-direction will transform standardized education systems, as children cease to be asked to parrot what they read in books selected by their teachers and parents but learn to discover, develop and capitalize on their own talents. Self-determination is also crucial for our health. Autonomous individuals are more healthy individuals. And so increased consciousness will dismantle the expensive, rule-bound system of health care…

In the end, what an Indian master once told me accurately describes our mission: “The greatest journey we can make is the journey within. While going nowhere, while staying right here, we can travel an even greater distance inside.” That journey begins with feeling, listening, looking and experiencing, and sometimes by taking a moment in our busy lives to experience our connection with creation, to invite the future in, to discover that happiness is more than matter or property, to learn that health is, first and foremost, an individual, inner experience…

Come, let’s invest in our dreams of a world renewed, trusting that a new era is now supporting our longing. “It is our duty – as men and women – to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are collaborators in the creation of the universe,” said French philosopoher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. And we should never forget that we are here to trust and realize our dreams. There’s no more fundamental change.

--Excerpts from the article, The Revenge of the Spirit in The Intelligent Optimist magazine (formerly Ode) January/February 2013 edition
by Jurriaan Kamp, editor-in-chief

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