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 37 - Wind, Water, Stone

Wind, Water, Stone
BY OCTAVIO PAZ

Water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind.
Water, wind, stone.

Wind carves stone,
stone's a cup of water,
water escapes and is wind.
Stone, wind, water.

Wind sings in its whirling,
water murmurs going by,
unmoving stone keeps still.
Wind, water, stone.

Each is another and no other:
crossing and vanishing
through their empty names:
water, stone, wind.

CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS

I will be making a presentation at the Atlanta Southeast Limmud this Labor Day weekend, with the following title:

Job’s Second Daughters and the Kabbalah of the Unicorn.

There has been much existential hand-wringing discussion over the centuries about the Book of Job. However, there has been little focus on the significance of the concluding verses and his second set of daughters. Come explore these interesting passages and the mystical significance of how one daughter’s name relates to a single-horned creature, sometimes associated with a unicorn.




Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest:


www.meetup.com/Interspiritual-Contemplative-Group










Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bibliography/Book Review; Dass, Ram aka Alpert, Richard; Be Here Now, The Only Dance There Is, Grist for the Mill, et al

Bibliography/Book Review;
Dass, Ram aka Alpert, Richard; Be Here Now, The Only Dance There Is, Grist for the Mill, Miracle of Love, et al.

There are many who have contributed to the communication of Eastern spirituality to the Western world. Early on, there were visits to the West by Swami Vivekenanda and Swami Rama Tirtha. Others who added to this dialogue were Madam Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society, Nicholas and Helena Roerich and their Agni Yoga Society, Sir John Woodruff (an Englishman who studied with my spiritual mentor’s master and authored such books as The Serpent Power), Paul Brunton (whose encounter with Ramana Maharshi was the pinnacle to his trip to India as chronicled in his book, A Search in Secret India), Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) and Allen Ginsberg, among others. They were all precursors to the tremendous influx that occurred in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, which continues to this day. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his TM movement, Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupad and his Hare Krishna movement, Swami Satchidinanda with his memorable appearance at Woodstock, and my spiritual mentor, Swami Rama and The Himalayan Institute he founded, were all part of that influx. But I don’t think there was anyone who had as much influence and impact on the broadest audience as did Richard Alpert, a nice Jewish boy who was a Harvard psychology professor and early LSD researcher. He became transformed into Ram Dass as a result of his experiences in India, as chronicled in his benchmark book, Be Here Now.

When I transferred from staid Lafayette College to unstaid Antioch College after my college freshman year in 1970, I became exposed to and bombarded by an incredible variety of new experiences, ideas and challenges. The little bit of Eastern spirituality that I had experienced reading Hesse in high school and studying Eastern religions at Lafayette now expanded into hands-on experiential experimentation at Antioch. I was fortunate enough to have a room-mate who was ahead of the curve on all of this, and acted as my first mundane-level spiritual guide. He led me to Be Here Now and TM, among other things, and I also took up Hatha Yoga, with classes offered for free by an advanced student at Antioch.

Be Here Now is a collage-style book. It contains an inspiring autobiography of the spiritual quest, development and transformation of Richard Alpert into Ram Dass, a flowing, stream-of-consciousness type of narrative communicated from a higher state of spiritual consciousness (similar to the type of darshan/talks/happenings he used to stage on various tours around the country), and also a kind of resource manual into many aspects of Eastern spirituality, particularly yoga and Buddhism. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Eastern spirituality, their own spiritual development, and also to provide insight into the spiritual side of the cultural revolution of the 60’s and 70’s.

I had the pleasure of attending one of Ram Dass’ “happenings” in the mid-70’s in Portland, Oregon, and actually had a brief one-on-one encounter with him afterwards. I sort of just lingered about, and he came outside all alone, where we met and had a nice little exchange. He then walked off to a beat-up old VW bug and drove away.

He has written many other books in the ensuing years and has been a sort of celebrity on the American spiritual scene. Throughout various ups and downs and controversies along the way, he has pretty much remained true to his calling, and humble and giving in nature. Sometime a few years back, he had a major devastating stroke, and has struggled for years to slowly regain his physical functionality. There is a very beautiful and moving video called “Fierce Grace” that I also highly recommend. Its focus is on his struggles after the stroke, but also contains a good overview of his past and spiritual history. It is worth tracking down. (We were able to order it through NetFlix).

I would be remiss if I did not mention a particularly special volume compiled and edited by him: Miracle of Love, which is a collection of reminisces from various people who had experiences with Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass' guru.

"The best form in which to worship God is every form." -- Neem Karoli Baba

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