On Spiritual Materialism

I wasn’t going to write on this until I saw a glaring example on-line. As we grow on the spiritual path and clear some of our shadows, what remains becomes more subtle and elusive. We may emulate seekers around us who are actually spiritual materialists. These are people using spirituality in service of the I-self or me. Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising explores the issue.

“…we may take up yoga classes, change the way we behave and who we associate with, and learn to speak the language of spirituality. Although the original intent for liberation was genuine, the … Continue Reading…

The Means of Liberation (Yogas)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13
Verse 24
Some realize the Self by the Self in the Self through meditation, others through Samkhya yoga, yet others through Karma yoga.
Verse 25
Others, however, not knowing thus, sit near Me [Krishna], having heard from others, they also do cross beyond death, devoted to what they have heard.

This lays out the Yogas or paths to liberation.

The first is Dhyana Yoga, the path of meditation covered in Chapter 6 of the Gita. These days, it is often taught as Raja … Continue Reading…


In the growth process, service, devotion, and contemplation help drive our process forward. There are a number of other words we can use to mean the same, like surrender, inquiry, karma, and so forth. But these words describe natural tendencies rather than formal techniques we should adopt and apply religiously.

They are natural ways of being. Does service or contemplation come naturally to you? Then give it space in your life and allow it to unfold. Formal techniques of this type encourage attempts to manage or control our experience. Then it’s just ego. But the right … Continue Reading…

Call and Response

If you’ve ever been to a Kirtan, you’ve experienced call and response. They sing a Sanskrit phrase and you repeat it back. If this is unfamiliar, a kirtan is chanting in a group, done in a sung style, usually with musical accompaniment. It is a Bhakti devotional practice. For example:


The universe around us is formed in a similar manner. Only the response isn’t a repeat but rather a modulation. And there are multiple modulators, all carefully timed together. The singers are the laws of nature (devata). A harmonic choir of astonishing beauty.

This “song” happens very … Continue Reading…