Ignorance is Anti-bliss

I saw this posted in the storefront of where Srila Prabhupada set up shop in NYC to share prashad and kirtan.

The root of all problems is our ignorance of who we really are. We aren’t solely the body, or the mind, we aren’t our thoughts, jobs, hobbies, liked or dislikes, but we are spirits connected to all sprits. If we can recognize our underlying unity, we would no longer need borders, no longer need to compete with each other for resources, but instead we’d do everything in support of everything.

Avidya, or ignorance, is the root of the ego, attractions, aversions, and clinging to life, these are the obstacles on the path. Once we realize our connection and yoke to it, we attain vidya, or knowledge, and then we will find harmony, fairness, and peace.

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Equality and Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita states that when one knows Truth, one sees all living beings as equals with equal vision. One sees oneself, the trees, plants, insects, birds, animals, and all varieties of humans as all children of the same source.

“One who sees Supersoul equally present everywhere, in every living being, does not degrade himself by his mind” (13.29).

If we awaken to this commonality, Earth and all of its waters, forests, wetlands, oceans, creatures, crops, and all humans whether or not we agree with them, deserve equal reverence, protection, rights, and most importantly love.

Because many humans think we’re more important and more deserving than the rest of life is how we got to be in this state of climate catastrophe and social injustice. Like children raised by parents who are more interested in their own selves, nature is beginning to aggressively cry and act out for the attention and love that it had always deserved.

In degrading nature we degrade ourselves. For example, if the water is polluted and we rely on the water to drink, cook, and bathe, we ingest the pollution through our bellies and skin. Same goes with the air, soil, etc.

Yogis: you have the knowledge. You must act on this every moment, embracing all life as your family. It is time to put the rainforests and respect for animals before our taste and diet preferences. It is time to bury consumeristic conveniences in the past by spiritualizing the way you cook, eat, walk, and live. It is time to recognize the sacred in everything, and then turn towards and serve the Supersoul. After all doing so is our True Nature.

Japa Mala Beads

Japa meditation, or the chanting of mantra has changed my life. I have stuck with it for 7 years, because it has been stable ground to stand on to endure an emotionally and physically abusive relationship in 2009-2010, then gave me the strength to leave that situation. Japa combined with asana practice enabled healing from that trauma in a way that I feel safe to say I don’t experience the samskaras from that period.

Japa is the ground from which I offer my teaching. It can be more transformative than silent meditation because we are replacing the observation of endless wandering thoughts with a meditation that is intentional thoughts and vibrations on the Super Soul.

My handmade mala beads are at Yama Yoga, so you can charge up your meditation practice with 108 reputations of transcendental sound. Pick one up or private message me if you’d like me to shop you one! These handmade beauties are $70 a piece.

Maha Mantra

According to the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Prabhupada, in the Age of Kali, there is no process that allows one to realize the Supreme other than chanting ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’

Horses’ sacred lessons

Hayagriva, the horse-headed incarnation of Vishnu, is the epitome of intelligence and is the guru of Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and study. Brahman gave each animal species a secret to teach to humans. Horses are here to teach us the lessons of how to be a yogi: to live a life of service, to yoke ourselves to community without pride, to tolerate and forgive, to protect ourselves from evil, and to listen and observe without judgement are just to name a few.

Ahimsa Pumpkin Pie

I decided to go vegan this past May after a lot of internal struggle about letting go of my attachments to dairy and eggs. In the end, I don’t feel okay with animals existing in subpar conditions just because I want to feed my tastebuds. But also, dairy and eggs aren’t the best for our gut bacteria and therefor our overall health, not to mention the health of the planet. (It’s all connected). I had already been a gluten free vegetarian for 7 years. With thanksgiving rolling around the corner, I sought a pumpkin pie recipe that had no eggs, wheat flour, or condensed milk.

The recipe was as close as the book shelf in my home studio space, adjacent to my kitchen. A student gave me Cafe Gratitude ‘a recipe book called I Am Grateful. I highly recommend the book!!!!

I changed the recipe a touch: there are more dates in the crust, I roasted the pumpkin instead of shredding the raw butternut squash, I added a little more than a pinch of turmeric, and instead of a pecan garnish, I sprinkled palm sugar and Ceylon. Here is their recipe: