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Spiritual Knowledge

Insights into the teachings of yoga’s ancient wisdom texts and their relevance to life in the modern world.

‘Spirit Soul’ – a Small Phrase with a Big Meaning

My spiritual teacher, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, had many extraordinary talents. One of them was his ability to come up with simple English phrases to express complex philosophical ideas that are packed into compressed Sanskrit aphorisms. ‘Spirit soul’ was one such phrase that he frequently used to differentiate our essential spiritual nature from the material nature of the bodies we inhabit. He would often say, “We are spirit souls, not this material body.” A question […]

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The Power of Truthfulness

It’s said that we live in an unfortunate season of time; a time when simple living and elevated thinking give way to complicated entanglements and diminished reasoning, when purity gives way to pollution, mercy gives way to malevolence, and truthfulness gives way to falsehood. It’s a time when people are needlessly quarrelsome, consistently misguided, unlucky, and, above all, always disturbed. On Wednesday, the diminished reasoning, persistent pollution, malevolence, and falsehood that’s been simmering for the

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How do we find real contentment?

Lately I’ve been thinking about what ‘contentment’ really means. ‘Contentment’ is one of the niyamas, the set of five personal observances that Patanjali lists in the second chapter of his Yoga-sutras. It’s also a state of being that can be very hard to attain. How do we find real contentment? One way is to try to understand what the obstacles to contentment are. Two of those obstacles are 1) pining for an irretrievable past and 2) worrying about what

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Thoughts about uncertainty and surrender

What I remember most was how quickly I was able to accept what was happening. An eastward swing down Porter Street, a long residential mediary between two busy thoroughfares, offers an easy and enjoyable tree-lined descent to cyclists with a modicum of common sense. But am I a sensible cyclist? Nope. I was coasting down a curve after leaving a friend’s house near the top of the hill when I realized that I’d forgotten to roll up my right

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Some thoughts about looking back, looking within, and seeing with spiritual vision

I’ve been reflecting back on my life as a teenager recently; on how it seems as if it were a previous life rather than an early chapter of this one; on how reckless I was with my privileges and resources; on how lucky I was to get away with so many ill-advised escapades without losing my life or my freedom; on how others I knew weren’t so lucky. The physical body of my gloriously misspent

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Some thoughts about fear, surrender, and staying spiritually connected

How are you doing? Usually, at least where I come from, ‘how are you doing?’ – or, to be more accurate, ‘howya doin’?’ – is a greeting, not a question. But this time I’m really asking. Things have been rough for the last few weeks and it will probably get worse before it gets better. So please tell me how you’re doing and what you’re doing to keep you and yours safe and sane. For

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