Emotion and Transformation

Today we salute a Supermoon, this one in the nakshatra Ardra. Ardra has a reputation as being a difficult (sharp, hard, harsh) asterism, one that often dredges up sludge from our depths and demands that we deal with it, not try to negotiate around it. Ardra is ruled by the Vedic deity Rudra who, metamorphosed […]

How We Change

Recently while a friend and I were listening to Liszt’s Liebestraum she commented (rather pungently) on the general inability of piano students today (at age 79 she still teaches the odd learner) to be willing to make slow, steady progress toward a goal. Sixty-five years ago her own teacher of that instrument, one Harry Littler, explained to […]

Forgiveness & Gratitude

Brute force has long been the preferred way for the brutes among us to express themselves, and the recent violence in Sutherland Springs is an example of just how brutal some so-called humans can be to others. But many of us are quietly, pitilessly brutal to ourselves, sometimes without even knowing it; and those senseless murders […]

Going on Yatra

The first half of October found me participating in the 2017 Namarupa Narmada Yatra. A yātrā (‘journey’, ‘procession’) is a pilgrimage, and pilgrims are (etymologically) those who come from “other lands”, not as migrants but as penitents searching for a more direct connection to the realm of the blessed. Pilgrimages are voyages to holy places, including […]

The Power of Placebos

One of the things that I have never understood, and may never understand, about modern medicine is its relentless refusal to accept and take advantage of the power of the placebo, a therapy prescribed for the psychological effect rather than the physiological effect that has been shown to work in randomized controlled trials (the supposed “gold […]

Truth & Community

Satsangati kim na karoti pumsAm was one of the first Sanskrit phrases taught at my Ayurveda college; it can be translated as, “What does satsanga not do for humans?” The word satsanga most commonly describes an event during which individuals come together to attempt to make closer contact with the true and the real, with that which is permanent amid […]

The Secret of Happiness: Good Flow

More and more people today spend their time as disconnected as possible from their bodies. Like Rahu (the shadow planet represented by a head without a body) they crave an ideal reality, one less confined by the messy demands of physical reality; and, like Rahu, their search for satisfaction by denying the body is but […]

Stories are Good Medicine

“Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story,” said Mark Twain (possibly), and while this is often poor advice for those (like heads of state) who deal with affairs of the external world it is a foundational principle for those who seek to convey truths that transcend the merely mundane. This […]

Being Balanced While Staying Connected

With spring inching up upon us I’m writing today to encourage you to get out of doors and spend a day in nature, enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, feeling and taste of being out in the natural world.  An interesting statistic reached me recently: the average American adult is connected to media for 74 hours […]

In Memoriam: Mantriji

Today it is my sad duty to announce the recent demise of Sri Krishan Lal Mantri. Known to all as Mantriji, it was through him and his disciples that I learned most of what little I know of Jyotisha. Mantriji’s difficult task during his time in Toronto, where he spent several decades, was to try […]