Greetings on Mahasivaratri!

From a young age my mentor Vimalananda was a fire-worshiper. While a sadhu he would sit at his dhuni all night long, but when I knew him he would commune with agni (fire) via the more structured ritual known as havana, or homa, words derived from the Sanskrit root hu, meaning to sacrifice, to offer

Communicating With Nature

Today I’m writing from Costa Rica, where I’m enjoying the jungle luxury of The Sanctuary at Two Rivers co-teaching a retreat with Kapilnath of the International Nath Order. A couple of weeks back I re-read one of my favorite books, Kinship With All Life by J. Allen Boone, who was working in the movie biz in Hollywood nearly a century

Thoughts on Finding a Guru

Over the last several years I have received many letters and emails asking questions about gurus — how to find a guru, or at least a good saint, to spend time with being the most common. I’ve decided to address this query in this New Year’s update. The word guru literally means “heavy” in Sanskrit,

Greetings from the 5th Int’l Ayurveda Conference

Greetings from the 5th International Ayurveda Conference “Where Science Meets Consciousness,” the theme for this conference being “Exploring the Interconnectedness of Man and Nature,” where I will be teaching daily with Dr. Claudia Welch. Ayurveda and Jyotisha are both based in the Indian philosophy known as Sankhya, and were for many centuries used together to help individuals prevent and overcome ill health.

Divali Mubarak!

Dipavali, or Divali, the “festival of lights”, is probably India’s chief festival; it is certainly its brightest. Serving as a New Year for many communities, and a joyous festivity for everyone else, Divali celebrates the victory of light over darkness. All over the subcontinent millions of earthen lamps (in Sanskrit, dipa) are lit outside houses,

Navaratri Begins Today

Immediately following the “All-Ancestor New Moon” which marks the end of the Forefather Fortnight begins Durga Puja, the period during which the Divine Mother is adored. As this veneration transpires over a period of ten days and nine nights it is popularly known as navaratri (nava = nine & ratri = night). One such period

Ancestor Fortnight Begins Today

From the abundantly favorable to the significantly inauspicious: such is the ambit of the lunar month of Bhadrapada. Now that Ganapatideva has been respectfully returned to his home, with the request to return soon next year, the time has come for us to revere our ancestors, during the Pitr Paksha (the “Forefather Fortnight”). The Sanatana

Remembering the Last Mughal

Finally, four decades after I had first contemplated a visit, I made it to Myanmar (Burma), landing in Yangon (Rangoon) where I proceeded directly from the crowds that throng to gawk and worship at the city’s prime attraction, the mighty Shwedagon pagoda, to the nearly-deserted Dargah of Bahadur Shah Zafar, last of the Mughal emperors, whose