Light on Light Magazine - Issue 1

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Transformation Spring 2018 - Issue 1

Spiritual Practices & Inspired Lifestyle

Features: ❁ Ken Wilber & Dustin DiPerna ❁ Loch Kelly ❁ Rev. Deborah Moldow ❁ Rev. Diane Berke Sacred Music ❁ GuruGanesha Band

Spotlight on Yoga! ❁ Snatam Kaur ❁ Shiva Rea ❁ Elena Brower ❁ Denise Scotto ❁ Irina Morrison

Click here to listen to The Voice America Convergence Radio Series

M A G A Z I N E Spiritual Practices & Inspired Lifestyle

Light on Light Magazine Issue 1 – Spring 2018


Host Editor ............................................................................ Karuna

We at Light on Light Magazine are dedicated to illuminating the light of wisdom and compassion of spiritual practices and inspiring lifestyle features for the flourishing of health, mind, and spirit every day.

Contributing Editor ...................................................... Kurt Johnson, PhD Managing Editor ..................................... Shannon Marie Winters, MS Book Review Editor ..............................................Swami Shraddhananda Graphic Editor & Layout ............................................................... David Winters COVER: Karuna, photographed by Isak Hanold (

The Interspiritual Network Serving the Emerging Global Interspiritual Paradigm

a member of the UNITY EARTH network

We welcome the following contributors in this issue: Ken Wilber Dustin DiPerna Loch Kelly Rev. Deborah Moldow Rev. Diane Berke Ed Bastian Snatam Kaur Shiva Rea Elena Brower Denise Scotto

Irina Morrison GuruGanesha Shivanter Singh Joanna Kujawa Dafna Mordecai Susan Rogers Swami Shraddhananda Robert Levine Rt. Rev. Dr. Wilfredo J. Baez

Light on Light Magazine welcomes authors, spiritual teachers, and our readers, to contribute ideas and brief concepts for content in future issues. We welcome light-filled submissions of wisdom, inspiration, and transformation for feature articles, personal transformation stories, poetry, fictional short stories, music, artwork, #ShineYourLight inspirations, and more! Please send a brief description of your content or idea to for consideration. Except for fair use extracts with full credit, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher. We make every effort to obtain proper permission to reproduce images. Images and artwork that do not include a citation for use where they appear in Light on Light Magazine are from Pixabay. Please contact us with any information related to the rights holder of an image source that is not credited. The opinions expressed in this issue due not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or editors of Light on Light Magazine.

Š Light on Light Magazine. All rights reserved.


International Day of Yoga by Denise Scotto, Esq............................................ 40

Welcome from the Editors by Karuna, Shannon Winters, and Dr. Kurt Johnson............................................. 4-7

From Yoga to UNITY by Irina Morrison....................................................... 41

Welcome from UNITY EARTH by Yanni Maniates and Ben Bowler..................8-9

Features An Integral Approach to Spiritual Transformation: Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up by Ken Wilber and Dustin DiPerna...................... 10 Awakening Effortless Mindfulness: The Next Natural Stage of Human Development by Loch Kelly.............................................................. 15 Living Light - On Purpose by Rev. Deborah Moldow....................................... 19 Poetry: The Origin is One for Kotama Okada by Susan Rogers...................................................... 21 Habits That Mint Gold: The Power of Spiritual Practice by Rev. Diane Berke............................................... 22 Poetry: Diwali by Sw. Shraddhananda Saraswati..................... 25 Food, Nutrition, and Wellbeing The Table...Without Reservation by Shivanter Singh........................................... 26 Light on Kundalini - Yoga Practice with Karuna Introduction to Karuna’s Instructional Guide to Yoga....................................................................... 28 Foundational Guide............................................... 29 Session Guide........................................................... 31 Spotlight on Yoga Bring Inner Peace and Blessings with “Sat Naaraa-in” by Snatam Kaur....................................................... 34 Giving Our Strength to the Earth - Retrieving the Power of Prostrations by Shiva Rea............................................................. 37 Calling the Light by Elena Brower...................................................... 39

Inspired Lifestyles Sailing with Uma Karuna by Ed Bastian........................................................... 42 Home by Karuna.................................................................. 45 Illuminations - Personal Stories of Transformation On the Road to Light on Light by Karuna.................................................................. 47 Travel - Along the Journey Spiritual Travel by Joanna Kujawa.................................................. 52 Sacred Music GuruGanesha Band - Rock ‘n Roll for the Soul by the Editors........................................................... 54 Spirituality in Art Featuring Artist Dafna Mordecai by the Editors........................................................... 57 Books From the Author, “The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru by Philip Goldberg.................................................. 59 Short Stories - Spiritual Fiction What the Psychic Said to Me by Shannon Winters...............................................60 #ShineYourLight...................................................... 63 Poetry Without Wings by Robert Levine...................................................... 65 My Next Death by Rt. Rev. Dr. Wilfredo J Baez............................. 65 Upcoming Events!.................................................. 68 Directory...................................................................69

A Welcome from our Host Editor Dear Beloveds of Light on Light! The development of this magazine has given us great Happiness! Far more than expected, we have found ourselves reaching into all the reservoirs of our spiritual journeys, our lives of spiritual practice and activism, profundities of our world’s Great Wisdom Traditions and panoramas of family, career, relationships, lifestyle, heath-wellness-fitness, and even travel! This happened because, as our contributors met and synergized, this Light on Light was what emerged from their Hearts. You’ll immediately note that many of these articles are quite intimate. Our sharing of this Light has been wonderfully transparent! Our practices are diverse. They all reach something inside of us from the darkest hour to the brightest sunrise! Together, we are so willing to take the steps to make our planet and its future, for generations to come, beautiful, safe and creative. We celebrate you for being a part. Most amazingly, we realize together there is no miracle we are waiting for, searching or seeking. This is happening Now. You are Here. We are Here, Now. We have Arrived, with a community sharing their contributed gifts. I am so grateful to be your Host Editor. It is a dream come true to join this community in reaching out to all of you! Join us, and join in the conversation—every spirit, every path, every heart are welcomed. All coming together to celebrate light in all of its radiant beauty in Light on Light. Love, Karuna


Let Your Inner Light Shine a welcome from our Managing Editor

Once upon a time not so long ago, in a land not so far away, as a 30-something year-old, I realized that I’d lost my inner light. There was a song I’d sung while growing up, you may have sung it too, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” but, by the time my 30’s came around, life had taken more curves than I’d ever expected it would. One bad decision seemed to lead to a cascading of even worse decisions. Before I knew it, my life had become a broken mess. It looked nothing like the “Happily Ever After” that I dreamed that it would be when I was a young girl in church singing that song about my little light. Eventually, over the years in my 20’s and early 30’s, I completely forgot it was inside me. I tried to find the light everywhere, driven by the void I felt inside—in relationships, by losing weight, changing myself to be like others who seemed to have it, looking for it in religion and sacred texts, seeking wisdom and advice from anyone including pastors, psychics, and in therapy—I looked everywhere to find the elusive joy that was missing from my heart. One day, after I’d looked in all the places and asked all the people I could possibly think of, I realized that there was one place I did not yet look. Within myself. In that very moment, my little light renewed its flame. My steps forward along my journey were hesitant at first—learning to love myself, truly and genuinely love myself, learning to trust my inner wisdom and intuition, but eventually in time, through spiritual practices and living an inspiration-filled life, my little light began to shine as radiantly as the sun. Each and every step along the journey was necessary—especially the moments of despair and darkness no matter how difficult it was at the time—and eventually I saw how every part of it led me to rediscovering my inner light. Yet, there was no treasure map or prescribed path to find it, it was a spiritual path just as unique as me—just as it is for you too. It is with much delight and the greatest honor that we welcome you—and your beautiful radiant soul— to Light on Light Magazine. No matter where you are along your journey today, whether you have lost your little inner light amid life’s struggles, or are shining your light and seeking to further grow and develop in spiritual practices to shine even more brightly, or if you are already letting your inner sun shine radiantly in the world, Light on Light is dedicated to illuminating the light of wisdom and compassion of spiritual practices and inspiring lifestyles for the flourishing of health, mind, and spirit every day, for everyone. Along with Host Editor, Karuna, we welcome you to share your journey, to explore, and to shine with us here. May your inner light shine brightly along every road you are traveling.

Namaste with Love,

Shannon Marie Winters 5

Light on Light—part of the “Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up” Process a welcome from our Contributing Editor Light on Light “happened” as it became apparent across the “network of networks” we serve (with all our wonderful fellow travelers on this road of visioning transformation) that there was a need, and an enthusiasm, about a new magazine on “spiritual practice.” Such a publication could serve by voicing and featuring the breadth, depth and diversity of our species’ global and historical experience of “spirit” and its inherent connection to the bottom-lines of world-view, lifestyle, health, well-being, fitness and a long, long list. A number of things at play obviously underpin this. The make-up of our network-- and our many companion networks—is extremely broad, so broad in fact we couldn’t decide actually who would do the magazine. So we decided to “just do it.” Our, and our companion networks, are truly international, inter-religious, inter-cultural— typically iconic of what is unfolding in our world’s collective journey toward inevitable globalization and multiculturalism. You can get a visceral feel for these communities by watching the short video from our “Crestone Convergence “ gathering this past summer, click here to see the video.

Wayne Teasdale & Ken Wilber

As Wayne Teasdale pointed out in the founding of the “Interspiritual” vision, one question today’s dramatic cultural evolution raises is: what is the role and purpose of religions, and the spiritualities that are at their core? Will they remain, as it has seemed “part of the problem” in the world (separation, division. competition, conflict) or could they, if they emphasized their shared spiritual cores, actually become “part of the solution?” Wayne Teasdale and Ken Wilber were close friends—at a time when so much of this journey was still seminal. It was not long after Wayne’s transition that Ken Wilber began voicing what has now been for years the moniker of the interspiritual vision—“Waking Up and Growing Up”. These two dynamically entwined elements hold the combination that could actually make the world’s religions “part of the solution” for our planet. As Wilber has points out, the “Waking Up” (the myriad paths and resources the world’s historical Wisdom Traditions offer for true spiritual awakening and maturity) has been around for millennia. But the “Growing Up”—the building of a world actually reflecting these core inherent essential elements of spirit and values—is only becoming possible now, as we enter this dynamic period of global and multicultural challenge. Please watch two videos we have produced with Ken Wilber on this vision of Waking Up and Growing Up. They are eloquent and historic. Here are the links (Introduction to Integral Spirituality [from our 2015 Self Care to Earth Care conference] and Waking Up and Growing Up from our 2017 Crestone Convergence conference. 6

It’s been over five years now that the Host Editor of Light on Light, Karuna, and I and others, also began also voicing that Waking Up and Growing Up moniker for everything we were doing in serving spiritual practice and activism—in meetings, retreats, conferences and the like. In 2016, as UNITY EARTH came together, it was also used to subtitle UNITY EARTH’s The Convergence series which, even surprising to us, garnered over 100,000 listeners in its first year. We expressed Waking Up and Growing Up in a dynamic Yin-Ying interaction. And we’ve been in great company! Integral and interspiritual voices, like Dustin DiPerna, have added “Cleaning Up” and “Showing Up” to the mantra, seeing that obviously, the Growing Up process includes inherently the nitty-gritty of spiritual practice, and all of its implications in our daily lives and our collective work in spirit and activism. Ultimately, Growing Up is about praxis, about “doing it”. What is more germane to that then the underlying realm of spiritual experience itself, as Ken Wilber points out in the video’s noted above—the crucial interaction of “knowledge about” and “direct experience of.” Welcome to Light on Light Emphasized throughout the content of Light on Light (the title came from Karuna and our colleague Jeff Vander Clute, founder of Sourcing The Way) is that individual spiritual practice forms the underpinning of everything else we do. In our personal depth of experience resides the existential challenge of “being here” and what we do with that, individually and collectively. This intersection is even all the more poignant when, as a part of the global convergence that is unfolding, science and spirituality are inevitably converging along multiple paths. Emerging are seminal new shared understandings between the spiritual and scientific domains-- of subtle phenomena, and of the inevitable intersection of sacred and secular activism. Today we are understanding that, irrespective of world view—spiritualistic or materialistic—in the words of the most common moniker in the United Nations community, “Business as usual is not an option. Global transformative change is a necessity.” The more we processed this phenomenon about Light on Light the more it also became apparent that in the most down to earth, day to day, nitty-gritty, and grass-roots elements of spiritual practice resided the actual dynamics fundamental to spiritual practice’s effectiveness. Thus emerged another list of what Light on Light should include: all the aspects of authentic well-being: self-care, lifestyle, health, fitness, nutrition, leisure, enjoyment, past-times and even the accoutrements of dress and apparel, interior decoration and design, gardening and pets, ritual, ceremony and routine. So, welcome to this panoramic sharing from the nexus of spiritual practice, spiritual life, and engaged spirituality. I can leave it to the rest of our editors and contributors to make this a spectacular shared journey.

Dr. Kurt Johnson, co-author The Coming Interspiritual Age


Live a Spiritually Awakened and Compassionately, Engaged Life Welcome to Light on Light—an invitation to discover your inner Light and to let it shine brightly into the world. Over my many years of exploring my inner and outer terrains, I have been blessed to have many profound experiences. In the late 80’s while in meditation I experienced a huge shift in my awareness and very viscerally experienced a sense of total unity with All That Is. Not only did I feel at One, but, as well, and even more importantly, I felt that I was being held in a deep, profound, all consuming “Embrace” of compassionate Love. I was filled to overflowing. As a result, I decided that I wanted not only to further explore and deepen this experience for myself, but even more importantly I wanted to help others find it for themselves. Over the past 30 years I have found that the thirst for this kind of experience has grown exponentially among many. As well, over time, as was the case for many others, there was also an impulse growing within me that a transformative, worldwide evolutionary leap was in the process of birthing and I wanted somehow to find a way to join with others to help facilitate that shift in global consciousness. Grounded in “The Embrace,” I wanted to find the best avenue within which to take “Right Action” in the world to help both the planet and its people heal. This intention has led me to work directly for the past two years with UNITY EARTH and its inspired programs and vision of Interspiritual and Eco-Spiritual cooperation that can lead to a world of peace and shared prosperity. As well, everywhere I go now I find so many people looking for a way to participate in a global, inclusive, sacred community of service. As Gregg Braden has said, this is the time of our “Collective Initiation.” We are all being drawn to embrace and live our ultimate “calling;” that is, to live a spiritually awakened and compassionately engaged life. Come join us at Light on Light. Where we encourage and guide you (1) to “Wake Up” to the Light within; (2) to “Grow Up” and mature spiritually and psychologically; and (3) on that foundation to take the “Right Action(s)” in the world that will spread our collective Light and bring Peace within you as well as bring Peace on Earth.

Onwards and inwards......... Yanni Maniates 8

Lighting the Way in


On behalf of UNITY EARTH I would like to congratulate the Interspiritual Network and all those that have worked so hard to create this beautiful and valuable magazine Light on Light. In particular I would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Dr. Kurt Johnson, Karuna-Ji and Shannon Winters whose vision, spiritual insight and dedication have led to this first inaugural edition becoming a reality. We hope and we believe it is the first of many more such editions to come of Light on Light Magazine, sharing spiritual wisdom and practical applications to further facilitate the act of “waking up”—at both the personal and the planetary level. This focus on spiritual practice is especially timely as we head towards the second half of the Road to 2020, a series of global, increasingly public events demonstrating our radical spiritual unity. As we wind from Australia and Ethiopia, towards now India, Jerusalem and the USA in 2020, we need to be increasing our ability and skill level both as individuals and communities beyond their current capacities. As many teachers have told us, in order for us to achieve that which has never been done before, we need to become something we have never been before. We as a community need to go further into our spiritual practices in order to become more truth, more compassion, more peace, more justice, more prophetic action and more love. It is practice and only practice that can bring us to that place of a deeper re-membering. It is practice alone that leads us experientially to the place beyond hope, beyond belief, beyond even knowing from where the miraculous can become the everyday. The master Rumi said “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” Light on Light Magazine represents that field. It is good to be meeting each other here. 9

With Love, Ben Bowler Director

An Integral Approach to Spiritual Transformation: Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up by Ken Wilber and Dustin DiPerna Considering an integrative approach to spiritual transformation on a global scale allows us to frame integral theory of spiritual transformation and human potential cross-culturally, based on predictable developmental patterns. The three distinct elements of human transformation and development that appear repeatedly throughout various regions and cultures of the world are states, structures, and shadows, and in this article, we will discuss how these directly correlate with our integral approach of Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up. To begin, let’s take a closer look at what we mean by the term development, of which we use interchangeably here with transformation. These terms refer to our innate human capacity to both grow and heal through predicable, sequential patterns of mental, emotional, and spiritual unfolding. Because these patterns are generally predictable and reliably progress in sequence, it is also the case that each higher developmental stage transcends and includes the stage that preceded it just as organisms transcend and include cells, which transcend and include molecules, which transcend and include atoms.

This process of unfoldment and enfoldment reveals a natural, nested hierarchy of developmental progression. Just as evolution has touched the physical and biological dimensions—leaving each marked by sequential stages of unfolding— so evolution has touched the psychological, cultural, and spiritual dimensions as well, also leaving each marked by dependable, broad, general sequential stages of their own growth and development. It is the developmental nature of all of these dimensions that allow the effective planning and growth of each of them—including our own overall spiritual growth and development. And it is the cross-cultural similarities, at a deep-feature level, that allow these developmental sequences to be a reliable map for humankind’s spiritual growth and unfolding at large. Our world’s great spiritual lineages introduce to us our capacity to Wake Up to a series of everdeepening states of consciousness (for example, Enlightenment, Awakening, Moksha, the Great Liberation, Satori, Metamorphosis, the Supreme Identity, among many others). These states of consciousness are often referred to as “mystical experiences”—or, psychologically, as “peak experiences” or “altered states”—and traditionally, these are said to come in several varieties: they can involve nature mysticism (oneness with the entire gross/physical world); deity mysticism (oneness with a subtle/interior dimension); formless mysticism (oneness with an “infinite Abyss” or formless Ground of all Being); and nondual mysticism (or a oneness or “unity consciousness” with all realms and dimensions, manifest and unmanifest). For a detailed look at “waking up” see DiPerna’s book Streams of Wisdom


A state of consciousness is a direct, firstperson, immediate and unmediated experience with a spiritual state of consciousness. These are very obvious when one has them—an experience “universal love-bliss” or an “all-pervading oneness with all of reality” or a “sense of loving unity with all things,” you definitely know you are experiencing those. States are so obvious and hard to miss, that human beings have been aware of various states of consciousness—including so-called “altered states of consciousness”—for thousands and thousands of years, going back at least to the earliest shamans and their vision quests, perhaps some 50,000 years ago. And although at first states come and go, a crucial item of development is that these temporary states can become permanent vantage points of awareness—and a great number of contemplative or meditative systems worldwide consist of a series of state-stages of development that ranges from one end being narrow, egoic, “separate-self sense” to, at the other, a mystical union with the Ground of all Being or the ultimate spiritual state—what the Sufis call “the Supreme Identity.” This, indeed, is known worldwide as a process of “Waking Up.” However, most of developmental science and the entire Western developmental paradigm has focused on structures of consciousness (and the path of “Growing Up”). This distinction between structures and states helps to explain the difference between a fundamentalist and a saint— because what research has discovered is that, no matter what state of consciousness an individual might experience in their process of Waking Up, that state is still interpreted by the structure of consciousness that the individual is at in their process of Growing Up. For whatever spiritual experiences a person has can only be interpreted with his or her current mental tools and structures of consciousness. So very high spiritual states of Waking Up can still be badly distorted and reduced if the individual is at a fairly low level of Growing Up.

Even religions that produced, in their esoteric branch, experiences of major Waking Up or Enlightenment or Awakening, still were almost entirely patriarchal or sexist, and they embraced slavery or racism, and so on—that is, even though highly developed in Waking Up, they were still at ethnocentric and prejudiced stages in Growing Up. That’s because, even though they were quite advanced in techniques of Waking Up, leading all the way to traditional “divine unity consciousness,” that was not enough to help them develop to worldcentric stages of Growing Up (they were only at ethnocentric stages of Growing Up). Research has demonstrated that Waking Up and Growing Up are relatively independent, and since the great traditions were almost completely unaware of the structures of Growing Up, they had no way to know that, even though “Enlightened,” they were still very poorly developed in Growing Up stages. See Wilber’s Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World for an approach to spirituality that honors the truths of modernity and postmodernity—including the revolutions in science and culture—while incorporating the essential insights of the great religions. To bring it into our current global context, it could mean the difference between a fundamentalist Christian leader and Pope Francis or between a member of ISIS and a progressive Muslim. Both a

fundamentalist Christian leader and Pope Francis may very well have access to authentic spiritual states of consciousness, but the structures of consciousness through which each of those states is enacted and interpreted are at very different levels. Needless to say, herein lies one of the major solutions to understanding our global “war” on terror. It’s not about getting rid of religion—whether it be Islam or Christianity—it’s about helping all practitioners come to express their traditions through higher and more mature structures of consciousness. Spiritual experience alone is not enough. It will be spiritual experience combined with modern, postmodern, and integral versions of each tradition that will help us find a way through. Whereas it is common to hear in religious circles that all humanity needs today is to embrace a genuine spiritual oneness or unity consciousness in order for the world to be at peace, a more integral view demonstrates that what is actually needed is a development in BOTH Waking Up and Growing Up. Leaving either one of those out—as absolutely every spiritual system in the world now does—is to leave humans only partially whole, partially complete, partially ready for peace and a genuine worldwide love. So we have an opportunity now, as a global culture, to create a comprehensive map of transformation that includes both states of consciousness and structures of consciousness, both Waking Up and Growing Up. Extrapolating this even further, we can use the incredible wisdom discovered through the great medicine traditions of shamanic and indigenous cultures and modern psychotherapeutic approaches to engage a process of Cleaning Up, that is, integrating our shadow to become a whole human being. The former having cultivated incredible capacity to work on more subtle levels of reality to liberate karmic patterns and bring beings into deeper wholeness and the latter working with concepts like transference, projection, or early childhood attachment. Although there is no sign that the ancient medicine traditions knew much about the modern concepts of psychotherapy, anyone who has worked in the context of these traditions knows firsthand of their incredible capacity to reveal shadow, heal trauma, and cure addictive tendencies. In an integral approach, all of these

methods of healing and integration would necessarily be included. Including shadow integration and Cleaning Up is fundamentally important. Even if a being has gained access to Waking Up and Growing Up, he or she can still be victim to unconscious motivations, desires, and attachment patterns that create deep suffering

See DiPerna’s Evolution’s Ally for an in depth look at how structures of development show up in our world’s religious traditions

for themselves and others. We can compare this to a bright and pure light shining through a dusty stained glass window. The light may be real and authentic (accessing a deep state), and the colors and shapes on of the glass may be complex (operating through an advanced structure), but if the glass is covered in ash, very little of the light will be able to shine through. Through interpersonal relationship with a psychotherapist and with a community of other conscious practitioners, we can begin to uproot all of our unseen patterns and heal our deepest wounds. It becomes our duty to Clean Up in this way, not only for ourselves but also for all those around us. See Wilber’s The Religion of Tomorrow for a path for reenvisioning a religion of the future and how we can apply this approach to our own spiritual practice. This more complete and comprehensive view of spirituality also allows us to understand otherwise paradoxical and contradictory tendencies in religion itself. Historically, it is likely that religion has been both the source of some of the highest, most elevated, ideal, loving, and noble inspirations ever advanced, and yet it has also been the single greatest source of warfare, torture, and murderous hatred on the planet. How can that be? The answer from this more complete meta-view of religion is straightforward: higher, loving, noble motivations come from religious adepts who are at a greater number of higher structures (Growing Up) and higher states (Waking Up), and have less shadow elements; while those who—with the same surface religious beliefs—


are at lower levels of spiritual development, and/ or experience lower states, and/or possess many shadow elements, tend more readily and exclusively to produce prejudiced, ethnocentric, murderous and hateful motivations. And the same goes for unintegrated shadow elements (and Cleaning Up). Especially in spiritual circles, where individuals strive to realize and achieve the most positive and noble characteristics possible, it is common to “spiritually bypass” dealing with shadow elements by not actually healing and transforming them, but simply denying and projecting them. The “other” person thus becomes the receptacle of all an individual’s (or an entire culture’s) negative, “evil” qualities, and thereafter that individual is demonized— and, in times past, were likely to be burned, crucified, tortured, or killed. Only by re-owning and reintegrating shadow elements can such extremely negative human behavior be significantly reduced. So perhaps we can start to see the profound problems that result when either Waking Up, or Growing Up, or Cleaning Up are not included. And since it is only recently that such a comprehensive meta-map of human potentials has become available, it is only recently that the true potentials of human spirituality have truly come to the fore—as well as a clear understanding and map of how the highly “negative” aspects of spirituality that have accompanied it all-too-many times in the past can henceforth be more effectively surmounted. If the prophecies of our world’s great wisdom traditions are to have any meaning at all, the second coming of Christ will need to be resurrected in each of our hearts; the future Buddha will need to be expressed in all of us as a global sangha of spiritual awakening; through Tikkun the world must be healed; and the hidden Imam must reveal itself in the further reaches of our own potential. As Hindu visions for the future fulfill themselves and as the Kali Yuga comes to a close giving way to an even brighter age, our task is to find our way back home to Source and to express that Source as the evolving edge of developmental complexity in the Kosmos. Finally, all of this, whether we speak of Waking Up, Growing Up, or Cleaning Up, is used in service of the whole. The entire frame is just a skillful way to catalyze 13

our maximum potential to “Show Up” in all our glory, individually and collectively, as a true emanation of Source. As we move beyond individual paradigms of isolation and separation, humanity will more fully discover the power and potential of shared unified intention. Then with this understanding at heart and with each of us exemplifying a unique expression of intrinsic unity, “We” can, together, rain-down the blessings on the Earth that we have come here to give. May this be an invitation and activation of all that necessary for us to Show Up together as the single unified force of Reality that we truly are. It is our sense that the time is ripe for the establishment of a deliberately developmental civilization on our planet. And central to this endeavor would be an intentional and conscious unfolding of the higher, deeper, wider, and healthier stages of spirituality (attempting to grow and develop beyond the lower, narrower, shallower stages of spiritual development so strongly involved in negative, ethnocentric, hateful impulses—thus allowing the very truest and highest nature of spirituality to shine forth in all humans). When states, structures, and shadow integration are honored and intentionally cultivated, humanity opens the possibility of establishing a deliberately developmental civilization; a civilization that intentionally supports transformation through all domains of growth and development—Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up. If such a civilization can be established, we will enter a brighter age for humankind; an age wherein all of us can realize our fullest awake, mature, and integrated developmental potential. For more on Integral Theory visit the Integral Life Website. Integral Life helps people live more fulfilling lives amidst the complexity of the 21st century by helping you expand your mind, understand your world, and practice your full potential. Learn more at Integral Life online.

Ken Wilber Born in 1949, Ken Wilber is generally regarded as the world’s most influential Integral thinker. With 22 books translated in up to 30 languages, he is perhaps the most translated academic writer in America. He is seen as an important representative of transpersonal psychology, which emerged in the 1960s from humanistic psychology, and which concerns itself explicitly with spirituality. For the fundamental and pioneering nature of his insights, he has been called “the Einstein of consciousness.” Wilber is the founder and president of the Integral Institute, a non-profit organization began in 1997 to advance more comprehensive and integrated approach to the world’s increasingly complex problems. Integral Institute is concerned with finding more balance, comprehensiveness, and wholeness in the world. It involves a new way of working, loving, playing, and interacting in reality. Today, there is also Integral University, an integral learning community. Learn more about Ken Wilber’s work at

Dustin DiPerna Dustin DiPerna is a visionary leader, entrepreneur, and recognized expert in world religions. He is author of the books - Streams of Wisdom, Evolution’s Ally, and Earth is Eden - and co-editor of the books The Coming Waves and Purpose Rising. Dustin is a senior student of American philosopher Ken Wilber, who has publicly declared that Dustin’s work “fundamentally alters the way in which religion or spirituality can (and should) be taught and practiced.” For the past 10 years, Dustin has been practicing and studying under the direction of pioneering meditation teacher Dr. Daniel P. Brown. Dustin completed his undergraduate and graduate work at Cornell University and Harvard University. He currently teaches in the Wellness Education program at the Stanford School of Medicine. An avid lover of art, design and nature, he lives in California with his wife, Amanda, and daughters, Jaya and Rumi. More details at or text the word “Light” to 444999 to join his mailing list.


Awakening Effortless Mindfulness: The Next Natural Stage of Human Development by Loch Kelly

“Effortless mindfulness is the letting go of attention, thought and present moments in order to open to an already awake awareness that is naturally focused, compassionate and non-conceptually intelligent in the Now.� ~ Loch Kelly



remember it was one of those cold, clear winter nights. As my college library closed its doors, I began to trudge up the steep hill to my dorm. My body was exhausted; my heart was heavy with grief as my mind pored over the events of the past year. I’d lost my father, who’d been battling brain cancer for two years. My grandmother, who had been living with our family for twelve years, had recently passed on. And then a month later, one of my best friends died in a tragic car accident. I’d been plunged deep into the river of old age, sickness, and death—and I was trying to swim or at least stay afloat. Halfway up the hill, I heard a loud thought in my mind: I don’t know if you can take this much pain. I stopped and stood still. Who was talking and who couldn’t take the pain? I turned within and looked for who was talking, but to my surprise found open space. My thoughts quieted and my heart broke wide open. The weight of my despair lifted, and I felt not only relief but also pervasive joy, wellbeing, and love streaming through my being. Tears ran down my cheeks, and I laughed and cried at the same time. I looked up at the stars sparkling in the boundless night sky, feeling connected and supported. As I stood there, breathing deeply, I noticed that my usual sense of self was gone, yet I felt fully embodied and alive. From that night onward I could feel the grief, but there was more space and compassion to help me feel my emotions without being overwhelmed. I even remember

thinking that I, too, would die one day—but even that seemed okay. Something had changed and a new process had begun. I realized that I had the freedom to choose to do anything with my life. Humanity has made rapid progress during recent years in areas such as technology, medicine, and communications. Yet parts of our brain and consciousness still operate as if we’re living in primitive times. If we’re going to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century, we must consciously participate in evolving and upgrading our own operating system. Effective tools of awareness are very much needed now, if we want to preserve our planet and create a sustainable quality of life for all people. The good news is we can learn how to intentionally shift our awareness in order to grow into the next stage of human development. We are very fortunate that many ancient, rare meditation manuals have recently been brought out of their native countries, translated, published, and made available to the public. However, these ancient manuals often use archaic or esoteric language. My interest has been to translate these practices into contemporary, simple and experiential language. In order to understand awakening, we cannot look only at the physical, mental, emotional, or psychological levels of experience. This is why it may initially seem difficult to understand. We can learn a new way of using the tools of awareness to examine the levels of consciousness within us. This is a new way of looking, but it is no more difficult than looking at our mental or psychological experience. 16

There really are no words in English that accurately describe the subtle states of consciousness discovered in the process of awakening. The subtler levels of consciousness can be very difficult to articulate or understand without experiencing them for yourself. Although awakening may be beyond precise description, living from open-hearted awareness is a palpable experience — and therefore learnable and teachable. Awakening seems to be the next natural stage of human development which is much needed today. One of the main supports of awakening that I have been exploring and sharing is called effortless mindfulness. In his book Rainbow Painting, one of my teachers Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says, “There are two types of mindfulness: deliberate and effortless.” Mindfulness in general could be described as the ability to become focused and connected. Deliberate mindfulness is often an introductory practice that calms and focuses our dualistic mind. Effortless mindfulness is an advanced, yet simple, form of mindfulness that shifts us into our awareness-based mind which is already calm and focused.


Many of us are familiar with deliberate mindfulness practices, such as one-pointed attention on the breath and observing our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, which can help to reduce stress. Effortless mindfulness

reduces suffering at its root and awakens us to an inherent capacity for love and wisdom. Effortless mindfulness is not only the next stage of mindfulness but also marks the next stage of human development. We are not only calming our mind but rather upgrading to a new level of mind, which we may not have realized was possible for us. Effortless mindfulness doesn’t mean that we don’t have to make an initial effort. We aren’t being asked to “try to be effortless.” (Trying to be effortless can be quite an effort!) The adjective “effortless” refers to the discovery that there is a natural human capacity of an awareness-based mind which is already spontaneously aware without our help. Effortless mindfulness is both a description of a different way of knowing and a method to shift into that awareness-based knowing. Deliberate mindfulness is often done in a quiet, secluded place, with your eyes closed. Rather than being a practice confined to monastic or retreat environments, effortless mindfulness, as it was first introduced historically, was intended to help ordinary people awaken in the midst of daily life. Effortless mindfulness is done with eyes open throughout your day using small, direct shifts of awareness. Like riding a bicycle on a gradual, downward-sloping road, we effortlessly glide without deliberately pedaling, while mindfully balancing.

Here is a definition of deliberate mindfulness by mindfulness meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” Here is my working definition of effortless mindfulness: “Effortless mindfulness is the letting go of attention, thought and present moments in order to open to an already awake awareness that is naturally focused, compassionate and non-conceptually intelligent in the Now.” Having taught both types of mindfulness, I’ve found that effortless mindfulness takes the same amount of time to learn. When you start with effortless mindfulness, you still get all the benefits of deliberate mindfulness, and more. Deliberate mindfulness practices create feelings of lovingkindness whereas in effortless mindfulness we discover a naturally innate lovingkindness and compassion. By seeing we are not our thoughts or the thinker, deliberate mindfulness gives us insight into who we are not. By introducing us to our awareness-based mind, effortless mindfulness introduces us to the essence of who we are.

Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW is author of Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of OpenHearted Awareness which was named “Top 10 Best Books of the Year” by Spirituality & Health Magazine. He is an educator, contemplative psychotherapist and recognized leader in the field of meditation and consciousness. Loch is the founder of the non-profit Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, where he received a fellowship to study Insight Meditation, Advaita, and Tibetan Buddhism in Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal. Loch trained with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche in Nepal, served on the Teacher’s Council at New York Insight and is affiliated with Adyashanti. Loch has worked in community mental health, established homeless shelters and counseled family members after 9/11 in New York City. He collaborates with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn and NYU to study how awareness training can enhance compassion and wellbeing. He teaches the advanced, yet simple, direct methods of effortless mindfulness, informed by psychology and social engagement. Loch is known for his warm sense of humor, and his confidence that awakening is the next natural stage of development. He is dedicated to reducing suffering and supporting people to live from openhearted awareness. He offers practical, non-dual pointers, which give people tools to shift into the freedom of their true nature. He lives in New York City with his wife Paige and their cat Duffy. For more information,


by Rev. Deborah Moldow

Something Powerful is Emerging Right Now on Planet Earth: a global community deeply rooted in a shared spirituality that transcends differences of circumstance, nationality, tradition, culture and even religion. Members of this community recognize one another immediately, even though it has no name and no home except the human heart. –

On Purpose Oprah Winfrey appeared on The Van Jones Show on CNN on March 11, 2018 with a message: You’ve gotta stay in the light. She explained how important it is not to give our energy to the apparent darkness in our world today, but to stay as a warrior of the light. She wakes up in the morning and the first thing she says, even before opening her eyes, is “Thank you.” She does her chores and then gives herself some time for prayer or meditation before looking at the day’s news. Oprah is a prophet of the emerging consciousness. Many of us are feeling the pull to live differently from the demands of the culture around us. We sense that our lives are meant to have purpose. We are leaving behind the emotional baggage of the past – our own, our ancestors’, our history, our evolution – in order to detoxify our minds and spirit. As we shed addictions and behaviors that perpetuated a culture of 19

domination, broken families and armed conflict, we are seeking new patterns to empower the emerging culture of peace. This is at heart a spiritual quest. At a time when the wisdom of indigenous, religious and spiritual teachings from all over the world are available to us, we are taking a fresh look at what it means to live a life that is fulfilling at the soul level.

How do we learn to live in the light, as the light, lightly? We are learning from one another! We are sharing spiritual experiences. We are recognizing the light in one another. We are opening to our inner guidance. In this column, we will explore a wide range of everyday practices that are helping us to move into the new consciousness, a journey we are taking together. To begin this exploration, I asked myself what would be the bottom line quality shared by everyone who is part of this vast awakening? To me, it seems to be a sense of purpose. This feeling began to take root in me when I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 1993. I realized that once I added “Rev.” before my name, I was declaring my willingness to “minister” to all who asked, to live a life of service to others. This stirred something deep inside me, a tiny seed beginning to feel the pull of the light yet invisible above the ground of my being.

If you are reading this, you have been drawn to some kind of spiritual practice, inner exploration or outer service that feels to you to be part of something larger than yourself. Your service to humanity may be at a global scale or very quiet and small – but somehow you know. Even if you feel called but haven’t figured out yet what is your piece of the puzzle, don’t worry! The path is rarely straight and most of us are still learning how to hear the guidance that is whispering us on. Yet, when we meet we know we are family, that somehow we share a mission to advance human consciousness in real and exciting ways that could fundamentally change how we live into the future. Perhaps your passion is healing or the farm-to-table movement or conflict resolution or animal communication or teaching or spiritual practice. Or you may be an artist, writer or musician trying to bring forth a meaningful message from your heart. Or maybe you are raising children who will live from their deepest creativity instead of buying into the prevailing culture. What passion is driving you? If

you’re doing it to make money or become famous or look fabulous… that’s not the one! Or maybe you are simply making changes in yourself: releasing the judgments

of the past, taking responsibility for your life, appreciating the people around you, changing your sense of who you are in the world. Oprah describes this purpose as “being the best you that you can be,” although that can be an egodirected path and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Because you do want to shine. As you move into your purpose, you know you are on the right track because the people you need to meet start to show up, doors begin to open, synchronicities happen, and insights land. Everything you do becomes rich with meaning. There is an exhilaration to it, like falling in love. Your spirit seems to be saying

yes to life, and life responds. The key is that whatever your purpose may be, you are not doing it alone, even if you are in a cave on a mountaintop or in the deep silence of your inner being. Across the world and perhaps across the room, others are waking up to the need for profound change from the inside out and are rising to their purpose just like you. You are part of nothing less than the conscious evolution of humanity. With this sense of purpose giving meaning to your life with every breath you take, you may just feel the urge to join Oprah in starting every day by saying, “Thank you.”

Rev. Deborah Moldow is the founder of the Garden of Light, at You are invited to post your ideas and comments about Living Light at livinglight.

Rev. Deborah Moldow is an ordained interfaith minister committed to assisting in the transformation of human consciousness. She is the founder of the Garden of Light, an online platform for the emerging global spirituality. Deborah is Co-Director of the Evolutionary Leaders circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation. She served for 22 years as the Representative to the United Nations of the World Peace Prayer Society and the prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” Rev. Deborah leads monthly Interfaith Sundays at the Chapel at Croton Falls and is a Creative Consultant at UNITY EARTH.


The Origin Is One for Kotama Okada by Susan Rogers

The dove knows the way follow her. Your heart knows the way listen well. Within your deepest self are wings of light. They cover the earth with waves of love. Do you remember? You once knew. Stand in the warmth of sunlight and recall. The origin of the world is one. The origin of religions is one. The origin of all humankind is one.

Searching by Susan Dobay, © 1988. “The Origin Is One” © Susan Rogers and is reprinted with permission. About the poem: A fundamental tenet of Sukyo Mahikari taught by its founder Kotama Okada: ‘The origin of the world is one, the origin of religions is one, the origin of all humankind is one.’ The poem is dedicated to Kotama Okada, the Founder, known as Sukuinushisama to the practitioners of Sukyo Mahikari, who not only brought this teaching to the world, but dedicated his life to sharing it with others and to being an example of its truth. The Origin Is One was previously published online by Saint Julian Press, Inc., 2012, published by Ron Starbuck and in Tiferet Journal, Spring 2015, published by Donna Baier Stein.

Circle back. Imagine the great will of all things stirring in your fingers. Reach out your arms and open your palms to the sky. It is time.

Susan Rogers considers poetry a vehicle for light and a tool for positive energy. She is a practitioner of Sukyo Mahikari, a spiritual practice promoting positive thoughts, words and action. Her poetry was recorded for the Pacific Asia Museum’s award-winning audio tour and is included in numerous anthologies and journals including Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace, Silk and Spice, The Best Poems of San Diego, Meditations on Divine Names, Kyoto Journal, Pirene’s Fountain, Tiferet and Saint Julian’s Press. Her poem “The Origin is One” was made into a short film by Yoshikazu Ysa (click here to see the video), and was performed at the televised Akigami Ice Festival in Gifu, Japan. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2013 and 2017. Lois P. Jones interviewed her for KPFK’s Poet’s Café, click here for the interview. Sukyo Mahikari is a spiritual practice that involves giving and receiving “True Light” and 21 changing one’s deep seated attitudes to be more positive.

Habits That Mint Gold: The Power of Spiritual Practice by Rev. Diane Berke Again The work starts As soon as you open your eyes in the Morning. Hopefully you got Some good rest last night.

for our relationship with God, in whatever form we experience the Divine Presence. We are creatures of habit, Hafiz reminds us - and developing the habit of beginning our day with God developing and sustaining the habit of daily spiritual practice - is a habit that will “mint gold” in our lives. With the pace and busyness of our modern lives, this is no small challenge. Often it seems that there is so much to do, so many demands pressing in on us, that we can’t afford the time for daily prayer and meditation - but the bigger question is, can we really afford not to make that time?

The Importance of Spiritual Practice Why go into the city or the fields Without first kissing The Friend Who always stands at your door? It only takes a second. Habits are human nature Why not create some that will mint Gold? -Hafiz, Sufi poet The Subject Tonight Is Love Daniel Ladinsky, translator What is the work Hafiz is referring to here? It is the work of being human, of transforming our human lives into lives of meaning, beauty, and purpose. It is the work of being, in our own hearts and lives, what the Sufis describe as the meeting place of heaven and earth - what A Course in Miracles points to when it asks us to reflect the peace of heaven here, that we may bring this world to heaven. This work is the very purpose of our lives, each and every day, and it begins as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. It is the real work we do throughout the day, whatever the outer form and structure of our lives, however we earn our living or spend our time. And Hafiz is very clear about how to best prepare ourselves to do that work. Before we set out into the world each day, before we go into the city or the fields, we need to take time to “kiss The Friend Who always stands at [our] door.” We need to make time

There have been many studies reported in the news recently that, as a people, we are suffering from a serious degree of sleep deprivation - and that our failure to replenish ourselves physically is having serious consequences on our health and wellbeing in every area of our lives. In the same way that sleep is essential to revitalize and renew our physical being, prayer, meditation, and other forms of spiritual practice are essential to replenish ourselves spiritually. And we need to consider that our individual and collective failure to make that renewal a real daily priority has equally serious consequences for our lives, our relationships, and our world. Laurie Beth Jones, in her book Jesus, CEO, has written: “At Callaway Gardens, I was amazed to learn that butterflies have to spread their wings in the morning sunshine because the scales on their wings are actually solar cells. Without that source of energy, they cannot fly.” In the ancient Greek language, the word for butterfly was the same as the word for “soul” - and just like the butterflies Laurie Beth Jones observed, our souls need time to be fed and recharged by the light of Spirit if we are to be able to fly. There is so much in our own lives and in the world around us that cries out for the healing touch of our love, our blessing, our courage to stand for justice, our inner peace. But unless we make the time to refill 22

our inner reservoirs of love and blessing and courage and peace, we don’t have those gifts to offer.

And our very presence may become a gift of healing, inspiration, and potential transformation to others.

In fact, it may be that the busier and more complex our lives and world become, the more essential it is that we commit ourselves to daily spiritual practice. As St. Francis de Sales pointed out, “Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are very busy. Then a full hour is needed.”

Buddhist meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg reminds us of the power of one person’s peace to influence the world:

Let’s look at why this is so.

The Purpose of Spiritual Practice There is a place inside our being where serenity dwells…Take time each day to nourish yourself with the comfort you find there, for it is from this place of tranquility and peace that all service flows. - Ralph Blum The purpose of spiritual practice is to realign our consciousness with what is highest and deepest and truest in ourselves - to remember what really matters, to remember who we really are, to remember and reconnect to the Source of our being, and to recognize that same Source in everyone and everything. We offer our minds to be healed of all of our fear-based and separation-based thoughts, perceptions, choices, and actions, and ask instead that Love may direct us in all we think, say, and do. As Marianne Williamson has pointed out in her book Illuminata, “Through morning prayers and meditation, we embark on the day spiritually prepared…To go within is not to turn our backs on the world; it is to prepare ourselves to serve it most effectively.” The time we spend in prayer and meditation, in whatever forms are most resonant for us, is like building spiritual muscles. Through regular practice, we develop qualities of strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. We develop wisdom, faith, equanimity, kindness; we develop deep honesty and self-acceptance. We cultivate our ability to let go, our capacity to forgive, our capacity to be present to this moment. We learn to deeply listen, and to open ourselves to grace. Then, when we need those qualities and skills in our lives, they are there for us to draw upon and use. 23

Nearly twenty-two hundred years ago, about two hundred fifty years after the time of the Buddha, there lived in northern India a powerful emperor named Ashoka. During the early years of his reign, Ashoka was deeply discontent and unhappy, and greedy for the expansion of his empire. To accomplish that end, he would wage bloody and terrible wars, causing great carnage, misery and grief.

One day, after a particularly terrible battle, Ashoka was walking on the battlefield, amid the corpses of men and animals strewn everywhere, when he was suddenly horrified by what he had caused. Just at that moment, a Buddhist monk came walking across the battlefield. The monk did not say a word, but his whole being was radiant with happiness and peace. Seeing him, Ashoka was stunned. He asked himself, ‘Why is it that I, who have everything, feel so empty and miserable, while this monk, who has nothing but the robes he wears and the bowl he carries, looks so serene and happy, even in this terrible place?’ Ashoka then made a momentous decision there on the battlefield. He pursued the monk and asked him, ‘Are you happy? If so, how did that come to be?’ In response, the monk, who had nothing, introduced the emperor, who

had everything, to the Buddha’s teachings. As a result of that chance encounter, Ashoka dedicated himself to the study and practice of Buddhism. The entire nature of his reign as emperor changed. He stopped waging imperialistic wars, he no longer let people go hungry, and he transformed himself from a cruel tyrant into a just, compassionate, and deeply respected ruler. Ashoka’s own son and daughter carried Buddhism from India to Sri Lanka, where it took root and then spread to Burma and Thailand and throughout the world. Our access to these teachings today is a direct result of Ashoka’s transformation. The radiance, the serenity, of that one Buddhist monk is still affecting the world today. One person’s happiness changed the course of history. - Sharon Salzberg, Loving-Kindness This is the “gold” that Hafiz is referring to in the poem we started with - the gold minted in our lives when we create for ourselves the habit of regular, ongoing, daily spiritual practice. The treasure of our own inner peace, happiness, and radiance may gift the world far beyond what we can ever know.

Conclusion Spiritual teacher Bo Lozoff has pointed out that the practices we do don’t need to be complex or esoteric - nor do we need an enormous changing variety of them. What is needed is our commitment to make time for our spiritual connection on a daily basis, and to follow through on that commitment even when it is not easy, comfortable, or convenient. Sufi teacher and poet Rumi encouraged us: Be courageous and discipline yourself… Work. Keep digging your well. Don’t think about getting off from work. Water is there somewhere. Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door. Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there. - from The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks, translator

Rev. Diane Berke is the Founder and Spiritual Director of One Spirit Learning Alliance and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City. Ordained as an interfaith minister in 1988, she is a widely respected pioneer in developing interfaith ministry education. Diane is a core faculty member of the Institute for Sacred Activism, a founding member of the Contemplative Alliance initiative of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, and a founding member of the Community of The Mystic Heart. She is the author of numerous books and educational manuals, including Developing and Deepening Your Spiritual Practice and Interfaith Ministers’ Training and Reference Manual. A psychotherapist and spiritual counselor in private practice for over thirty years, Diane is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of New York.


Diwali by Sw. Shraddhananda Saraswati

There’s light in the trees, on the ground, silver light, slate light, light so white it blinds the senses. No sparklers needed. No Roman flares— a festival of deities is tossing fireworks across the sky.


Reprinted with permission from Are You Dancing with Me, Shiva? © 2018, Sacred Feet Publishing Imprint.

Sw. Shraddhananda Saraswati serves as head of Sacred Feet Yoga, an Interspiritual path, and Slate Branch Ashram in Kentucky. A college professor for 35 years, she has published numerous books and articles, most recently a collection of poems entitled Are You Dancing with Me, Shiva? She holds a doctorate from Emory University and has lectured on six continents.

The Table Without Reservation

“the Table” Food, Nutrition, and Wellbeing

by Shivanter Singh Food has been an intricate part of my life since I was a child. I spent my early years sitting on a bar stool in my family friends’ restaurant making raviolis. I got my first job peeling potatoes at a Greek Diner near our house at the age of 12. I continue my journey with food even now as a vehicle for mental, emotional and physical transformation. Food has always been there—not always in a great way—but always there nonetheless. Food is an integral part of the fabric of our essence from cellular health to social bonding. From a nutritional stand point our food choices are key and more recently it has become larger vehicle/understanding for healing. I love the benefits food provides for us, from energy to comfort, food sustains us on a daily basis…always sitting in that place of gratitude for the abundance in my life and access to good/vibrant food, not everyone does. Several years ago, when I was facilitating a cleanse program in Costa Rica I had a huge realization that the times we gathered at “table” for meals were the most profound, the most real and the most transformative of all that was brought into the program. The nutrition education, yoga, movement, journaling, chanting, counseling and supplements were great components, but it was the human connection that I found

to be the most powerful. I saw how the veils were lifted, the filters shifted, the triggers got triggered, and how emotions became stirred. The table became the group’s family dynamic and each of the participants became a mirror for one another and for our family of origin. Without scripts or rehearsal, we all fell into positioning very organically. This was deep, scary, joyous and intense. It was the real deal. We cried, we laughed, we raised our voices and we rose our glasses. We were and still are family, with all its craziness and all its love. Being there for each other, no matter how deep the wound is where the real healing takes place—when we allow ourselves to step into the human dynamic at play, “humans being human.” I have learned and now teach about the concepts of how “eating healthy” is the highest form of self-love and self-respect. When we make the commitment to truly feed ourselves, we begin to thrive. Who we surround ourselves with, where we land and why are important factors on our journey of renewal, recharging, and rejuvenation. When we aren’t loaded with processed food, sugar, GMO products and other non-organic foods, our bodies are able to communicate and access our own inner wisdom. Our bodies are incredible machines, designed to heal themselves. Healing takes time and commitment and is our highest form of selfactualization. Going deeply within to understand what is happening externally provides us with 26

intuitive clarity. We all hold the knowledge, we all know what the right choices are for us, we just become clouded and the reality we view is not necessarily the truth. Eating live vibrant foods does for us what no mediation or therapy can do. It fills us on a multi-dimensional level, it revitalizes our system, and it is intricate in helping remove toxicity stored in our cells. Food and breath create our life force and together they can take us to our highest destiny. When we make the choice to eat living foods our health becomes enhanced, our immune system strengthens, we develop more mental acuity and vitality. Eating with a focus on vibrancy is a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnected nature of our bodily systems and the relationship between with our environment (the table). As you step into this investigation of “the table” here are some shopping suggestions for beginning your quest for your highest, actualized and vibrant self: · Choose Organic. Eating organic supports optimal health along with consciousness of global interconnectedness. · Choose Locally Grown. Produce loses nutrition within a few hours of being harvested. Buying local supports small family farms and local economy. · Choose the Freshest. Ask your produce supplier when the deliveries are made. Cut the time from harvest to consumption for maximum nutrients. · Choose Ripest. This applies to all fruits, tomatoes and avocados included. Bananas and avocados are the only fruit that truly ripen after picking. · Eat Seasonally. Eating produce that is in season assures freshness. Seasonal eating promotes harmonious existence with in our cycles of nature. Join me at “the table” in each issue, exploring great topics on health, wellness, healing and joyous eating. Being healthy is not about living a boring life, it’s about joyful vibrancy, creativity and healing human connection. Let’s rock this world through the conscious strategies we develop. Here’s to you. Many blessings, Shivanter Singh, aka John Barczak

Shivanter Singh (John Barczak) is a wellness advocate with 30 plus years of experience in the holistic world. He is a holistic chef focusing on healing through conscious consumption, a kundalini teacher, shamanic energy healer, his current passion is how to create and maintain businesses as a platform for global, personal and financial transformation, “coming from the mountain to the marketplace” (Chip Conley)…our goal in life is not only to survive but to thrive. His current project is designing the food and healing environment for a holistic luxury property in Mallorca, Spain.


Introduction to Karuna’s Instructional Guide to Yoga

We’ve pleased to present, issue by issue in Light on Light, an Instructional Guide paralleling the Yoga Sessions available on Karuna’s Apple and Play Station App and for your yoga practice in general. Instructions and demonstrations in each issues of Light on Light will be built around an at least 30-minute Yoga Session demonstrated in a linked video and described in the Instructional Guide. As Light on Light issues accumulate this will build a general guide and manual for your exploration and development in yoga. And, we plan to present that in a stand-alone manual in the future too. Exciting! In using the Instructional Guide, you’ll want to refer both to (1) the Foundational Guide, which is about activities and poses common to all yoga practice or sessions (warming up and fundamental poses and breath work) and (2) the Session Guides which provide instructions for particular sessions taught by Karuna.

Q&A with Karuna What is the difference between Kundalini Yoga and other Yoga paths? Kundalini Yoga is regarded as “the dangerous yoga” because it opens you up! It clarifies the depth of how much you want to glow, feel good, trust, share, and find happiness. We all have experienced the Hatha Yoga Path. It was Yogi Bhajan’s first path. But then he said, “I just don’t want to wear a loin cloth.” He reached his personal heights through meditations, and yoga asanas, in the “kriya style” of sequences—to work on specific organs, tissues, joints, glands, the skeleton, and so on. He also employed sound current to uplift from the heart center and out of the “lower triangle” to the upper, higher, Self. You can raise your frequency and elevate with balanced Yoga asanas (posture practices) and then further culminate these with sound current through Gong, laying out with Gong and in deep meditation.

What does your daily practice look like?

What’s great about our format is that all session elements (eg, asanas, mudras, mantras, etc.) will have a number—the Manual Tag (M-tag: #)—and this will allow you to locate them easily as they are arranged in different orders or sequences in future sessions and issues.

My daily practice is what is called “Aquarian Sadhana”. It combines yoga, meditations, and teachings. Details of those elements change all the time (there are over 4000 variants to choose from!) but the essential makeup of Aquarian Sadhana always includes those three essential core components.

In both the Foundational Guide and the Session Guides, the elements will be added gradually, session by session and issue by issue, and so will accumulate for you in a natural way.

Hearing, and watching how the flow takes its time to seep into my cells step by step, demon by demon, until all becomes peaceful and reunited into the present moment of breath and serenity. It’s an incredible experience each day from sunrise to sunset.

The purpose of the guides, overall, is to give you a comprehensive reference tool as you build your yoga practice and development. Worldwide, there are over twenty kinds, or schools, of yoga. Karuna’s expertise is in Kundalini Yoga, in the tradition of the Sikh master Yogi Bhajan. Although we’ll center on that tradition in this manual for fundamentals, warm-ups, and so on, we will also universalize. For instance, in naming the various elements, we’ll provide both the common English names and also the range of names used in the ancient Indian (Sanskrit) traditions.

What is most inspiring in your yoga practice?

How has yoga changed your life? Yoga has given me the courage to understand the “AKAL”— the deathlessness, having no fear, and letting go into trust. Working with my practice gives me stamina and vitality and helps heal layers of wounds, freeing old subconscious patterns that no longer serve me. Discovering the Divine Feminine brings more and more love, and love to share with everyone. I’m always thanking the past for all it has taught me and understanding that, just as we’ve had generations before us to serve, we have generations after us to serve as well. Actually, it’s all about being in LOVE! 28

Foundational Guide The Foundational Guide will grow step by step. Elements included below are those from the Yoga Session(s) of Issue 1

Warming Up and Tuning In Begin Warm Up and Tune In from “Easy Pose.” Easy Pose (Sukhasana) [M-tag: 1] is the most common sitting position in Yoga, and the position that is most often employed between other position elements (each called an “asana”) or sequences of asanas (sequences called “kriyas”). In Easy Pose (often in English called “sitting cross legged”) you sit comfortably on the ground or floor with your legs crossed in front of you, spine and head straight. A modified version of Easy Pose, often used as part of, or between, other poses is Rock Pose (Vajrasana) [M-tag 2]. You sit as in Easy Pose but, instead, of sitting with legs crossed in front of you, the legs are folded under you and you “sit on your heels.”

Warming Up Sitting in Easy Pose hands are drawn together in front of you, palm to palm, and the palms are briskly rubbed back and forth as if to warm them. This livens the arms and body and gets you ready for Yoga practice.

Tuning In The hands are drawn together, palm to palm, in front of the chest at heart level, as in the gesture of “Namaste” or Eastern bowing. This is also called “Prayer Pose” (Pranamasana) [M-tag: 3] whether done standing or sitting. In Karuna’s tradition, tune-in is done with two short Ancient Chants (mantras) from the Sikh tradition. The language is Gurmukhi but you’ll easily accustom to it from the demonstrations and the English transliterations of the words, often used as below. The opening Mantra is known in the ancient traditions as the Adi Mantra (meaning “primal sound”) sometimes colloquially also called simply “Ong Namo.” Of course, the Teacher will often demonstrate but the transliteration below makes it easy: Ong Namo, Guroo Dayv Namo, usually repeated three times, or as instructed. On “Ong,” the emphasis is on the “oNG,” letting the NG vibrate in the sinuses and on the upper palate of the mouth. “Namo” is pronounced “Nam” (as in Vietnam)- O (oh). Guroo is pronounced as in “Guru,” “Dayv” is more like “Dave.” The literal meaning is usually translated “I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher” meaning, of course, both within and without. This tuning in connects you to both Source and Self.


This mantra is followed by a second short “mantra of the Heart,” also repeated three times or as instructed. This mantra is also often called, from its first line, Aad Guray Nameh Pronounced more like “odd,” “guray,” “na-meh.” This mantra is a prayer for protection and success. Translated through all four of its lines its means “I bow to Primal Wisdom; I bow to the Wisdom of the Ages; I bow to True Wisdom; I bow to the great unseen Wisdom.” The four lines of the mantra as easily transliterated for English as below: Aad Guray Nameh Pronounced more like “odd,” “guray,” “na-meh.” Jugaad Guray Nameh Pronounced more like “ju-God,” “guray,” “na-meh.” Sat Guray Nameh Pronounced more like “sought,” “guray,” “na-meh.”

Practice Warming Up and Tuning In with Karuna in the video above.

Siree Guroo Dayvay Nameh Pronounced more like “Sirie,” “Guru,” “Day-vay,” “na-meh.” After the Tune-In the Teacher then leads the participants into the asanas and kriyas of the session.

Other Universal Poses and Elements Corpse Pose (Savasana) [M-tag: 4]. This is the most common lying down pose in Yoga. One lies prostrate on the back, legs and arms extended outward slightly as comfortable and the held relaxed gently, straight or to the side, as comfortable. Corpse Pose is often employed between other postures, combined with other movements, or used explicitly for resting (also called Savasana), Universal Breath Work (aka Pranayama—Breath Techniques) Breath of Fire (Agni Pran) [M-tag: 5]. Breath of Fire is one of the most fundamental breath techniques in yoga. It is used in combination with many other asana postures. It is important to learn Breath of Fire accurately so that it can serve its yogic purposes. Breath of Fire is a rapidly pulsed breathing, from the nose or from the mouth, as instructed—rather like “panting”—which is employable at many different rates. Often it is learned first by mimicking a dog panting, with the mouth open and the tongue out. As one accustoms to it, is it often advised to learn to do it comfortably, usually by having a strong out-breath which makes the in-breath almost automatic. 30

Session Guide Light on Kundalini 40-Day Morning Sadhana Challenge - Autumn 2017 Description: Yogi’s practice a very early morning routine called sadhana. Sadhana is a specific kriya for the predawn hours that works to clear your subconscious. When you regularly practice morning sadhana you find yourself with more energy, more creativity, and more love and kindness for yourself and those around you. I invite you to this 40-Day Morning Sadhana Challenge. Let’s grow and expand together.


“You will bless the world when you choose to bless yourself with a practice of health, happiness and love.”~Karuna Cat-Cow (Marjariasana-Bitilasana) [M-tag: 6]: A sequence of two poses (Cat and Cow) that stretch the spine and prepare the body for further breath, and other, work. Pose on your hands and knees, with the knees apart, in line with the hips, and heels together behind you. As you inhale, arch spine downward and raise the head, looking forward (“Cat” pose [M-tag: 6A]). Then exhale while arching the spine up while lowering the head (“Cow” pose [M-tag: 6B]). The Teacher informs concerning the number of repetitions.

M-tag: 6

Cow pose can also involve variations, as with Leg Lifts or with Breath of Fire. For Breath of Fire, see the Foundational Guide. Spinal Flex (aka Camel Ride) [M-tag: 7] Sit in Easy Pose or Rock Pose as instructed by the Teacher (for Easy Pose and Rock Pose, see Foundational Guide. With both hands, grasp the ankles and inhale deeply, while arching the spine forward and lifting the chest. Then exhale, arching the spine backward. In some traditions the Teacher may suggest chant-related words to accompany each of these actions (for instance, in Kundalini Yoga “Sat” on the inhale, and “Nam” on the exhale). The Teacher informs concerning the number of repetitions.

M-tag: 7

Life Nerve Stretch (Paschimottanasana or Siri Om) [M-tag: 8] Be seated with your legs stretched out and spread wide in front of you. Inhale, sitting with your 31

M-tag: 8

spine straight (or as straight as possible). Grasp each big toe (or, if can’t, some location closer to you—foot, ankle, etc.) keeping the back as straight as possible. Life Nerve Stretch can then involve, on the exhale (1) alternate bending of the back and head toward the knees, reaching out with the arms and hands to touch the toes, first right, then left or (2) bending of the back and head toward the center, reaching out straight with the arms and hands between the legs. The Teacher will instruct concerning these choices and the number of repetitions. Butterfly and Butterfly Bends (Badhakonasana or Titli Asana) [M-tag: 9] Beginning in Easy Pose (see Foundational Guide) brings the soles of the feet together while grasping the feet with your fingers; spine and head should be straight. Begin by bouncing the knees up and down, with level of vigor instructed by the Teacher. Butterfly is often combined with bends, such as (1) similar to spinal flex, on the inhale arching the spine forward and lifting the chest, and then, on the exhale, arching the spine backward or (2) rotating the vertical spine and head, or bending it left and right, as instructed by the Teacher.

M-tag: 9

M-tag: 10

Pelvic Lift (various names in Sanskrit depending on variations of the lift, but Kandharasana or Siri Om are often used) [M-tag: 10]. Begin by lying on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor close to the buttocks. Then grasp the ankles. As you inhale, raise the hips upward as high as possible. Then exhale as you lower them back down. Repetitions of inhale (up) and exhale (down) are instructed by the Teacher. Pelvic lift is often combined with various leg lefts. Pelvic Lift with Leg Pistoning [M-tag: 11]

M-tag: 11

Beginning on the back, raise the legs about a foot and a half. Draw the left knee to the chest with an inhale. Re-extend the left leg as you exhale, keeping it elevated while you draw the right knee to the chest. Continue to alternate the legs in this piston-like motion (not bicycle) as instructed by the Teacher. Robust breathing usually accompanies this activity which is ended by extending both legs and resting and relaxing. Back Roll [M-tag 12]. Begin in Corpse Pose (see Foundational Guide) as instructed by the Teacher. Pull the knees into the chest with the front of the face between the knees as comfortable. Then rock/roll back and forth, rolling on the spine, or as instructed by the Teacher. 32

COSTA RICA RETREAT December 1 to 8, 2018 I Blue Spirit, Nosara YOGA INFO LINE: 303.803.0159

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Spotlight on Yoga Bring Inner Peace and Blessings with “Sat Naaraa-in” by Snatam Kaur How do you start from nothing and create something? Go into the Infinite identity where all is possible and start.

means truth, and as we chant it, we seal the vibration of truth into the navel center, especially if one is singing from the navel center with gusto. Then, when we chant “waaheguru,” this sacred word has the action of transforming and clearing energy that is no longer serving or working. “waah” is bliss, or the wow factor. It has the same effect on the mind as the action of opening a window to a room. As the fresh air comes in, we are filled with a sense of relief, in the same way that “waah” fills the mind with relief when chanted with heart. “He” is the here and now. When we chant it, we confirm with the universe that we have received “waah!” It is the landing pad, so to speak, and allows our reality to be aligned with it. “Guru” is that which takes us from darkness into light.

Here is a simple chant that takes you there: sat naaraa-iṉ waaheguru Experiencing the Essence of the True Sustainer, the experience of bliss brings one into a clear state of awareness. haree naaraa-iṉ satinaam The Seed of that Sustainer is planted within the one who chants God’s Name, and this brings forth the True Identity of the Soul into this life. I recently recorded this mantra on our newest album Beloved. Through the process of preparing to record, recording, and now listening, it has been a blessed journey to chant these powerful words. “Naaraa-iṉ” is God. In the Hindu mythology, this form of “naaraa-iṉ” (with “aa”) comes from the aspect of Vishnu, who rises up out of the ocean, or the unknown, with the energy of creation. At times, we also see “naaraa-iṉ” with just one “a” written in the beginning of the word. This reflects the energy of how God manifests on the earth plane, in the form of “nar,” which means human being. I chose to go with the “naaraa-iṉ” spelling for this recording, with the intention to chant and feel the aspect of God that arises from the unknown. When we chant “sat naaraa-iṉ,” we are affirming that this energy of “naaraa-iṉ” exists and is true. “sat”

The Guru is the spark, or the fire. It is change and causes change. If you wish to remain sedentary, don’t chant it. It will change you when chanted with awareness. In this first line, we are affirming the true presence of “naaraa-in” and then allowing it to clean and clear us out. Because we allow for this clearing out, the non-personal God becomes personal to us with “waaheguru.” 34

Spotlight on Yoga

This experience of infinity, life, death, and birth is the primal cycle of all existence. When we experience this primal cycle through the form of mantra, it cleanses us and allows us to live in the soul’s true identity. In the second half of this mantra, “naraa-in” is seeded within our hearts, and we are blessed with living in the true identity of the soul. haree naaraa-iṉ satinaam There is a beautiful meditation from the teachings of Yogi Bhajan that I would like to share with you called the “Heart Shield Meditation” that utilizes the “sat naaraa-iṉ” mantra. Heart Shield Meditation

That is the first half of the mantra. sat naaraa-iṉ waaheguru I invite you to sit with that and reflect a moment. Then, we chant “haree,” which is the seed or creativity of the Divine. This word “haree” allows us to go deep in our consciousness, opening doors that cannot open otherwise. This is required for healing to begin, as we traverse down beyond the fear, the hatred, and the resentment into a place of infinite grace. “Haree” takes us there, but then we follow it with the word “naaraaiṉ” so that this energy of “naaraa-iṉ” can go deep into our beings as well. Then we have a way to reach the unknown, always, from this place deep within, because “naaraa-iṉ” is all about creating something from nothing! And it is not just anything that we are creating, but what comes from “naaraa-iṉ” is by law of nature in tune with the vibratory frequency of the soul. This vibration carries the promise that was given to every soul, which is that it will be united back with God. Naaraa-iṉ fulfills that promise. Finally, we give ourselves the blessing of “satinaam,” the Panj Shabad, that which takes us beyond our ego through the five primal sounds (four syllables with the fifth sound being “aa”): Saa: Infinity Taa: Life Naa: Death Maa: Birth 35

Sit straight, with the left hand in front of the heart center, palm facing the chest 4-6 inches away. Keep the fingers and fingertips straight and tense. The forearm is parallel to the ground. The right arm is straight, resting over the knee. Hold the right hand in Gyan Mudra, with the fore finger curled under the thumb and the other fingers straight and joined. Eyes are closed. Chant the “sat naaraa-iṉ” mantra. For this meditation, you can chant with your own voice, no music, in a monotone. Use the music of this track to get to know the mantra. Use your own voice chanting in monotone without the music to heal yourself. It is important to concentrate your awareness at the left hand, and not the head. Keep the left hand stiff, which will, in combination with the mantra, activate the magnetic field, create a shield, and deliver nectar to the heart. Continue for 3, 5 or 7 minutes.

Bring Inner Peace and Blessings with “Sat Naaraa-in” reprinted with permission. © 2018 Snatam Kaur. For more writings, music, and inspiration, visit her website at Snatam Kaur is an American singer, peace activist and author raised in the Sikh and Kundalini Yoga tradition. She has an amazing ability to transform traditional Sikh chants of India into a contemporary sound that appeals to the modern ear and awakens an ancient yearning in the soul. For over thirty years, she studied with and grew up in the presence of her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, while he was in his physical form, learning the essence of Naad Yoga, a form of yoga focusing on sacred sound. At the core of this practice is an essential experience of peace and healing which has helped her music to be accessible to people of all walks of life. She has taught and shared Naad Yoga and Kundalini Yoga and meditation through her recorded CDs, concerts, and workshops for the past 20 years as a part of her commitment to give people tools for a daily experience of inner peace. Her new book Original Light; the Morning Practice of Kundalini Yoga is a compassionate and supportive guide to creating a personal daily spiritual practice. Visit

Karuna interviews Snatam Kaur in Estes Park, Colorado in 2012. Snatam Kaur shares her experience on meeting her teacher, Yogi Bhajan, and how music, mantra and sound current affected her life and how it is so actively affecting to heal the Planet. She opens her heart with truth and honesty around her childhood, young adult life and now adulthood, the importance of being a wife, and mother and artist.

Snatam Kaur’s newest album “Beloved” is available now from Spirit Voyage Records


Spotlight on Yoga

Giving Our Strength to the Earth – Retrieving the Power of Prostrations by Shiva Rea receiving from a deeper ground of energy greater than one’s individual self. There is a primal resting and remembering that happens when we rest our belly on the belly of our great mother earth. This fullbody posture instinctually transforms us, releasing tensions and awakening with guidance as an embodied ritual movement of renewal.

Chaturanga Dandasana—the low push-up—“the four-angled staff” that hovers over the earth is found everywhere in the contemporary yoga world. As an asana, its practice has exploded around the globe through vinyasa classes some hybrid fitness forms others based in Krishnamacharya’s vinyasa krama lineage. As a core movement in Surya Namaskar, it is commonly repeated vigorously as a connection between asanas, for cultivating corestrength and stoking the fire of practice. But if we look towards the origins of chaturanga dandasana we can find a practical jewel that got lost in translation. Chaturanga dandasana originates as a way to get into a prostration—a dandavat” (staff-pose upon the earth) also known as a pranam. The movement of those two asanas – chaturanga followed by the whole-body prostration also knows as pranams—to “nam” bow to the life-force “pra” creates a totally different experience of chaturanga. The heat of chaturanga is balanced by the relaxation through the surrender of prostrations. And that surrender is brought to rise again through the heart of through the next backbending movement. A pranam brings about a natural letting go that anyone without any background can experience. It is the power of renewal that is inherent in life. A humble strength that can give to the earth while 37

Chaturanga has been found in early tantric texts that are being translated for the first time by Tantric scholars such as groundbreaking work of Christopher Tompkins who joins other pioneering scholars such as Alexis Sanderson, Somadeva, Paul Muller-Ortega, and Mark Dyzkowski in making early Tantric teachings and practices available but in more scholarly forums. From these early translations by Chris Tompkins, namaskāra or prostrations are described as an embodied movement meditation and prayer in the early Puranas as well early the Tantras based on the Vedic practice of offering mantras at the sunrise and sunset. The beginning of a pranam and the beginning of Surya Namaskar are the same. With hands at the heart, there is a movement of opening by reaching upward to the sky through the life-giving inhale.

Then there is the bowing forward towards the earth through chaturanga dandansa or other forms such as the knee-chest version “ashtanga namaskar” as the way to lower to the earth—to give one’s strength as a full-body offering. The mantra that accompanies chaturagana dandasana is “om pusne namaha”— to bow to the giver of strength. This is the call as we head towards to the earth from chaturanga to pranams for this resting in the heart whether for a moment or a long surrender. Prostrations arise from life circumstances that bring us to our knees –whether in joy or in great challengeit is the ground from which our prayers are born and inner yoga flowers. On the earth, the outer mind quiets, and we begin to listen through our inner ears. We begin to speak from our inner heart. No instruction is needed to awaken to the healing power of prostrations. In that sacred release, we have an all-in-one practice. We can surrender our thinking mind through the contact with the earth. We “pacifiy vata” as it is described in Ayurveda when we caress the buildup of tensions of daily life. Prostrations are instant stress-relievers. As we lay our burdens down, we are able to hear a different voice, an inner love and wisdom. We can feel it in the quietude of embodied realization that there is a ground of being mirrored in this experience of literally embracing the earth. In one practice, we can take care of our fragmented thoughts, any stirring emotions and the intrinsic call to experience the sacred reflected in the earth.

for the namaskar, the vinyasa of life to begin again. So you can explore the power of prostrations by beginning your day, or any practice with this movement meditation. You can offer 1, 3, 9, 18, 27, 54, 108 rounds as a really transformative 5 to 60-minute practice wherever you are whether as daily practice in your home or anywhere you find you need it or as a pilgrim. I have so on the temple grounds in. I have done pranams in the earthiest of sacred places with thousands of pilgrims in prostrations on the raw earth in Khajuraho, Taj Mahal or Chidambaram, or in the middle of a hotel room in Manhattan. Experience giving your strength of chaturanga to the earth whether as a conscious practice or spontaneously for the power of relaxation and inner grounding. There is wisdom within that full-body mudra of surrender and relaxation and a calling that is whispered that only we can hear. It is the time to give our strength to the earth and rise with grounded presence. Yoga is love in action.

So chaturanga dandasana without prostration seems vulnerable to ego- imbalance where we become caught in the outer self-focus while the prostration calls us to integrate the outer with the inner – to literally give our strength, our subconscious tensions and worries to the earth. And then to then rise again

Shiva Rea is a leading innovator in the evolution of Prana Vinyasa Yoga, a transformational vinyasa flow integrating the tantric bhakti roots of yoga, Krishnamacharya’s teachings, and a universal approach to the body. Shiva is the founder of Samudra Global School for Living Yoga, Yogadventure Retreats, Yoga Energy Activism, and the worldwide Global Mala Project, and the creator of award-winning CDs and DVDs for home practice. Her first book, Tending the Heart Fire: Living in Flow with the Pulse of Life, was published in 2014. For more, visit Shiva’s website at


Spotlight on Yoga

Calling the Light by Elena Brower

It’s light. It’s there. It’s alive. It’s aware. We practice and sit to reveal more clarity; in every detail of our physiology, transparency is called for. Be awake, be clear. Notice each time you lose your awareness and start thinking. This is the energy we’re seeking, that feeling, post-practice, when the birds seem to be singing more melodically, and my heart softens to pulsate the truth in me, so softly.

The Elegance of Yoga Elena Brower shares her story of discovering yoga and how it helped her find connection and community at a time when it was most needed. Yoga has helped Elena process a deep sadness attached to her body image and has helped her to see that our bodies are beautiful and come in all ages, shapes and sizes and that a personal yoga practice can help us learn to love our bodies and feel deeply at home in them. Above all, Elena has found that yoga allows us to take care of ourselves so we can be effective and efficient for other people in our lives.

A flipped wrist, a bent knee, a soft word, praying for ease A held pose, a fresh laugh, a kind smile, hug me please and let me take in this light again, and now again, let me remember this sunshine, these tastes, these friends. This is life. This is light. This is on. This is right. This is showing me that I can go back to the default world and bring our radiance to the darkest night. Calling the light of awareness addressing the humble apprentice opening the mind to the quietness sitting gratefully in my heart to the Source of this holiness that which I can see, that which is unseen, that which I’m becoming and of course, that which I’m being. Written for the closing circle of our Calling the Light Retreat. Paros, Greece, July 2016 Reprinted with permission © 2016, Photo appears with permission © Pete Longworth (


Mama, teacher, author, speaker, Elena Brower has taught yoga and meditation since 1999. Her first book, Art of Attention, has now been translated into six languages. Her second book, Practice You, is a bestselling journal now being incorporated into teaching curricula worldwide, for students of all ages. Her Elevate Mentorship Online Programs are beloved for bringing analog creativity to virtual coursework. Elena has contributed to Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Well and Good NYC, Positively Positive, and more. Listen to her Audio Courses on Sounds True, and practice with Elena on For more please visit

Spotlight on Yoga

Members of The United Nations NGO Committee for International Yoga Day gathered in the Tillman Chapel of the United Nations Church Center in New York City. Chairperson Denise Scotto is fourth from the left in the back row.

International Day of Yoga by Denise Scotto, Esq., Chair, International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN When I started my path of meditation and was devouring the works of yoga masters, I didn’t envision that roughly twenty years later there would be a global day celebrating yoga. Back in December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that marked June 21 as the International Day of Yoga calling on all countries to commemorate the benefits of yoga worldwide. Health, providing access to health education and delivering health services to everyone throughout their life, is a primary goal of the UN. It contributes to productive and prosperous lives and societies. Scientific studies document the rewards of practicing yoga and how it positively affects the physical, the emotional, and the mental body. Studies show yoga asanas help pregnant women have an easier labor, less premature births and healthier infants. Data demonstrates yoga exercises and breathing reduces stress and depression and has been recommended for preventing as well as managing chronic disease.

Denise Scotto, Esq., Chair, International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN Denise Scotto is an attorney, speaker, interfaith minister & Founding Chair of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN. Starting her legal career in the public sector, she also held leadership roles in professional bar organizations including: the NY State Bar, the NY State Women’s Bar, the International Law section of the American Bar Association. As a staff member in the UN, she worked in the internal system of justice, then, in the Department for Economic & Social Affairs formulating policy to advance human rights. She has held leadership positions in the UN community including: the UNSRC Enlightenment Society, the Values Caucus at the UN, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, the Source of Synergy Foundation. Denise developed “mindful social justice” which additionally serves the legal profession through her 20+ years of meditation and her connection with diverse yoga masters & spiritual leaders. Visit the Yoga Day Committee on Facebook.

Given these benefits, the explosive popularity of yoga, and the multitude of yoga studios that abound, it’s no surprise that the resolution was passed. The UN acknowledges yoga provides advantages to one’s health and well-being. This is positive and a welcomed turn of events. At the same time, I believe the UN’s understanding of yoga can expand beyond yoga being a physical exercise to include yoga in its totality. Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a way of life, along with a meditative and a team of like-minded and good-hearted people, organize spiritual core. Yoga arose in one country, yet, it belongs to events at the UN and within the greater UN community to all people everywhere. implement the resolution. At the same time, we educate people about the fullness and richness of yoga and how it Yoga originated in ancient India and the definition influences the integral being including the human spirit. We of yoga is broadly interpreted to mean union or strive to enlargen the rudimentary perceptions about yoga to connection. There is a variety of schools or practices and encompass the natural world and our relationship with it and methods. Prominent types of yoga are: bhakti yoga—that the web of live. We aim to increase the awareness about yoga of devotion; jnana yoga—that of knowledge; karma yoga— as a process. that of action; raja yoga—that of the mind as samadhi. Patanjali’s writings in the Yoga Sutras concern the eightIt’s been only three years since the UN Resolution limbs of yoga. Some of the commonly known ones are: the was espoused, and, in this time, the International Day of Yoga yamas—two widespread ones being ahimsa—non-violence Committee at the UN has been quite active. What I’ve learned and satya—truthfulness; pranayama—breath exercises; is that we need to continue these efforts, because, by serving dharana—single pointed-concentration; and dhyana— in this way, people change, one individual person at a time. meditation. In my capacity as Chair of the International Day of Yoga, of which I am privileged to serve, I, along with


From Yoga to UNITY Spotlight on Yoga

by Irina Morrison

Yoga has played a huge part in my life, from physical to spiritual transformation. Once you understand the art of yoga, you understand that your body is your art. You use your body as a vehicle to test your strength, challenge your mind and be vulnerable. It’s the exposure of yourself in your rawest form…and that’s when the transformation happens, without any warning. All of a sudden you move your body softly to the rhythm of your breath, through the flow of life and everything starts to make sense. Your subtle, energetic body awakens and your heart is filled with compassion and unconditional love.

I met Ben Bowler, Director of UNITY EARTH, in March 2017 in India. We soon realized that we share same goal of spreading the message of unity, compassion and unconditional love around the globe. After that, working together simply unfolded through an organic agenda and it’s been an amazing journey so far. It has given me an opportunity to implement everything yoga taught me into grassroots projects all over the world. When I look around my yoga class, I don’t see just students practicing yoga, I see people coming together—men, women, marathon runners, immigrants, tourists, people with back problems, knee injuries, shift

workers, single mothers, those suffering anxiety and those following the latest trends. For whatever reason, they all came to nourish their bodies, mind and soul through a synchronized movement, not just of the body and breath, but also in synchronicity with each other. Yoga draws on an individual strength in a common goal, just like us at UNITY EARTH—we come from all over the world, from different walks of life, different beliefs but the goal is the same—to elevate humanity into Unity and Love. Yoga heals and deepens the connection between mind, body and soul, we become one with the breath and all there is in the present moment. When people come together in a yoga class, through challenges and new experiences, it opens their mind and hearts. We’re equal, we’re One. One with the breath, one with the movement, One with each other. The unity, equality and working together towards a common goal transpires through the work of UNITY EARTH—the unity consciousness: it’s how we see each other as equals, it’s how we treat each other as equals, not just people but the entire planet and all living beings.

Irina spent over 15 years in fast-paced roles such as Rehabilitation Officer, Corporate Counselor and Executive Assistant, and has two years of private practice counseling experience with a focus on couples counseling and women suffering abuse trauma. In 2014, Irina hung her designer suits in the back of her wardrobe and replaced them with Yoga Pants! Her passion for yoga became her career. As well as running her own classes, she collaborates with physiotherapists, chiropractors, wellness and fitness centres. Implementing her skills of counseling and business management alongside yoga, she successfully runs yoga retreats for relaxation and rejuvenation of both, body and mind.


Irina holds a Yoga Teacher Diploma (HH Dip. Y.T.), Diploma in Professional Counseling and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. She joined UNITY EARTH’s team with an open heart, to assist in bringing a vision of Oneness into reality.

Inspired Lifestyles

Sailing with Uma Karuna by Ed Bastian Dr. Ed Bastian has lived on his 38 ft. sailboat named Uma Karuna in Santa Barbara for ten years. He teaches Buddhism and Mindfulness Meditation at Antioch University as well as courses and workshops on InterSpiritual Meditation and the InterSpiritual Mandala. For more info on Ed and his work go to Ed is the president of the Spiritual Paths Foundation and holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies. He is an award-winning documentary film producer, author of the award winning “Living Fully Dying Well,” and author of “InterSpiritual Meditation” and “Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path.” A former Fulbright Fellow in India, Global Trustee for the United Religions Initiative and Smithsonian program director, and board president of the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara Ed has worked closely with over fifty contemplative teachers from diverse spiritual traditions. Ed is on the faculty of Antioch University where he teaches Buddhism and Mindfulness Meditation. He teaches online courses and leads retreats on InterSpiritual Meditation and the InterSpiritual Mandala process.

rowing up in Iowa, I had an inborn fascination for the ocean and a yearning to sail my own boat around the world. My parents sent me to summer sailing camps and we vacationed on the lakes of Wisconsin and Minnesota. I just couldn’t get enough time on the water, drifting quietly alone, tuning in to the wind, the water, the sun, watching the birds and frogs, hearing their voices and being absorbed into the natural world. These were timeless moments when I was in sync with the elements and energies of existence. Although I didn’t know it then, nature was my natural spiritual teacher. Unlikely my religious upbringing, the spirit of nature resonated with the depth of my being. As I got older, I eagerly sought invitations to crew on larger oceangoing yachts. Way back in 1972, I joined three other men on a voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti. It was an old-fashioned boat that required muscle, deep knowledge of winds and currents and pre-electronic navigation skills. I provided muscle and stamina and began to learn the rest. Thirty-four entrancing days and nights on the Pacific that ended with crash on a reef caused by another sleeping helmsman. Still, I loved the whole experience and

hoped that one day I would do the same on my own sail boat. It was on that trip that I decided to return to my Midwest roots. But it wasn’t to return to the heritage of my family, but to enter the PhD program in Buddhism Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was determined to learn to navigate the vast ocean of consciousness. To do so, required me to learn Tibetan and Sanskrit so I could read the ancient scriptures from India and Tibet. My guide was the great Tibetan Buddhist monk, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, who had become a professor at the University of Wisconsin. In front of my little cabin


Inspired Lifestyles on Lake Mendota where I wrote my dissertation, bobbed a 16 ft. sailboat waiting for me to join her in the cool waters beneath a hot summer sun.

I was initially led to Wisconsin by His Holiness the Dalai Lama whom I met in Dhamasala, India as part of a film crew in 1970. My boss was the famed Lowell Thomas who had been to Tibet in 1949 and had met the then fourteen-year-old Dalai Lama. After our interview I asked His Holiness: “Can I come back to Dharamsala to study Buddhism and meditation.” His reply was: “Yes, of course. Come and see me when you return.” And so I did. That was the formal beginning of my 45-year study and practice of Buddhism and a number of private meetings with His Holiness when he practiced his English and taught me the basics of Buddhism. He became my role model by exemplifying a fusion between political and spiritual leadership. He exhibited a humble, warmhearted curiosity about nearly everything. I told him about the counterculture revolution in the west, my experience in US presidential politics and as a photographer in the Viet Nam war. When it was time for me to return to the US, he advised that I continue my studies with Geshe Sopa at the University of Wisconsin. Since that time, the strands of Buddhism, nature, family life, profession and activism have been woven into the fabric of my life. 43

In 2006, after an active life as a parent, filmmaker, business owner, activist, and teacher, I was finally able to return to the sea in my own 38 ft. sailboat that I named “Uma Karuna.” “Uma” is a Tibetan word connoting the “middle path.” To me, this entails both an intellectual understanding and experiential knowledge of ‘emptiness’ that avoids the extremes of absolutism and nihilism. “Karuna” is a Sanskrit word connoting the compassionate intention become enlightened in order to relieve the suffering of others. I love the way these two words roll off the tongue. Uma Karuna and I have been lightly tethered to a dock in the harbor of Santa Barbara, California for ten

years. Together, we have often sailed out to the Channel Islands, and twice journeyed the Pacific coast of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. We still yearn to cross the Pacific to the islands of Polynesia. Often, we untie the lines that hold us to the dock and sail out into the

ocean for a few hours. Once out, I breathe easily with the wind that gently pushes us onward. I gaze back at the city where thousands of people are inundated and obsessed with the details and emotional stresses of daily life. I watch these same tendencies in my own mind begin to settle into the ocean of watery consciousness that holds us afloat. I feel the inner stresses blown away by the wind. I feel the energy and warmth of the sun enlivening the natural forces in my being. Everything about sailing is a metaphor for both spiritual and daily life. For example, the mast stands tall and holds the huge sail that accepts the wind that propels us. The keel beneath the boat keeps us upright and provides enough resistance against the wind to move us forward. The rudder aims us toward our goal. But because our destination is often directly into the wind, we must tack back and forth, working with the currents and winds to gradually get us there. The compass orients us to our direction. The charts help us to discern our location and direction we must steer to reach our destination. They show the shallow rocks and reefs that could imperil our journey and that we must steer around. If we lack electronic navigation equipment, the sextant helps us to plot our course according the position of the moon, sun and stars. The solar panel recharges the batteries to power the internal electrical systems.

We learn to be absolutely present. We learn that happiness and selffulfillment come from an inner sense of quiet integration with rather than separation from the greater whole in which we are intertwined.

The anchor holds us steady when we visit the little coves of nearby islands. Sailing along the surface of the sea, we are absorbed into a vast interconnected ocean of consciousness in which we are inextricably interconnected with the whole of existence. We feel and observe the currents of thoughts, memories, hopes and dreams that circulate beneath the surface. We watch the winds of emotions that stir the calm ocean surface creating waves that pose dangers to our voyage. We learn to breathe with the wind and to patiently flow with its forces. We learn to collaborate with, rather than fight against the wind in order to safely progress toward our destination. We learn to accept the natural forces of life and to work with them rather than against them. We learn to empty out the illusion of individuality, independence and willful obsession to impose our own way on the world. We learn simplicity.

Sailing, like our work in profession, social justice and environmental action, parenting and spiritual practice requires knowledge, skills and experience. We learn these from our elders, mentors and exemplars who have shown the way. We learn these by choosing

direction and crash on the rocks of delusion and despair. But the nuance is this: even if the teacher, the charts and the guide books are perfect, they still need to be applied to the myriad of circumstances along the way. Just as each boat/sailor is unique, so is the body/mind of each student. Therefore, each of us must take the responsibility to apply and adapt perfect wisdom to our own unique inner and outer journeys. For me, sailing with Uma Karuna has provided a vehicle for integrating the lessons of a lifetime with those of the natural world. Now, in my seventies, I am grateful to have returned to the ocean and to prepare for the infinite voyage that awaits.

the right charts, maps and guidebooks. Therefore, choosing the right maps and teachers to guide us is an essential part of the journey. If we make the wrong choices, our journey will be fraught with danger and turmoil. As a highly revered Swami once said in one of my films: “Since it is the student who must determine the guru-ness of the guru, it is the student who is the guru of the guru.” In time, the wisdom of the guru and the student become one. But if the teacher and the map are wrong, we’ll head in the wrong

©Ed Bastian, Santa Barbara, March 2018


Inspired Lifestyles

Home by Karuna

I have often wondered about “home.” I always felt I carried it with me in my heart, truly. Yet now I see, looking back, how it is also my teacher. I live on many acres in the high country looking out over the mountains. The view is essentially what brought me to the land. From there it has been the sacred connection of the Mother—the natural environment— that taught me how to adjust my lifestyle to also be lending a hand to the land itself. What has manifested from that has been a phenomenal partnership. Some of the aspects of this partnership manifested slowly and took me by surprise. What is strange and marvelous about their gradual manifesting is that they have showed me that, all along, my choices were the right ones and seemingly guided, step by step. In the beginning my touch ever so hesitated to step into this pristine place and participate in its own transformation. But, little by little, with every detail manicured by its being here—the Mother, the natural environment—and my being there, I could see that my actions, my creativity, were actually adding a further crowning element to this beautiful place. The elements of this partnership became obvious—the birds lining up to drink from the eve-troughs, the chipmunks enjoying the large planters full of flowers, the hummingbirds flocking to the effusive blossoms and the abundant mountain butterflies having even more flowers to feed from. Bears now had a greenhouse to raid and a huge swarm of bees could decide to roost in the rocks of my chimney!


And I also felt that I belonged. “She” did this for me, this land and, in time, it also provided the effective revelations needed for my own life and journey. Such fine lines of adjustments had not happened so easily in the big cities where I had lived and worked. I had traveled the world for my job, thankfully, and visited shrines and sanctuaries and temples everywhere. I had not only experienced the finest of clothes and apparel that the human world could manufacture, but also modeled them for the public to see in slick magazines and buy from the popular catalogs of our consumerized world. Yet it was finally this place, this land and home that I chose, that gave me a place to come home to, where, after long journeys I could listen to the wind and she (the Mother, the natural environment) could hold me in her eternal aura. In the intimacy of this place, I could know what my life is really about, surrounded by now-familiar sounds known only to its sacred space: her voice whistling through the shutters and the strength of my bucking perilously strong wings to stand strong and lock them down. In this log cabin, my home, the logs are the reminder of my inhale and exhale. They are living too! They come from the great Yellowstone forest after the great fire there,

being here. We remove ourselves in Awareness, the special one that humans have. We take the opportunity to bath and then to relax in the Yoga room, or to pray in the Shrine at the tip of the crown Chakra room. We discover how to make our homes even more a sanctuary, even if it is in a coat closet, as long as it’s cozy and is working for our heart to be heard.

again somehow a gift from afar to my growing life. As long as they stood in Yellowstone, they now stand to hold me as their closest friend. I treat them like royalty, because they were once a forest, withstanding many a forest fire until the one that brought them to me. Lessons. So what is it they are teaching me? One thing is to simply trust, though sometimes I forget. But when I listen, they whisper the secrets of remembering secret gardens within, and they embrace me, hold me, honor me, share me. They offer me to those who have not felt this kind of love before. Amazing now to know, after long, long journeys, that I am beautiful, I am courageous, I am here and NOW! Let’s dance together in the wild, with the bears and swarms of bees, the moose and the deer, the families that visit, the fox, and the grouse, the butterflies and the winged ones, the plant kingdom and the fly. The tiniest spiders you have ever seen live nearby. The land is my altar, my sanctuary. The interior is my hearth. Its fireplace is my warmth; the stove is my nutrition, the green house my resource, the water my blood. Four hundred feet of well provides Rocky Mountain spring water. My health is living and thriving at 8500 feet, as I walk the land and enjoy here the colors of the Aspens and the Pines. Practice. Amazingly, there is a deeper silence in the midst of all of this. It’s the one we add by our

It takes years to understand this and it takes the right place. It’s an adjustment from the lavishness, and so-called conveniences, of the big cities to the simplicity here of the big shovel and the strength at your core to get down your driveway in 3 feet of snow! To blend into the mountains with that snow and to embrace the slick drive down the mountain, the karma to let go and again remember to trust, over and over again. Truth be told, bets were made against me that I would only last a year here by myself, and with my doggies and children. Ha! 22 years later, still here. Every day brings the light to shine anew, opening and renewing, and reminding that it is only you who can discover you again! Miracles are only just happening now. They need time too—over the years the growing hosts of visitors, making this place a hosting-place at least when not inclement! In the most recent years this has included hosting for retreats, spiritual practice and sacred ceremony across multiple traditions, and video roundtables and intimate meetings of world change-makers. Here they can share, and I with them, all that has been built here. For these friendships with soul families from around the world, this beautiful natural space becomes a Benefactor, full of hidden mysteries. Our global family from across in the interspiritual landscape loves it here. If from the city, they can experience something that is rare for them, and important— the transitions of day to night, twilight and early dawn (nearly forgotten by city livers). And here they can explore the dark with no fear of it, just as I have learned over the years.

Karuna hosting Ajeet Kaur and musicians in Hacienda de Guru Ram Das Gold Hill


Editors Note: In each issue of Light on Light we’ll be sharing an inspiring personal transformation story. In this first issue we thought it was fitting to ask our Host Editor, Karuna—as a part of her role as Hostess and “Setting the Table” for Light on Light—to share. It is quite a story and is exemplary of the amazing road grace takes us in our lives.

On the Road to Light on Light -A personal story of inspired transformationby Karuna

Early Days—From Being Bullied as a Kid to Being a Major Model, Actress and Change Leader So where to begin? I knew back when I was 8 years old I was different than many others around me. Looking back, I was more sensitive than my family could handle. At school I was always a victim of bullying, not a bullier. And I got bullied by both boys and girls. It’s hard to know what they might have thought later when my careers blossomed in quite public ways. So, I cried a lot during my upbringing—I think mostly because all the choices that were made were out of my control. This probably explains why I jumped at the chance to make a major one for myself. So, when I was “discovered” in my future major modeling career, I jumped right in. I accepted a oneway ticket to Paris. I just had to answer the call, and I went. It’s quite an amazing journey after that, and how “fate,” “Source,” or whatever one might have called it finally got me to the right people. Looking back on it perhaps it was my first lesson in “trusting Spirit.” 47

The initial contacts that brought me to Paris were a bust. I was picked up by this French guy who thought he could have at me. But I was smart and wouldn’t leave the car. Initially I was dropped off to wait at a hotel, without my luggage and no money. You can imagine what when through my head. “Where am I?” I wondered and, “What have I gotten myself into?” I ended up sitting at that hotel, missing my family and home. Eventually I was able to obtain my luggage and, from then on, decided to keep a healthy distance from my original “handlers.” So, I started living place to place, but still meeting the modeling appointments that were made for

me. But no one wanted me. What to do? Broken out with pimples I cried between each audition until one day, laying in the single tiny sharespace of my hotel room, I had an epiphany. I opened a magazine and saw a model, and a design layout, that “looked like me.” Looking back from the Dharma perspective, it’s like a lot of us when we pick up our first Dharma book and begin to find both the Dharma and “our Tribe”— our starting point. Discovering “Who I Am” Leads me to Yoga and Spiritual Practice Sitting in that hotel room with this epiphany I thought—“I am going to find this photographer.” And that’s exactly what I set out to do. I was able to contact and meet his agent. We met at a restaurant and, believe it or not, she sent me to him. Of course, this guy is famous— actually a legend. If you go to Wikipedia you find: “Guy Bourdin (2 December 1928 – 29 March 1991), was a French artist and fashion photographer known for his provocative images. From 1955, Bourdin worked mostly

with Vogue as well as other publications including Harper’s Bazaar. He shot ad campaigns for Chanel, Charles Jourdan, Pentax and Bloomingdale’s. His work is collected by important institutions including Tate in London, MoMA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Getty Museum.” I went for the appointment, he looked at me (I remember apologizing for how I looked) and he sent me off. The next thing I knew I had a new agent and was booked for six months of French Vogue. I was kept very busy, so busy in fact that I soon had the nickname “Ms. Bourdin!” Then, a book full of photos he took of me found their way to Eileen Ford in New York City and she invited me back to the States to be with Ford Models. Here I met a supportive professional family and made many close friends. Of course, all of them recommended me to who they were shooting with and “viola,” soon I was working all over the place. But this success brought new questions. My life suddenly was a whirlwind of events—to follow, to keep up with, and to execute. The problem was, personally, there was nothing to fall back on. There was no support system or mentors. Although people in this business meant well, super busy themselves, they honestly didn’t have time for anyone else. I had to face it that I had landed in the “fast lane” and was in a kind of shock. Settled in New York City, my apartment in the West Village on Horatio Street was one block from The Integral Center that offered Yoga, natural and healthy foods, and much more. Settled now professionally, but also seeing the rather bleak landscape of

that business as well, I realized I needed to be interested in finding peace and happiness—whatever “those things” were!

interesting how life sets up the circumstances for us to move ahead, to take it upon ourselves to find the way through? That in itself a miracle! Although I didn’t know it at first, the intersection of my life with Yoga was not only the way I could learn to make healthy change for myself, but also for others. The Dalai Lama is famous for advising that, when challenged, the path to take is often the one nearest our home. So, interestingly, as I began my explorations into Self and Source, through the physical and spiritual “deep dive” of Yoga, questions I could face and solve with others also appeared.

© Michael Halsband

I was smart enough to know that I was entrenched in patterns, and sometimes destructive ones, just like the business I was in. Isn’t it

There were a lot of issues in the modeling business. Jerry Hall and I, and a few others, decided to asked for a meeting with Eileen Ford. We wanted to ask for privacy for the lingerie shoots we were doing—to have the studio to ourselves with no one except the photographers allowed onto the sets. Sure, we were relatively clothed but it was still “violating” to have all kinds of people there watching. We succeeded in these meetings and 48

established the “closed studio.” We also got an increase in our hourly rate. Another “movement” I soon found myself pushing was the one for insurance. I was actually in the midst of this advocacy when I suddenly became the guinea pig for it. I broke both of my arms riding a bicycle ride down 5th Avenue to a magazine shoot. I was scheduled to do the Ralph Lauren Fashion Show the next day and had to cancel. It highlighted the issue and soon insurance became a reality. The items above are standards today, but they were not when I was first in the business. I’m happy that I was part of the energy that initiated those changes. However, this was the beginning of my learning that we are born with Heart and Soul—and not only can no one take that from us, Heart and Soul are also our ultimate Sources. So, without knowing it, I was being set up to find the Dharma. And I use that word from its primary definition in any dictionary: “the essential quality or character, as of the cosmos or one’s own nature.” Truth be told, modeling consists of being treasured while your picture is needed and then being left out in the cold. That’s a rather remarkable metaphor for how life runs on this planet lacking any deeper Spiritual understanding. The work is all

not care how I looked; they only cared how I spoke! As this was all unfolding, I was first a mother of one, and then a mother of two! So, I was studying Shakespeare, in acting school, and also tending to a family. Sometimes I was up at 4:30 AM making the family dinners for the day. It was another whirlwind.

about goals and deadlines—and the wishes of the people at the top. So, just like in the military, the “grunts” (be they models or soldiers) are brought in very young. “What about me?” doesn’t exist. But you learn to be tough, and again, if you have a Heart at all, you realize that all of these people are dear, and sacred, in their own way—just a bit mixed up. I so I did find many good friends and good people. And my Heart never forgets; that is just who I am.

I remember the last day of school. My husband, armed with dozens of garbage bags, picked me up. He quickly put all my belongs into the bags and whisked us away in a tiny Mini Cooper. He was obviously glad to have this period of life “over with.” To this day I remember him saying “This will be the last time you ever act.” And off we went to Wales.

So, this was the beginning of the life lesson that would lead me to Yoga, spiritual practice, and journey of spiritual transformation. I Learn Another Lesson of the Dharma—Sudden Changes I was soon to learn another lesson of the Dharma—sudden change. Unexpectedly, I fell in love, was married, and moved to London. Out of the blue would unfold a next stage of my life and my own journey in spiritual transformation. As could have only happened by this move to London, I received a place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. I had always interested in acting but this was the most unlikely thing to happen. Usually, it takes four years of auditions but somehow and I got in on my first. And this changed my life—they did

Yoga Takes Me International and To Today, Welcoming You to This Magazine Wales did not hold either of us for long. Eventually we were back in London. And, when I came back this time I decided to start sharing the gift of Yoga with the acting world. In this sharing I could no

only go on with my own healing and transformation but could share that journey with so many others, especially others who were living lives that demanded the best of them both spiritually and physically. I begin teaching Yoga, for actors and especially member of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre community. This, with dear friends, became The Life Centre of London. If you search for it today on Google you’ll find it says: “The Life Centre: Yoga London—London’s original trusted source for yoga and wellbeing.” My dear friends who joined in starting the London Life Centre gave me an interesting assignment—to meet all the greatest Yoga teachers and invite them to join us for programs at the Centre. So now I was in the company of bright souls, saints, loving people who shared new ways of living, being a woman, a mother, raising my children vegan, homeopathically, holistically. Although I was living a pretty devoted and disciplined yogic life, I originally never thought about becoming a full-time teacher. But then, one day, I met my Teacher. Confirmation came through a dream that she was the Mentor for me— “the One.” Everything she told me to do, I did. Without hesitation. I trusted her, followed her to India seven times, and studied the Art of “Letting Go letting God!”

Through Kundalini Yoga and the Sikhs I learned how to be humble, how to forgive myself, first and foremost, so I would not blame, criticize or judge. I had to look into the mirror, as if a widow, and see the real me. My damaged ego was put to the ground to taste the dirt

in a sweat lodge to be given the Lokota Name “Chante Eton Wo Wa Gla Ka Win”: woman that speaks with her heart, and then “Karuna” (Compassion). And I have to live up to these names, I did not ask for them.

Even my Sikh name—Liv Preet Kaur—required the same dedication, meaning “One pointed to God.” I took the leap, I did twelve Level One teacher trainings and raised my kids as a single mother. I stayed in the Log Cabin House on 150 acres in the forest and I bowed down to the Mother day after day to give me the courage and strength to beat the odds that were placed against me. I had to get rid of fear, because I was brought up with fear. In every relationship I took fear with me. How could I trust when no one had taught me? It is a predicament so many of us have found ourselves in and this is why our pursuit of the spiritual path together is so important. There are Gods and Goddesses and Wisdom and Grace, Energy and Light! These Teachers are real and we can find them, and share them. We owe this pursuit to our own Nature, our own Birthright, as my Teacher Yogi Bhajan always reminds us. Every day I climb the mountain to my home on a switch-back road some 3500 ft above a valley floor. Nature always welcomes me, whether it is in snow in winter or the sweet warmth of summer, reminding me that I am not alone. There I find my home awaiting me, my nourishment nurturing me, and my humble heart grateful for all the awakenings of the day. 50

Every day I teach Yoga to share a Heart of relaxation, restoration and trust. Every day I ask God to give me more patience and forgiveness and less judgment. Every day I get to meet new souls who are longing to find their original voices again. I always can assure them that in this long journey we can find these things, because I know it is true. Miracles are not hiding, waiting for us to find them; they are actually already here, finding us. It is a matter of recognition. To find our natural breath, to let go of competing ways and instead to serve with love and grace, creates the same space for all—allowing that same natural process to unfold in all beings. There is room for everyone. Invite that multiplicity into your heart and let it glow, just like the universe glows with the light of all those stars. I encourage all, and especially younger folk, to be a part of this emerging Global Recognition of Oneness. For the younger ones we might help make it easier. Yoga is unity, but unity is also not uniformity! Perhaps they don’t need to learn the hard way, as so many of us did. Become a mentor, a light worker, a healer, whatever it is that calls to you in your Heart. We all have it in us to do so. This is in the Word of God from all traditions: you were born perfect; my guidance is to stay out of your own way and let His/Her hand guide you.

Current Exhibitions and Retrospectives on Guy Bourdin which include photos of Karuna (as Carrie Pagano) Given our comments about the famed photographer/artist Guy Bourdin, we were curious to see if there were any current retrospectives or exhibitions of his work which include photos of Karuna (as Carrie Pagano). The answer is “Yes.” There is a museum exhibition in Paris, seven online retrospectives on his photography, and one online retrospective on his fashion films. The exhibition in Paris is introduced as: ‘Maison Chloé’ dedicates first exhibition to Guy Bourdin. Chloé officially inaugurated its ‘Maison’ exhibition space on July 2. The versatile area covers five levels and is situated at number 28 de la rue de la Baume, in the 8th arrondissement in Paris. The space was opened as a means for the brand to celebrate and display its incredible history, and to launch the event, a debut exhibition dedicated to Guy Bourdin, has been set up inside the building. Karuna is the model petting the dog in this photo, click here to view. The current retrospective on his fashion films is at Show Studio, The Home of Fashion Film, available online. These films are also at YouTube. Karuna is in film no. 8 at Show Studio. Online retrospectives of Guy Bourdin’s work include: Vogue Italy, Vogue Mexico, Chloé, Independent Fashion Daily, Faces By Sarah, Shrimpton Couture, and The Beauty Rebel. In the Brooklyn Museum of Art Permanent Collection—Another famous photographer with images of Karuna in permanent collections is Rebecca Blake, who is also well-known for her film The Eyes of Laura Mars. This controversial film from 1978 film is noted by the film industry as an example of an American version of the Italian giallo genre and credited as an early example of what film-makers call “red-herring twists” and the “twist ending.”


A noted photograph by Blake, which circulated widely in the major magazines at the time is now known as “Model with Ventriloquist’s Dummy” and is in the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Museum of Art. The photo appears in the Brooklyn Museum catalog online here, but internet photos of the piece are not permitted. In this photo, Karuna is the model with the dummy.


Along the journey Spiritual Travel by Joanna Kujawa When, in my mid-thirties, I undertook my first bout of spiritual travel I was unaware I was doing something that 100 million of other people were also doing every year. Spiritual seekers were not a part of my social milieu – which was primarily academic. And prior to that journey I held no spiritual ambitions – all my goals back then were either literary or academic. Although I had a deep – but largely subconscious – desire at the time for some form of spirituality, I could not place this within the religion of my upbringing, which seemed

had written about, not what people of the past had experienced, but my own face-to-face, soul-to-soul experience of the spiritual. I have since learned that this pull towards an original experience has been explored and coined by many scholars as a personal ‘search for meaning’ – or the desire for connectivity or transcendence through travel experiences as a response to the loss of meaning in our often mechanistic modern lives. I traveled extensively through South-East Asia, went to many yoga retreats, including one in the jungle, but the most memorable experience I had in Asia was in Cambodia in the ruins of an old wat, or Buddhist temple. In those days, traveling to Cambodia was a bit of an adventure as fields riddled with mines remained largely unmapped and mainstream tourists traveled in groups, limiting themselves to popular sites such as Angkor Wat and Siem Rip. I was traveling solo. I rented a motorcycle and rode in search of the temple,

very dogmatic and focused on external worship. But some time in my early thirties I began reading about the great gurus of India as well as digesting basic books on Buddhism by Western authors and suddenly that tiny flame of spiritual desire woke in me again. I found myself a job as a university lecturer in Asia so I could explore Hinduism and Buddhism not only through reading but also though traveling. But that decision was not a calculated one. It was made out of an irrepressible desire to encounter an original spiritual experience. Not an experience other people 52

men who believed they had discovered the tomb and house of Jesus. The same desire – but in a much more powerful, almost forceful, way – awoke again in me. I had to go with them. Driven by some holy madness, I dropped everything and traveled to Jerusalem with the pair. The power of this pull surprised me because I had never before wanted to go to that city but once in Jerusalem I ignited in holy fire. In my experience, nothing compares to Jerusalem. If the wats of Cambodia taught me what eternity was, Jerusalem kidnapped my soul and showed me the passionate fire of the Divine. During which was hidden in the jungle and rice fields, with my Cambodian guide, who was constantly worried about my potentially dangerous choices in traveling off the beaten track. But I remember the ecstasy of the ‘danger’ I felt, the experience of the thin line between death and life which forces us to explore the true meaning of life. One day we finally stopped at the old abandoned wat, the now familiar ruins accompanied by immense stone Hindu gods and goddesses overgrown with moss. I left my guide by the road and started walking toward the wat when something, some inner voice, gently told me to stop. I stood between the ruins and an empty field. ‘This is the theatre of life, which repeats itself over and over,’ the voice said. ‘Okay,’ I answered the voice and looked at the empty field ahead of me. Suddenly, the field was imbued with a transcendental feeling, the light changed as I looked at it and the place felt strangely ethereal, almost unearthly.

my entire stay in the city, I felt I was walking in a vortex of all beginnings and endings. It was powerful and ecstatic, like a terrible storm that brings you to the very base of your soul.

‘What did you see there?’ asked my guide when I came back and I said, ‘Eternity … I saw eternity. I had the sense, still with me after so many years, that at that very moment I had been shown and had experienced That is why spiritual travel is so powerful. It takes us away from the familiarity of our lives and leads us eternity. directly to what William James called the ‘original spiritual experience.’ Some years later, when living in Australia, I met two

Joanna Kujawa (PhD) is the author of the spiritual travelogue Jerusalem Dairy: Searching for the Tomb and House of Jesus, the co-author and co-editor of the academic volume of Tourism Management Perspectives dedicated to Spiritual Travel and many articles and academic pieces on spiritual travel.


Sacred Music GuruGanesha Band - Rock ‘n Roll for the Soul by the Editors There are times when music becomes a truly transcendent experience, uniting performers and listeners in an ecstatic current of beauty and heartfelt emotion. When live music is at its best, the line between performer, participant, and the divine is dissolved and reassembled into one collective experience. In the tradition of the sacred music artists of our time combined with some essential influences from classic rock ‘n’ roll greats, GuruGanesha Band embodies an entirely new music landscape and style that is conscious mantra-based rock. GuruGanesha Band effortlessly spans a multitude of musical styles, from deeply meditative musical compositions that unfold like lotus petals, to the spellbinding fusion of Indian

raga and Western jazz, to full-on bhakti infused rock. The band expresses a universal musical language that transcends boundaries, cultures, and generations. Anyone who’s experienced the live juggernaut this is the GuruGanesha Band can testify to the fact that they’ve been part of an experience that is memorable and transformational. When GuruGanesha himself experienced the groundbreaking musical adventures of the Grateful Dead in the ‘60s, he knew right away that he had found the seeds for his musical blueprint. The Dead’s loose but exciting melodies became something else when grace hit GuruGanesha in 1972. That’s when his life changed and his spiritual path was cemented by the meeting of his spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan. It was then that he was able to see that the path of musical alchemy could be combined with devoted spiritual service to create a union of love, melody, message, and rhythm in a way that hadn’t been done before. GuruGanesha explains, “As Yogi Bhajan strode the aisle from the back of the room, I could feel his presence. Amazingly, he stopped and spoke to me.


With graceful eyes he looked down at me and simply said, ‘what took you so long.’ It was then, listening to Yogi ji, I laughed and felt joy for the first time since my own father had died. I was inspired.” This inspirational musical mission took on many forms over the years, and has now culminated in the what is the ultimate expression of all the GGB members’ musical intentions. Part of the uniqueness behind the GGB is the different colors, textures, and ideas that each band member brings to this devotional sonic laboratory.

member can only barely put into words the effortless perfection that happens when the four of them plug in and exchange their musical vocabulary. Through improvisation, original composition and some traditional chant infusions the material for the upcoming GuruGanesha Band album People Of Love expresses exactly where they are at on this journey, at this moment in time. And if it wasn’t for the joy of sharing it with the world out on the road the GGB would be in a barn somewhere in Vermont pounding out the sonic magic until all hours of the night and day.

GuruGanesha’s fluid lyrical lead guitar playing is complimented by the harmonic brilliance of Sat Kartar’s rhythm guitar, and then anchored to the groove by Guru Sangat’s brilliant jazz influenced bass lines and Fabio Pirozzolo’s world drum beats. Like a magical breath of devotional grace each

Their open hearts encourage all to sing, chant, dance and meditate along with them. Those who have experienced the GuruGanesha Band live in concert already know that the group tears down the house while lifting the audience’s collective spirit to a higher plane. They are guiding the way towards a bold and blissful new direction for live mantra music that is perhaps more necessary now for the planet than ever before.

Album “People Of Love” At a time where the consciousness of much of the planet is plunged into chaos, darkness and confusion, the GuruGanesha Band heeds the higher call and delivers us seven new songs of transformational “Bhakti Infused Rock” with their new album “People Of Love.” Released in the inquisitive haze of Jerry Garcia’s 75th birthday, this new collection enables, empowers, and inspires the reclaiming of our divine birthright to FEEL GOOD, move our bodies and attune our spirits. This uniquely “adventurous ensemble” that is the GuruGanesha Band seamlessly weaves mantras in the Sikh tradition with musical inspirations that span the jam legacies of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and Dave Matthews Band.


The GuruGanesha Band has offered us a light on the path and true “rock and roll for the soul.” May we receive it and dance all the way home back to our awaiting hearts as “People Of Love.”

GuruGanesha, a child of the ‘60s, grew up in a world where social expression and musical boundaries were confined to a very rigid set of rules that the 1950’s America dictated. Then one day that all changed: It was in 1964 that the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, and the world was never the same. He knew right away what his lifelong calling would be and then set out across the country armed with a guitar and a vision to touch people’s souls with sound and love. Early influences by the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan formed the early ideas for GuruGanesha but it’s when he met Yogi Bhajan in 1972 that all of his life’s ideals would form into one statement of joy. “I was inspired in a way that I had never felt before. It was as if my heart burst open as if it were the sun itself.” Now in his work with the musical alchemy that is the GuruGanesha Band that he can set sail on an ultimate expression of spirit, love, and rock ‘n’ roll! “It’s something new, in that it’s bringing a guitar band sound into the world of devotional conscious rock ‘n’ roll for the soul.”


Spirituality in Art spotlight on Dafna Mordecai

Ladies of the Garden: From the Botanical series: I was on a visit to Cypress Gardens Florida with the exquisite tropical gardens and beautiful Southern Belles. I was painting from the feeling level to convey that wondrous world of beauty that transports you to another time and place.

Goddess- Red Dress: From the Goddess Series: I was emphasizing the beauty and elegance of the feminine with the beauty of nature and the dance between the two.

Swan Loka: I was experimenting with new media painting on glossy paper. Swan Loka was created at the Oneness Center Expressions Retreat after practicing and invoking the four elements with my spiritual teacher Ronit. This retreat ignited and inspired a new creative opening

Copyright ©2018, Dafna Mordecai. All Rights Reserved. These images may not be downloaded, reproduced, or modified. For more information about licensing of images or fine art prints feel free to contact the artist.


Q&A with Dafna When are you most inspired? I’m inspired when I’m deeply moved and touched. I am touched and inspired by so much in this world: the human spirit that prevails through adversity; the acts of kindness to one another; the beauty and majesty of nature and all living beings; and, inspiration through the Arts that touch my heart when I feel the place of authenticity and passion from which it was created. What does your daily spiritual practice look like? My daily spiritual practice is Embodiment Yoga℠. which is a teaching of enlightenment through the body. Embodiment Yoga℠ is the quintessential teaching of full integration, the union of the human self and divine in a body. It involves mastering the self, mastering ever-evolving states of being. Moving beyond all pattern and family structure into a life of freedom and embodying and living from universal wisdom and flow. This practice starts on my mat but takes me though my whole day with the practices of awareness, presence, listening and tending to myself and others with employing practices as needed. Click here for a link to learn more. Describe what spiritual or sacred “Light” means to you: I use the term “Divine Light”. Being in the light to me means being connected to cosmic energy and universal flow, tapping into the wisdom of my spirit’s presence and operating from that place.

Woman with Roses: From the Goddess Series: I was capturing the essence of the lightness of being, delightful, delicate touch, tenderness, vulnerability, softness, Open heart-- the whisper of angels with the sent of roses

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned? The most important lesson is about Listening—Listening within and to all that comes my way—and responding with from clarity wisdom and compassion to myself and everyone else. This is a continuous humbling life lesson.

Dafna Mordecai’s life and work spans several continents and cultures. Born in India she lived in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East before settling in New York City. There, she attended the High School of Art and Design and the Parsons School of Design before studying personally with famed artist David Passalaqua, both in New York and Florida. This diverse training has made her adept as an illustrator, draftswoman, painter and sculptor. She is also a spiritual adept and a well-known figure in the New York transformative community where she works as the Director of Student Affairs & Oneness Center Liaison for spiritual teacher Ronit Singer at The Oneness Center of New York City. Dafna has been a participant in local and international activities of the Interspiritual Network for over a decade and provided the art and design for the Interspiritual Multiplex website. For more information visit Dafna’s website at



From the Author, “The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru” by Philip Goldberg

I spent the last few years immersed in the life of Paramahansa Yogananda, the venerated spiritual teacher whom the Los Angeles Times rightly called “the 20th Century’s first superstar guru.” I had taken on the task of writing an objective, comprehensive, birth-to-death biography of the man whose iconic memoir, Autobiography of a Yogi, has inspired and informed generations of seekers. My goal was to fill in details missing from his and other accounts of Yogananda’s life, to dig deeper into his human story, unearth new information, and sort out facts from speculation, allegation, inference, and hagiography. I read Yogananda’s seminal autobiography for the first time nearly half a century ago, and I still have the copy I borrowed back then and never returned. It didn’t launch my spiritual path, as it has countless others, but it accelerated it. I never became a formal student of Yogananda’s, but I maintained great respect and admiration for him. And I knew that much had been left out of his own account of his life. In the end, it was a huge challenge to keep the narrative under 300 pages, so rich, so dramatic, and so illuminating was the tale.

I came away enriched in ways I did not anticipate going in. I found Yogananda more candid about his feelings and his struggles than most gurus allow themselves to be. To say he was dedicated to his spiritual unfoldment is an absurd understatement; even as a child he was single-minded about knowing God and achieving Self-realization. What surprised me was how often he had to fend off the urge to dump the hassles of running, managing, and financing an organization in materialistic America and return to India and take up the austere life of a simple sannyasi in the Himalayas. He resisted that powerful yearning many times, sticking to the mission given to him by his lineage of gurus. At this stage in my own spiritual path, I found that following him as he navigated through challenges and conflicts was, in a strange way, more inspiring than his moving descriptions of his exalted states of consciousness and more useful than his expositions on yogic philosophy or his repertoire of practices. He became not just a guru of great historic significance, but a spiritual role model for the ages.

Phil’s latest book, a definitive biography of Paramahansa Yogananda, will be published April 24 and can be preordered now. Click here for details about The Life of Yogananda and the pre-order gift. He will be doing lectures and other book-related events in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Boston, New York, Chicago, and other locations this spring. Click here for the schedule.

Philip Goldberg is a meditation teacher, interfaith minister, cohost of the Spirit Matters podcast, and leader of American Veda Tours. He has studied India’s spiritual traditions for nearly 50 years and has written numerous books, including the acclaimed American Veda and his latest, The Life of Yogananda. See more at

We are delighted to announce that a Book Review Section will be coming in the next issue of Light on Light Magazine! Contact, Sw. Shraddhananda, Book Review Editor at: 59

Short Stories Spiritual Fiction

What the Psychic Said to Me By Shannon Marie Winters What good are dreams if they never come true? Sadness blurred my vision. Keep it together! I wiped away my tears into nothingness, trying to stay focused on putting one foot in front of the other on the sidewalk. I shoved my hands into the pockets of my pea coat— partially to keep them warm but also so no one could see them shaking—and glanced around the busy downtown streets. Shop windows were dressed in their holiday best. Row after row of brick historic buildings stood in sharp contrast to the softly falling snow. My mood felt as gray as the wintry day. What would I do now? Where does one go when the world shatters into pieces so small the fragments aren’t even discernible?

Sparkling diamond rings in the jewelry shop window near the corner of Main and Division Street taunted me. The sign that read, “Happily ever after begins now,” assailed my eyes. I wrapped my arms across the front of my coat as if they might shield my heart from the pain. Happily ever after? Hardly! As I crossed the street, all I could see were broken relationships and dead ends. Everything I ever wanted and never turned out to be gnawing at my soul. I couldn’t help thinking that “happily ever after” was a fallacy, a lie … a fantasy. It was impossible! Any glimpses of hope and goodness had vanished from my life. What answer did I need to move onward from this? Did I even know what question to ask? How could I find it in my heartache and unceasing tears? The shadows, the darkness surrounding my very being, enveloped me, grasping and pulling me inward. I felt like I was losing my mind. Confusion roared inside of me. What was I to do now? Where was I to go? WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO? In the midst of the dark frozen night, I didn’t notice the thick branches of ice-trimmed trees crackling as the winter wind grew stronger. Suddenly a crumpled piece of paper wafted in the air in front of me and I reached out to grasp it. The scrolled, cursive words were as faded as the paper itself. I squinted to read what it said:

“When life is spiraling out of control,

and if everything around goes from bad to worse; If fear keeps you from sleeping at night, and if stress twists and twirls;

If it hurts, and if it breaks your heart in pieces, and if the pain is too great to bear.

Come see me for a heart transformation, your happily ever after is here.”


Short Stories Spiritual Fiction

I felt so foolish at having ever believed in “happily ever after” in the first place — at believing my prince and I would sail into the sunset. Still lost in my grief, I noticed an address in small writing on the crumpled paper. It was on a street around the corner from where I was standing. There was something about the address that beckoned me to find it. I pulled my coat closer to my body as I crossed the street to discover a shop in an alley between the brick buildings. I noticed a doorway in the shadows. The sign on the door, in the same scrolling cursive on the paper, read:

“Psychic Readings and Advice.” Taking a deep breath, I opened the door to see a woman, the psychic I seemed destined to meet. I strained to see what she looked like in the dim room, but she was shrouded in shadows. I couldn’t make out the paintings on the walls or what was in the bottles on the shelves behind her. She gestured for me to sit across from her. When I settled in the chair, she looked deep into my eyes and said, “My dear, my advice for you today is free.” The psychic leaned back in her chair and folded her hands across her lap, waiting for me to begin. I wanted to tell her how lost I was. I wanted to ask how I could mend my broken heart. I wanted to ask whether I should stay here or move back home. But, my words jumbled over themselves in a tempest of emotions pouring out brokenly from my lips, “I… don’t… know… what... to…


I held my breath to hear her wisdom. She broke the silence by stating bluntly, “There is 61

nothing I can do for you.” The air screamed out of my lungs. Struggling to catch my breath, I listened as she continued, “You already have all the answers you need within you. You don’t need me to tell you what to do.” I shook my head, taken aback by her answer. She continued, “I could give you the answer and you could go off and follow the path that I suggest.” “Or, I could conjure a future for you and give you the beginning of a magical path,” she gazed at me and waved her hands as if she were pulling my future out of thin air. “After all, it is a very simple thing to do.” “But,” the psychic paused, “what happens if one day you need another answer, and I, the wise woman, am nowhere to be found? Whom would you rely on then for your answer?” she gazed at me and continued, “the path you choose may bring success, or it may bring utter failure, yet the truth of the matter is that you will learn a lot more in the experiencing of the journey than in listening to what I think you should do.” As I shook my head in confusion, she pointed her finger towards my heart and spoke, “You alone have the power to create any life you choose—to determine how you move from where you are today.” She placed her hands over her heart. “To give me the power over what you create with your life is too much a burden—for both of us— as you’d understand in time. She took a deep breath before continuing, “Listen to your heart through all of the noise. Honor your heart as your compass.” Without waiting for me to respond, she added, “Let go of the road that pains you, my dear, for your answers are closer than you think. Learn the meaning of what love is in your heart by truly finding joy within yourself. Seek what brings peace in your mind and what brings joy in your heart, and you’ll be happy every day no matter what storms rage outside.” With that, she closed her eyes, rendering the moment complete. Silence hung in the air.

When the psychic opened her eyes again, she seemed surprised to see me still sitting there. She glanced from me to the door, raising an eyebrow. Taking this as my cue to leave, I gathered my things, slowly shaking my head as I stood. I was leaving without receiving the answers I needed to heal my broken heart. Or was I? I opened the door and heard bells chime in a singsong melody I hadn’t noticed when I’d come in. Even though the sidewalk pavement felt more solid under my feet, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Still I felt different than I had just an hour earlier. The answers I sought would come from somewhere inside me? I couldn’t understand how I’d discern that kind of wisdom while being in such distress. Yet over and over I heard the psychic’s very firm voice in my head: “Find peace in your mind and trust in your heart; believe that you have all the knowledge and understanding that you need to move forward from this very moment in time.” After all, I thought to myself, it is a very simple thing, isn’t it? To decide from this very moment what path to choose, with everything I know and everything I feel. For I know what failure feels like and I also know joy.

Maybe it is really true that I somehow already know the way. This wasn’t the answer I had been seeking, but it warmed my heart anyway. I left the alley and walked back onto the street, still pondering what she had said. Suddenly, I realized that the doubt and confusion I had been feeling earlier was gone. Even in the uncertainty of the darkness all around me. My future is entirely unwritten, and I will navigate it with my heart. I smiled as I began to believe. For I never expected to hear, what the psychic said to me. © 2018, Shannon Winters. Acknowledgments: With much gratitude, the author thanks Garrett Foster and Sw. Shraddhananda for expert editorial review.

We welcome submissions of fictional short stories for future issues of Light on Light Magazine, please send a brief description or the manuscript to: for consideration.

O u t o f M a n y. O n e S p i r i t .

Reach For The Best In Yourself Inspire The Greatness In Others

Interfaith Ministry Training Interspiritual Counseling Training Public Workshops All classes begin September 2018 please apply early (in-person and state-of-the-art distance learning available) For program information and registration visit

An Independent Learning Center 247 West 36th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018 212.931.6840



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New Year Inspirations from Karuna, Gold Hill, Colorado Happiness is… a warm and cozy place to nap.J (with Daisy the St. Bernard and Roxy kitty, 2017) SMW

“All things happen gracefully of their own accord when one stays open, grounded, and awake – and does only what is essential from a place of inspiration.” ~Jeff Vander Clute, Sourcing The Way


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ergy that we emit” EARTH, Light Warriors

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“Light on Light” ~ There is a Sufi meaning to this saying which translates as “when the soul’s light merges into the Greater Light it is Light Upon Light.” But there is also a another more subtle esoteric meaning which is that everything seeks its own source. Hence as beings of Love and Light we derive our “life” from being connected to that greater light. We are illuminated by that greater light to become who we already are. ~ Dr. Andrew Vidich

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Without Wings

My Next Death

by Robert Levine

by Wilfredo J Baez

Without wings we first learn to fly; without words we first learn to sing. Distances bring us closer than touching hands or holding each other on nights when we are afraid to dream. Robert Levine, the author of Without Knowing Where We Are Going, is a poet, essayist and activist living in the New York City area. He is a registered and certified yoga instructor in the Integral Yoga tradition. He has been teaching since 1999 and is one of the founders and principal instructors of TGR Yoga’s Advanced Yoga Teacher Training program.


I breathlessly await my next breath . . . My next death . . . Nothing to do . . . Never is . . . Everything I have ever done is pastime . . . Meaningful in my own head . . . So much drama! So much me! But Now! Choiceless Awarness! What’s the matter with that? What can I take with me From one life to another? It’s better to pack light Or nothing at all . . . To trust life . . . To trust death . . . To rest easy . . . Because each death erases everything. It’s only the grasping, the taking and the holding of breath That causes suffering . . . Creates karma . . . Freedom comes from stopping breathing

And living fully the one breath That never ceases. The breath Will fill the body Based upon lifetimes Of grasping . . . Cause the body To raise up And take action. But ultimately The breath Will train the body To be still And actionless As it walks Upon the earth And fulfills its duty. And the breath Will heal the body Due to its neglect And cause it again To not breathe But live fully In the one breath. Our entire destiny Is correction of the breath In the body And integration of the body With the breath.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Will Baez is an ordained clergy, consecrated Bishop, mystic, poet, chaplain and counselor living in Vestal, New York. He is deeply engrossed in Protestant, Catholic and Gnostic Christianity, Advaita and Siddhi Yoga, Buddhism and Sufism. He finds his spiritual home in the primordial tradition that feeds all spiritual realities. Trained in world religions, depth and transpersonal psychology (M.A., Ph.D.) and pastoral psychology and theology (M.Div., Ph.D.), he has written three books, “Path of a Christian Siddhi,” “Preaching like Jesus: Neurolinguistic Psychology Modeling of Jesus as a Preacher,” and “Counseling like Jesus: Neuro-linguistic Psychology Modeling of Jesus as a Pastoral Counselor.” His primary work is in providing spiritual care and counseling for psychiatric, addicted, dying and bereaved patients.

Light on Light Magazine Editors Karuna, Host Editor A devoted Mother and Teacher and Actress, Karuna brings her own unique light of compassion, enthusiasm and pure joy as an international yoga teacher and producer of inspired heartfelt teaching and sacred music events. Including Artists from all traditions in Music, dance, performance. Based in Boulder, CO, she pioneered bringing Level one, two, and three certified KRI Teacher Training programs to the area and offers daily classes at Rally Sport Health & Fitness Club in Boulder along with online classes, including individual and group sessions. Certified in Children’s yoga and prenatal yoga, Karuna teaches yoga to all ages including children, teenagers and prenatal moms. Karuna has also taught at Santa Monica Catholic High School and Canyon Charter Elementary School in Santa Monica, California. She leads retreats in Costa Rica and Yoga Festivals in Europe and has hosted many workshops with Master Teachers including GuruGanesha “Conscious Selling,” Mata Mandir “Mantra,” Snatam Kaur and GuruGanesha “Voice,” and loves to offer the community in-depth opportunities for studying with the Masters. True to her spiritual name, which means “compassion,” Karuna likens herself to a coach, helping her students push beyond self-imposed limits. Her classes are filled with humor, music and the spirit of transformation. Between international events, Karuna hosts Yoga-inspired retreats near Boulder at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das and is on the host team for the VoiceAmerica series, The Convergence. Kurt Johnson, PhD, Contributing Editor Dr. Kurt Johnson, a co-visioner of UNITY EARTH, has worked in professional science and comparative religion over 40 years. A prominent figure on international committees, particularly at the United Nations, he is author of the influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age (2013) and two award-winning books in science: Nabokov’s Blues (2000) and Fine Lines (2015). Kurt has served on the faculty of New York’s Interfaith Seminary for 12 years and, for 25 years was associated there with the American Museum of Natural History. In 2016 he became host for UNITY EARTH’s Convergence radio series at VoiceAmerica, a series featuring global change-makers. Kurt has a PhD in Evolution and Ecology and is author of over 200 scientific articles and seven books, along with further articles at Kosmos Journal, The Contemplative Journal, Evolution Institute, Integral Life with Ken Wilber and peace studies with Philip Hellmich of the SHIFT Network. Kurt, a former monastic, is a member or founder of The Evolutionary Leaders, the international Contemplative Alliance, the Gaiafield and Subtle Activism Networks, the Self Care to Earth Care network, the UN NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, the NGO Forum 21 Institute, and the UN Committee for International Yoga Day, and is President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. 66

Shannon Winters, MS, CIC, CMPP, Managing Editor With inspiration and joy, Shannon honors the interconnected truths of all paths and faiths, serving to uplift humanity fully into the era of unity consciousness. Originally from California, she has worked in the corporate sector in the NYC area for more than 13 years, leading strategy and planning of scientific publications and communications and is an author of numerous publications. Shannon is also Administrator of UNITY EARTH North America Projects and Managing Editor of The Convergence Magazine. She holds certification as an Intrinsic Coach and Reiki Jin Kei Do practitioner and is completing the interfaith/interspiritual seminary program at One Spirit in NYC. With the confidence that anything is possible, Shannon enthusiastically dares to dream beyond boundaries, navigating with the compass within her heart. Together with husband, David Winters, she founded Sunnyside Gift Company in 2015, a shop filled with inspirations and fun gifts that honor the light found within each and every person, cherishing the gift of life’s unique journeys, and spreads joy through giving back in the community and beyond. She resides in New Jersey with her family and joyful menagerie of rescued dogs and cats.

Preview of Light on Light Magazine – Issue 2 New Congregations and Communities in the Era of Interspirituality With an increasing number of “Spiritual but not Religious” seekers throughout the world, we are seeing interfaith and interspiritual communities growing locally and globally with similar focuses on sacred and unity consciousness with inclusivity and inspiration for all paths. Features in the next issue of Light on Light Magazine will introduce readers to an inspiring cross-section of these congregations and communities, both new and old, which speak so profoundly to how spiritual meaning and participation are changing and evolving worldwide in our global era. Welcomed by leaders and members of these inspiring congregations and communities, readers will learn what an “interspiritual” community can look like and what spiritual practices and inspired lifestyles are being explored in this era of light on light. We look forward to warmly welcoming you in our next issue on Communities! 67

© United Palace, Photo by Emmanuel Abreu.

Upcoming Events! April 2018

To place an Upcoming Event listing in a future issue of Light on Light Magazine, please email: Light on Light is published quarterly.

April 6 – New York City, NY An Evening Lecture and Book Signing with Chris Grosso New York Open Center Dead Set on Living: Making the Difficult but Beautiful Journey from F#*king Up to Waking Up

April 8–13 - Malibu, California

Spring Meditation Retreat April 8–13, 2018 Click here for more information and to register.

April 10 - Boulder, Colorado

April 11 – Gold Hill, Colorado

Click here for event details and to purchase tickets!

Click here for event details and to purchase tickets!

April 28 - Wappinger, New York

July 2018 July 14–21, 2018 - Garrison, NY

CoSM: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors 46 Deer Hill Rd., Wappinger, NY 12590 Click here for event details and to purchase tickets!

Summer Meditation Retreat July 14-21, 2018 Click here for more information and to register.


Directory Congregations & Spiritual Communities New York City, New York As an inclusive spiritual community, the United Palace community seeks to cultivate compassion, wisdom, and peace through spiritual practices born of the great wisdom traditions, sacred service, and joyous connection to spirit through music, arts, and entertainment. Community In Spirit is a spiritual center without walls. We are focused on healing through love, forgiveness, gratitude and belonging to community. The members of Community In Spirit are spiritual but not necessarily religious. We are inclusive, supportive, interactive and committed to being happier, more loving and more peaceful people on this planet. For more information email, call 561-307-0699 or find us on FB (Community in Spirit)

The Dzogchen Center and Foundation The Dzogchen Center and Foundation, directed by Lama Surya Das, is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing and teaching the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Dzogchen (Natural Great Perfection), and making this advanced meditation practice accessible and practicable to all through meditation retreats, teaching and spiritual guidance, local grass-roots sitting groups, and various publications. Visit the Dzogchen Center website to find local practice groups. The Garden of Light is an online platform for the emerging global spirituality. It provides a virtual home for a new community rooted in shared spirituality that transcends differences of culture so that it can become visible as a powerful force in uplifting the human spirit. This community practices a wide variety of religious and spiritual expression, yet we share a growing understanding that embraces all paths guided by love as we build together a culture of peace.


Community Engagement Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is a community engagement experience that invites people around the world to inspire one another to reveal and promote acts of compassion that better our lives, our communities, and all life on Earth. Over the past six years, the Compassion Games have been played in over 40 countries by more than 1,000,000 volunteer players who have served over 18 million people.

Community & Inner Life Development Contemplative Life is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect people and communities with transformative practices. It serves as a digital hub to bring the myriads of different practices under one umbrella to help people easily find practices of interest and connect with others of like mind. For more information please visit our resources on Navigating Contemplative Life.

Education Interfaith Seminary & Interspiritual Counseling programs & Courses

One Spirit Learning Alliance One Spirit Learning Alliance, has been a leader in Interfaith/Interspiritual education for over 15 years. We are committed to providing excellent, rigorous and heart-centered programs to help develop spiritual leaders for the 21st century. Our core curriculum is offered through our Interfaith Seminary and Interspiritual Counseling programs as well as through courses offered to the general public.

The Pachakuti Mesa Tradition: Cross-Cultural Shamanic Arts for Personal and Planetary Renewal Developed by don Oscar Miro-Quesada and Presented by The Heart of the Healer, this five-part series aligns the traditional teachings of Peru and the wisdom of its heritage with the needs of the present day. Providing a comprehensive foundation and profound initiation through ceremony and prayer into the living heart and soul of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, participants will cultivate a deeper relationship with nature and the unseen world, and receive multiple opportunities for self-exploration, empowerment and profound personal growth. Contact: Workshops & Yoga

Workshops & Retreats

The Contemplative Society The Contemplative Society is a charity that encourages contemplative prayer based in the Christian Wisdom tradition while also welcoming and being supportive of other meditation traditions. They also support teacher Cynthia Bourgeault by sponsoring retreats and workshops led by Cynthia and other distinguished contemplative teachers, and by selling audio teachings. Workshops & Online Courses

Oneness Center & Embodiment Yoga at Oneness Center New York City, NY Exploring infinite possibilities through meditation, movement, creative energies and the study of consciousness! Oneness Center is where people come to study self-empowerment through physical, psychological and spiritual transformative practices. Spiritual teacher and creator of Embodiment Yoga℠ Ronit Singer teaches classes, leads workshops and holds monthly open meditations. retreats and holds monthly open meditations. Our mission statement, “Evolution of humanity’s consciousness” happens through teaching and inspiring people to tap into their unique beings. Young Leader Programs

Spiritual Paths Foundation The mission of the Spiritual Paths Foundation is to help people of all ages and backgrounds to create a personal spiritual path and a compassionate wisdom for serving themselves, their communities, the Earth and all living beings. We offer retreats, workshops, books and online courses on InterSpiritual Meditation, the InterSpiritual Mandala Process and InterSpiritual Mentoring. We help people to harness their spiritual learning styles and questions to create a personal spiritual path and contemplative practice from authentic resources within the world’s great spiritual and secular traditions.

Institute For Emerging Visionaries The Institute for Emerging Visionaries serves as an incubator for young leaders who are committed to actualizing their visions in service to humanity. Through facilitation training, self-inquiry, trauma healing and heart-centered leadership training; The Institute for Emerging Visionaries is dedicated to helping provide the tools and resources necessary for youth from around the globe to create experiences in which diverse groups of people can gather with the intention to heal, connect, serve and discover the unique gifts they have to share with the world. 70

Directory Retreat Centers

Davi Nikent Center for Human Flourishing Carbondale, CO Our mission is promote health and well-being for individuals, families and community by offering experiential workshops, seminars, retreats and topical films by pioneers in integral health and human flourishing. Our name “Davi Nikent” is Ute Language meaning “always light.”

Paz y Luz Hotel and Healing Center Pisac, Peru Paz y Luz means Peace and Light, a beautiful guest and conference center where people gather for workshops, to experience sacred healing sessions or simply to relax, while visiting the Pisac archeological site and famous market. We provide a haven for travelers and seekers from around the world to rest in the refined energy of the Sacred Valley surrounded by powerful mountains and to offer opportunities for healing, balance, restoration and transformation.

Interspiritual Dialogue in Action Founded as Interspiritual Dialogue with Br. Wayne Teasdale in 2002, it has expanded to include the much larger entities THE INTERSPIRITUAL MULTIPLEX and The Coming Interspiritual Age. Their purposes are to promulgate the message in Bro. Wayne’s classic book “The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions.” It became ISDnA. Eco-Spirituality

Self Care to Earth Care Self Care to Earth Care is the Eco-Spirituality wing and organization of The Interspiritual Network. It sponsors annual events regarding spirituality’s relation to environmental protection and health. The Ken Wilber video from its 2015 Denver Conference has 100,000 hits at YouTube, click here to watch.


Online Resources & Networks Interspirituality

The Interspiritual Multiplex Built in 2005, a vast free web resource including hundreds of spiritual teachers and interfaith/ interspiritual organizations. It supports educational work of InterSpiritual Dialogue in Action (ISDnA), the network built around the work of Bro. Wayne Teasdale, Interspiritual pioneer and coiner of the term “interspirituality.”


Boundless Compassion: Creating a Way of Life By Joyce Rupp Master teacher Joyce Rupp will inspire you to develop compassion as never before. You will discover compassion from science, medicine, theology, spirituality, sociology, and psychology. You will be encouraged to explore personal and professional expressions of compassion, and to re-energize your ability to offer loving kindness to those around you.


Dead Set on Living: Making the Difficult but Beautiful Journey from F##cking Up to Waking Up By Chris Grosso and Alice Peck Unabashedly honest and inspiring, Dead Set on Living by Chris Grosso and Alice Peck is essential reading for anyone seeking a path towards triumph over adversity, understanding the human condition, and rebuilding relationships after promises have been broken. Light Warriors is an independent critically acclaimed, multigenre musical project in the pursuit of source connection and experience. With depth of lyrics having compared to Bob Dylan for “skewering corruption and warfare at home and abroad in search of peace and understanding” and musical diversity covering rock, funk, soul, reggae, electronic and free improvisation, the latest album, Raise The Frequency, is a spiritual download channeling ancient to future vibrations and energies to be experienced.

Shopping & Gifts

The Coming Interspiritual Age By Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord Website of the influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age by Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord (Namaste, 2013). TCIA is a comprehensive update to the vision of “interspirituality” and world change from many angles—spirituality, science, consciousness and brain/mind studies, developmental history (integral and spiral dynamics) and the challenges of globalization and multiculturalism.

unnyside Gift Company Inspirations & Fun Inspirations and fun gifts across the entire sunny side of life— from inspirational and encouraging books to meditation and spiritual gifts to home décor gifts and jewelry—gifts of all kinds, honoring the gifts that shine brightly from within, gifts we give ourselves, and gifts for all occasions given to others to show how special they are in our lives.


The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru By Philip Goldberg Phil’s latest book, a definitive biography of Paramahansa Yogananda, will be published April 24 and can be preordered now. Click here for details about The Life of Yogananda and the pre-order gift. He will be doing lectures and other book-related events in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Boston, New York, Chicago, and other locations this spring. Click here for the schedule.

World Weavers is an Ethical Community Based Tourism provider focused on supporting local communities. We offer educational travel, cultural exchange, personal and spiritual development. Our programs are designed to unite and inspire people while promoting tolerance and cultural understanding.

To find out how you can be included in the Resources Directory in future issues of Light on Light Magazine, please email: Light on Light is published quarterly.


Mindfulness Training Course Hosted by

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Contemplative Life

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