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Walking with Fear

When Babaji was asked a question about fear (“Babaji, I want to go back to school, but I’m afraid I don’t have enough money,” or “Babaji, I want to go to India with you, but I’m afraid of flying”), he would often reply with three little words: “Face, Fight, Finish!” Face your fear, fight with […]

Remember Your Aim

This story is called ‘Remember Your Aim.’ It takes place in Santa Cruz; the year is 1981. My karma yoga task for the day is to typeset the “Wings of Breath” songbook, a compilation of kirtan lyrics that’s being prepared for the satsang. The typesetting equipment is at Babaji’s house, about a half hour’s drive […]

Unto the Next Seven Generations

As part of our ongoing conversation about the future direction of the Centre, here are some reflections from one of our far-flung members about managing transitions at the Pacific Cultural Center in Santa Cruz. Salt Spring Centre, like Mt. Madonna Center and Sri Ram Ashram, plays an essential role as a beacon of light in […]

Reflections on Birth, Growth, Decay, Death

“Birth, growth, decay and death.” Babaji offered us this phrase on his chalkboard so many times over the years. When we’d ask about human life, when we’d ask about death, when we’d ask about liberation – it appeared often in answering so many questions. Human incarnation, he explained, begins with taking birth in a physical […]

Replace Judgement with Compassion

Who would have imagined, when hearing this suggestion – replace judgment with compassion – at SSCY last summer, that it would have come in so handy on the day after the American presidential election in November? Now, months later, I don’t recall whether the phrase was read or heard or overheard, but in that moment […]

The Wonders of Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Ghee is the purified form of butter, often called “clarified butter.” In Sanskrit, it is referred to as ghrta. Ghee is one of the most ancient and sattvic foods known. According to Charaka (one of the codifiers of the Ayurvedic system of natural medicine), ghee plays a vital role in health maintenance; it “promotes memory, […]

Stay Cool, Calm and Hydrated this Summer

During the summer season the qualities of ‘pitta dosha,’ which are hot, light and dry, are clearly obvious in the weather. The sun shines more often; the hours of daylight are longer; the earth dries out more quickly. No matter which dosha is predominant in our nature, we all notice the increase of these pitta […]

The Practice of Peace

The very first question that I was ever brave enough to ask Babaji was, “Babaji, if you had only two words to say to the people of the world, what would they be?” And without hesitation, he wrote “Attain Peace.” Sitting on the dock at the Oyama retreat, overlooking beautiful Lake Osoyoos, Babaji was being […]

Karma Yoga. . . A Path of Inner Development

As we explore the path of yoga, we discover there are millions of methods that will take us in the direction of our goal. Purification of the body, perfection of posture (asana), samadhi meditation, selfless service (karma yoga), and devotion to God (bhakti yoga) are just a few. Those of us who choose Karma Yoga […]

Ayurveda, Yoga & You: Maintaining an Even Keel

Maintaining an Even Keel: Understanding our Mental Temperament If you’ve ever tried to sail a boat, fly a kite, or surf the ocean waves, you have a sense of what it means to keep ‘an even keel.’ An ability to focus, to hold the mind steady in the moment, while also perceiving the ever-changing conditions, […]

Abhyanga: The Ayurvedic Art of Self-Massage

The summer months are the perfect time to experiment with abhyanga – the Ayurvedic art of oil massage. As we mentioned in last month’s column, abhyanga (self massage with warm oil) nourishes the skin, as well as soothes the nervous system, stimulates the circulation of blood and lymph, and enlivens the immune system. This nurturing […]

Ayurveda, Yoga & You: Saving our Skin!

The warm summer months are coming soon, if not already here. The afternoon heat invites us to remove some clothing and allow our skin access to the healing rays of the sun. Water sports bring us into contact with wind, water and waves. The long days invite us to play in the garden well into […]

Ayurveda, Yoga & You: The Hot Belly Diet book review

Ayurveda, Yoga and You: The Hot Belly Diet by Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar Dr. Suhas (as he is called by his students and colleagues) has sub-titled his new book “A 30-day Ayurvedic Plan to Reset your Metabolism, Lose Weight, and Restore your Body’s Natural Balance to Heal Itself.” And the magical diet plan he describes presents […]

Baba Hari Dass

Desire, Attachment and Ego

Quiet and peace is the real nature of a being. It is disturbed by our desires, attachment, and ego. As long as the desires, attachment and ego remain strong, the mind will remain disturbed. So one should practice meditation, or any other spiritual practice, to purify the mind.* Babaji often discussed the three great demons […]