Monthly Archives

December 2015

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 23 – Chris Ryan Ph.D

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The brilliant, challenging and wise Chris Ryan stops by to talk about our world and species through his own unique cultural anthropologist lens. Enjoy getting your soul inspired and provoked as we head into 2016!

Chris is the author of the now seminal book “Sex at Dawn” and his working on a new book that will be called “Civilized to Death.” His work has been featured just about everywhere, including: MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Times of London, Playboy, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Outside, El Pais, La Vanguardia, Salon, Seed, and Big Think.

A featured speaker from TED in Long Beach, CA to The Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House to the Einstein Forum in Pottsdam, Germany, Chris has consulted at various hospitals in Spain, provided expert testimony in a Canadian constitutional hearing, and appeared in well over a dozen documentary films.

http://chrisryanphd.com

@ChrisRyanPhD

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It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 22 – Robert Wisdom

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Bob Wisdom comes by to hang out and take us through an oral history of his career, the arts in 1970s and 80s America, activism and so much more. He’s one of the smartest, most sincere and connected people I’ve ever met.

Robert Wisdom is an American actor who has appeared in many different TV shows and movies throughout his career. He is arguably most well known for his roles in The Wire and Prison Break. He’s also a progressive activist, a bhakta and mega wise humanist.

@RobertRayWisdom

RobertWisdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 21 – Karen Greenberg

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Karen Greenberg is the Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University. She opens up the IAH spectrum by engaging in a healthy dialogue on post 9/11 global tensions, the rise of ISIS, American imperialism and the overall nature of conflict.

Finally IAH has an episode about US foreign policy with someone who actually knows what they are talking about! Enlightening, challenging and fascinating. Don’t miss this one, she’s fantastic.

Karen Greenberg is the Director of the Center on National Security, and a noted expert on national security, terrorism, and civil liberties. She is the author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days (2009), which was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post and Slate.com. She is co-editor with Joshua L. Dratel of The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror (2008) and The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (2005); editor of the books The Torture Debate in America (2006) and Al Qaeda Now (2005); and editor of the Terrorist Trial Report Card, 2001–2011. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones, TomDispatch.com, and on major news channels. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

http://centeronnationalsecurity.org

@KarenGreenberg3

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God and Yoga Me

This is our Kainchi

If you are not part of the Ram Dass/Neem Karoli Baba community let me briefly describe what and where Kainchi is. It’s a place nestled deep in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India that was the primary meeting place of the Western devotees, led by Ram Dass, where they met and hung out with Neem Karoli Baba from 1967-1973. This was not the only place where Maharaj-ji took them but it was perhaps the most special.

And for those of you in the community, you know exactly what this means.

I’ve spent a few days sitting on this post because I’ve been waiting to come down a little. The high from these retreats is potent, intense, orgasmic and fucking amazing. When you’re high after these things you can be prone to do crazy shit so I had to come down a little to make sure this post was authentic and most of all true.

For the last several years I’ve spent a lot of time going to Maui to hang out with Ram Dass, Krishna Das and the global satsang (spiritual community) at the Napili Kai Beach Resort for the now bi-yearly retreat called “Open Your Heart in Paradise.” Over the years these gatherings have taken on almost a pilgrimage sort of feel. Many of the same people, many new ones too, make this yearly trek to the NKB (no accident there) resort to suck up this whole concept of “unconditional love.” I can only speak for myself in saying that sometimes the practice has a very direct and applicable result and other times it’s elusive, fuzzy and nostalgic.

Let me address the latter first. The now oft-told story of Ram Dass meeting Neem Karoli Baba in 1967 after being jettisoned from the identity of Richard Alpert is now one of legend that has been documented in many legendary tomes. After he came back to America he then turned on a group of other young acid drenched wildly amazing hippies who were looking for more. Fortunately many of these people went on to do amazing works in the world and are still with us today. They are very eager to tell the stories of what it was like to hang out with the “old man in the blanket.” These stories are colorful, magical and have the ability to pry open even the most cynical heart from the clutches of self loathing, fear and darkness and thrust them into a state of love, peace and equanimity. This is true, it does happen. I’ve seen it and experienced it. The only rub is that after hearing the stories so many times the practice can sometimes feel like a nostalgia act. How many times do I need to hear the spleen story or the bus story or the acid in babas mouth story?

The other elemental issue that gets in the way is the “getting high.” Unless you’re the most cynical uptight cyborg replicant freak there is no way that you’re not going to get somewhat high at some point during one of these retreats. I’m a lover of the high so I tend to get really high on these love hits and can often mistake these succulent juicy hits of love to be the practice itself when in truth they really aren’t. They are just the results of what may happen when you practice this stuff.

This gets murky because if you’re not paying attention it becomes about these things and you may loose the essence of what’s REALLY going on here and come to the conclusion that these gatherings are about glorifications of someone elses trip. I’ve been here before, I’ve lost the focus of the message and application of what’s being said. But I don’t want to get stuck on that. So, what is the message?

The message is that there is a portal for unconditional love that allows you to be transported into a dimensional state of being in which you love yourself more, you love others more and through this love portal you experience a joy for being alive that may have eluded you previously. If you have any desire to experience any of these things I’m here to tell you that it’s real. This is a real thing that can be experienced by you, now and in this moment. These practices when done with even the slightest shred of sincerity can unlock a way of living within the constructs of the material world that knows no boundaries. It can labeled bhakti yoga, guru kripa or just “yoga.” Or it can simply be called “love.” Real honest to god love.

As mentioned, I’ve been to many of these retreats. But I have to say that this past week in Maui took me to a place that I’d never experienced prior. Perhaps I’m a slow learner or perhaps I needed many doses to get the full effect. Either way, I had more heart opening conversations, tears, inter dimensional drop ins and ecstatic love bombs than I’d ever experienced at any other retreat. As Duncan told me “I literally had a dozen conversations that were more powerful than those experienced when on MDMA.” Same goes for me. The connection to the stories I’ve heard a thousand times before, to my old friends, to my new friends, to Sharon Salzbergs fierce teachings and to these names of God I’ve chanted countless rounds before took on a new high that may in fact created an unravelling that will result in me truly forgiving myself for all my mistakes. It seems that I am truly ready to forgive myself of all the self induced pain that I’ve inflicted on myself and others in a way that can give me the room to move forward on the path. Constantly being stuck in the wheel of samsara has only worked in the sense that it’s taken be so far up and equally as far down. Rinse and repeat. My new and fresh set of eyes that were bestowed upon me at OYHIP ’15 has given me the gentleness of equanimity and ease of being.

On the final morning of the retreat it all came into a complete form when my friend Alex Deleuse shared something with me that put the whole game into context. He simply said (i’m paraphrasing Alex, sorry dude) “this is our Kainchi. History will look back on these retreats as ‘oh you were at the OHYIP retreats in Maui? Then you know.’

Yes, I know. This is our Evelyn Hotel, this is our Kainchi, this is our great transmission of Maharaj-jis darshan. If you are at all into Ram Dass or Neem Karoli Baba this is our time. What happened 43 years ago doesn’t take away from what’s happening now.

It’s taken me so long to see the “big maharaja-ji” and to loose the trap of nostalgia and to simply accept this gift. Of course, I’m gonna come back down and act human again. But perhaps this time I’ll recognize it with a little more softness and gentleness of heart. The endless cycle of ascent and decent from the mountain doesn’t have to be so extreme any longer.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 20 – Community Podcast Vol 1.

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A new and different episode of It’s All Happening! This one is called the “Community Podcast Vol. 1.” The general idea is to bring you a few different guests who are doing amazing works in the community. Arjuna O’Neal, Raja Michelle and Kelsea Rea are, respectively, doing some cool things in and around LA that help promote wellness, helping the underserved and bringing awareness to where our great city is lacking.

Also, I’m fresh of the Open Your Heart in Paradise retreat with Ram Dass, Krishna Das and friends. So I took this opportunity to go on a little rant about how this was the best OYHIP yet and how I’m still trying to make sense of the love portal that can be experienced not just in Maui but throughout the multi verse and in your daily life!

Raja Michelle

http://www.greentreeyogameditation.org

Arjun O’Neal

http://www.share-necessities.org

Kelsea Rea

http://thehurb.com

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It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 19 – Leilani Münter

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Leilani Münter, the only vegan hippie chick with a race car, charges her Tesla while hanging out with Zach and Elijah. To say that Leilani is one of the coolest, brightest and most well informed activists out there is an understatement. And yes. she really is a race car driver. She also helped to bring “Racing Extinction” to the world which premieres Wed December 2nd on the Discovery Channel.

http://www.leilani.green

@LeilaniMunter

http://racingextinction.com

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