Monthly Archives

August 2016

Me

New Zachleary.com Website!

Friends – welcome to my new website. I’m happy you’re here.

Since 2008, I’ve semi-regularly maintained zachleary.com primarily as a blog. It was a space for me to share my thoughts and points of view on things that I found interesting in the world. The majority of posts had to do with yoga/spirituality but also with politics, music and the overall broad landscape of the expansion of consciousness. Lofty topics all. While I didn’t update it as often as I probably should have I did manage to build up a small but loyal following that felt supportive and encouraging.

Just over a year ago I launched the It’s All Happening podcast on a separate URL thinking that I’d build that brand as something separate. While we did succeed in doing that it became apparent that there really was no reason to have two separate websites going on simultaneously. Traffic was split, opportunities were lost. One hand didn’t know what the other was doing, all that sorta stuff.

Therefore –  I welcome you to the new zachleary.com – one site that houses :

  • the It’s All Happening With Zach Leary Podcast (with an episode guide too!)
  • blog posts
  • event appearances
  • kirtan events and releases
  • a new store with some all new IAH t-shirts and book picks that I think you might like

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey and I look forward to sharing it together as we figure out the future as one collective community.

Many of you have the previous It’s All Happening URL bookmarked as your place to listen to the podcast. You can still do that however, I recommend updating your bookmark to www.zachleary.com. The old URL will redirect to the new one but sometimes those things fall apart.

With love,

Zach

If you’re new to my community please sign up for my mailing list right here:

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 56 – Tony Moss

One of my favorite combinations within the multi-verse is to take visionary work and combine it with the urban realities that make up real life for most people. It’s a necessary exercise to, now and then, step away from the elevated way nature of visionary experience and come back to the inclusionary bond that is all life. Tony Moss stops by the kitchen table to beautifully articulate how his 22 years of entheogenic work has led to profound realizations on the systemic problems of our culture and how to address them with grace. He’s not coming to the table with dogmatic firm answers but rather with wonderfully poetic points of view that will open your heart up to asking the right questions. Tony is a wonderful ambassador for the shamanic arts, musicians and entheogen advocates.

INTRO RANT – The Landscape of Being on Team Human

tony_mossFrom Tonymoss.me

“I am a artist, recording artist, and event producer influenced by 20 years of entheogenic study. My work is a synthesis of my interests in art, spirituality, and science, with passionate emphasis & interest in the evolution of human consciousness and greater under-standing and reverance for nature.

 I’ve been called a mystic and a rationalist.

 I marvel at the very presence of our being. I see “God” in evolution. I see God in everything.”

@iamlifeproject

Blog - God Blog - Politics

The Landscape of Being on Team Human

As you traverse the landscape of this thing we call life there are an endless amount of activities to take note of. Some of that activity manifests in a way that takes on physical shape – energy and matter are made of the same stuff, that sort of thing. Other activity takes form in how you see other humans living their life and their own personal lila.

Very quickly – the word lila comes from the sanskrit language and translated it means “divine play” in the context of ones own life. So you’r entire life is a play of divinity in which all the ingredients that make up a play thus make up your life. Success, love, tragedy, heartache, all of it. That’s your lila.

When observing someone elses lila why is that most of us fall into the mode of judgement and ridicule? Why is it that we simply can’t create a world in which literally everyone can live in peace and prosperity without active judgement and persecution?

There may be logical answers to this question. Morality and values comes mind. For instance, someone like Sam Harris can make a very articulate and thoughtful case that in order for our society to evolve that we must take note of ISIS and break down why their entire theosophical way of living is completely fucked up and thus a detractor of progress. I’m certainly not going to spin any new age anti-intellecualism and suggest that who are we to say that our morals are better than theirs? Certainly, I agree that it’s impossible to form a world that abides by a doctrine that says you must kill those that leave the faith. There is a certain barbaric aspect to much of the radical tenets of Wahhabism. I agree.

Where I get lost however, is the suggestion that the entire muslim faith is out of their minds (and then list reasons) much like Harris and Bill Maher do on a regular basis. When one side elevates themselves into a realm of superiority based on logic and reason it gets into the game of separation. No one benefits from saying that 1.6 billion people are out of their minds and need to change the way that live. With the modern world the way that it is that sort of dialogue will do nothing but result in more war, finger pointing, name calling and political escalation that ends up being a policy based excuse to escalate the war machine.

I’m tellling you – this method will not work. I think the doorway in needs to be far more compassionate and systemic.

Until we learn to not install our values on the entire world, no matter what, we will never know peace. I’m not suggesting ISIS gets a free pass but I suspect that if the US didn’t conduct so many foreign policy blunders in the first place that combined with the US idea of manifest destiny that ISIS would be in the forefront of the current conversation. ISIS just didn’t rise out of nowhere, out of nothing. It didn’t just appear because there were such a surplus of radical Islamic practitioners that needed to form their own state, an Islamic State.

If you forgot what the concept and mission of “manifest destiny” is and how it is defined, I encourage you to look it up and revisit it. It is so brazen and arrogant that it may shock your sensible values of the spiritual aspirant.

I initially got worked about this topic because of some podcast that Sam Harris rambled on about when trying to get everyone to read Dabiq, the magazine of ISIS. I too posted the same quest on Facebook thinking that it’s a good idea to understand how everyone is thinking, even if they are mad. It really pissed me of that Sam Harris called Chomsky and Greenwald “dangerous” for suggesting that US foreign policy played a part in ISIS’s hatred to us and that in fact George W. Bush was correct when he said “they hate our freedom.” First of all, Bush was not talking about ISIS when he said that – the landscape was so different back then that’s it not fair to say this was in fact true.

Many dozen global economic chess moves were played for decades that allowed that soil to get so fertile in the first place. Again, these things don’t appear out of nowhere. The basic problems of the US middle east policy still remain true – the presence in Saudi Arabia (the holy land), the support for Israel and the destruction of Iraq that split the country into warring tribal factions that we don’t understand.

Foreign policy dissection aside, I do come back to the idea that the attitude that exists  that suggests being a muslim sympathizer isn’t morally correct is also faulty. I realize that it’s often not so simple but I’m a human being sympathizer. I think we all have a place here to worship, exist and govern in the way that makes sense to ones true nature. The fact remains that a large portion of the global Islamic population enjoys being Islamic. It speaks to their heart and path. Yes, I find many of their extreme dogmatic instructions to be slightly insane –  however, I wish to leave them alone and let them figure out their own karmas. Again, a very powerful coalition of governments telling them that they are dangerous only makes them more dangerous. This is a fact. Instead, if we lead by example and make the opposite of their lifestyle attractive, calm, wise and loving that that will follow by attraction.

A few days later, Harris once again sent something out to his people, a speech that he thinks Hilary Clinton should make in regards to the muslim faith and how her position is different than her opponents. He was right on in saying that “Every religious community must interpret its scripture and adjust its traditions to conform to the modern world.”

That may be the best thing he ever said. The rest gets a little murky because he’s once again making Islam the hyper-focus here when it is not. It’s a symptom of the world not getting along and a symptom of dogma once again leading the left foot along the path.

For as long as we’ve recorded history we have known war. It haunts us like a virus that can’t be killed. What will change? I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that some war is just and therefore we must arm ourselves and constantly prepare because the enemy is near. That is a hallow and empty way to live. That is akin to settling for less. I’d much rater accept that peace is the only option and war is a strange anomaly that happens from time to time, but must be extinguished as quickly as possible when it does. And until we start changing our attitudes in how we see each other on the landscape of life nothing will ever change.

I’m on Team Human. I’m not on Team America, or Team Christian or Team Democracy. I’m on Team Human. I’m not going to go point by point on why 1.6 billion people need to change their way of life. Even if they probably do. But so do the people we now call the “alt-right” (Trump supporters) or so does a country that throws out 50% of it’s food. Think about that. This amazing nation of bounty and progress throws out 50% of the food it makes. Are we that fucked up and self destructive to think that’s ok? To me – that’s just as twisted as Islam extremists murdering women in these so called honor killings. Some people may find that offensive and I don’t mean it to be. I don’t think it’s ok to engage in these honor killings at all, obviously. But the point is no one here is getting out free of charge. No one can turn the lens on the other and place blame entirely on them.

Once again – I’m on Team Human. We all need to collectively view our part in this lila and take accountability for what we can immediately fix within our own sphere of influence. We need to do this while we simulatneously stop pointing fingers at others and what it is THEY need to do. If we could all exhibit a little humility here and admit that we’re in this together and we’re all complicit in the insanity, then we may have a chance in fixing all this.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 55 – Lynne Lyman

In the middle of all the muck and chaos that is the Trump vs Clinton showdown it seems that we have forgotten some very important ballot measures that will result in real progress should they be passed. One of those is Prop 64 – the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Lynne Lyman who is the State Director of California for the Drug Policy Alliance stopped by the kitchen table to discuss this historical effort in great detail. Lynne is a wonderfully articulate and brilliant legal mind who can not only speak to Prop 64 but also to the entire history of our complicated relationship with the War on Drugs. Listening to her to speak was truly a joy as I learned so much and was fully enthralled. Ironically, the very next day after we did this podcast the DEA, once again, did not move Marijuana from being a Schedule 1 drug. The horror. Enjoy this episode.

INTRO RANT – TL reading, the DEA and their schedule one baffoon-ness

Lynne Lyman is the California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. Based in Los Angeles, Lyman leads DPA’s criminal justice reform work in California and oversees all other aspects of the organization’s policy and advocacy work in the state. A native of Los Angeles, Lyman joined the Drug Policy Alliance in 2012 after working with the civil rights organization, Advancement Project, on violence reduction, community policing and criminal justice reform.

VOTE YES:

http://www.yeson64.org

GET INVOLVED:

http://www.drugpolicy.org

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Blog - WAYN

Blog – Reality and Practice

Real time excerpts from my upcoming book “Who Are You Now? Technology, spirituality and the search for our very own identity”

Whatever you think reality is. That’s not it. That’s why these practices are so important. They are methods which can pierce the veil which then allows us to view things as they really are. Yoga, meditation, kirtan, psychedelics, making art, whatever..they all reveal the same a-ha moment. It’s just that those moments are short and fleeting. That’s why we do them regularly.The true value in any practice is the remembering, the taking it with you in everything you do. The Gita defines it “as remembering Krishna in every action you perform.” When you do that, this thing we call reality has more meaning and can certainly be a lot more fun to play around in. 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 54 – Gaura Vani and Benjy Wertheimer

Two of the great ambassadors and talents from the mantra music world stop by the kitchen table to discuss the origins of the universe and the very meaning of life! Not really but it sure seemed like that. But we did talk about the Chant4Change project going on in Washington DC on 10/08, the practice of Bhakti Yoga in the west, the power of sound, the essence of mantras and how to find a deeper connection no matter what faith you do or do not belong to.

Gaura Vani is a multi-disciplinary artist – fluent in music, film and visual arts. He is most known for his Mantra Music performances (an emerging genre based on ancient Indian mantras or chants). Gaura Vani’s events are unifying and transporting – a mix of participatory rhythm and song, story and dance. He travels often to Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia performing both as a solo artist and with his sacred music ensembles Sita & the Hanumen and As Kindred Spirits. Gaura Vani performs regularly at eclectic venues like private homes, theatres, temples, yoga studios as well as festivals like Lollapalooza, Bhakti Fest and Wanderlust.

Benjy Wertheimer is award-winning musician, composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist equally accomplished on tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards, Benjy Wertheimer has performed and recorded with such artists as Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Miten, Jai Uttal, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and renowned bamboo flute master G. S. Sachdev. He has also opened for such well-known artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden. Benjy is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed world fusion ensemble Ancient Future.

www.chant4change.com 

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It's All Happening Podcast

Book of the Month – The Journey Within

The Book of the Month selection is “The Journey Within” by Radhanath Swami. There really is no equal for this book in that there’s nothing else like it out.

Click on the image to purchase

It’s a step by step breakdown of the practice of bhakti yoga with as little dogma as possible. If you’re new to the path of yoga or an old time practitioner, this book gives new light to the origins and depths of these practices. Highly recommended reading.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 53 – Charles Shaw

As I travel through the urban sprawl and colorful cultural montage that is mid-city LA I come to a huge Victorian style house where Charles Shaw, the king of the new generation of gonzo-journalism is staying. This is where we do our podcast. Charles and I sit in a sweaty musty corner of this amazing artist complex maze and discuss a wide array of conspiracy theories, reality theories, political contradictions, personal roadblocks, the global security threat and how our own personal relationship got off on the wrong foot. I don’t agree with everything Charles says but he is wonderfully intelligent, seductively articulate and exhaustingly well researched. I can’t wait for the next one!

Charles Shaw is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir, “Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality” (2012, Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press) and the Director of the documentary films, “The Exile Nation Project: An Oral History of the War on Drugs & The American Criminal Justice System” (2011), “Visurreality” (2013), “WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair” (2013) and “Exile Nation: The Plastic People” (2014 Cinedigm Films: Executive Produced & Narrated by Edward James Olmos). He is currently in post-production on SOLDIERS OF THE VINE, a documentary series about healing war trauma with plant medicine.

His work has appeared in Alternet, Grist, Guardian UK, Huffington Post, openDemocracy & The New York Times. He was a contributing author to Planetizen’s Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning (2007, Island Press). In 2009 he was recognized by the San Diego Press Club for excellence in journalism.

He is the former Editorial Director of Conscious Enlightenment Publishing (Conscious Choice, Common Ground, Whole Life Times, and Seattle’s Conscious Choice), and the founder and publisher of Newtopia, former head writer for the nationally syndicated radio show Reality Checks.

He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Boston University. A native of Chicago, he lives on the West Coast.

Please support his crowd fund campaign for his latest project Soldiers of the Vine:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/soldiers-of-the-vine-cannabis#/

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