There are many great teachers and musicians who have come on the IAH podcast but I have to say that the magic, wisdom and love that Jai Uttal brought to the kitchen table was like nothing else. Jai effortlessly weaves together stories, knowledge and devotion into one voice like few others can do. We talked about his early days studying with Ali Akbar Khan, the landscape of spirituality and the 1960s, his passion for Indian classical music and kirtan and of course Neem Karoli Baba. Hearing Jai tell these stories had me forgetting that I was supposed to be on the other side of the table guiding the conversation. It was as if I was I was floating down the Ganga yearning for more of the unique musical magic that Jai creates. His new album “Roots, Rock, Rama!” is out now.
Jai Uttal has been rightly hailed as a world music pioneer. Singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, he was among the first to hear the universal heartbeat in the variegated rhythms of the globe. But his powerful, plangent voice and panoramic musical vision have also long been at the core of the yoga community’s tradition of call-and response devotional chanting known as kirtan. While his music is deeply rooted in Indian classical tradition—he studied long and hard under the Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan—it is also plentifully imbued with echoes of reggae, rock, folk, Brazilian music, Bollywood and other sounds from across the musical universe. All of these diverse and colorful strands are woven together beautifully on Roots, Rock, Rama!
Why are relationships so hard? If you’re anything like I am you’ve spent immeasurable time and effort clawing away at romantic relationships that just never seem to work out. For me personally, it’s been by far the biggest supplier of grist for the mill. When the offer came across my desk to have Stan on the podcast I immediately jumped on it because I not only wanted to bring his wisdom to you but I also wanted to get into the deep end of my own issues. I got so much out of this one. We talked about the patterns within relationships, our nervous systems, gender roles and history, neurobiology and why that plays a role and techniques for dealing with conflict. Stan is smart, wise, very well educated and compassionate. Check out his site, books and this podcast!
Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT). He has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA, where he has specialized for the last 15 years in working with couples and individuals who wish to be in relationships. He and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, developed the PACT Institute for the purpose of training other psychotherapists to use this method in their clinical practice.
In addition, Dr. Tatkin teaches and supervises first- through third-year family medicine residents at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, CA, and is an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. He is on the board of directors of Lifespan Learning Institute and serves as a core member on Relationships First, a nonprofit organization founded by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt.
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Live from the “Open Your Heart in Paradise” retreat in Maui, I’m joined by Krishna Das for a devotionally potent episode of the show. Not only is KD one of the important transmitters of Neem Karoli Baba’s teachings via his music, he’s also become one of the wisest, most vulnerable and real teachers on the path of love. Our time together covered taking a look at who we think we are, projections onto each other, sharing of his own current vulnerabilities and struggles, the practice of kirtan itself and the need to have fierce compassion in the face of trying times. I can’t say enough about KD and his importance in my life – I hope this episode covers some of that.
For Krishna Das, the journey started in the late 60’s. Krishna Das met spiritual seeker Ram Dass; he traveled across the country with Ram Dass as his student, captivated by the stories of his recent trip to India where he had met the legendary guru Neem Karoli Baba, known to most as Maharaj-ji. Finally, following his heart, in August 1970, Krishna Das left behind his dreams of being a rock star and made his way to meet this remarkable Being. Basking in the love of Maharaj-ji in the three years that followed, KD’s heart was drawn to the practice of Bhakthi Yoga – the yoga of devotion and after two and a half years with Maharaj-ji, he returned to USA – alas, six months after his return, word came that Maharaj-ji had died.
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The one and only Larry Brilliant is the guest for this episode for It’s All Happening. Larry is one of the great examples of combining purpose and seva with business. His new book ‘Sometimes Brilliant’ is out now and covers his life story that includes meeting his teacher Neem Karoli Baba to starting the SEVA foundation. On the show we talked about our current situation and how to make peace with it as well as a pin pointed look at the reality of our nations economic and education dilemma and what to do about it. Of course, we also talked about Neem Karoli Baba and what being a seeker was like in the early 70’s for a young doctor from Detroit. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this one – Larry is an endless well of knowledge, wisdom and love.
INTRO RANT – The nature of change
Larry Brilliant is an American physician, epidemiologist, technologist, author and the former director of Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Brilliant, a technology patent holder, has been CEO of two public companies and other venture backed start- ups. From 1973 to 1976, he participated in the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program. In April 2009, he was chosen to oversee the “Skoll Global Threats Fund” established by eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll.
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What can we say after what we just witnessed this past week? Few of us have any answers – only outrage. Few of us have any composure – only rage. Few of us have any solutions – only confusion. In the face of such an unexpected landslide where hate and ignorance won knowing what to do next is so hard. Ram Dass beamed into the podcast this week to spread some love, compassion and understanding about what happened. That is followed by Jason Louv who takes us through a history of the alt-right and how we got to this point in our culture. It’s a wonderful history lesson that we should all understand and take part in. Jason is an elegant and brilliant mind who can make sense of some of the most fringe aspects of life.
INTRO RANT – confusion on this Veterans Day and remembering what they fought for.
Jason Louv is: “One of humanity’s best mutant scouts on the frontiers of human experience.” – R. U. Sirius
Jason Louv is the author of Hyperworlds, Underworlds, The Angelic Reformation, Monsanto vs. the World and Queen Valentine, and the editor of Generation Hex, Ultraculture Journal and Thee Psychick Bible.
For the last fifteen years, Jason’s work has explored the outer reaches of human culture and possibility, through both science fiction and journalistic expeditions into some of the world’s strangest belief systems. His work shines with wit, compassion and an immense drive to share his enlightening experiences with his readers.
Ram Dass is one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. He is the very manifestation of love.
Leah Pearlman joins the IAH podcast to share the story of her life’s journey which is truly worth taking note of. It’s one of those stories that you perhaps hear a little something about but then forget to follow up on how it turned out. A bright, creative young woman leaves a dream job as an early employee at Facebook to set out on a spiritual journey that was inspired by death, addiction, Burning Man, self love and an overall desire to share the path of the heart with everyone! The manifestation of her journey and intention took form in the wonderfully profound and simple Dharmacomics.com – talking to Leah about this, her journey and all it’s twists and turns inspired me and forced me to step back and take a look at my own journey. I hope everyone who listens to this finds something here that will inspire a little time to reflect and admire your own brilliance and to possibly make changes where possible. Leah is a wonderful shining light.
INTRO RANT – A look at the prospect that we are living in a simulation and why so many Silicon Valley minds find the “simulation hypothesis” a real thing. Check out The Guardian article here
Leah Pearlman drew her first comic in 2010 when her dad’s cancer went into remission. She drew a comic announcing the good news and posted it on Facebook.
A week later, after encouraging a friend to “follow his heart,” an image of someone literally following his heart popped into her mind. She laughed, and then put it on paper.
And so it goes. About once a week, ever since, she’s been moved by something or someone in her life. She illustrates the moment to celebrate it and the person who inspired her and posts the image online for anyone else it may touch. People often reflect that Dharma Comics have a deeply personal feel; that is because each one is deeply personal. They all have a story.
“Dharma” is a Sanskrit word, often used in Buddhism to refer to the teachings that offer us guidance in life. Dharma can also refer to one’s own purpose or path. Your “Dharma” is what you are meant to do. Leah often says the name is twofold: Dharma Comics are comics about Dharma, but they have also proven to be her dharma, what she is meant to do.
Trevor stopped by the kitchen table for this truly inspiring episode of IAH. Trevor’s gift to the world is his song but what transpires through his music, being and soul is so much more. Like so many of the great artists who came before him, Trevor is thoughtful, smart, intuitive, aware and you get the feeling when talking to him that he’s seeing the world in the way that others are not. Our conversation ranged from his early days and upbringing, spirituality in life and music, why love really does heal all wounds and the quest to constantly explore and be a seeker. I’m somewhat of a late convert to Trevor’s music and am so grateful that I get to discover this well of brilliance at this point in life.
INTRO RANT – When did anti-intellcualism and the celebration of ignorance become the norm?
As an eleven year old, playing harmonica beside his father in South Carolina, music quickly became Trevor’s most intimate companion, guide and creative outlet. In his elementary years, he began to write his own songs and perform them locally. At sixteen he recorded his first record, and the following year he left South Carolina to study classical guitar at Idyllwild Arts Academy, an international boarding school east of Los Angeles. There, Trevor was introduced to yoga and certain spiritual practices found in India, which greatly influenced his music and his life journey. During his senior year, Trevor signed a record deal with Geffen Records and his career as a musician formally began.
Trevor quickly broke through the music scene, with such early accomplishments in his career as having a song recorded on the Shrek the Third soundtrack, as well as joining a series of sold-out tours with artists such as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, SOJA, Brett Dennen and Colbie Callait. Trevor’s quick rise on the scene, however, was ripe with challenges that conflicted with his spiritual life and devotional practice. In order to parallel his life’s path with the messages in his music, Trevor moved into a traditional Hindu ashram in Southern California in 2008. When not on tour, he lived as a monk and devoted his days to spiritual practice and service. His involvement with the temple affected his music and his music quickly became his practice.
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
“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.”