Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Asana Dance

Last weekend was incredible. Sharonji and Davidji came out of Dance retirement for an outstanding performance with Sandhi and Louis. Omega hosted a weekend conference in NYC entitled Being Yoga. I was not able to make it to classes as I was teaching for most of the time the conference was happening but I did have the opportunity to go on Friday night. The evening began with a performance by MC Yogi. He got the energy up in the room as we chanted to Ganesh to help remove obstacles for Obama on his way to the whitehouse. He then made way for Sharonji and Davidji. The people in the room gave a warm welcome not to mention loud. You have to understand the dynamics of the situation though. As yoga has become popular many teachers have become stuck out and helped to shape the contemporary face of yoga in the west. Sharon and David are two of these people. They like many others work tirelessly on so many projects. They have authored three books already and hare working on two now. Traveling around the world teaching in Canada before the conference and Russia just a few days after the schedule does not allow for much down time. With this in mind Sharon choregraphed the dance herself to music which she composed and sang herself. The song is a chant to the Guru in the form of Peace, Knowledge, Bliss and Absolute. David did a slide show that had many different great teachers. Sandhi and Sharon along with David and Louis really balanced each other well. Duncan was teaching at the conference as well so we got to hang a bit during and after. I hope you enjoy the pics.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Seoul Day 3

Thursday was a big day. We began teaching at Jai two classes one open and one basic. In the evening we went to teach at Ilsan which is about 40 minuets north west of Seoul at a place called Yoga-Holic.I had met the owner Shim at the Asia Yoga Conference in Hong Kong. We showed up about 2 hours before the class was supposed to begin so we took a walk. Shim showed us Lake Park, there were parts that you could walk out a bit on what seemed like a plank about a shallow pond with huge lily pads. It was right before sunset and so the sky was beautiful on the way back to the center. The students were very open and receptive not to mention playful. It was great to look out at the faces. No one had taken a Jivamukti Yoga class before except for Michael. We began with a short journey into what is Jivamukti Yoga and then an open class. At the end of class Shim brought out fruit and we took pictures which he posted on the Yoga-Holic website. Afterwards Tomo and I drove back to . The following day friday was a holiday and I was hoping to see some people that until then did not have a chance to make it to class.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seouled Out

After an amazing time in Japan it was time to head for Korea or as my friend Michael Egan (Maru) insist Corea. I flew in on Tuesday the 1st of October and had a little time off. It was nice to not teach for almost 24hrs. When I go to Korea I stay with the super halfu Tomosapien also know as Tomo. He is the reason that I started teaching in Korea and has been the connection between me and the yoga community. He is one of the most generous people I know and I feel blessed to have him in my life. He came to an adjustment workshop in Japan about a year and a half ago and invited me to teach in Korea. It has been happening ever since. It was my third trip to Korea and each time it get better. I taught the following day at a space called Jai Yoga. One Basic class followed by an Open class. I was done with my day around 1 pm and we went out for some Bimibap. It is a traditional meal that is served in many places. It consist of a large bowl filled with rice. On top of the rice you have an assortment of veggies. You then put some kind of hot paste on top with some sesame oil and stir the whole thing up. It is really delicious and in fact I ate it almost every day. By the time we had finished eating and got back to the apartment I we were both a bit tired and ended up sleeping till the next day. The next day was a full one and we needed our rest.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Goodbye Dinner

My last night in Tokyo after teaching for about 2 weeks was amazing. Miki Hiro created an sensational dinner. I had no idea he could cook and not only did he cook but produced dish after dish of the most delightful food. It was a very small occasion and the only person missing was Padmini. She also works in fashion and I think fashion week was happening in Paris and so she was on call and could not come. From left to right Hiro is a japanese man that lives in Bali. He came to all of the classes at UTL. Then was Lily on the top with the plate. She has been coming to classes for the past 2 years or so and is bundle of energy. Below her is Ryoko who I met for the first time that night. Below her is Santosima a former model/actress turned super yogini/ayurvedic mystic...bimiO...then in the blue is another Ryoko. She came to class earlier this year and has a very strong practice. She is a contemporary dancer and travels around the world for dance competitions. Next to her is Kanji the tallest Japanese guy ever and the boyfriend to Ryoko number 1. The second picture is the same except the the guy in the white is Miki Hiro super cook.

Tokyo Day 4

I was up way to late the night before. As you might be able to tell from the picture. I was pretty tired and I was about to teach a 2.5hr workshop on adjustments at Under the Light. The class was amazing. Kanae was the translator and she did a great job. Adjustment workshops are always a lot of fun as we do partner work and they have to pick someone they do not know. We focused on backbending asanas with some hip opening. The class flew by and before I knew it we were done.
We were all pretty sweaty and felt great. After we some us went to two places the first was an Indian festival and then Meiji Jingu Temple in Yoyogy park. The festival was packed and it took about 20 minutes of standing on line to order any food. There were many booths selling food but only one of them had completely vegetarian food. We then walked to the temple and on the way the sidewalk was filled with so many musicians and bands...right next to each other. Most of the were playing some form of Rock and Roll. It was kind of crazy because you had to be right in front of the band to be able to distinguish it from the band next to it. At least 15 bands lined up. After we got past them we walked to the temple which is a very famous place and many people consider it to be a hot spot in Japan for high energy. It is a popular place to get married and I think Govinda and Mae had there wedding there. A wedding was happening when we got there and it was beautiful to see what we could of a traditional ceremony. There was only one way in and out and there was a huge entrance way (in the pic below) We then headed of to Mikis apartment as he was cooking dinner for us .

Tokyo Day 3

Saturday was almost like a day off, I only had to teach one class in the afternoon so I spent the day walking around. I went to Shibuya and walked to Omote Sando and Harajuku. It was a beautiful day out and I spent my time walking into the different small shops. Many of the small shops carry clothes made by local designers and you cannot find the designs anywhere else. I bought a few things for my brother because his birthday is coming up. That evening I taught at Under the Light Studio. The workshop was “What is Jivamukti Yoga” The studio was very nice and the students were very excited to be there. After class I had an interview with Sotokoto. It is an environmental magazine that seems to be very popular. The woman interviewing me was very nice as was the photographer. They were both very interested in what the yoga community is doing for the environment and how the Jivamukti method is doing its part in the work needed to create a better world. I talked a little bit about my work with HHA and then of course we went into the vegetarian and vegan discussion. Many people are unaware of just how much an impact being vegan a few days a week can be let alone a lifetime. The U.N. says that animals raised for food cause more greenhouse gas then all of the cars, trucks and suvs in the world combined...that is a lot. Being vegan is not just for me or you or a couple of animals, but the whole planet. After explaining this to them they nodded politely smiled and then asked if there was anything else besides being vegan or vegetarian... It is funny how much people can be for the environment and expect everyone around them to change but choose to stay the same or refuse to see how their actions affect the world. Not everyone drives a hummer or dumps oil or shoots people but everyone eats and usually three times a day, some times more or less. But every time we do we are making a choice to support harm to the world or not. A farm of 5,000 pigs creates the same amount of fecal matter as a town of 50,000 people that is ten times the amount, a lot of shit. Where does that go...”away” where is away and how can I get there? The meat and dairy industry is the number 2 polluter and user of water and oil the number 1 is the military. So can we be for the environment and eat meat or support the need for clean drinking water and have some pork? Fish is no different. The small fisherman is very scarce. These days the ocean is being emptied by huge boats or filled by genetically modified fish. The dredging by the boats kills countless creatures and the GM fish create massive amounts of excrement in the ocean causing the proliferation of sea lice and the suffocation of other sea creatures. I was trying to point out how intricately connected everything is and that our food choices have a huge impact on the earth. We did eventually talk of other ways to be more conscious of the way we treat the earth talking about bringing your own bag when shopping or your own chopsticks. Many people in Japan are surprised when I pull out my own chopsticks. I am always surprised when they do not. So many places have the disposable kind which is a bit crazy considering everyone uses chopsticks. It would be like all the restaurants carrying throwaway forks and spoons. After the interview I went out for dinner with Miki the guy that I am staying with in Tokyo. He started an amazing website called Yoga-Gene. Please check it out. Norisan the owner of Under the Light also came. He is a very cool guy that used to be in IT and now owns the studio. The next day was the last in Tokyo so I stayed out a bit later then I should have I guess...

Tokyo Day 1 & 2


Thursday night I taught two classes at my favorite place in Tokyo, Flow Arts If you go to Tokyo please check them out especially Padmini. She has been helping me for the past 2 years with all of my travels and she is the reason that the classes at Flow Arts are mat to mat. No space in-between. The room is small and gets super hot and sweaty. Its sooooo much fun for me and the students. Many people say they only sweat this much twice a year when I come to town. We bagan with a Basic class then an Open class. I had flown in from Fukouka on the same day and byt the end of the night I was a little tired. Friday was the same schedule minus the flight. After the last class on Friday some of us went out for dinner and the main subject was teacher training. Many people are interested in the Jivamukti method but are afraid to come because of the language barrier. There are five book reports and they have to write and read in english. A friend of mine is taking the teacher training he is half Japanese and half Korean. He started a mixi page and is willing do start study groups in Japan or Korea to help people understand the readings and help with any writing. Padmini is also taking the training so you could ask her any questions you have as well. Again if you are interested please visit the mixi page started by Tomo he is willing to talk to people about questions and really would like to form a study group for people who would like to join and talk about the books and the book reports. (The picture is from last year but many of the same people came so I used it again. My cat chewed my camera charger so no camera for me)

Saturday, October 4, 2008



I arrived in Fukouka tuesday night and was greeted by two very special beings...Heeki and her husband Rejun. They were so hospitable and kind to me. They took me to eat at amazing places and one of the best parts was the dogs they have, one is Toltori which means smart dog. A super cute 14 year old Yorkshire. There are two other dogs Chihuahuas, Barbie and Wee Wee. Wee Wee is french (OuiOui) but I think she is the one that left me a little surprise next to my luggage so I call her Wee Wee like Pee Pee. I was only in Fukouka but one day but I taught three 2.5hrs workshops...First was Living Liberated (in the picture above left) then a workshop on adjustments then Chakra Tunning Jivamukti style. It was great and everyone really enjoyed. In fact it was a family affair. Heeki translated the two workshops at Yoga Breeze the first one her husband took along with his sister and mother. I did not realized they were all related until after class. The room got super hot and people got a good sweat in. The second class at YB was Chakra Tunning and it was in the evening. The adjustment class in the middle of the day was nice and small. There were 11 of us. Its really nice to have a small group. My friend Shiho an amazing DJ has a small studio space that only fits 11. Heeki and Rejun took me to some really delicious restaurants, they knew all of the little tradiotnal places that served veggy and vegan food. The next day I was very sad to leave Fukouka with such incredible hosts but I had a flight to Tokyo and was teaching that evening an Open class and a Basic class. So I say goodbye to the amazing space of Yoga Breeze and the Jivamukti family there and headed to Tokyo.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Osaka Kyoto

Kyoto and Osaka

I took the train after teaching and dinner from Yokohama to Kyoto. Two students from the HHA class were also on the train so they helped me navigate a little. I was greeted at the station by the translator and super cool lady Chiho (Chiho and Tomoko in the picture below). She did all of the translating in the Kansai area. I checked into the Hotel and knocked out hard... The next morning we went to Osaka to teach HHA at a placed called Studio Yoggy (in the picture above). They have a very strong Anusara influnce and John Friend taught there before the Hong Kong conference. In fact it was the first non Anusara workshop they had ever had. The students were very receptive and the manager Tomoko was very sweet. After class I rode the train back to Kyoto 1 hour and taught again. This time at a place called Tamisa which is smaller but very sweet. By the end of class I was ready for a game of naps but as usual we went of for dinner with some students and talked about class, veganism and some were interested in the Jivamukti Teacher Training. For those of you in Japan interested in Jivamukti Teacher Training please visit http://mixi.jp/view_community.pl?id=3509936

The next day I taught in Kyoto in the morning a class on What is Jivamukti Yoga then off to Osaka for another workshop. Both classes were great and sold out however classes in Japan have much more space between the mats then in the sates. Some of the studios I have taught at before know the drill and put people close but others are reluctant as they do not want to disturb the students. I can understand but I like it close and hot so we are working on it. After the two workshops Tomoko came and met us for dinner with her daughter. She was sooooo cute. I then got on the train for Fukouka for one of the best parts of the trip......

Thursday, October 2, 2008



After teaching in Nagoya Kumiko and I headed out to Yokokhama for the Yoga Festa. We taught Hip Hop Asana and it was soooooo much fun. The class was 3.5 hours with a half hour break in the middle. Having been sold out for over two months there was a lot of anticipation. Again there were many new students and those who had taken my class many times. I did not get to see the venue very much and there were some people I was hoping to see on this trip but missed. I would have liked to take some classes with Govinda Kai and Duncan Wong but I did not have the time. I ran into Uncle Dunks and as always he is a whirlwind of energy. He is one of the hardest working men in the yoga community today, traveling, teaching, giving demonstrations etc. I also wanted to take class with Ken Harakuma perhaps next time. I did see Ken but we did not get a chance to talk. He is a very sweet and soft spoken man. Hip Hop Asana on the other hand was loud and sweaty. We began class with Aka Pan...not his real name it means Red Pants, because his pants are always red...anyway he taught some hip hop dance to the class for about 10 minutes instead of Surya Namaskar. It was great. People were dancing, sweating, laughing and seemed to really be getting into it. Afterwards we went into some arm balances and the second half was a bit slower and I talked a bit more about what HHA is. Anytime I teach a HHA class the money I make is put aside so that when I return to the states I use the money to teach at places for free or purchase blocks or mats for those who come to class but cannot afford them. It also gives me the freedom to teach more without asking for anything in return. At the end of the class again we went out for some vegan dinner. Its great to share dinner with students and especially those who do not usually eat vegan. Afterwards Kumiko and I split up, she went to Tokyo and I went out to Kyoto, Osaka and Fukouka. It was a sad but necessary moment...ummmm I think Kumiko was ready to get rid of me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back to Japan City by City


My first stop in Japan on this trip was Nagoya. Nagoya is a great city and I taught at a placed called My Soul 8 www.mysoul8.com. Kumiko was with me and did all of the translating. She is amazing. The first class was on What is Jivamukti Yoga. We talked about the 5 tenets and had fun with the asana practice. It was great to see so many people again and to meet new people as well. After class Kumiko and I led Satsang. The satsang was by donation and the money we raised was donated to NaYoga, an NPO that promotes and helps different yoga teachers from Japan and elsewhere at different venues. The satsang was focused creating community and the strength a strong yoga school can encourage in the students to feel confident in their ability to create change first in themselves and then the world. We watched the Chew On This DVD which you can see at www.peta.org. After satsang we went to dinner together...not everyone but a few of us. A very small place that I love to eat at in Nagoya. Its owned by a guy and his wife and they have the veggies delivered fresh daily and all the food is locally grown. Kumiko and I stayed the night in Nagoya before we headed out to Yokohama for the Yoga Festa.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Satsang speaks

I am so happy to be back and able to practice in a class. Traveling and practicing by yourself is great but I have missed the feeling of being in class surrounded by other students. The satsang in this city as a whole is as eclectic as it is powerful. Within two weeks I was able to be part of so many amazing events in the city. Two stand out and seem very different but had very similar affects on me. First was a film screening of a documentary on Horse Carriages in New York City. If you are not familiar they are the old school buggy made of heavy wood, a driver with a whip and however many passengers being dragged by a horse that has probably spent their life running in circles and being the money generator for their human counterparts. I never liked these Horse carriages but they have been in New York as long as I have been alive and sometimes it becomes hard to see things that have been in front of you for so long. I acknowledge the presence and my distaste for it but never spoke out as I did with other animal rights issues I thought were important. Its very easy to get wrapped up in some "larger" idea and forget that the larger idea can be sparked to life by what seem to be smaller challenges. I did not really see the horse carriages until I watched this documentary. I was invited by a friend Jannette Patterson to join her, John Phillips and many other spectacular beings. In fact we did a go around and introduced ourselves, the room was small and the number of people seemed few however they had all been doing such amazing things that the toom seemed huge. There was of course John who is the Director of the League of Humane Voters, Jannette who is the Regional Director for PETA, Michael a communications director for a city council woman, a prospective council woman an ex president of Humane Society based in Puerto Rico among others. Danny Moss the Director gave a great intro to the film and it began. ( http://www.blindersthemovie.com/ official website ) It was very insightful and penetrating bordering on graphic. I felt inspired by the film which is Danny's first, to become not only more active about this particular cruelty to horses but remembering to speak for those that have no voice and I was reminded of how easy that can be. We all have a group of people around us that we can reach out to and we must do it in different ways. Some of us may choose to see the film and tell others about. Some may see it and want to join some kind of peaceful action like picketing and others donate money to those who do it all. I was inspired to reinvest my energies into the world in another stream, that of words. The immense suffering of these animals is not just out dated but obscene and there is no one listening to them just as there is no one listening to animals around the world that scream to live a free and happy life. We can stay active by letting others know it is not alright. You can vote for politicians that defend the animals, you can write to those who speak up for animal rights as well as those that do not. Joining you local PETA friendly bunch handing out flyers about the treatment of the horses, or you can donate to organizations that make these things happen.

Please check out the documentary http://www.blindersthemovie.com/

The League of Human Voters has been involved with issues concerning the horses but also provide information on council members and their stances on various issues concerning animal welfare. Please check them out at http://www.humanenyc.org/

Of course PETA. has a section on it http://blog.peta.org/archives/carriage_horses/

Please read write listen speak we cannot do everything but we can at least say something.

Let me know how you feel about horse carriages and why they have not been taken out of NYC. Or if there are any leafletings please let us know.

The second event was a dance performance. My dear friend Ha-chi Yu who has not been dancing for a while was in a new performance and I arrived into the city during its last weekend. Perfect timing. I do not know much about dance and I have not seem many pieces but this was wondrous. She had a solo performance that was breathtaking. It was an adaptation of Odette from Swan Lake battling with herself. In this case a dancer and non dancer attempting to resolve their dilemma. The amount of awareness these dancers had and the choreography was very inspiring. I had been practicing since I returned to New York as usual but the dedication the tapas they had manifested in the performance kindled a desire to go deeper into being a student. Great art can enliven or desire to be more proficient in the things we love, whether it be our job our beloved our children it can stir us to do keep working. This piece had that effect and I am so grateful to have been one of the many in the crowd.

The group, Ballet Tech, was started by Eliot Feld as a tuition free ballet school for New York City Public School children.

You can check out her group at http://www.ballettech.org/


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Back to NY

I am heading back to NYC and very excited. I am happy for a number of reasons, first of course is that I will be back home, with my family and friends. Another reason is that I have created a whole new home with its own set of family and friends in Japan and Korea. This trip has taught me a lot about myself, my reasons for teaching and the power of Yoga as a force for positive change in the world. I am incredibly grateful for Sharonji and Davidji who have laid down a foundation that allows for us to travel and teach. By us I mean all teachers not just Jivamukti Yoga teachers. They have been doing this for so long and in such a way that they have not only created a desire for Jivamukti Yoga but sparked a desire to use Yoga as a tool for enlightenment for all beings. Do I hope that the world becomes enlightened yes...Do I think that it will happen..no. The practices of yoga ways in which we can heighten our awareness and thus make better choices. Some people lecture, others sing or play an instrument...I teach yoga. I cannot teach without the past and current efforts of not only my teachers but of all those who come to class. I want to thank everyone that has come to class over the past month. I appreciate your presence more then I can say. You have all taught me so much and it is because of you that I continue to have the inspiration needed to teach. Please use this blog to share with others your experience, your ideas, hopes and aspirations. We must continue to communicate with others. As we communicate we learn and evolve. As we evolve we see and feel the interconnectedness of all beings and thus the happiness and suffering of all beings. We yogies must work towards a better world and that begins with ourselves. Making choices that reflect your beliefs so that we can all become an example just with our being.

For more about yoga in Korea please check out www.jaicenter.co.kr and www.all4all.co.kr
For Yoga in Japan please check out www.lotus8.co.jp and www.flowarts.jp

Peace and Light

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Lots of it here...I am ready for a veggie burger and some fries from curly's like you wouldn't believe please check them out http://www.curlyslunch.com/. Seoul is great and I got to walk around a lot yesterday with my Korean big sister. Its amazing how differnt the skyline is from NY. You can see small hills sitting in front of large building and it is an interesting contrast. Checked out some Korean graffiti which is pretty tight. You can check out the video below. Today is the last day of Open and Basic classes. Jai Yoga Studio and I are donating all the money made from todays class to an animal shelter outside of Seoul. The students are excited about it and the class should be great. Leave Korea on Monday to Japan for a day and get back to NY on Tuesday the 15th of April which is about a month earlier the originally planned. I will be teaching my regular classes at the downtown center starting on Thursday the 16th. Perhaps I will see you then.

Peace and Light

Sunday, April 6, 2008


I am officially half way through my stay here in South Korea. It has not been the easiest of trips up to this point. It has been only one of a very few number of trips that I organized with no manager or promoter of any kind other then myself and my friends. I have an amazing amount of respect and admiration to those people who do this in a larger scale then I do on a more regular basis. The traveling teachers of the world must work hard to continue the propulsion of not just the teachings but of the physical and non physical bodies, their own and the "students." Today was by far one of the highlights of my trip here in Korea. I taught a workshop entitled Jivamukti Yoga: Living Liberated. The class was just about sold out and the students were ready willing and able. It is a treat when you greet such a class that is open to the concept of Liberation, willing to explore the idea through contemplation of the effects of their actions, and open enough to explore their bodies and minds in search for who they truly are and have always been. Many people are excited at the prospect of what they came become good at, what they can add to their repertoire instead we focused today on trying to find out what we already are and what a liberating concept that truly is. I was able to have dinner with some of the students afterwards and talk about their experiences which in turn taught me even more then I could have even hoped to have conveyed to them. Later in the evening I watched the movie Zeitgeist. If you have not seen it I implore, beg, pray that you will watch it. www.zeitgeistmovie.com. It starts a bit slow but if you can give it at least 20 minutes of your undivided attention I assure you that you will be at least intrigued. We are ingenious at creating ways to divide, separate and section ourselves off from other beings human and non. We are perhaps more disconnected from nature and each other now then at any other point in our lives. This inability to recognize our interdependence on a large scale leaves us open to manipulation from our insecurities, our unhealthy habits and warped sense of self determination. I give thanks to all those who work towards bringing joy through unity. It is our ability to bring joy into the lives of others that brings us the longest lasting happiness as it creates happiness around us, we are supported when we lift up others and we are more safe when we provide for others. This does not meant that we hold hands, sit in a circle and chant and hug and give each other massages. In fact the opposite it means we must get over our small self's and start connecting with all things manifest, not just our computers, or our yoga buddies or our long time friends although it is a good place to start. We must be a voice that is heard, a voice in unison a voice speaking for liberation from our self imposed societal bonds, the unnecessary suffering of countless beings in all forms around the world. Its easier said then done. Their is no one size fits all solution but we can all agree on one thing and that is we can all do a little better and a little more and if we did it would make a huge difference.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your questions comments and concerns is why I have created this digital space so please feel free to post anything from events people can attend, to links to other forums. A few place to check for ways to begin the journey are listed below.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

I've got Seoul

Seoul, South Korea a little past 6:15 on Thursday the 3rd of April. I've been here for about four days. So far its been great. Class sizes have not been as large as Japan but this is only my 2nd time here. I am staying pretty much in the very center of Seoul which is cool as I can walk around for hours and see the city. Its my favorite way to explore. I just walk as far as I can in one direction then walk back to my point of origin then off in another direction. I am staying with my boy Tomo. I wish I could post more pics of him and the center I am teaching at but my camera is not working. Awesome. Tomo is trained in macrobiotic cooking and he is the man in the kitchen. Which is good because its not so easy to eat vegan without speaking the language. The food is the bomb if you can find and Tomo know all the spots. I am teaching at a place called Jai Yoga you can check it out at www.jaicenter.co.kr it a dope spot and the woman that owns it, Jaya, is super sweet and really is supporting the Jivamukti method. This weekend there are two workshops one is an Introduction to Jivamukti going into the 5 tenets and the other is called Living Liberated explaining how to use the tools of the method in every day life to draw us closer to the goal of yoga. Hopefully by then I will have a camera and can share some pics with ya.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Japan is done...for now

What it is world. I am in Seoul now. Just got here yesterday, Monday from Tokyo. Japan was amazing. It has been a bit warmer there then usual, and the Sakura, cherry blossoms are in bloom. Its one of the most beautiful things I have seen. The enthusiasm out here for Jivamukti is amazing. The trip started in Tokyo where Kumiko and I taught with this guy Ma-Rock. He is super sweet and tries very hard...the workshop was great...space not so amazing. It was a bit funny actually he rented a small theater usually used for one person acts like comdey or monologues. That meant a bunch of chairs piled in the back of the room and a low floor with raised platform in the rear and a bit dusty. After that we took of to Nagoya and Gifu which was the shit. First two classes in Gifu one of them had over 130 people. Here is a link to one of the vids


They guy is playing something called a Santoor and I think he is the only one in Japan that plays one. After class there was a performance of classical south indian dance. It was a full on event. The next day we went back to Nagoya and taught a Hip Hop Asana class. I had a Hip Hop dance teacher come in instead of Surya Namaskar. It was pretty funny to see some of the people dancing. After that we headed back to Tokyo. Each day there were classes one basic and one open. On the last day we had a satsang and everyone that came was asked to bring food vegan of course. Some people had store bought food but most people cooked. It was great. I could not have done the class without the help of the amazing Kumiko Buckman and Padmini.
More to come...

Peace and Light

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Mysticism of Sound and Music

I gave up my music because I had received from it all I had to receive.
To serve God one must sacrifice the dearest thing, and I sacrificed my music, the dearest thing to me.
I had composed songs, I sang, and played the vina.
Practicing this music I arrived at a stage where I touched the music of the spheres.
Then every soul became for me a musical note, and all life became music. Inspired by it I spoke to the people,
and those who were attracted by my words listened to them instead of listening to my songs.
Now, if I do anything , it is to tune souls instead of notes.
If there is anything in my philosophy, it is the law of harmony:
that one must put oneself in harmony with oneself and with others.
I have found in every word a certain musical value, a melody in every thought , harmony in every feeling, and I have tried to interpret the same with clear and simple words to those who used to listen to my music.
I played the vina until my heart turned into the same instrument.
Then I offered this instrument to the divine Musician, the only musician existing. Since then I have become His flute, and when He chooses He plays His music.
The people give me credit for this music which , in reality, is not due to me, but to the Musician who plays on His own instrument.

"Hazrat Inayat Khan"
Indian Sufi Master (1882-1927)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Back with Devotion

A month in London and 14hours in Brussels and 16hours in the sky and I am back in NYC. I love NYC........no city like it. Here for a month and a couple weeks before I head out to asia for about two and half months.

Could not have come back at a better time Ishvara Pranidhana: The Power of Surrender is the focus of the month and it is not written by Sharonji... This might be in fact one of the first times that a fellow teacher has written a focus that has made it to the public. Very exciting. Sofi Dillof is an amazing woman and the author. Ishvara which is our own personal form of the Divine is said to pass down to us through Vishnu the preserver. Pranidhana is to give it up so to speak to Dhan you Pran to offer your life to a higher sense of self and other. Although Sofi does not discuss it directly she is also referring to the practice of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion. And really devotion is or should be at the heart of all yogic practices if we are desiring the goal of yoga.

"One who practices meditation solely for his own spiritual development may advance on the path but will fail to attain the supreme goal. This failure is because his practice is limited to a desire for his individual accomplishment..."

This is from the introduction to a book called The Yoga Of Spiritual Devotion. It is a translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras and are to Bhakti what Patanjali's Sutras are to Raja. I will be reading fromt his book throughout the month and I suggest you look into it.

More to come....peace, j

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Classes with Sharon and David

I have heard from everyone that Sharonji and Davidji's classes were very good. Can anybody share some good bits their class for teaching the focus of the month from them? Any of your own ideas would be great as well. I have been focusing on the importance of secrecy with some of your desires and prayers. And by not talking about it with many people you maintain in some instances a heightened special connection with and a stronger momentum to the realization of the prayer...


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

what it is

Hello everyone. First thank you for coming to my website and for checking out the blog. Although the website so far has only info on me I want it to become a forum for anyone who would like to use it. This blog is the beginning. Please use this to ask questions, post comments, share ideas etc. My hope is that through my travels and yours we will meet and inspire many beings. But once we leave it can become hard for us to maintain the sense of community we had created. This blog is a chance for us all to stay connected to each other...

more to come