There is nothing quite like tripping the light fantastic with David Silver. Episode 110 of the podcast brings David back to the show in the form of an exploration into our world today that only David can present. Our talk did dance in the political arena for a bit solely out of the desire to examine the surrealist schism that it is. We also talked about the passing of Siddhi Ma, our changing relationship with media, the success of the 60's, the protest movement and rock and roll. David is one of the finest minds on the planet today. Enjoy.
INTRO RANT - Remembering Siddhi Ma
This episode is sponsored by Belle Sante Beauty
David Silver started his innovative media career in the late sixties hosting WGBH-TV’s “What’s Happening Mr. Silver?” David’s 1979 Warner Brothers feature “No Nukes” helped start the whole trend of music/activism feature documentaries.
He also wrote the Billboard #1 MGM film, “The Compleat Beatles” the biopic movie of choice about history’s most famous band. David has worked with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Roger Waters and many others. He has created dozens of CD’s and movies, including pairing Allen Ginsberg with Paul McCartney, and producing the film biography of Timothy Leary. In 2009, David was the consultant to Ang Lee, the Academy Award-winning director, on his Universal/Focus Features release, “Taking Woodstock.” Since 2006, he has also been writing, directing and consulting with Ram Dass’s Love Serve Remember Foundation and, in 2012, directed the “Cultivating Loving Awareness” documentary.
For 50 years Bruce Margolin has been leading the charge for the reform of marijuana laws in California through this law practice and policy stewardship. To say he is a legend in the world of counter culture criminal defense law is an understatement. He is truly one of the great personalities, thinkers and leaders of our time. Our conversation covered so much of the rich tapestry of his life, journey, the state of cannabis laws and a very special detour. That detour comes in the form of this: in 1972 Bruce was the attorney for Tim Leary in his prison escape case. The time he spent with Timothy and the stories he tells are essential in forming a complete picture of the Leary saga. You can't make this stuff up. Tune into this episode to go on a journey into one of the most fascinating lives and front row seats that you'll ever come across.
INTRO RANT - Net Neutrality
This episode is sponsored by Belle Sante Beauty
Bruce M. Margolin has over 40 years experience in defending the rights of his clients. He is equally as passionate at working to reform laws he believes to be unjust. To that end, Mr. Margolin is also the Director of the Los Angeles chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and has been so for over 30 years.
The nature of grief and how it can turn your life upside down is one of the most charged and misunderstood subjects in Western culture. Grief, especially around death, has no rule book which is why most people encounter it unprepared when something tragic happens. Episode #108 of the podcast features Megan Devine the author of "It's Ok That You're Not Ok - Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand." Her expressive thoughtfulness and razor sharp opinions on the topic will leave you curious, softer and more accepting of how pain can and should work in ones life. Our conversation could have gone on for two hours - there are so many corners to explore. She is a fantastic soul. Enjoy.
INTRO RANT - Ram Dass "A Letter to Rachel"
This episode is sponsored by Belle Sante Beauty
Megan Devine is a psychotherapist, writer, grief advocate, & communication expert dedicated to helping you live through things you never thought you’d face. I’m proud to have created an online community and resource that helps people survive some of the hardest experiences of their lives. Through my book, podcasts, and online courses, I help people learn the skills they need to love themselves – and each other – better.
The grace and wisdom of Daniele Bolelli enlightens the IAH podcast for Episode 107! It blows me away how Daniele can traverse the edge of so many different disciplines while being comfortable and authoritative in each. Our conversation covered comparative religion, the nature of fear, Americas confusion and how better to understand MMA. Check out all the great work Daniele does in his books and his podcast, "History on Fire." I hope this is the first of many podcasts we do together!
INTRO RANT - The tangents of #metoo and what to learn.
Daniele Bolelli is a writer, martial artist, university professor, and podcaster. He was born in Italy and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Episode 106 of IAH dives deep into one of the core issues that STILL plagues not only our country but our species as a whole. That is the issue of racism. Because of all the recent ugly examples that have bubbled up in America lately I wanted to dicsect the issue from a solution oriented perspective but also from a place that identifies the root level issue and not the superficial one. DJ's intelligence, rational objectivity, education and passion was able to guide me through a landscape that I know only so little about. DJ is really one of the most astute voices on the state of African American narrative in the US today. He'll be a return guest for sure!
INTRO RANT - Race and the Island Example
DJ. Salmon - Having grown up surrounded by the poverty and racism of the rural south, Donald B. Salmon, Jr. made his way to North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in political science and became invigorated by exposure to various movements aimed at pushing against the social and political status quo for people of African descent in the west. Donald is an avid supporter of hip hop culture who believes that through the arts, bridges can be built that connect people and ideas.
The "dude making a difference" beams into the IAH vortex to ruminate on the major issues facing our very survival. Rob is one of the few people I know who has truly embarked on a path of radical sustainability that has altered his life in a truly remarkable way. We discuss core environmental issues ranging from diet to cars to waste. Rob's humor and passion offset the dire news that's facing every single one of us. I for one learned a ton on this podcast and hope that each one of us can get inspired to change just one thing in our lives that can truly make this place inhabitable for years to come. As unlikely as that may seem.
INTRO RANT - The Weinstein Debacle
Rob Greenfield is an adventurer, environmental activist, humanitarian, and dude making a difference. He is dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world.
Rob is the creator of The Food Waste Fiasco, a campaign that strives to end food waste and hunger in the U.S. He has dove into more than two thousand dumpsters across the United States to demonstrate how nearly half of all food in the U.S. is wasted while 50 million (1 in 7) Americans are food insecure.
THE Super Yogi of Altered States of Intimate Consciousness - MARK WHITWELL - stops by the IAH podcast to go deep. Recorded live at Bhakti Fest '17, Mark and I revisit some of the past of our relationship, the true origins of yoga in the west and mans struggle with intimacy. Mark's wit, knowledge, intelligence and authentic wisdom is like no other. He is a yoga hiding out as a man.
Mark Whitwell - is interested in developing an authentic yoga practice for the individual, based on the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar, with whom he enjoyed a relationship for more than twenty years. Mark’s teachings clarify the profound passion and relevance of ancient wisdom to contemporary life.
Mark has taught yoga for over twenty years throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and was the editor and contributor to TKV Desikachar’s book The Heart of Yoga.
Visit The Promise
Dr. Neal Goldsmith beams into the kitchen table via the wonders of cyberspace to discuss his exhaustively evolved perspective on the psychedelic experience. Neal's background as a psychotherapist provides a unique perspective into the individuals relationship with the psychedelic journey and how it can alter your life in a constructive and healthy way. Our conversation surfed the many angles of his thinking in particular a breakdown of "psychospiritual development and resistance to change." For me, the juxtaposition of mysticism, psychology and spirituality into a uniformed discussion is one that few people can speak eloquently on - Neal is at the top of this list. Enjoy the podcast!
Intro Rant - The Importance of Hugh Hefner
Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist specializing in psychospiritual development and resistance to change. Seeing “neurosis” as the natural unfolding of human maturation, he views psychology as the science of personal emergence and spiritual maturity. With the exception of biologically-based diseases, such as schizophrenia, psychology is not about “mental illness” and so Dr. Goldsmith treats “neurosis” as spiritual immaturity, not pathology. In fact, he believes the “sick” label itself tightens and distorts, actually slowing healthy realignment.
Neal is also the founder of the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in NYC which is coming up on Oct 6-8. Click here to buy tickets
Episode 102 of the It's All Happening podcast features the divine creatrix behind PhenoVibe, Ariane Labyrinth. Ariane is a dear friend and soul sister, we recorded the episode in the quiet vibey confines of the post midnight witching hour. Yes, Ariane and her next Cosmic Cabaret event (Rites of Passage) goes down on September 29th but our conversation had very little do with that. We surfed the sonic sugary frequencies of metaphysical practice, energy, light space and a whole host of psychedelic sacredness that's almost impossible to talk about, but we did! This episode is not like any other that IAH has done, I hope you enjoy it.
Ariane Labyrinth - is the chief creatrix and inspiration behind PhenoVIbe. The focus of our practice is Cosmic Alchemy, a unique type of experience allowing us to directly connect to and immerse ourselves in source energy and light -the most empowering and transformative force of the universe. Her roots are in dance, metaphysical meditation and light work.
On August 2, 2017, Gary Baum of the Hollywood Reporter published what is now a legendary piece on the real identity of LA cult icon Angelyne. It was so spell binding that nearly everyone in LA who is over a certain age participated in the chatter of what it all meant. I was so blown away that I had to track Gary down to see if he would do the podcast. Sure enough he was most gracious and sat down with me at The Hollywood Reporter office. For about an hour we discussed all the ins and outs and what-have-yous surrounding the development of the article and it's whodunit caper qualities. Two years prior, Gary wrote another article on the enduring legend of Angelyne and began to chip away at her razor sharp fabricated image. He's spent a lot of face time with Angelyne and has a wonderfully curious point of view on the deeper meaning behind not just her but also on the nature of reinvention, identity and life in the modern media-sphere. This is episode 101 of the It's All Happening podcast. I hope you enjoy it.
Gary Baum is a Senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter, covering the circus.
EPISODE 100 of the It's All Happening Podcast!!! Amazing. To celebrate this milestone I brought back two return guests to the fold - Taryn Southern and Jack Kornfield. Taryn is the main guest and takes us on a wonderfully informative and inspirational journey into the emerging worlds of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Taryn just released a new single that has AI as her band! And of course, Jack Kornfield's heartfelt wisdom grounds us in a dharma talk centered around making friends with our practice in these complex times. This episode truly embodies my passions of bringing technology and spirituality into one conversation.
I am beyond moved, grateful and blown away that 100 episodes has been reached. It seemed so far away! With the love and support of you guys we'll certainly have 100 more! Thank you everyone who's been riding along with me on the adventure these past two years. You've taught me more than you'll ever know.
Taryn Southern - I love to make stuff online. Here’s some music stuff. Some comedy stuff. Some VR stuff. Some TV and filmstuff. I’m the founder of Happy Cat Media, which has produced 1500+ videos for brands like Marriott, MovieTickets, and Today Show, and is now focused on immersive storytelling and consulting. My hobbies include adventure travel, margaritas, and irreverent comedy.
Jack Kornfield - Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and worked on tropical medicine teams in the Mekong River valley. He met and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings, and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband and activist.
On this episode of the It's All Happening podcast with go deep with Michael Brian Baker, the founder and chief visionary of The Breath Center. Michael is a facilitator and modern shamanic guide into a breath work practice that is sure to transform anyones state of being if they engage in the experience. I've done lots of it myself and let me tell you, it's a life changer. Our conversation centers around the origins of breath work in ancient traditions, their transformation into Western modalities, mysticism, the science behind breathing, higher states of consciousness and so much more. Michael is truly residing in a higher plane of feeling and expression on a daily basis and it shows here in this podcast. I love him dearly and I hope you all get a chance to experience his gift.
Michael Brian Baker is a student of compassion and humility and the founding member of The Breath Center. He travels extensively facilitating groups and individuals in the realization of self-mastery through somatic release, breathwork, and natural plant-based detox. Michael’s extensive experience as a keynote speaker representing the conscious and healing arts communities has built his well deserved reputation for restoring profound hope and intimacy in large group settings. He supports people in their own growth, freedom, and discovery of the bodies innate intelligence to heal from within.
Michael’s current home base as a teacher of the oral traditions and arts practitioner is in Ojai, California.
Episode 98 of the It's All Happening with Zach Leary podcast features the lightening rod that is Amarna Miller. For quite awhile I've been wanting to do have an adult film star on the podcast with the hopes of being able to dig into the controversy and philosophy around sexuality in America. Amarna is very bright and articulate and you'll see that the talk covered a wide variety of topics including her experience doing what she does, healthy sexuality around the world, why there is so much controversy on the issue, gender roles and feminism. I know this podcast will be a turn off for some and might strike a chord. My intention was to have a level headed reasonably non biased look into the topic. Like it or not it's a huge part of our culture and dialogue around it is a good thing.
Amarna Miller is porn actress and director, entrepreneur and graduated in Fine Arts. I am 24, bisexual and I love sex in all its forms, I consider it something natural that should not be hidden. I like BDSM, antique things, photography and art. And I just won the Ninfa award for best actress of the year! My life is based in travel around the world shooting for different producers. In this blog I will write my experiences, the ideas that I have, and also I'll post videos and exclusive photo shoots. I hope that by this way you could know me a little more
The IAH podcast returns with Episode 97! This one features the bhakti-infused heart of financial wizard, Jason Rotman. I wanted Jason on the podcast for awhile because I know of so few people who embody consciously infused capitalism in such an inspiring way. He lives in both the material world and the spiritual world with grace and ease. By day he's a trading expert/analyst while also being a kirtan wallah, poet and lover of bliss. Our talk covered his transformation, why kirtan works, how the markets do what they do and an all around philosophical bhakti romp into the worlds affairs.
Jason Rotman is an advisor for alternative trading and investments at Lido Isle Advisors. He has also been playing sacred chant music since 2008 as Krishna’s Kirtan, a group that is known for sharing explosive and devotional kirtan (sacred chanting).
Krishna’s Kirtan is a veteran contributor at Bhaktifest, one of the largest yoga and music festivals in the country. Highly in demand for health and yoga retreats, events, and festivals, the group provides a powerful presence of love, spirituality, and deep devotion.
His kirtan album "Krishna's Kirtan" can be purchased by visiting here
His book of devotional poetry can be purchased here:
This all new episode of the IAH podcast features the wise, smart and razor sharp funny local LA comedian, Vanessa Johnston. I ran into Vanessa after scouring the scorched earth of the Internet looking for comedians to come and brighten up the fabric of the podcast. Vanessa was good enough to come by to talk about her roots in comedy, her youth in Minnesota, making fun of my tulsi beads and why her first goal in life was to be president of the US. I really enjoyed this one!
Vanessa Johnston is a Los Angeles based stand-up comedian originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has been featured as a regular on Kill Tony at the Comedy Store Hollywood - the number one live comedy podcast in the world - where she wrote and performed a new minute of standup every week for 60 weeks straight. Vanessa performs at some of LA's favorite clubs, including The Comedy Store, The Ice House, and The Improv. She made her TV debut on Emmy-award winning sitcom How I Met Your Mother. In 2014, she starred in Netflix movie Jurassic City. Johnston has written and performed skits for talk shows such as The Doctors on CBS.
An all new episode of the It's All Happening podcast with the sharp, creative and profoundly deep thinker Ani Easton Baker. Ani spent years as a public school teacher mainly focussing on special needs students and her experience into the system, the children and how our society is broken in this area made for a fascinating podcast. We talked about that, the future of public schools and new models for education. We also shifted the talk to sex ed and why we need to stop calling people stupid because "Donald Trump is a genius!"
Ani Easton Baker - For twelve years I worked as a teacher, credentialed to work with primary grade students who have mild-moderate disabilities, which taught me most of the most important things about being alive. Last year, four years after being granted tenure, I took a leap and a leave of absence to make my first documentary film about the public education system, a system I have a lot of feelings and input about. I am beyond fortunate to have earned the support of VeryApe productions in New York, a company run by my absolute favorite documentary filmmaker of all time, Sean Dunne. With his support and the support of a small team of filmmakers in Los Angeles, I am making this long-held desire a tangible entity that exists in the world.
An all new deep state truth episode of IAH! This episode is with Peter Janney, the author of the book Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace. Peter's research into the tangled but glorious web of Mary Pinchot Meyer is a must read for anyone curious about the evolution of the American political state. Pinchot-Meyer was one of the great secretive characters of the 1960s who's association with JFK and Timothy Leary exploded into an epic tale that must be heard to be believed. It's literally un-fucking-believeable. It's not everyday that you get presented with a case that ties Kennedy's murder into a vision for world peace that might have been brought on by LSD. Listen to this podcast.
Disclaimer: during the interview, I was so dumbfounded that I literally was tripping on my words and at times struck silent. There are a couple of moments where I didn't know what to say as I just sat there in shock. I didn't edit those out as I want you, the listener, to feel it for yourself.
Peter Janney is an American writer, psychologist and lecturer based in Beverly, Massachusetts. He is best known for his book Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace, in which he makes a detailed case that ex-CIA wife and John F. Kennedy mistress Mary Pinchot Meyer was murdered by the CIA in order to cover up what she had discovered about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
An all new cybernetically fresh episode of IAH with the legendary R.U. Sirius. RU beams into the IAH portal to share his thoughts on the early days of cyber culture, how and why MONDO 2000 was such legendary idea and publication, why dis-information still matters and what to do about the lack of counter culture in our current paradigm. RU is one of the all time great thinkers and pundits on alternative culture and how to live between the lines.
R.U. Sirius is an American writer, editor, talk show host, musician and cyberculture celebrity. He is best known as co-founder and original editor-in-chief of Mondo 2000 magazine from 1989 to 1993. Before that he founded and edited the magazines High Frontiers and Reality Hackers. Sirius was chairman and candidate in the 2000 U.S. presidential electionfor the Revolution Party. The party's 20-point platform was a hybrid of libertarianism and liberalism.
At one time, he was a regular columnist for Wired News and San Francisco Examiner, and contributing writer for Wired and Artforum International. He's also written for Rolling Stone, Time, Esquireand other publications. Sirius has written several hundred articles and essays for mainstream and subculture publications. He was editor-in-chief of Axcess magazine in 1998, GettingIt.com1999–2000, and H+ Magazine 2008–2010.
Danny Goldberg returns to the IAH podcast! The legendary music business impresario and cultural historian discusses his new book "In Search of the Lost Chord - 1967 and The Hippie Idea." It's the 50th anniversary of that fabled year and we discuss the impact that it had on us and why looking back on it's history is relevant even today. The book is a fantastic read and will have you marveling at a not so distant past and maybe even give you pause for how you live your life today.
Danny Goldberg, President of GoldVE Entertainment, has worked in the music business as a personal manager, record company President, public relations man and journalist since the late nineteen sixties. GoldVE Entertainment was formed in July 2007 and marks the return to artist management for Goldberg. A complete roster of artists can be found here. Goldberg is also a consultant to the forthcoming HBO series “Vinyl”. From 1983-1992, Goldberg was the founder and President of Gold Mountain Entertainment, an artist management firm whose clients included Nirvana, Hole, Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, Bonnie Raitt, The Allman Brothers, Rickie Lee Jones and more. Directly prior to the creation of GoldVE Entertainment, Goldberg had been the CEO of Air America Radio from 2005 until mid-2006. Goldberg formed the independent label Artemis Records in 1999 and ran the company until January of 2005.
The brilliance and poetic spiritual genius of Robert Thurman is revealed on this episode of the podcast. Bob beamed in from his abode in NYC and took me on a stream of consciousness journey through the process of enlightenment, our current state of affairs and why you shouldn't worry, the nature of the universe and one's role in it and the fate of the Dalai Lama. Bob is truly one of the great thinkers and spiritual gateways on the planet today. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Pick up a copy of his new book "Man of Peace: The Illustrated Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet" by clicking here
Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur.
Time chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”
Govind Das returns to the podcast for Episode 90! We talk a lot about the path of yoga and it's integration from the mat into the world. So much happens within ones personal practice that we must learn how to take those experiences and incorporate them into our daily lives. The podcast also covers our current state of collective confusion and what can be done about that, raising yogi children in LA, living from the non-ego state and living ones dharma. Week in and week out, Govind Das is one of the pre-eminent yogis who is living in a world beyond just teaching - it's as if you are watching someone living their purpose and experiencing a total surrender right before your very eyes.
Of course this episode also talks about the loss and impact of the great Chris Cornell.
This is episode is brought to you by Siddhi Herbals - the best in CBD Technology. Visit their site for more info.
Govind Das (Ira Jeffrey Rosen) first came to yoga while living in Los Angeles in 1994 because of health concerns- specifically ulcerative colitis/crohn's/inflammatory bowel disease... After years of many different practices with the intention of healing(hatha yoga, ayurveda, buddhist meditation etc), Ira Rosen found his yogic "home' in the path of Bhakti Yoga... the aspect of yoga frequently described as the "yoga of the heart" or "the yoga of love and devotion". Not by avoiding or denying our life and health challenges, but only by accepting and courageously moving through and forward, the flower of our full appreciation and devotion to Life blooms.
Recorded live from Psychedelic Science '17! This is a dual podcast swap with The MAPS Podcast and features Shane Mauss, Lex Pelger and Berra Yazar-Klosinski. It was recorded live as a panel format and took place at the very tail end of the Psychedelic Science conference in Oakland, CA. Because it was the end of the conference we collectively reminisced and riffed in a loose, funny and free conversational feel about where psychedelic research is headed. We also spoke of our culture outside of our own echo chamber and how the rest of America is keeping up. I was so honored that these guys spent some time with me on stage and it took a lot for me to keep up with their brilliance and accomplishments. The intro was recorded live in India about two hours after the one-two punch of darshan at Kaishi-Vishwanath and the burning ghats of Varanasi. If you don't know what that means have a listen then book a plane flight. Enjoy!
Shane Mauss is a comedian and the host of the Here We Are Podcast
Lex Pelger is the Captain and Chief Genius over at Pymposia.org
Berra Yazar-Klosinksi is the Chief Research Scientist at MAPS
Recorded live from Psychedelic Science '17! Duncan Trussell and I sit down for part 6 of our mutual podcast discussions. It's hard to say what topic one really talks about when you're with Duncan but I can assure you many juicy corners of the multi-verse are explored! Ranging from spiritual wisdom in complex times, to the mutation of our species and value systems that must change in order for our survival. And the intro was recorded live in India!!
Duncan is a comedian, a resident of the multi-verse and host of the wildly popular Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast.
There are many great stories of the Eastern spiritual renaissance taking hold in the West. There's Richard Alpert to Ram Dass, Yogananda's revolution in Los Angeles, Swami Vivekananda bringing Vedanta to the States. And then there's the story of Srila Prabhuphad and the Hare Krishna movement. It's one of the most extraordinary stories of human manifestation in the 20th Century. Really. He arrived in America in 1965 at age 69 with $20, a type writer and a mantra. That's it. And in the front row for the entire phenomena was Shyamasundar Das who was "the Swami's" private secretary for seven years. His new book "Chasing Rhinos with The Swami" chronicles his life, times and adventures with him from 1967 until 1975. Our podcast talked a lot about the early days of the movement, how it took hold in the Haight Ashbury in the Summer of Love, what Krishna Consciousness is and a few amazingly intimate stories of life with A. C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI. No matter what you may think of the Hare Krishna movement, I urge you to put all that aside and listen with an open heart and mind. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, I hung on every word!
About Shyamasundar Das:
I was born in the body of Samuel Speerstra, in Salem, Oregon in May,1942. From early childhood I thrived on adventure and risk. After graduating from Reed College in 1965, I met Bhaktivedanta Swami in San Francisco in January 1967, and immediately became his disciple Shyamasundar Das. The Swami wed me to my girlfriend Melanie (Malati Devi Dasi) in a smoke-filled storefront in Haight-Ashbury we called the Radha-Krishna Temple.
In 1968, to please Swamiji, I traveled with five chosen devotees to London. There, we witnessed firsthand Krishna's magic display; we befriended the Beatles and, courtesy of Apple Records, spread Hare Krishna Mantra around the world. In October 1970, the Swami took twenty of his Western disciples to India, and together-as Prabhupad and his Dancing White Elephants--we barnstormed the country. In June 1971, Prabhupad accepted me as his Personal Secretary. I was by Prabhupad's side, day and night, in Europe, USA, Africa, Asia, Australia-even behind Brezhnev's Iron Curtain. I never saw him sleep, I never saw him make an error of any kind. How did I get this lucky, to observe close-up the life of the Perfect Person? Srila Prabhupad, the Magic Man himself!
I've had a few yoga teachers on the podcast but there was something about this conversation with maha yogi Steve Ross that really sparked my contemplation and imagination like I hadn't felt before. Sure Steve teaches "yoga" in the form of a pretty challenging asana class but he is really a portal into an entire world of knowledge, humor and very profound wisdom that come from his over 40 years of practice. We spent an hour talking about the differences between the western and eastern maps of consciousness, how to make sense of these confusing times, free will and the very essence of our place in the universe. Sounds pretty deep, right? It was. Steve is truly one of the great yogis practicing in the west today.