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.
Human sexuality and the extremely fascinating yet complex rabbit hole that encompasses is one of the most fascinating topics to explore. My good friend Zoë Kors and I spent an hour barely scratching the surface of our cultures relationship to sex, our hang ups, the politics around it and most specifically women's issues and why they are so important. Zoë is an expert in helping women to get in touch with their core divinity that allows them to be the most potent manifestations of their incarnations. I really enjoyed this topic and wonder why I don't talk about it more on IAH, so I'll be sure to have Zoë back on. Enjoy.
Zoë Kors is committed to transforming the way we hold our sexuality—both individually and culturally—and to creating a compassionate, loving world through the cultivation of a sisterhood of wildly-expressed women.
Zoë is the former Senior Editor and Creative Director of LA Yoga Magazine and Origin Magazine. She is a frequent contributor to Elephant Journal, MindBodyGreen, and Aloha.com. Her article, “6 Ways to Have Radically Intimate Sex”, quickly went viral and is currently at nearly 2 million views with 20,000 Facebook shares.
She is a certified Co-Active Coach with the prestigious Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA, and has a thriving private practice. Zoë’s work reflects her extensive study of Tantra, Zen Buddhism, meditation, yoga, breathwork, and other Eastern disciplines, which she blends with more process-oriented modalities of Western psychotherapy and Co-Active Coaching.