What Does Om Really Mean?

You've seen it, you've heard it. People say Om in yoga class, or when making fun of bohemian hippie types. There are puns and you can get an Om symbol emblazoned on anything. Anything at all. But what does OM really mean?It isn't a word per say. It is a sound and a symbol that represent the vibration of the entire universe.This is what the symbol looks like (not counting the circle):Om is sometimes written Ohm or Aum. It actually comes from three letters put together: Ah-Ooo-Ma … [Read more...]


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The Disadvantage of Being Born Hindu

I've spent too long being frustrated about not being born Hindu.I admit I've wasted energy and time wondering why I wasn't born Indian. Why do I have to stand out? Why do I live in a state of always having something to prove? Rachel Dolezal's story fascinates me because I have felt a temptation, a desire that I fight to do what she has done, to fit in, to make myself pass for something I'm not. I suspect it's because I get so tired at times. Tired of always being noticed, always being … [Read more...]


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Holi 2017 [Hindu Holiday]

One of Hinduism most fun and inclusive holidays is coming up: Holi!I say inclusive because it's probably the best holiday for inviting new people and including friends of any religion or background. It's a joyous and riotous celebration of spring.Holi is all about bright colors, laughter, and friendship. What's better than running up to a friend and throwing colored powder all over their hair?In fact, holi traditions are so much fun that holi powders are now being used in a lot of … [Read more...]


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Scripture Study: Bhagavad Gita (book three, verses 25-26)

We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. Here are all of the posts on the previous verses for the Gita: Bhagavad Gita StudyFrom the Winthrop Sargeant translation of The Gita... 25. While those who are unwise act From attachment to action, O Arjuna, So the wise should act without attachment, Intending to maintain the welfare of the world.26. One should not unsettle the minds of The ignorant who are attached to … [Read more...]


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Yoga In Schools: Asking the Wrong People

There's been a rash of articles recently making fun of parents in a Georgia school district (for non-U.S. readers, that's a state in the "Bible belt") for being upset about yoga being taught at school. The parents apparently called it "anti-Christian propaganda." The liberal circles in which I run immediately called them stupid and ignorant.And while I do agree that yoga is not "anti-Christian" or "propaganda," I have to wonder why no one in any of these articles has ever asked Hindus what … [Read more...]


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Yoga and Cultural Appropriation

This is a big topic right now and there's a lot to discuss. It came up particularly recently when some students at a university questioned whether the campus yoga class was appropriative. I think it was a very good thing to wonder and to bring up. I'm proud of them for asking the question. I have been very lucky to be approached with a guest post from Pierce Salguero, who studies issues like this from a Historian's perspective. The post originally appeared on AsianMedicineZone.com Bio: I am … [Read more...]


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Can Westerners Gain Enlightenment?

I know I'm always saying that in any given country or population, probably 95% of people aren't going to be strongly spiritual. I'm guessing at that number, but it seems that in the Kali Yuga very few feel the pull to chase down the mystery of what life means.So that means that in every religion and non-religion (in other words, atheists included) there are some who ask themselves the big questions about what our lives mean and others who aren't bothered by those questions. I don't think … [Read more...]


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Non-Desi Hindu: What I Look Like to Others

Our friend Andrea noticed an interesting thread on Reddit a while back and pointed it out to me. It's a group for American born Desis (people of south Asian heritage) and they are discussing how they feel about non-Desi Hindus (or other Indian religions).http://www.reddit.com/r/ABCDesis/comments/1tfva0/nondesis_practicing_desi_religions/I've said before, I feel like my experience most closely mirrors the experiences of American born Desis. I relate to them. I think they and I are working … [Read more...]


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What Is Yoga?

In the west we hear the word "Yoga" and it brings one thing to mind...The word actually encompasses a lot more than this! Hatha Yoga is a popular form of exercise using poses (asanas). Practitioners often believe that it is a way to use physical movement for greater spiritual balance. Classes usually include periods of stillness and meditation as well as movement. As it becomes more and more popular for exercise and flexibility, some classes divorce yoga entirely from its spiritual … [Read more...]


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