In 2014, when the last Master in the Sahaj Marg lineage left his body, a successor stepped into his shoes. This was arranged well beforehand, as our last Master’s health began to wane and a new Master would soon be needed. Despite the preparation, it was naturally a very emotional time for our community. For me personally, it came at just about the worst time to lose someone to whom you have a spiritual relationship. I had so very much going on with work. Just about as much going on with school. I had just purchased a lovely new home and also had just lost my birth mother.

It was shortly after brother Kamlesh became the new leader of our community that I wrote here about wondering what the future would hold for us as a community and spiritual path. I think in that post I detailed briefly the changes that were implemented with each successive guru and how the mission of our Mission would need to evolve with times and the new needs that arise with them. So far, Shri Kamlesh has already laced up his boots and is fulfilling his duties – and doing well!

One very different change that is new to the Marg is our opening up (for lack of better words). Prior to now, we’ve been accessible and free to anyone who sought us – but generally only those who did the seeking on their own. In Sahaj Marg, as with many Hindu traditions, proselytizing is forbidden. And in Sahaj Marg, there have been times when remaining obscure even seemed to be encouraged so that purely and surely only those who really are seekers found our method of Raja Yoga. My local (nondenominational) Hindu Temple is very similar. Example: The mother of a friend of mine who lives in Georgia even called up here, on my behalf, and asked about “conversion” pujas for those actually wanting to convert – the answer she was given was something like, “absolutely not.” There was such emphasis against the idea of conversion, that even those actively seeking it have been denied – all for the sake of avoiding looking like any of those religions that seek converts. But for Sahaj Marg that might be changing in some way currently. There’s a new “initiative” called Heartfulness that has me very excited about what the future of Sahaj Marg might look like.

I was recently at the home of my local preceptors, Jan and Bob, for a sitting – and long overdue! After the sitting, which was fantastic in its own unspeakable way, we were able to linger a bit in the sitting’s afterglow and lightly discuss these recent developments. Most of what we chatted about I’ll not share here, but we did talk about the current shape of the community and what the future shape might resemble. The pics I’ve attached to this post are pics I took with my phone’s camera – the home of these preceptors basically serves as an ashram for our local community (the nearest “official” ashram is in Ohio). I think because of the continued and dedicated practice of these two souls (my preceptors), as well as the consistent use of this home for spiritual endeavors, despite your personal worldly worries or baggage and despite whatever householder troubles these two might be handling at any given moment, you walk in, remove your shoes in the entry, and are nearly instantly elevated to a condition that is sometimes hard to achieve and maintain outside of their home’s walls. Vibes! Such permeation in the very structure of the place that it’s impossible to be there very long at all without being affected.




So during our post-sitting talk, we discussed how challenging it can be for Westerners to take to foreign concepts – in this case, Indian / Hindu concepts and vocabulary. It was mentioned that it’s actually exceedingly rare for someone to be like myself (no jokes!) and that most people in the West have no idea really what words like dharma, karma, meditation, and yoga ( to name only a few ) actually mean. And because of that, a lot of goodness, evolution, and integration – on a personal level – is missed out on, unless that soul is already on a path and engaging that path in a manner that actually takes them deeper than usual.

Devotional Setting at the Connors'

Devotional Setting at the Connors’


So now we have this “Heartfulness” stuff. And, for lack of knowing the best way to say it, Heartfulness is Sahaj Marg without all the foreign words. It’s the very basis and basics of our practice, spelled out in Western language. When the emails and newsletters were released to abhyasis telling us about this, I read over the new resources in detail. There’s practically no mention of our lineage or the heart chakra or raja yoga – in fact, I think in all that I read, there was only a single mention of our method of yogic transmission.


Josh at the local "ashram," with Chariji memorial setting in the background

Josh at the local “ashram,” with Chariji memorial setting in the background


I’ll admit that my initial response was one of disappointment. How can you share Sahaj Marg without sharing Sahaj Marg?!?! And then, with the help of a fantastic preceptor, it hit me: We’re not sharing Sahaj Marg. Not really. We’re essentially performing one of Sahaj Marg’s highest values which is to find the end of religion and thereby experience the beginning of spirituality. Our specific lineage, our method – all the juicy stuff associated with us is all just “religion” and the fantastic thing about Sahaj Marg – from the very start – is that we’re being helped to leave religion behind. In fact, our masters teach consistently and repeated teach that this is not only what will happen naturally as one evolves, but that we should be motivated to exercise this evolution as quickly as is healthy for us to do. Surely, our entire community will be collectively motivated and encouraged in this way by recent developments.

To that end, below I’ll be sharing various links and videos. This kind of information wasn’t really available before now and wherever it was, like I said, it was for the seeker to find through their own exerted effort.

The general / main link for the new initiative can be found by clicking here: Heartfulness . A page on experiencing heartfulness can be access by clicking here. And anyone who would like to speak to someone directly about the, assuming you don’t want to speak to me about it, can click here and complete the form on the web page. A preceptor nearest to you will reach out to you

Practice Heartfulness YouTube Channel






Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti


Dead Horse

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

Partially because of my own boredom and partially because kicking dead horses is just plain rude, this will likely be just about the last post I make for a while when it comes to sorting out religion from superstition… at least until the next time I employ fire magick and begin questioning things anew.

So… last night, as part of my intentional avoidance of all school responsibilities, I found myself driving around town with my best, visiting our favorite bookstore: Half Price Books. They’re currently having a store-wide 20% off sale, and while I have no business buying more books, I simply can’t resist. I might also note, if I can do so without sounding proud, that my relationship to my best is often in a “teacher” capacity. Of course, for all teachers, the ultimate goal is that the students should themselves become teachers and last night while driving around my best definitely was a teacher. It all began when I asked him to differentiate between religion and superstition. A few times we talked in circles. A few times no sense was to be made. But in the end, using the idea of a fire and the fuel going into it, we almost sufficiently (for me) sorted out the difference between the two.

Interestingly, a big part of the fire equation hinged on hope, devotion, or bhakti. We determined that bhakti would act as the wood, the fuel. It’s essentially the foundation – without hope or devotion behind any action, that action is ultimately a dead thing. The animating force, the starting place, is hope or devotion. Without SOMETHING to ignite, there can be no fire. In that context, I find it interesting that many of the devotional poets from many different cultures have written about their devotion burning, or burning up. Fuel indeed! The fire itself, then, would be the ritual, religion, or superstition – respectively. This means the action itself. “The fire that kindles,” as my best put it. I find this in itself to be poetic. If you sit around a fire, everyone knows something is being burned to make that fire, but the fire itself is where the attention is ultimately afforded. It’s the big, showy exterior of the chemical change happening right then and there. Religion is definitely the fire. The big showy exterior that results when we set fire (action) to our hope.

Ultimately there’s a very very fine line between religion and superstition where ritual is concerned, and through chatting with another dear pal it was kind of determined that religion is superstition + validity. To go back to my best and his wisdom from last night, a big part of the validity is cultural influence, although let me be quick to say that cultural influence isn’t automatically where this so-called validity begins or ends – but it is definitely a significant factor.

So, we go back into human history. In the case of Hinduism, we can easily go back into prehistory – in fact, some of our scriptures mention a time when it was almost too cold for humanity to survive on our planet, aka the last ice age. But I digress. If you go back far enough you will no doubt encounter “religion” which today would amount to little more than superstition. People responsible for these kinds of studies will confirm as much. Our ancestors noticed that when they danced in a circle under very specific stellar arrangements, the rains necessary for good crops invariably came, which in turn ensured the survival of the community. Suddenly, puja and jyotish are born! Add about 7,000 years to that, and add humanity’s increased development in the areas of language and science, and you end up with “official” Sanatana Dharma. Through the eons, throughout the planet we inhabit, as we gained increasing dominance over nature we sought the rhyme and reason behind that dominance. As we gained that knowledge we codified and systemized it, and rightly marveled thereupon.

Why marvel? Because it’s marvelous. Duh. We’re talking about dark-n-wondrous, truly ancient stuff. This same stuff has made all the difference to us as a species. It’s THE evidence that proves our humanity – humanity being an interesting mix of the physical and nonphysical, mostly differentiated from other similar mixes according to our consciousness and awareness. We are the proof that’s in the pudding I mentioned in the last post, and our religions and superstitions are how we document our proof-ness.

Add another 4,000 years, a laptop, and a gay white Hindu in Indianapolis, and you find yourself with the current picture of yours truly and I’m telling you, finally, that it doesn’t really matter. Not really. I mean, if you want effectiveness and about all the pudding you can handle in your life (as I feel I’ve been blessed with), then you surely want to look into human knowledge that has a strong foundation. A system of thought and belief that touches the clouds, but doesn’t have its head there. Look for so-called superstition that has well-documented science behind it. There’s nothing wrong with carrying around a horse shoe, if your intention is pure and focused – indeed, if your intention is pure and focused and carrying a horse shoe seems to bring about the desired effect, then trust that your “fuel and fire” may well constitute real religion.

I’ll close by once again referencing my recent post about superstition and religion. Religiosity is a small part of my life really. Too often people see religion as the end AND the means to that end. That’s a trap. Another trap is to be found in thinking that your religion is inherently better than someone’s superstition, as both involve the same fires and woods. There might be evidence of it, but I’m not sure you’re allowed to actually think yours is better. Not really. Some would find supplication to an elephant-faced stone statue to be ridiculously superstitious. I don’t. Every single time, without fail – and I mean that as literally as I am able – that I have petitioned my conception of God for what I need, and often what I want, it has been given. From where I stand, my personal superstitions are effective in every regard. And this is where they factually transcend being mere superstitions. I’m speaking about the wood and the fire that lead me to, and provide me with, Light that enables me to see and Warmth that enables me to experience – this is Jnana. They equate my religious experience and facilitate my spirituality.

– Jay Shri Ganesha! –

Om Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Om Shanti