The Western Baul Podcast Series features talks by practitioners of the Western Baul path. Topics are intended to offer something of educational, inspirational, and practical value to anyone drawn to the spiritual path. For Western Bauls, practice is not a matter of philosophy but is expressed in everyday affairs, service to others, and music and song. There is the recognition that all spiritual traditions have examples of those who have realized that there is no separate self to substantiate—though one will always exist in form—and that “There is only God” or oneness with creation. Western Bauls, as named by Lee Lozowick (1943-2010), an American spiritual Master who taught in the U.S., Europe, and India and who was known for his radical dharma, humor, and integrity, are kin to the Bauls of Bengal, India, with whom he shared an essential resonance and friendship. Lee’s spiritual lineage includes Yogi Ramsuratkumar and Swami Papa Ramdas. Contact us: westernbaul.org/contact
Thursday Aug 17, 2023
Thursday Aug 17, 2023
In the Yoga tradition, Shiva represents unitary consciousness and Shakti represents the many forms that God takes in the world. One such form is pleasure. Kamala is a goddess and manifestation of Shakti, whose power is known as Shri, the fullness of pleasure. The word pleasure is boxed in by meanings we’ve given it in English, but Shri is a Sanskrit word for something deeper, a primordial vibration that gives rise to the creation of the world and is always present. We’re always tuned in to some frequency, which is a matter of habit and where our attention goes. There are loud radio stations that we tend to tune into, such as the news, and that we call reality. We can learn to choose other frequencies and inevitably can be brought to see God in all things. A practice of consistently tuning in to Shri involves undoing attachment to some strong frequencies. There is a core belief of lack in the U.S.—that we are not enough and there is not enough—that keeps us from Shri. Serving the frequency of Shri can be a life purpose or a golden path as it is called in Chinese medicine. Tuning in to Shri will be expressed in a multitude of ways in the world. Desire for pleasure can lead us to frequencies that feed on us. Nothing is opposed to spiritual freedom; everything is a portal or a trap. We can become more skillful at tuning in to the frequency of a desire rather than being fixated on the object of desire so that we want more and more of it. We miss Shri by not savoring experience or by thinking it’s wrong to have pleasure. There is discussion of the way women have learned not to fully allow pleasure. Shri is present in heartbreak and sorrow. We can work hard in the flow of Shri. The most repressed emotion is joy. Karen is a teacher of all aspects of Yoga—the physical and philosophical, the scientific and the mystical. She is a long-time student of Lee Lozowick.