49 episodes

A Practical Resource for the Spiritual Student.



Discover the timeless wisdom of India and the yoga path to freedom. This podcast channel offers you a wealth of practical and thought-provoking knowledge about the Oriental origins of Christianity, the simple and classic tradition of Yoga and the Yoga Life, the practical messages of the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures, and much more.



Journey beyond the forest of cliches, contradictions, and confusion about Yoga, Hinduism, Christianity and metaphysical thought, through the unconventional wisdom of Abbot George Burke, director of Light of the Spirit Monastery.

Light of the Spirit Podcast Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

A Practical Resource for the Spiritual Student.



Discover the timeless wisdom of India and the yoga path to freedom. This podcast channel offers you a wealth of practical and thought-provoking knowledge about the Oriental origins of Christianity, the simple and classic tradition of Yoga and the Yoga Life, the practical messages of the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures, and much more.



Journey beyond the forest of cliches, contradictions, and confusion about Yoga, Hinduism, Christianity and metaphysical thought, through the unconventional wisdom of Abbot George Burke, director of Light of the Spirit Monastery.

    Podcast: About Spiritual Experience and Abilities–What Should the Beginner Yogi Know?–Part 4

    Podcast: About Spiritual Experience and Abilities–What Should the Beginner Yogi Know?–Part 4

    “Am I more sensible, or less sensible, as a result of this practice and this experience?”

    In this 4th podcast on Spiritual Experiences and Abilities, Abbot George delineates the very real and very extreme dangers of imbalancing experiences that fake yoga can produce, contrasting this with his observation of the cardinal qualities of real yogis he met.

    If you do not see the player above, listen to Part 4 of What the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experiences and Abilities. This podcast is about 16 minutes long.

    Listen to the earlier parts of this podcast: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

    • 15 min
    Podcast: What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities?–Part 3

    Podcast: What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities?–Part 3

    “Have I learned anything? Has this spiritual experience changed my awareness, my meditation?” In the third part of the podcast series on Spiritual Experience and Abilities, Abbot George contrasts the effect of real spiritual experience with examples of people who were deluded by visions and dreams – like the American he met in India who “realized” that he was the king of India, and that his child bride would give birth to the next avatar (!).

    If you do not see the player above, visit What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities?–Part 3 to listen. This podcast is about 14 minutes long.

    Listen to the earlier parts of this podcast: Part 1 and Part 2.





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    • 14 min
    Podcast: Spiritual Experience and Abilities–What Should the Beginning Yogi Know?–Part 2

    Podcast: Spiritual Experience and Abilities–What Should the Beginning Yogi Know?–Part 2

    The state of perfected beings like Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus is far greater than most people’s concept of God. Abbot George tells the story of Catholic stigmatist and visionary Therese Neumann’s response to Christian who were overwhelmed with Christ’s miracles, as an example of how we are satisfied with so little in our aspirations. And how much is required to really trod the path to God, as shown in the story of encounter between Anandamayi Ma and the devotee who “wanted to know God.”

    If you do not see the player above, click here to listen to Spiritual Experience and Abilities–What Should the Beginning Yogi Know?–Part 2

    Also, listen to What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities?–Part 1



    The Light of the Spirit Podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts! Click here to listen and subscribe.

    • 17 min
    Podcast: What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities?

    Podcast: What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities?

    “What should the beginner yogi know about spiritual experience and abilities?” Abbot George draws on a lifetime of study and personal experience and observation to present a many-facted answer to this important question.

    Since the “yoga boom” of the 1960’s and even earlier, Western seekers have been regaled with and fascinated by all that glitters in fake yoga — a circus of thrills, chills, and supposedly higher states of consciousness.

    In this four-part podcast Abbot George expounds on the attraction and many dangers of these kind of practices and the experiences they produce, and most importantly, presents the important questions the meditator needs to ask himself in assessing his spiritual practice and its effects.

    Part 1

    Abbot George speaks about the nature of the higher worlds — how vaster they are than the states of conscious that so many yogis aspire to and are satisfied with, and how the soul can get bogged down in these worlds during its long, long journey to the Absolute.

    If you don’t see the media player above, visit What Should the Beginner Yogi Know About Spiritual Experience and Abilities? to listen. The podcast is just over 16 minutes long. (Parts 2 through 4 of this topic will follow shortly.)

    Further Podcast Listening:



    * Introducing the Yoga Life: Laying the Foundations

    * The Symbolism of Christmas and Its Universal Message

    * Days with Sivananda



     

    • 16 min
    Podcast: How to Pronounce the Soham Mantra in Meditation

    Podcast: How to Pronounce the Soham Mantra in Meditation

    Below is an edited transcript of the podcast. We strongly recommend you listen to the podcast to understand the correct pronunciation of the Soham mantra.



    The podcast is just under 7 minutes long. If you do not see the player above, listen to How to Meditate Using the Soham Mantra here.

    The practice of Soham Yoga is very simple. Making ourselves aware of our breathing, when we inhale we mentally intone So throughout the inhalation, and when we exhale we mentally intone Ham throughout the exhalation. And we do this continuously. When we are doing other things at the same time, we call it Soham Japa, and when we sit upright with closed eyes, we call it Soham Meditation.

    Soham Yoga is based on the science of spiritual sound. A mantra is a series of sounds whose effect lies not in an assigned intellectual meaning, but in an inherent sound-power that can produce a specific effect physically or psychologically. The word mantra itself comes from the Sanskrit expression manat trayate which means “a transforming thought,” that which produces an objective, perceptible change. When joined to the breath, Soham is the supreme mantra of Self-awareness and Self-knowledge culminating in liberation.

    The proper pronunciation of Soham

    For a mantra to produce its effect it must be pronounced correctly. Soham is pronounced like our English words So and Hum.

    The whole word is pronounced Soham.

    Now let’s go through each letter of Soham and consider its correct pronunciation.

    The S is pronounced as in the English words Say, So and Sign. A simple “S.” Some languages pronounce the letter S like the SH in ash or cash Sh. But this is not correct for Soham Sadhana practice

    It is most important to pronounce the O correctly. It should be pronounced like the long o in the Italian or common American manner–as in home and lone. In England, Canada, and parts of the American South, the long o is sometimes pronounced as a diphthong, like two vowels jammed together: either like “ay-oh” or “eh-oh.” This is not the correct manner of pronouncing the O, which should be a single, pure vowel sound.

    The same is true of the U in ham (hum). It is pronounced “U” like the u in up or hunt–not like the u in truth or push, as is done in parts of Great Britain. The short a in Sanskrit is pronounced like the u in up or hunt, so we say “hum” h-u-m, even though we write it as h-a-m.

    The M in Soham is like that in English, such as sum or come.

    The benefit of intonation

    A mantra is most effective if it is mentally intoned–that is, mentally “sung”–on a single note: Soham, Soham, Soham. (The actual pitch of the note doesn’t matter–whatever is spontaneous and natural to you.) This makes the repetition stronger and of deeper effect, because intoning unifies the mind and naturally concentrates it.

    Japa, the continual repetition of the mantra

    The way to receive the benefit of a mantra is japa, the continual repetition-intonation of the mantra. In this way the invoker is constantly imbued with the power and consciousness inherent in the mantra. So whenever we intone Soham in time with the breath, we align and link our consciousness with its origin: both our spirit and Divine Spirit. And we do the same when we sit with closed eyes and meditate. The process is the same.

    The mental sound of Soham in time may become more and more soft and even become like a light whisper or even a soundless repetition as when we just “mouth” a word when we don’t want to speak aloud. But please realize: The inner intonations of Soham NEVER stop. Soham continues to be repeated in the consciousness even if in a very subtle form. It cannot be described, but it will be experienced.

    Learn more

    • 6 min
    Podcast: The Esoteric Side of Good and Bad Association

    Podcast: The Esoteric Side of Good and Bad Association

    Darshan: Literally “sight” or “seeing;” vision, literal and metaphysical. Darshan is the seeing of a holy being as well as the blessing received by seeing such a one.

    Satsanga: Literally: “company with Truth.” Association with godly-minded persons. The company of saints and devotees.

    Asatsanga: the company of the unholy and the worldly–in the form of people who have no interest in spiritual life, as well as books, magazines, television, radio, and motion pictures that are centered on material consciousness.

    In today’s podcast, Abbot George discusses the inner mechanism of how the senses affect us, and how external connections influence our inner make-up, for good or ill. He begins by talking about the positive effect of darshan and satsanga, recounting his own experiences with holy people. He shares the stories of:



    * The criminal who visited Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh against his will, and the surprising result.

    * The effect of visiting Anandamayi Ma, both on others who Abbot George witnessed, and his own unusual side-effect of darshan of Ma.

    * The dangers of association with negative people and why to avoid them, including his experience of the shy college girl he knew of who got into bad company, and what resulted.



    And much more.

    If you don’t see the podcast player below, listen to The Esoteric Side of Good and Bad Association here. The podcast is about 16 minutes long.

    • 16 min

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