19 July 2009

Recession boosts ashram attendance

A New York Times story recently described how yoga retreats and meditation programs across the United States are experiencing, in some cases, greatly increased numbers of short and long term visitors who come seeking refuge from the troubled economy or who have found that signing up for a work-exchange program is a cost effective way to spend some time between jobs while also building up their spiritual energies.

Full story at link.

Photo: Devotees join in kirtan signing at New Vrindaban ashram in Pennsylvania.

13 July 2009

Open-eye meditation

Based on 3D technology, open-eye meditation (OEM) does not require the meditator to close his eyes, nor is it time-consuming. According to meditation consultant Ramesh Kamath, "You need to look at a chart printed using 3-D techniques. After a few seconds, a hidden religious symbol will appear on the chart. Your meditation is complete and you will be relieved by just seeing the symbol for five minutes a day." Aura meter technology is used to assess the intensity and kind of problems a person faces, he added. The medium can be used to deal with anxiety, stress-related problems and depression.


09 July 2009

eWakenTube update

Check out our YouTube channel, eWakenTube. Just updated with a bold, new look.


05 July 2009

Ancient Sikh martial art comes to the West

Ancient but deadly: the return of Shastar Vidiya
(from the Independent UK)

Shastar Vidiya is a once-popular but today little-known fighting technique from north India that was forced to go underground when banned by the British in the 19th century, to be replaced by the mostly ceremonial "gatka" style seen at Sikh festivals. Though the art itself had been practiced prior to the emergence of Sikhism, it was the Punjabi Sikh tribes -- in particular the blue-turbaned Akhali Nihangs, the elite among Sikh warriors -- who honed it to its highest pitch of perfection and uniqueness.

Indian monks were the first to export Buddha's new teachings across the Himalayas and legend has it that it was the great Indian monk and zen pioneer Bodhidharma who first introduced martial arts to the Shaolin Temple in AD 600. Bodhidharma himself is thought to have come from south India where another indigenous fighting style known as Kalaripayattu has also undergone a recent renaissance.

However, Shastar Vidiya is more than simply a fighting style. Practitioners are expected to live up to strict religious principles and honor martial codes, demonstrating the unity of body, mind and spirit that is the real essence of ancient martial arts.

Today, a handful of British Sikhs have begun teaching this art to the public in an attempt to revive it for the 21st century world. More on this story at the link.


02 July 2009

Why great minds can't grasp consciousness

By Ker Than, LiveScience Staff Writer

It wasn't that long ago that the study of consciousness was considered to be too abstract, too subjective or too difficult to study scientifically. But in recent years, it has emerged as one of the hottest new fields in biology, similar to string theory in physics or the search for extraterrestrial life in astronomy.

No longer the sole purview of philosophers and mystics, consciousness is now attracting the attention of scientists from across a variety of different fields, each, it seems, with their own theories about what consciousness is and how it arises from the brain.

Instead of trying to reduce consciousness to something else, some scientists suggest that consciousness should simply be taken for granted, the way that space and time and mass are in physics. But other researchers find this view unhelpful and suggest that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, similar to the 'wetness' of water or the 'transparency' of glass, both of which are properties that are the result of the actions of individual molecules.