Krishna Das - Podcast
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Episode 24: Paying Attention and the Guru
2020/03/12 - 24 min
We don’t know who we are. We don’t know what we really are. We don’t know what’s looking out of our eyes. We don’t know what’s experiencing the things we experience. We just experience, we wake up, drink some beer, go back to sleep and drink some more beer. That’s all we do. So, if we don’t know our Self, how are we going to know guru? How are we going to know God? Well, when your karma is ripe, to a certain point, I guess, the Self recognizes itself in someone that looks like they’re outside of you. Another human. Another Being. Another body. You recognize something in that Being and it’s something that comes from within. A recognition from within that is like coming home, you know?
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Episode 23: Thoughts and Karma Meditation and Moping
2020/03/06 - 18 min
Given that we often refer to our minds as a wild monkey, that thoughts come up that we have no control over, it seems that, to be held responsible for thoughts that come up, that are not coming up because we intend them to come up, if there’s no intention, are we really responsible for the karmic consequences of our thoughts?
“You don’t have to believe blindly in karma… you’re not required to believe anything. Blind faith is not useful in any way whatsoever. But when you look at certain situations, when you look at your own behaviors, you can kind of see where certain things are coming from, you know? You can see where you were born, you can see how you grew up, you can see how your parents treated each other. You can see how they treated you, you can see how they treated themselves, and you can feel, kind of the effects on that, of that, in who you feel you are, and out of who you feel you are, that’s how you will meet every moment that arises, whether it’s a mental moment of thoughts arising or it’s a moment in the physical world of stuff happening. How you greet each moment, every moment, every second of your life is not only an effect of certain causes, but also, becomes the cause of certain effects at the same time.” - Krishna Das
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Episode 22: Meditation and Moping
2020/02/27 - 20 min
I don’t like the outside silence leading me to the stuff in my head. But when I feel it with the chanting, I feel like, movement, and I process things. So I’m wondering, is there a difference for you between what we call meditation and now I think mindfulness and I’m wondering if you think there’s a difference between like, mindfulness, meditation, mantra chanting, like all the words?
“I sit down and I start singing and once I start singing, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except the singing and that, I don’t even know what to call it, that reflex, almost of paying attention, as soon as I’m gone, I wake up, I remember and I come back to the Name. Again and again and again. I don’t analyze what I was thinking. I don’t analyze how I’m feeling, you know? I just let it go and come back. It’s not important. I am not important.
The reason I mope around less is because I and how I feel and all my emotions and “how am I now? How am I now? How am I now? Is it good? Is this good? I think this is better if I do it this way. A little Vaseline over here will make it easier…” becomes unimportant. It’s just not about that. So, be unhappy. It’s ok. Enjoy. “ - Krishna Das
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Special Edition: Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck
2020/01/15 - 69 min
David Nichtern is a senior teacher in the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. This tradition combines a contemporary, secular approach to meditation with the ancient practices and philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism. David has created and taught meditation teacher trainer programs worldwide. He has also been a business consultant with companies creating a variety of offerings integrating meditation in a larger health and well-being context. As many of you already know, David is also a well known composer, producer and guitarist – a four-time Emmy winner and a two-time Grammy nominee, and often tours and plays with Krishna Das. In this podcast, the two chat about spirituality and making a living on the heels of the launch of David’s new book: Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck.
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Episode 21: Longing, Ripening and Dada Vaswani
2019/09/24 - 22 min
The other people who met Maharajji talk about is the experience of His unconditional love, as you said once, “His unbearable love,” and my guess is that for many people, certainly who’ve not had the experience of Baba in the body and who maybe don’t have… my guess is when you speak of that, many people wish to feel that, to feel unconditional love, maybe that’s why they keep coming, I don’t know. And so, after a lifetime of doing this and becoming a teacher, what can you say? You know, what can you say to people about having that experience, finding that experience?
“I would say that the more you long for it, the better it is. Period. You have to be where you are. You can’t be anybody else. You can’t be anywhere else. What you can do is look, be yourself 100% and the longing for that love is what brings towards it. Period. End of conversation. That’s it. Nothing else. That’s my only qualification for any of this, is longing. This insane amount of longing that destroyed my life. It destroyed everything I thought I was going to be in life and replaced it with all this nonsense. It was that longing which I brought into this life and when I speak about this love and my Guru and you feel “I want a guru, I want a guru,” that’s a good longing to have because that longing will not leave you until you find what it is you’re longing for. There’s no easy way to get through this. It sucks. Period. I can’t make it all right for anybody but I can tell you that the more longing you have, the better it is. “ - Krishna Das
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Episode 19: Spiritual Love and Worldly Love
2019/05/14 - 26 min
I wanted to ask if you could talk a bit about your relationship with Maharajji and maybe the difference between love as we know it in the sense of a romantic relationship or relationships, and the love you felt when you were with Maharajji.
“He (Maharajji”, being completely free of subjectivity, would mirror what we needed to see for us, what we wanted to see but inside of that subjective take on Him, He would manifest real love.”- Krishna Das
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Episode 18: How To Develop Faith
2019/05/14 - 07 min
Tell me a little bit about how your faith… and trust in the universe that happened over time… how did it develop for you? How do you develop faith?
“The mind can’t conceive of what’s not a thought. Emotions can’t feel anything that’s not a feeling, an emotional feeling. The body and the senses can’t receive anything that’s not a sense input. Faith and grace, they have nothing to do with the body and the mind or the emotions. It’s a blessing that comes to us due to a combination of our good karmas, the work that we’ve already done in our life and in our lives before if you believe in that, and the kindness of the Saints who have realized what this is all about and we’ve all, if we’re interested in this nonsense at all, it’s because we have a connection with some lineage at some time with our own past already. It’s not an accident.” - Krishna Das
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Episode 17: Grace in The West
2019/05/14 - 09 min
How do we, in the West live the way you speak of? The way we all want to in our hearts? We need money in this culture… We can’t walk around, as you said, with a wraparound, shoeless and in the East you can. So…. it’s so difficult, how do we compromise in the West? Or, how do we recover peace in the West when we strive for the Eastern culture?
“Once, I was having a dream, I had this dream where I was being reincarnated, I was coming back to a body and I was heading right for India, right for India, and at the last minute I made a left turn and wound up in New York. But, I was impelled by my karmas. This was the place where I would be able to fulfill the things I needed to do. The hungers that I was, in another culture, I might not have been able to get what I needed to have in order to complete certain karmic desires. So, it’s not a mistake that we’re here. But it would be a mistake to try to do it like the Indians do it. We can’t, we’re not born that way. We have a different psychological shape. Very different. But we’re still, we’re no different from anybody on the planet anywhere, inside. So that’s all the same, it’s just the outer shell is different. We have to find a way to look at that and see what that is. Work with it." - Krishna Das
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Episode 16: Spiritual Practice and the State of the World
How do we live a spiritual life in today’s political climate?
2019/05/13 - 17 min
When Maharajji was around physically… something was going on, some upheaval, political problems, and one of His devotees came to Him and said, “Oh, if there was only a king like King Janaka”, who, in the history of India, was an enlightened King, you know? “If there was only someone like Janaka to fix up all this political stuff.” Maharajji said, “there’s a King greater than Janaka now who is taking care of all this.” There is somebody running the show. “And if it has to go this way now, let it go.” That doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we have to do in regard to this, but the most important thing is to remember that, when you take your last breath, whatever karmas you have, whatever programs are still running in there, are going to keep running into your next incarnation. So you do your best work right now…
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Episode 15: Our State of Mind Is Everything
How does one’s state of mind color one’s world view?
2019/05/13 - 11 min
I remember the first rainy season. Oh, everything was wet. The bed is wet. The hair was wet. The clothes were wet. You sat down, it was wet. You stood up, it was wet. You got on the bus, wet came down on you. There was no place it wasn’t wet. For three months, I was like…
And then, I remember like the second year, wet. By the third year, wet. Nothing. It didn’t, I hardly noticed. It was strange. I go to India now, it’s so hot. I lived there in those days. There was no air conditioning. There was nothing. It was 120 degrees and I don’t remember being hot. Now, it’s like oof. So, it’s, state of mind is everything. Everything. Everything.
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Episode 14: KD Chats with Bob Thurman
2019/05/08 - 65 min
Robert A.F. Thurman recently retired as Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in theDepartment of Religion atColumbia University,President of theTibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization,Time magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert onTibetan Buddhism.Inspired by his good friend the Dalai Lama, Thurman stands on Buddhism’s open reality, and thence takes us along with him into an expanded vision of the world, whether the sweep of history, the subtleties of the inner science of the psyche, or the wonders of the life of the heart.He always shares the sense of refuge in the Dharma, which unfailingly helps us clear away the shrouds of fear and confusion, sustains us with the cheerfulness of an enriched present, and opens a door to a path of realistic hope for a peaceful future.“There’s two ways of looking at the sublime continuum, which is to say the Buddha Nature.There’s one way where the Buddha says, ‘Buddha nature is something we teach to reassure people who are frightened when we say ‘selfless’ and they think there’s no soul.’ So BuddhaNature sort of substitutes for soul. But that’s a lower way of looking at it. A higher way of looking at Buddha Nature is, it is Reality Itself in the form of the fact that enlightened Beings,Beings who are truly enlightened, which doesn’t mean every kind of deity, but some of them, maybe, but enlightened Beings feel, they viscerally feel themselves to be everybody else. So, for example, any Buddha, and there are millions of them, but particularly the one who worries most about us at the moment is Shakyamuni, you know, Siddhartha’s last Shakyamuni, He is you, Krishna Das, and Me, from His perspective. He’s us. He actually enjoys being us. He does.”– Robert Thurman
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Episode13: Remembering Bernie Glassman
2019/03/21 - 20 min
Roshi Bernie Glassman, an American Zen Master affectionately referred to as “Bernie,” was a vibrant character who had a significant influence on American dharma. Along with being a Zen master, was also an aeronautical engineer, a social entrepreneur, an interfaith activist, and a clown. Bernie left his body in late 2018. In this episode, KD shares his recollections on his great friend. At 11:42 KD sings “Hungry Hearts” chant. This chant was recently recorded for
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Episode 12: Krishna Das chats with Lama Surya Das
2019/02/06 - 67 min
Krishna Das chats with Lama Surya Das, one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, and a long-time friend. In this interview, the conversation between KD and Lama Surya Das touches on the subjects of spiritual practice, retreat, death, mindfulness, compassion and more. At 55:20, KD and Lama Surya Das chant the Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Pedmé Hung” together.
You know, one time, Maharajji said, ‘I hold the keys to the mind,’ … and then He teased us and said, ‘I can turn your minds against me.’ ‘No Baba, don’t do that.’ And He’d laugh, you know? So I said to Siddhi Ma, I said, “Ma, Maharajji says He holds the keys to the mind, which means to me that I am exactly where He wants me to be at all times, otherwise I’d be somewhere else, mentally, I mean like, spiritually, internally. My experience would be different. So, I’m where He wants me to be. So where does personal effort come in? Is it all grace? Or is it personal effort’” She says, ‘It’s all grace, but you have to act like it isn’t.
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Episode 11: Well Being
2019/02/06 - 21 min
One time, an old lady came to Maharajji, and she said, “Baba, show me God. Show me God, Baba.” And she was all emotional. Baba said, “Ok, Ma. Not now. Go away.” So later, at the end of the day, see she had come from a local town, and at the end of the day, she had to catch the bus back to her family, so at the end of the evening, she comes back to pranam to say goodbye to Maharajji and catch the bus. So she bows down and Maharajji says, “Ok, Ma, come here. I’m going to show you God now.” “Not now Baba, I have to go home!” That’s where we are. You know? We want that, but not now, I’m too busy, I have a movie to go to. I have a date tonight, I can’t do that. So, just, you know, be good to yourself. Learn how to do that. Learn how to be good to yourself.
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Episode 10: Selfless Service
2019/02/06 - 8 min
One time, Mr. Tiwari, my Indian father, was sitting with Maharajji. Maharajji said, “So, you’re a brahmin, you’re supposed to know everything. What does Krishna teach in the Gita?” So now everybody, if you ask that question, they basically say, “Selfless Service,” right? So, he knew it was a setup, but he said it anyway. “You miserable brahmins, misleading the people. Only God does Selfless Service.” Because God is the whole thing. There is no Self. You know? There’s only That. All of us are just doing the best we can and we’re working on thinning that, that barrier or shell that seems so solid of self.
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Episode 09: Surrender
2019/02/06 - 27 min
Surrender happens by grace. It’s not an act of personal will. That might be a hard thing to understand because we don’t, you know, grace is such a foreign concept to Westerners, but you know, Ramana Maharshi said, “If you ask the thief to be the policeman, there will be a lot of investigation, but no arrest will ever be made.” That’s the thing about surrender. If you ask your ego to surrender, it’ll make a good job of looking like it’s trying to do that, all the time it’s getting bigger and stronger.
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Episode 08: Perceived Liberation
2019/02/06 - 6 min
I don’t know. You know, I’ve read a lot of stuff, I’ve been taking teachings from a lot of different types of schools of philosophy, of practice. They say that liberation is being able to live in your natural state, the natural state. On the Hindu side, it’s called sahaja samahdi, the easy natural state. In Tibetan Buddhism, it’s called Mahamudra or Zogchen or Rigpa, awareness, natural, natural state. I don’t think about it that much anymore, you know? I want to be living a good life in a good way. I want to be happy. I want to at least be in the ring with my bullshit, you know? So I’m not knocked out of the ring by it. I want to be in there with it. And to me, that’s a good place to be.
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Episode 07: Four Fruits Of Life
2019/02/06 - 19 min
Hanuman not only gives liberation, frees us, but in the process of freeing us, He allows us to satisfy the desires that we need to have satisfied to move on.
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Episode 06: The Atheist Mind
2019/02/06 - 7 min
The clouds come and go but the sky is always here, so, you can’t disbelieve the sky when you see everything going through it. You may not be able to see the sky, but you know it’s there.
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Episode 05: Judging and Acting
2019/02/06 - 14 min
You don’t have to judge. Judging means you’re seeing that person as evil. Or bad. And you’re not seeing that that person, just like you, is a result of many different things in that person’s life. Most people who abuse, have been abused. Right? Does that make them bad? It just makes them victims. Victims become victimizers. Not 100% but to a large degree. Most of what we’re taught about ourselves through our earlier life and our parents, we then absorb and we teach it to anybody around us. So, people who abuse are often abusing out of their own pain. That doesn’t excuse them. You wouldn’t let them hurt somebody if you were there. But you wouldn’t necessarily have to hate them to stop them. The not hating is the inner work. The preventing suffering on the outside is the outer result of that work.
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Episode 04: Desire and Willfulness
2019/02/06 - 15 min
Most of everything we do in life is designed to shine us up a little bit, so people will like us and look at us and appreciate us more and we get some attention, some affection. You know? But we don’t have to shine. We really don’t have to. So, if you’re noticing all the ways you’re trying to shine, that’s good. Otherwise how can you let go of that stuff if you don’t notice? Right? It’s not going to help you get happy. You’re just going to spend a lot of time shining yourself up. Then you fall apart.
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Episode 03: Bearing Witness
2019/02/06 - 16 min
Unconditional love, it’s a word, it’s a phrase, it’s hard to connect with that. Unconditional love. Just think about the sun. It shines evenly all the time on everything. On the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the high, the low. It shines on those miserable people who kill people and murder people and treat people like shit and it shines on the people who care for people and do charity and help people every chance they get. The sun shines equally on everything and everyone. That’s what it is. That’s unconditional.
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Episode 02: How does Love Relate to Life
2019/02/06 - 12 min
That’s the other thing that happens, you also start to accept all the parts of your life a lot more easily. All the shadows. You know, the shadows, if we don’t see them, they just keep pushing us around and they don’t go away by themselves. They must be looked at, they must be released, consciously released to some degree. So, when Maharajji sent me back to America after two and a half years, he said, “You go back to America. You have attachment there.” So, this is, this is what’s left after 50 years of dealing with attachment. Just, me and my main squeeze here. And my life, you know? But I think one of the things you’re asking, I’m not looking for that love in anybody anymore, in a person, in a human being.
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Episode 01: Talk on the Hanuman Chalisa
2019/02/06 - 19 min
Maharajji, Hanuman and The Flow of Grace Towards Love. - This is the way Mahrajji was. Everything that came towards Him got something burnt away, because you couldn’t come close to that fire with all your shit. You had to drop it or you couldn’t get there. Just coming towards that love burns stuff off of you in the first place. And that’s Hanuman. Hanuman is that love that’s always turned towards Ram, towards God, and anything that approaches Hanuman gets into that flow of Grace towards love. But in order to enter into that flow, you have to leave some of that luggage behind. You have to. It’s not always pleasant and it’s not, it doesn’t always feel good but you want the love more than you want all that luggage and so you will let go of that given the opportunity.
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Episode 00: Keeping Up with Daily Sadhana and Practice
2018/01/16 - 8 min
In this episode Krishna Das discusses keeping up with our daily practices (sadhana) despite distractions and hurry in our daily lives.
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