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Meaning of Ashram
An Ashram always is free of any religion and open to absolutely ALL.
Guru in an Ashram serves the purpose of God and no one else. God is Love - hence Guru and Ashram serve the purpose of love. The only goal of Guru in an Ashram is to provide the environment for a spiritual retreat to offer the best possible environment in preparation to achieve oneness with God or God-realization.
Ashrams in ancient India, were hermitages where sages used to live in peace and tranquility amidst nature. Their purpose apart from performing sacrifices and penances was also to use them for the purpose of education. Children were sent to them to be educated. Many Ashrams thus served schools as well.
By 1997 Swami Stone had began to combine the most logical and fail safe spiritual and psychological teachings that she had been mastering throughout her life and created the 'Steps to Personal Power and Transformation' that were influenced by western psychology, Jesus and Buddhist based logic and teachings. Buddhism philosophy in the current day is having a great impact upon the system of psychology and has been profoundly instrumental in
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List of Articles, Sutras & Papers
by Richard Mende, R., 2002.
RE: Going Clear Weekend
by Jane Shaw, 2009
'Going Clear, Doorway to the Divine' chap 1
With Previews of many Chapters below..Stone2009
.Meaning of Ashram and Tiger
Institutional vs. Personal Religion and
how they relate to the field of
Psychology of Religion
Swami Ramaraaja/Stone, S.R., 2009
'1000 Words of Wisdom, Musings of a
Master Yogini' excerpts...
Swami Ramaraaja/Stone, S.R., 2004-2010.
Stone, S.R., 2003. RE: Life Coaching
Annonymous guest of a Going Clear Weekend
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Jane Shaw, 2009
Mysticism is frequently defined as an experience of direct communion with God, or union with the Absolute, but definitions of mysticism (a relatively modern term) are often imprecise and usually rely on the presuppositions of the modern study of mysticism — namely, that mystical experiences involve a set of intense and usually individual and private psychological states. While figures such as Teresa of Avila, Bernard of Clairvaux, and John of the Cross are seen to be paradigmatic mystics of the Christian tradition, no ‘mystics’ would have defined themselves as such before the twentieth century. Furthermore, mysticism is a phenomenon said to be found in all major religious traditions — though the common assumption that all mystical experiences, whatever their context, are the same cannot, of course, be demonstrated.
Mysticism involves the practice of contemplation both in the philosophical sense of the contemplation of truth and in the ‘supernatural’ sense of having knowledge of God via a life of prayer. Nevertheless, the ‘mystic way’ is primarily practical, not theoretical, and is something in which the whole self is engaged; the great Christian mystics have spoken of how they acted rather than how they speculated. St Mechthild of Magdeburg wrote that the writing of her book had been seen and experienced in her every limb, seen with the eyes of her soul, and heard with the ears of her eternal spirit. Sharing the mental and physical suffering of Christ, in the meeting of the spirit with evil, is described by some mystics as central to their experience. Teresa of Avila warned her nuns that the trials given by God to contemplative could be intolerable, and that they might not be able to endure their sufferings for as long as a day. Images of action — battle, pilgrimage, search — are used to describe the mystic's inward work, which is, paradoxically, sustained by the outward stillness of contemplation.
Some have placed a particular emphasis on certain altered states, such as visions, trances, levitations, locutions, raptures, and ecstasies, many of which are altered bodily states. Margery Kempe's tears and Teresa of Avila's ecstasies are famous examples of such mystical phenomena. But many mystics have insisted that while these experiences may be a part of the mystical state, they are not the essence of mystical experience, and some, such as Origen, Meister Eckhart, and John of the Cross, have been hostile to such psycho-physical phenomena. Rather, the essence of the mystical experience is the encounter between God and the human being, the Creator and creature; this is a union which leads the human being to an ‘absorption’ or loss of individual personality. It is a movement of the heart, as the individual seeks to surrender itself to ultimate Reality; it is thus about being rather than knowing. For some mystics, such as Teresa of Avila, phenomena such as visions, locutions, raptures, and so forth are by-products of, or accessories to, the full mystical experience, which the soul may not yet be strong enough to receive. Hence these altered states are seen to occur in those at an early stage in their spiritual lives, although ultimately only those who are called to achieve full union with God will do so.
In Jewish mysticism, embodied in the collected teachings known as the Kabbalah, God is perceived as one who both reveals and conceals himself but who can be perceived through the practice of contemplation and resulting illumination. Because mystical knowledge can easily be misinterpreted, traditionally only people of a certain age and educational level, and usually men, were allowed to engage in mysticism. The role of the ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ body, and the place of gender relations, in Jewish mystical experience are illustrated by the story of Rabbi Nehunya ben Hakkanah, told in the sixth- or seventh-century Hekhalot Rabbati. The rabbi was in a mystical trance, at the sixth heaven but about to enter the seventh heaven, when the people with him wanted to ask him about his vision when he was speaking out loud to them while in his trance. They were faced with the question of how to get him out of his mystical trance, so they laid a piece of cloth on his knees which had been touched by a woman who had completed her menstrual cycle, had purified herself the first time, but not the second, and was therefore not quite pure. When the cloth touched his knees the rabbi came out of his trance immediately so they were able to ask him the question, and then he went back into his trance.
In the late nineteenth century mysticism became the object of much research, partly because of the development of psychology and partly because of the new comparative study of religion by which phenomena were observed and compared across cultures. Key figures in this scholarship were Evelyn Underhill and Friedrich, Baron Von Hugel, though their analysis of mysticism was not theological. Von Hugel emphasized the Transcendent, the ‘wholly other’ as a fact of religions across cultures and thus he influenced thinking about the mystic's union with that Transcendent being. Underhill in particular saw mysticism as a process or way of life and as a cross-cultural phenomenon, and thus envisioned the ‘mystic way’ as a series of psychological states which could be found in mystics across different religions, times, and places. While Underhill insisted that a feature of mysticism was the abolition of individuality, the new emphasis, also found in the work of the philosopher William James, on the psychological states of the mystic led to an assumption that mystical experience is an essentially private and subjective matter. It did not involve, for example, questions of social justice — though mystics have long claimed that the mystical experience is proven ‘true’ in its effects or fruits, such as greater humility, acts of charity, and love of others. James associated the mystical with subjective states of feeling and the notion of mysticism as ‘private’ remains in most subsequent philosophical treatments of the subject. Both Underhill and Von Hugel made it clear that mysticism was an essential element in all religion, but never claimed it to be the whole content of any religion. However, some Protestant theologians, such as Emil Brunner and Reinhold Neibuhr, came to reject it as anti-Christian, considering it to be too Neoplatonic, while others, including Anglicans like W. R Inge, Dean of St Paul's, went to the other extreme and saw mysticism as the essence of Christianity.
Michel de Certeau's work, in the latter part of the twentieth century, has compared the procedures common to both mysticism and psychoanalysis, suggesting that the body, far from being ruled by discourse, is itself a symbolic language, and that in both psychoanalysis and mysticism the body is perceived as responsible for a truth of which it is unaware. Thus the body holds the ‘key’ to the ‘truth’ of the ‘space’ represented by the mystical or unconscious. This has caused the modern study of mysticism to focus, like psychoanalysis, on the bodily manifestations of the psyche's or soul's condition in order to understand the ‘truth’ of that condition. Perhaps the ultimate example of this is Jacques Lacan's attempt to locate the apparent impossibility or unknowability of female desire in the mystical experiences of Teresa of Avila, as depicted in Bernini's sculpture in Rome; he states that on looking at that statue it is immediately clear to us, if not to Teresa, that she is experiencing an orgasm. Luce Irigaray, a feminist psychoanalyst, has appropriately responded (in This Sex Which is Not One) to this collapse and merging of female sexual desire and religious experience thus: ‘In Rome? So far away? To look? At a statue? of a Saint? Sculpted by a man? What pleasure are we talking about? Whose pleasure? For where the pleasure of Teresa is concerned, her own writings are more telling.
Answers.com, para 1-6. Retrieved on July 21, 2009 from: http://www.answers.com/topic/mysticism. Bibliography * Underhill, E. (1995). Mysticism, (15th edn, revised). Bracken Books, London
Meaning of Tiger
TIGER - being focused, living in today. The tiger is one of the most powerful of the big cats. A solitary, silent hunter, it symbolizes removing all distractions from the mind and being purely focused on the present moment. Thus, Tiger is able to call on all of its abilities in order to achieve success.
The Symbolic Tiger
As a totem that corresponds to the great Dao, the tiger holds numerous symbolic meanings: Lung, breath, Qi, respiration system, change, control, circulation, rule, rhythm, West, Metal, Venus, transparency, upright, justice, autumn, wind, the Queen Mother of the West, and the seven Chinese lunar mansions in the Western sky.
Generally, in Chinese shamanic tradition, the tiger is addressed as Baihu-White Tiger. In Chinese culture, white does not merely mean the color white; rather, it is the symbol for transparency, clarity, purification, justice, or punishment, and is also symbolic of the activities of killing and destruction. The symbol for white is equal to the spiritual quality of the tiger totem. In nature, we can learn about the spiritual White Tiger through the "killing" atmosphere of the fall season. This killing is the process that generates new life in the spring season and is the natural way to clear out old energy and weakness and to maintain stronger life energy.
As we observe in nature, when autumn comes, strong wind not only sweeps down the leaves from the trees but also breaks down the weak and sick branches of the trees. When the next spring comes, these trees grow into a better shape. We can discover this natural-spiritual tiger "killing" function of the fall season in the body by learning the function of the Lung. Regular Lung function breaks down old energy (including dead cells), clears up stagnation, kills invading evil (virus), and maintains Qi circulation. We would get sick easily without this "killing" function of Lung.
Retrieved on June 13th, 2009 from:http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/352/
An Alternative Healing Approach with Swami Sharon R. Stone DD
by Richard Mende, 2002
There are a vast number and types of disease as well as healing methods to accommodate them. One form of healing mode that is gaining in popularity is that of ‘integrative’ healing. This is when a practitioner addresses a client on all levels of mind, emotions, body and spirit (energy).
Swami Sharon R. Stone is a local healer who has become known for her practice of this mode of healing. Those who have experienced her workshops where she teaches her ‘self-healing’ methods to others acknowledge that she is a trip; a maverick in the best sense of the word. She adamantly refuses to be put into any mold or category, and her healing techniques draw from a variety of traditions, teachings and personal experience.
Swami Stone undoubtedly has developed supernatural gifts using her methods, including the ability to read minds. So it is prudent to be careful about what you are thinking when she is around. Her years of research have resulted in breakthrough insights that ordinary folk have not experienced. She therefore doesn’t take kindly to challenges or debate but she certainly respects sincere questions. Due the level of intensity and spiritual savvy Swami Stone brings to these sessions, her students are often swept away. Many are affected on a very deep level and are noticeably changed by the class thus the term’ getting stoned’.
Swami Stone recognizes that childhood trauma can have life long repercussions. "Trauma for a child can be being bitten by a dog, an accident or inappropriate behavior from an adult. It is rare if an individual is not traumatized in some way as a child, why, to some children not getting enough ice-cream is a trauma. I know that you parents out their know what I am talking about!" says Swami Stone, "There can be emotional damage anywhere from childhood on." These incidents can cause difficulties to the mind and body building up over time, unless they are cleared away. Swami Stone determines priority health issues and addresses them with a combination of energy work and her Going Clear Mentoring techniques.
What is a typical session with Swami Stone? First, it might be mentioned again that there is no such thing as typical that can be applied to her, as each encounter is unique. However, let us take a peek at her last training seminar. The seminar lasted for three days. The first two days were held in a classroom atmosphere in a conference room at North Kansas City Hospital. Although it was a classroom atmosphere, there were many creature comforts such as snacks and herbal tea. Even though the presentation was very intense with an almost non-stop discourse, breaks happened periodically to allow students time to assimilate the material and practice what they were being taught.
At the core of her teachings was an emphasis on “clearing” and “tracking” of thoughts based on a collection of different methodologies. Swami Stone puts her own spin on these methodologies and adds techniques of her own, derived from her research.
Students who participated in her workshop followed procedures outlined in their workbooks, which helped lay bare their deep-seated hang-ups. As students explored their issues, Swami Stone would show them which techniques worked best to clear that particular issue. As a result, the students were clearing life issues within moments. On the third day Swami Stone met with the students individually, during which time she targeted their priority issues, and performed energy healing techniques on them.
At a time when alternative healing has become more mainstream, Swami Stone's integrative methods are and will continue to become an important resource for those who are seeking real help for real problems.
Swami Stone may be reached through the The Stone Institute or the Mystic Tiger Ashram office in Kansas City Missouri. Please call the school at 928-821-1261 for class or appointment times.
Richard Mende, a freelance writer, has shown a special concern for health issues. He has been a monk for over forty years and has lived eight years in India. Mr. Mende is the only master of Chini-Leabu in the west.
'Going Clear, Doorway to the Divine' & CD
by Sharon R. Stone BS, DD, VHT, RMT/Yogi Rama Raajakumaarii, and Light in the Dark Publishing Company (Perfect Paperback 2009)
Buy new: $21.95
Available currently through Amazon
& New Leaf *******************************
Psychology of Religion
Swami Stone/Sharon R. Stone
BS, DD, VHT, RMT, 2010
Psychology is about finding relief from the pressures and stressors of life whereby increasing ones overall mental health. Psychology of Religion is the exploration of blending spiritual practices as well, leading to a more holistic psychological practice. Findings have shown that having a more personal type of religious practice over an institutional one brings a greater sense of self-esteem and empowerment for many individuals. Regardless of the type of psychology blended with this personal religious practice, the end result is a higher self-efficacy and strong sense of mind that leads to a healthy life. The topic of institutional vs. personal religion is very important when relating to the psychology of religion because of the majority of individuals who actually participate in either an institutional or a personal form of religion and the effect that this has on their state of mind and overall mental wellness.
Institutional vs. Personal Religion
and how they relate to the field of Psychology of Religion
Psychology at its essence is about empowerment with the end purpose of building a higher self-efficacy and stronger sense of mind and personal power. This increased personal power facilitates an individual in participating in a healthier life. The topic of institutional vs. personal religion is very important when relating to psychology because of the majority of individuals who participate in either an institutional or a personal form of religion. Amongst these people it is noted how those with a more personal religious view, such as Buddhism, which is apart from an institutional form are more likely to be mentally healthy, empowered and in possession of a high self efficacy (Virtbauer, para 8-9, 2008). Personal religion is in direct contradiction to those who participate in an institutional religious form because of the more individualized religious practice, which is apart from an institutional dogmatized belief system of control. Those who practice institutional religion without the personal connection are more likely to lack the sense of a personal responsibility when it comes to choices that they are taking an active role in choosing. Rather than letting a group of men choose what they are to do, act on and believe in, those with a more personal religious form of belief tend to truly weigh the consequences of their actions and words and measure who will be affected, before they act (Fox, para 8-9, 2009). William James makes it clear that those who participate in a personal religious style are more psychologically aware and conscientious of the importance of personal integrity, regardless of what a church ‘organization’ tells them. Psychology of Religion and how personal vs. institutional religious practices are integrated within that field will be addressed, the end result being that personal religious practices are more psychologically efficacious in building the overall mental health of an individual over that of an individual that participates an institutional religious practice only (Virtbauer).
Psychology of Religion:
Historically, psychology of religion is seen as a field that has had a rising and falling interest over the years (Beit-Hallahmi, 1974), (Neilson, para, 2, 2000). Psychology's early influences from the likes of William James, in ‘Principles of Psychology’ was representative of a state-of-the-art text in psychology at the time it was published (Neilson). James was the president of the American Psychological Association at the time and was deeply interested in religious phenomenological experiences and sought to understand the individual religious experience of the mystics (Neilson). Other influential psychologists such as G. Stanley Hall felt compelled to improve psychological theory regarding religious practice (Neilson). After the earlier push in psychology toward behaviorism there was a time of neglect of the religious or spiritual matters in regards to the psychological (Neilson, para 2, 2000). Reductionist methods from the behaviorism camp did not allow for much room regarding matters of faith or theoretical constructs that could not be empirically tested (Neilson). As a result, psychology left behind the field of religion for other more scientific topics and it was neglected for decades to follow (Neilson).
Psychologist’s interest in religion did not resume until the 1950’s. Gordon Allport attempted to describe the ‘role’ of religion in an individual’s personal experience and as a result made an important mark in the field. He came up with the distinction between intrinsic vs. extrinsic religious motivations (Neilson, para 3, 2000). This remains the most influential approach of psychological studies in the US since and there have been several developments that have combined to suggest that there is resurgence in this field (Neilson). As a result the APA has dedicated a division to focus on the psychology of religion (Neilson).
Institutional vs. Personal Religion:
William James a U.S. psychologist and philosopher served as the president of the APA wrote one of the first psychology textbooks on the psychology of religion (Neilson, para 1, 2001). James makes a distinction between institutional and personal religion (Sohel, para 1-6, 2009). According to James, institutional religion describes the religious group or organization, and this organization plays an important part in a society's culture (Sohel). Personal religion however refers to the individual who is having a mystical experience. This mystical experience can happen to someone regardless of the culture they are from. “James was most interested in understanding personal religious experience. If personal religious experiences were what James preferred, dogmatism was something that he disliked. Dogmatic thought, whether religious or scientific, was anathema to James. The importance of James to the psychology of religion--and to psychology more generally--is difficult to overstate. He discussed many essential issues that remain of vital concern today” (Neilson, para 3, 2001). Taken from ‘Varieties of Religious Experience’, James is quoted as saying “The theorizing mind tends always to the over-simplification of its materials. This is the root of all that absolutism and one-sided dogmatism by which both philosophy and religion have been infested”(CSP, para 1, no date). James is referring here to the institutional form of religion in which dogmatism reigns supreme over logic of any kind. He is drawing a drastic contrast between what he feels is a more authentic personal religious path over the institutional one where rules and set standards are dogmatically followed and which can be an inauthentic path to one who practices it.
According to Alan Fox, a Professor of Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Religion in the Philosophy Department and Director of the Honors Program at the University of Delaware interprets James views as, “Religious institutions are traditions, which are always bound to historically defined perspectives. But some of these perspectives are no longer viable, such as those that contradict modern discoveries”(Fox, para 6, 2009). According to Fox, if religious institutions aren't meeting the more personal needs of their members then why do the memberships remain so attractive to so many people? (Fox). He feels that those who follow institutional religions lack personal confidence and do not allow themselves to trust in their own instincts. In other words they like to be told what to do. He goes on to explain the illogical thought behind institutional religion here, “If someone else didn't say it, it isn't true; if someone else did say it, it is likely true; and if it is written down especially in the Book, it must be true. This might help explain the appeal of concepts like vicarious sin and redemption. Such doctrines suggest that we are hopeless sinners, but it is Adam's fault, not ours. We can be saved, but not by our own sacrifice, rather by the sacrifice of a redeemer, whether Christ or Amida Buddha” (Fox, para 8, 2009). In essence, those who follow an institutional form of religious practice do not take responsibility for their lives and let others make decisions for them, which would in logic appear that they have a much lower self-efficacy than those who practice a personal religion. Fox goes on to say that this type of thinking can lead to dangerous attitudes and that we forfeit responsibility for our own morality, “This thinking can lead to dangerous attitudes. Once we forfeit responsibility for our own morality, we always have an excuse, which justifies behavior that is clearly immoral,…”(Fox, para 9, 2009). In the ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’, Dr. Phil Zuckerman who teaches sociology at Pitzer College points out in an article on the ‘Virtues of Godlessness..’, that “…religion may not have such positive societal effects. It can often be one of the main sources of tension, violence, poverty, oppression, inequality, and disorder in a given society” (para, 10, 2009). There are many other sources in mainstream psychology that cite similar observations, which are not mentioned here, but the overall majority consensus does not favour an institutional religious form over a more personal religious form in regards to maintaining a successful state of mental health.
What Might Spirituality in the form of Personal Religion Offer the Contemporary Practicing Psychologist?
A philosophy that could be categorized as a personal religious form of Buddhism when mixed with psychology is becoming synonymous in western society. Western psychologists have been realizing for quite some time that Buddhist philosophies of mindfulness and other personal religious practice are helping people mentally, physically and spiritually. Almost all streams of psychology and psychotherapy in the current times are reflecting a Buddhist psychological theory (Virtbauer, para 8-9, 2008). The more successful theoretical and practical psychological ‘treatment’ happening today has experienced the integration of the Buddhist teachings within their working theories (Virtbauer). The main push now is the integration the Buddhist teachings in already existing psychological or psychotherapeutic lines of thought as the end goal (Virtbauer, para 8-9, 2008). Buddhist mindfulness and acceptance techniques have been one of the most flourishing and successful innovations in psychotherapy. This
is very important to the different schools of psychotherapy. “A development worthy of note within the different schools of psychotherapy is the fact that not only psychotherapies with a traditionally close relation to eastern thought --
as Gestalt therapy or transpersonal psychology --engage in dialog with Buddhist traditions, but also the most scientifically orientated behavior therapies have recently been influenced by Buddhist thought. Some even speak of a 'spiritual turn' in behavior therapy. "Technologies of acceptance", as in Marsha Linehan's Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT; Linehan 1998, 23), mirror traditional Buddhist values and are partly drawn directly from Buddhist meditation techniques” (Virtbauer). The successful integration of personal religion and psychological therapies has given much validation to the importance of a practice of personal religion in regards to successful mental health treatment and this will continue to show the lack of validity of a more institutional form of religion as supporting good mental health or wellbeing in this society.
How does Personal Religion aid the Psychologist Today?
Another large part of Buddhism at the core of the belief system is the emphasis on non-judgment, compassion and mindfulness. Living in the present moment, or in a state of mindfulness technique is used in stress reduction, “…examples include Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT) by Segal, Williams, and Teasdale. A further approach within newer behavioral and cognitive interventions is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which does not have a direct connection to eastern philosophies (ACT is built on Relational Frame Theory (RFT)), but arrives at comparable assumptions” (Virtbauer). The emphasis is an attitude of acceptance through non-judgment in this present moment, no matter what is going on that might be causing one stress. Changing thoughts that control the inner language is the point of mindfulness. When one can stop the thoughts that are stressful through the personal religious experience of meditation while in the moment, their brain waves drop from beta to theta and then it is possible to change the thoughts associated with the stress. When this self-empowering form of practice becomes a habit, the mind begins to clear and in so doing over time one can build a higher self-efficacy. We learn that we can validate ourselves through a commitment to changing inner thought patterns to become a more whole person (Stone, pg 76, 2009; Sollod, para 33,no date).
There has been a great deal of interest in the relationship between psychology and spirituality in recent years. There have been many books, conferences and articles to support health care professionals interested in this field (Plante, para , 2008). “Professional psychology has appeared to have rediscovered spirituality and religion with renewed interest in integrating this aspect of life into professional psychological services. Since 96% of Americans believe in God and 40% attend religious services on a weekly basis or more (e.g., Gallup & Lindsay, 1999), spirituality and religion is an important aspect of life for many. Yet most psychologists have little if any training on these matters” (Plante). There are many spiritual and religious tools that can and are being used by psychologists in their work with clients that do not take away from the client’s favored religious form
or lack of religion of either the clients or the psychologists (Plante). Through combining a personal religion with psychology a person can achieve greater overall health mentally, physically and spiritually, without dogma or having to pay homage to creeds or gurus that do not support the personal belief systems of the person which only leads to a low self esteem and unhappiness in life. Other forms of personal religious practice that can be combined easily and effectively with psychology are meditation, partnership forms of prayer, seeking a calling in life, acceptance of self and others, ethical values and behaviors, being part of something greater than oneself, forgiveness, gratitude, volunteering, rituals, social justice, spiritual role models, bibliotherapy and community support. (Plante).
Psychology has been conducting research and practice with various areas for over one hundred years and religion has been benefiting societies for thousands of years (Plante). It is not only possible, but also logical to combine the two areas together to achieve a greater sense of tangible health and wellness on all levels psychologically, physically and spiritually. Many personal forms of religion like Buddhism have been teaching psychological forms of therapy that have been helping individuals for millennia and to ignore the significance of this truth would reduce the highly successful quality of current psychological care to the imagery of a bunch of children stumbling in the dark when there was a light switch already on the wall (Plante).
CSP, para 1 (no date). The Varieties of Religious Experience, James. Retrieved on January 4th, 2010 from
Fox, A., para 6-10, (2009). Institutional Trappings, Religion and Dis-religion in a "One-Size-Fits-All" World. Retrieved on January 5th, 2009 from:
Nielsen, M., para 1-5 (2000). Psychology of Religion in the USA, Georgia Southern University. Retrieved on January 3rd, 2010 from: http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/USA.html
Nielsen, M., para 1-3 (2001). Notable People. Retrieved on January 5th, 2010 from
Plante, T., para 1-16 , (2008). What Might Spirituality and Religion Offer the Contemporary Practicing Psychologist?, Santa Clara University. Retrieved on January 5th, 2010 from:
Sohel, para 1-6,(2009). Phpbb, Mental Disorders, Religion and Psychology Blog. Retrieved on January 6th 2010 from:
Sollod, R., para 33, (1993) Integrating Spiritual Healing Approaches and Techniques into
Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology, Cleveland State University. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from:
Stone, S., pg 76, (2009). ‘Going Clear, Doorway to the Divine’, Light in the Dark Publishing, Kansas City, MO.
Virtbauer, G., para 8-9, (2008) Buddhism as a Psychological System: Three Approaches
University of Vienna. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from: http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/virtbauer.htm
Zuckerman, P., para 10 (2009). The Virtues of Godlessness: The least religious nations are also the most healthy and successful, Pitzer College. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from: http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/zuckerman.htm
Swami Ramaraaja Stone
In the Library at the Mystic Tiger Ashram
Kansas City Wellness Magazine 2002
by Dr. Sharon R. Stone
Many people would love to get a second chance at life but do not know how to go about it. Their relationships, career and personal lives are strained by living with doubts and disappointments. The thoughts of "did I choose the right career, spouse or place to live" plague individuals of many walks of life daily, sending them to the psychologist for relief.
Individuals are constantly reevaluating their lives but few have the courage to actually step out and live it. Not only live it but also take the proper steps to learn how to live it.
The market now is flooded with ‘Life Coaches’ and ‘Life Strategists’ like Dr. Phil from the Oprah show who can help people to fine tune their living skills; are you taking advantage of this gift in your local marketplace? This is the new psychotherapy for this millennia; drug free help for everyday problems.
What I have found with those whom I work with is that most all people are living according to some pre-programmed ideals that their parents, church leaders or teachers instilled within them. Like cutting the ends off of the roast beef (because it is a family tradition), before they cook it and they have no idea why. These ‘belief’ systems do not work practically for most individuals. People are left frustrated with their lives that aren't working and terrified of more future unhappiness. We need to end this cycle of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
They do not fit with their religious upbringing anymore because they are discovering that their religious processes and rituals do not qualify for spirituality and happiness. Individuals who are on a path of self-discovery are finding that they are dissatisfied with their present lives and seek to change them.
Self-help books are among the most popular of reading material in our current day and people cannot get enough of it. People want more, people need more and people deserve more. What I do as a Going Clear Mentor is to give a person a fresh pair of eyes to look into their life and because I am not in a personal relationship with the client or student I can speak to them objectively and not spare their feelings in telling them the truth.
As a Going Clear Mentor and Psycho-Social Intuitive I do not just listen, I give my clients and students homework assignments proven to work on their lives while they are not with me based on the Going Clear methods. I am a teacher, a life teacher and not spouting that my own life is perfect, but a work in progress based upon what I know works to bring happiness and peace. That is perfection to me, and I speak of authenticity. Without it we are dead and crazy or both.
As the students do their homework assignments all of a sudden they notice that their careers are going better, their relationships with spouses and children are improving and they themselves are feeling more at peace with life and the World in general. Life just gets better when you know how to live it.
We are not taught how to live in college. The home lives of many individuals don’t teach them either because so many individuals have come from dysfunctional families and an anomaly of abuse situations. So this is what we breed, more dysfunction and dissatisfaction with life. As a result of this individuals flail thru life accidentally on pre-programmed notions that do not belong to them and are not how they honestly feel. This is what causes panic attacks, agoraphobia, anxiety, depression and so many other disorders because individuals are out of their personal integrity. They do not own their lives or have control over them. It’s enough to drive any normal person crazy.
People go to psychologists, psychics, their best friends and their parents for advice and still do not receive the help that they so desperately need to make their OWN decisions with confidence. They need to develop confidence and this is learned it is not something people are born with.
As we practice re-invention in our daily lives we give others permission to do so also, and if this means that this week you are an engineer and next week you are a grocery store clerk then it does not matter, does it? In order to be truly happy with who we really are who gives a damn who approves of us if we are living our dream for this moment?
One day when we add up all of these 'authentic' moments we find that we have built ourselves a life, a life that we own. This is where Going Clear Mentors come in, we know what to say to you to get you to a new level of growth and development and we don’t care if you like it or not because if you want to keep seeing us you’d better do your homework!
'1001 Words of Wisdom, Musings of Master Yogini'
by Swami Ramaraaja Stone available on Barnes & Noble Pub IT- ebooks.
Copyright 2003-2011 a.k.a.
Sharon R. Stone DD
Copyright notice: Please do not copy any quotations from this page unless full credit is given appropriately to the original author, Thank you for your understanding.
"It is egotistical to fear because you assume that you had anything to lose."
"How can I love my life?
] Make a life that you can love, then it just becomes easy."
"Find a way to laugh every day and your life will be full, how many people do you know who are serious all the time and happy about it?"
"What is pre-destination then,
if not an inexplicable calling into a particular life?
"What is a better expression of love
then to honor another with truth, straight from the heart."
"When we love what hurts us
we can continue to be baffled by our pain."
"A pure heart lives in a person
who truly desires another's happiness."
"Follow your Dreams,
they are the Sustaining Elements
which give TRUE definition
to your life."
"Continue to hold the vision for your life, it is only a matter of time before it will come into focus, and no longer disappoint your expectations."
"We are only as good as the symbols we seek."
"To love others should be the main drive of our lives, the World needs more compassion, not anger and strife "
"Why can I find nothing to do with my life?
Because you want to do nothing with your life."
"When we fail to see the truth In a teaching it gives us the luxury of remaining ignorant and unenlightened."
"We seek and seek yet Do not find.
All that effort seems to work better if we have first invested in a map."
"What if I choose not to change?
Die over there so I don't have to smell you rotting or hear you complaining."
"Walk softly and carry a big stick;
the stick is for you."
"Do you really like yourself?
Take a moment and be careful how you answer, God is watching."
"To find honor in thyself
is greater than any approval
one could get from another being
"If you cannot be perceived by others who are your same caliber (true to life peers) then YOU will forever be like unto the king of an ant hill, if all of your peers are mere ants."
"The act of putting oneself down is an insult to the divine, not to mention, anyone else who hears you. People are instinctively aware that to do this is a form of emotional vampirism, because they understand that you expect them to build you back up."
"Even with eternity at stake, sometimes just loving others and having tea with them in a single beautiful moment is more important than trying to convert them, that is Zen, and that is the meeting of Souls."
"Does education make the man
or rather the ability to cognitively observe ones own nature to the point of personal excellence?."
"I am amazed at the wealth of wisdom that can be found in the mind of the uneducated man;
unfettered by pre-conceived notions and judgments of life which may or may not be valid and which they tend to teach in schools."
"The arrogant man does not deal with his fear, he comes to the end of his life completely unclear.
He Longs to know love and have no tears, yet relax he cannot because of his mirrors.
He sees the futility in following his careers of deception and greed
and the conquering of all jeers.
So, he says 'drink up, drink up,
with his buddies he cheers
I must not know pain and thus must drown all of my sneers lest when out of my mouth they tend to appear; just another handful of un-quality peers.
In answer to a question from a friend."
“How do we bring about real change in our lives?
By choosing, and following through without complaint.”
"Follow the rules and be a schlub.
Don't follow the rules and become your destiny; become a God."
"People who've been in our lives tend to view us by the way that we have been in the past, not based upon where we are going from here.
This being the case, without a fresh pair of eyes to look upon us how do we ever become more than we are now?"
"Some days it seems a miracle just to be able to find the leading edge on a roll of toilet paper."
"How does education profit an individual who continually chooses to act in the role of the fool."
"Get busy living with Passion and Bliss filling your soul or buy a casket, because it is only a matter of time now."
"Why is change so hard?
Because we have worn grooves into our minds over our current belief systems, and even though they betray us they are all we know."
"When searching for your bliss,
it must bring to you certain rewards,
these are love, laughter, joy,
a satisfying challenge, the growth of the soul and must be something that your very soul would find honorable doing."
"Why do we love?
Because there is no worthier an act to partake in, the more passionate, the better."
"Why do I fear love?
Because to experience it you must be poured out like the rivers into the seas."
"How should we love?
The way the other person wants to be loved of course, to love them in the ways that you want means that you expect them to be you."
"'I Love You' means that if something I do really bothers you maybe I could take stock and realize that maybe it wasn't that important to me to begin with."
"'I Love You' means, go after your dreams and I will help you carry the luggage."
"How do we know when we are in love? Our heart aches so that we feel it physically in our bellies, we call it butterflies. Sometimes ten thousand of them."
"How can you know what true love really is when upon its arrival you wriggle away like a fish."
"Loving is like building a house that is not ever finished."
"Kind words for a lover are compassion, with understanding in times of trouble or stress. Words of passionate affection, always, day or night, and words of appreciation and praise for all that they are and are becoming day to day."
"I love another passionately but cannot stand their darkness. What is love if not a commitment to that darkness first? It is simple, only passion."
"To lavish another with affection and kind words is the love of Gods for one another."
"What is a better expression of true passion then to be willing to give a back rub to your cherished partner.
These have been excerpts from the book '1001 Words of Wisdom, Musings of a Master Yogini', 2011. Copyright Sharon R Stone 2003-2008,
Swami Ramaraaja Stone
In the Library at the Mystic Tiger Ashram
For a private phone session or reading with Swami Stone...
“And so it begins…
It is an overcast day. The clouds roll over the mountains. The smell of rain is in the air as the wind blows a little harder. Anticipation sparks and crackles in the air around me as the first tongue of lightning licks the summer sky. A big storm is coming, and when it has passed, everything will be changed. Some feel exhilarated and energized by a storm. Some feel dread and loss, but one thing is for sure; a storm is a force of nature.
A Going Clear Weekend with Dr. Sharon R. Stone is much like a storm. The weekend begins with a build up of purpose. Why are you here and what do you expect from this experience? The clouds begin to roll down the valley. A meditation initiation sparks the beginning of a series of tools designed to bring a swift and sweeping change. Tracking, interaction, conflict, resolution, forgiveness, liberation and calm follow the pattern of a storm as the weekend continues, leaving a feeling of clean in its wake.
Dr. Sharon R. Stone is the force of nature behind this Going Clear phenomenon. Like a large cat she stalks her prey with single-minded purpose, tracking it back to its origin and ruthlessly examining the issues that bind us. To Dr. Stone, anything that keeps us from our full potential is the prey, an enemy to be exposed for the lie that pins us to the floor, time and again. Like Sherlock Holmes, she gathers the clues to expose the criminal ideas that hold our hearts and minds for ransom, and like a lawyer, she builds her ironclad case to see justice prevail and we the victims set free.
With a strong sense of humor, Dr. Stone brings the tools necessary to turn victims into victors, the hunted into hunters. Each person attending a weekend has an opportunity to turn his or her life around. There is such a synergy created in a weekend that one is transformed, sometimes unwillingly, as part of the flow. Some walk away changed, in spite of their best efforts to thwart the process. Like a storm rolling through, they find themselves caught up in the drama of the hunt. Stubbornly clinging to old beliefs or issues, the force of the weekend sweeps through shaking the foundations of erroneous perceptions and purging the comfortable lies we use as a defense against real change. Afterwards, leaving behind a peace, like a hush after a torrent.
As would a military master, Dr. Stone equips every one attending with armor and weapons, which prepare us to do battle. Much like Jesus with the gospel and like St. George did with the dragons and demons that plague us. It is not surprising that students return, time and again to hone to perfection the skills that will win their freedom.
The weekend is not all warfare. Dr. Stone’s dry wit elicits much laughter as she delivers her observations with the skill of a seasoned comedian. She exposes her own struggles and frailties with a wry grin, teasingly making light of her own issues and personal history. No subject is sacred or illicit to Dr. Stone, as she systematically and with much mirth dismantles society’s most cherished taboos.
Tears and laughter flow freely as traumas are confronted and friendships are formed. The depth of what has been taught is reinforced and the students leave with a deep appreciation of the mysteries of the mind. They take with them the tools to make it less mysterious. Everyone walks away empowered and changed, like the landscape after a summer storm”
(Anonymous attendee of a Going Clear Weekend, 2002).
More Articles Being Added Periodically
Swami Stone in the Meditation Room of the Mystic Tiger Ashram in 2011
'1001 Words of Wisdom, Musings of a Master Yogini' on sale at Barnes and Nobel PUB-IT right now...
'Going Clear, Doorway
to the Divine',
by Sharon R. Stone BS, DD, VHT, RMT
Preview of Going Clear,
Doorway to the Divine
The Going Clear methods were first copyrighted in 1997 and they were taught as ‘Simple Steps to Personal Power and Transformation’ and ‘Meditate Like the Masters’. The methods were first published in the ‘Alchemist’ Newsletter in Kansas City, Missouri. The ‘Alchemist’ was a newsletter put out by Dr. Sharon R. Stone. Due to the popularity of the teachings, the readers of the ‘Alchemist’ requested that Dr. Stone teach the methods in a classroom setting. By early 2002, the methods had evolved into the ‘Going Clear’ Weekend workshops. The weekends last approximately twenty hours and run from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
The information in this book has been used successfully for over a decade through workshop trials to the public as well as in client case studies. The Going Clear methods have helped individuals suffering from major depression and anxiety as well as other problems. Individuals have experienced increased joy, peace filled living, enlightenment, Zen consciousness, cosmic, God and unity consciousness.
Others have increased their miraculous abilities, which are lying dormant within all of us. Most individuals who are aware of these methods have improved communications and happiness within familial, marital or partnered relationships.
The application of these methods has been helpful for personal as well as professional operations of daily life.
Overall, the benefactors of this information are individuals who desire to get to the core of their problems and onto the fast track of clearing away unwanted thoughts and/or belief systems that are no longer working for them.
Dr. Stone’s methods are common sense and easy to learn. Most people forget about the information while it is working in their lives. One does not have to discipline themselves to use the methods to maintain ongoing success. Like past education that works non-stop throughout one’s life, the Going Clear methods are in never resting service to the individual “in the know”.
The information contained within has been proven to help individuals to remove obstacles and illusions from their lives that are not serving them in reaching their full potential.
These obstacles are taking valuable energy from them that could be used to create a better career, relationships, spiritual connection and overall life that they dream of and pray for daily. Books about creating what one wants in life cannot help a person if their minds are full of unforgiveness and judgments of self and others. There is no room in their hearts and minds for new information or the healing information that they desire to be consumed with.
“Psychic energy is needed to make the mind go and the energy (motivation) cannot be destroyed, it must be expressed: The psychoanalytic approach assumes that the psychological apparatus of the mind needs some kind of energy to make it go. This energy is used in psychological work such as planning, thinking, feeling, remembering…” Further -“…The thinking is that at any time there is only a finite amount of energy available and if it’s busily being used to repress memories and deal with anxieties, then it’s not being used fruitfully. If the neuroses can be resolved, then the psychic energy can be freed to use more creatively and productively” (Wilderdom, 2003, para 1).
The information contained within can be compared to a powerful, new and simplified form of Raja Yoga philosophy invented by Dr. Stone for the westerner mindset. This philosophy is combined with mystic Christianity, basic shamanism, psychoanalytic theory and other schools of thought.
The Wizard behind the curtain
While reading this material, your mind, body and spirit will become more empty and clear as belief systems and expectations of self and others are gently peeled away. This process will uncover your Spirit given abilities to connect, heal and think more clearly and efficiently. This book will help sincere individuals to find their true life’s purpose as well as returning others to theirs. This book is also a love letter to all individuals who are seeking the end of the fight for their sanity and are ready to find release in peace. I, too, was once on a frenzied search for explanations to my psychologically and spiritually pained conditions. I have discovered realizations that have brought about and continue to bring about a daily release from that pain.
Like many other religious scholars delving into studies at a young age, I began with the only material provided to me here in the west, the Bible. I was raised in the Christian faith; some would call me a recovering Christian. I like to refer to myself as an evolving Christian who has also added Taoism, Dzogchen Buddhism, shamanism and other philosophies to my repertoire.
I believe that much of religion and even the source of initial ‘religious thought’ involve psychology within society because ‘as we think therefore we are’. The study of religion leads one to the understanding that the purpose is to instruct and establish proper societal behaviors. The reason for a particular religion within a region is to satisfy the sociological and psychological desires of the indigenous people inhabiting it. The religion is designed to be the law of the land, so to speak. Religious thought used to rule nations and to this day continues. This premise is the source of the discord in the world in the twenty-first century.
We are intensely spiritual creatures and our very souls and hearts cry out for spiritual connection to heavenly fathers and mothers. This is in of itself beauty, like the child reaching out for its parent to love and nurture it; our souls reach out for the divine connection and parent/child bliss that comes with that connection. With or without religion, we will and DO find God or a Spiritual connection because it is what we are.
I believe that religion in its initial design wasn’t just religion or a psychological system to control the masses, but that it was designed to encompass the need for law and to facilitate the divine connection, too. What it has actually ecome, however, is an inhibitor to Spirit. It destroys the divine connection because of the psychological fears connected with it. People say, ”What the hell, we cannot attain such perfection so we won’t even try anymore” and simply give up. The attitude of giving up is victimizing. This vctimization is induced by unrealistic religious expectation and leads to depression. Religious dogma fed to unsuspecting innocents is the plague of the world. Sort of like Stockholm syndrome; strong, but true. God is not a perfectionistic taskmaster ready to squash people for thinking a completely natural thought, but that is in fact what people are being taught. There is not enough Prozac™ to go around.
In contrast, Spirit does not operate as a set of rules, but as love. Our design from the divine standpoint is to be ‘the presence’ or ‘Kundun’ or ‘Christ consciousness’. When individuals allow the Spirit of God, which is their own natural self anyway, to flow through them like a breeze and step into the doorway of that spiritual breeze, they become that presence fully. Judgment and fear ceases to exist. People become filled with peace and just know what to do. I believe that had I been Buddhist or any another religion, my mind would have come to similar conclusions. With this understanding, I will elaborate a bit on the beginnings of these methods. Continued below...
Continued from above...
In my beginnings, I studied the Bible (King James Version) from a very young age, memorizing scriptures as early as six or seven. I learned the words in red as well as one can. I thought about them daily. I insisted on attending theological schools from the age of twelve where I could study the book everyday. I eventually attended Bible College and served in the ministry. For an extended period I was at the church seven days per week. I did all of that in an attempt to learn more about those elusive words in red.
The words in red are Jesus’ words, his ‘instructions’ on how to live life. Many teachers shine over these words; they spend so much time talking about superfluous ‘teachings’ in the Bible and appear to forget about the words in red. These words have haunted me, and so did the life of Jesus. It all seemed too familiar to me. I feel that I was created to follow this man’s (God, Master, Teacher, and Christ, whatever you choose to call him) teachings so that I could figure out the mystery of those words for myself. He did not have to be God or a son of a God for the words to make perfect sense to me. It was a code to others like him. I wanted to break the code for myself (and did) so I could be like him, too.
For me to understand those words in red fully, I studied other philosophies and religions and spent time in meditation (praying) over all of the information. I searched for correlations and have been able to crib note the main points in my mind. In doing this, I have drawn some unerring conclusions as to what those words in red originally meant. Well, I am here to tell you the answer, the amazing secret that Jesus’ words revealed…are you ready?
They mean just what they say they mean, yes, hard to believe because his words are telling us that we are like Him, in more ways than some will dare to admit. The words he spoke were not mere metaphors for other concepts, as some would have you believe.
All Jesus came to teach were some basic principles that were supposed to help us to be clear in purpose like him, and do miracles like him…”these things that I do, you’ll do and MORE”, period (King James Bible, John 14:12). But so many people don’t believe what he said. Many people, teachers included, are not clear enough mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually to understand them, let alone teach them to others. Now you may find out what they mean, so that we can get on with the business of living this way authentically, in a world where miracles are commonplace.
All of the answers here are not mine; they are tried and tested methods and information. Universal truths that will take decades to learn without a book like this. This book is the ‘official’ crib notes for getting everything you want in life and being everything that you were meant to be. It is time to cut through your perceptions and pre-conceived notions that are keeping you from achieving the life that you truly feel led to live and desire to live.
Books about creating your dreams cannot work for you if you cannot clear the excess noise out of your head that continually draws you back into fear, hopelessness and dread. It is this noise that you will clear; it is this noise that shouts down your new affirmations of abundance while competing with them fiercely. It is this noise (coupled with constant mind chatter) that causes you to need higher doses of medications and is the reason why you are so unhappy in life.
If you can be strong and hang on just a little bit longer, you can become something more. Keep reading until you get the full truth and don’t put it down until you are done. This is the most amazing journey that you will ever take and I guarantee that it will be entertaining.
MIND LIKE A LASER BEAM
Yogis are clear. Saints are clear. Christ’s are clear. They are clear at the soul as well as the mind level and this is why they can and do perform miracles. They can perform miracles because they live in a state of compassion and love. Those who are clear live in a state of compassion and love. When I am speaking of the word “love”, I am not talking about erotic love or brotherly love, but agape or compassionate love. Some would call it a ‘Christ-like’ love.
These clear souls tend to teach love as well, as a natural state of living and being because to live in love or compassion, you tend to share it with others. These clear souls are qualified to teach love because they have little or no bitterness in their hearts and very little or no judgments toward others. These ‘sins’ BLOCK your ability to focus. The ability to FOCUS your mind like a laser onto that which you desire is part of what Jesus taught, a large part.
I found many Holy Scriptures, including but not limited to Raja Yoga (the Royal Yoga Philosophy of the Brahmin Caste in India), are describing this clarity of mind, too. I learned Raja yoga philosophy after I overcame the fear of appearing evil to my Christian peers for wanting to study other religions. Once I overcame this fear, I was able to understand more of what Christ originally said by studying the different branches of yoga philosophy. The Bible (as taught by most ministers) can tend to be vague and a bit one-sided, so the ability to glean a deep knowledge of “the word” (Gospels) is limited.
There are a few things which when eliminated from the mind opens the mind, and the result is that you can focus and create. If your mind had the power to focus it would become like a laser beam. A laser cuts through obstacles, silly things that people say, silly words that you read, silly ideas that you have about yourself, life and other people. You can now cut through the bullshit. Yes, I said bullshit. Awful, isn’t it?
The following is an excerpt from a former attendee of a Going Clear Weekend. In reading this excerpt, you will get an idea of what to expect from your personal experience with this book. What you would experience from attending one of these weekends is in part deposited within these pages. See you on the other side.
This has been chapter one of 'Going Clear, Doorway to the Divine', 2009 for sale within this website. Copyright 2009 Sharon R. Stone BS, DD, VHT, RMT, Light in the Dark Publishing Company.
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What is a Swami?
Often people ask questions like, "What is a swami?" or "Why did you become a swami?" In areas such as Rishikesh or Haridwar, India, along the Ganges, it is not a question that needs to arise. Many swamis are there, and all you have to do is say, "Behold, those are swamis!" However, in geographical areas where there are few swamis wandering around, these are more curious questions.
The word swami means master; it means striving for the mastery over one's smaller self and habit pat-terns, so that the eternal Self within may come shining through. The act of becoming a swami is not so much an acting of becoming, of adding on, of allegiance, as it is an act of setting aside, of re-nunciation. A swami is a monk, one who has set aside all of the limited, worldly pursuits, so as to devote full time effort to the direct experience of the high-est spiritual realization, and to the service of others along those lines.
Renunciation is not anti-world, in any sense of the world being a bad place. Rather, it is a matter of priorities about how one will spend his or her time, the twenty-four hours in a day, and the seven days in a week. Traditionally renuncia-tion is the fourth of four stages of life, although one who feels the call might renounce and become a swami at any stage of life.
While there are many swami lineages, with a wide range of beliefs, perspectives, and loyalties, a swami of the Himalayan tradition will at some point no longer claim allegiance to any particular group or religion, seeing all as the outpouring of the one, indivisible reality, truth, or God, which goes by many names to different people of different cultures, including the word Brahman, the Abso-lute Reality.
Though most would likely have self-identified as Hindu, other individual practitioners in the Himalayan tradition have personal roots in virtually all of the world's most known cultures and religions. I was personally never initiated into, nor have joined any particular religion in this life. During childhood the decisions about religion were left by parents for my own later choice.
My renunciation as a swami has been one of setting aside any sense of exclusive identity so as to embrace the whole. (See also What is Sanatana Dharma?, Sana-tana Dharma or Hinduism?, and About the Words Hindu and Hinduism) The true samnyasi (renunciate or ascetic) does not identify with any form of division or multiplicity. The Sanskrit word samnyasi comes from samnyasyati, meaning he renounces. Sam means together, ni means down, and asyati means he throws. He or she throws down any personal identity whatsoever, including not only those related to physical objects, but also to nationality, religion, work or family identities. If there is the ex-ternal appearance of any identities such as these, it is only in the perception of, and for the benefit of others whom the samnyasi may serve. Even the name used by the samnyasi or swami is primarily for the convenience of others.
The goal of the samnyasi or swami is "atmano mokshar-tham jagat hitaya cha" which means one who strives "for the realization and liberation of the Self and for the benefit of the world."
There are deeper, heartfelt aspects of these questions "What is a swami?" or "Why did you become a swami?". One of the most inspiring and validating writings I have encountered is a short paper written by Pandit Usharbudh Arya, entitled "What is Renunciation?" (Scroll down to see this paper) This remains in my heart the clearest written description of what it really means to be a swami. It captures not only an accurate definition, but also a description of the ideal aimed for, and the spirit of the inner longing for one drawn to this path. It well answers the questions, "What is a swami?" and "Why did you become a swami?" The entire text of the paper is below.
Swami Rama has also writ-ten a succinct and clear description of the path of renunciation in his commen-tary on the Bhagavad Gita. Here, he describes seven important points about the path of the swamis. That text is also included below, and has been entitled "The Basis of Renunciation."
If you are not familiar with swamis or other monks, and are a sincere seeker, it is very important to know and keep in mind that the path of Self-Realization is not ex-clusive to the renunciates.
The two paths of re-nunciation and action in the world are equally valid and fruitful for aspirants who are devoutly com-mitted to the practices of contemplation and meditation.
What is Renunciation?
(written in 1986)
By Pandit Usharbudh Arya
(Now Swami Veda Bharati)
Renunciation is the final forgetting of "I" and "mine". It is that mode of thought and experience in which the entire creation becomes as oneself. One who has taken vows of renunciation, and thereby become a swami, consi-ders himself a member of every family on earth, with their physical and spiritual welfare as his prime concern. He is as concerned for them as the novices in the practice of love, leading a limited worldly life, are concerned with their own families.
A renunciate claims an intimate relationship with all, attached to none. "Attached to none" means that he claims nothing from them, desires and seeks nothing from anyone, needs no emotional support from any-one but gives the support and encouragement to all. Like the rising sun, wearing orange/saffron robes, he must dispense light to every nook and cranny of the world. Wherever the evening catches him is his home whether under someone's roof or under God's own sky.
Free and ever moving like the breeze he gives life-breath to all.
Everflowing like a river, he quenches, cleanses and irrigates all.
Like a fire he purifies all.
Like a light he illuminates all.
Like the sky, he remains untouched, clear, calm, giving his space to every-one; he invites every being to find rest, solace, succor and con-solation within his field of being that eman-ates from him.
A candidate for swamihood walks into the holy river Ganges, and doffs all clothing. S/he is given fresh robes by the guru for convention's sake. Mentally s/he must be as Adam or Eve before the fall, and totally genderless, for s/he is no longer a physical body in his personal self-identifica-tion. Yet s/he must continue to bestow the best of care on the physical vehicle so that s/he may serve others all the better. As s/he owns nothing one's own (svam), s/he is called a swami, the master of it all, for s/he has become a gentle master over his own will.
In taking the vows of swamihood one declares "a-bhyam" to all living beings: I am a threat to none, a danger to none; may no living being henceforth fear me. In a great fire-offering he names each and all his organs, sense faculties, pranas, mental states and functions, and as he pours a libation of ghee (clarified butter) into the fire, as though offering his own faculties to the universal fire, he declares regarding each of them, "No more mine"; "free of all dust I had gathered heretofore, I am now sinless; I am light.
Thereafter, if he owns any-thing it is only formally in his name, as a convenience for his univer-sal mission of service and love for which he grants and distributes of himself freely, unstintingly. He must avoid all honor and recognition, unless that too would enhance his service to the world. He must do, speak, think, wear, eat whatever would help those whom he serves.
One may renounce at any stage of life whenever his universal love crosses the boundaries of limitation. Renunciation is not, defin-itely not, an abandoning of any duties. Those who have any claims on him first renounce their claims on him and grant him their happy permission to let go. Theirs is no less an act of renunciation, more difficult, because they have yet to struggle with the world.
He renounces because his karma with them has been fulfilled; all he leaves behind is their happy thoughts about him. There are cases in history where someone became a swami by speak-ing a lie that he had no relatives or that he had obtained their happy per-mission. After it was found out to be untrue, such people were expelled from the monastic order and told to fulfill their worldly duties.
In some cases a renun-ciate's guru may order that he continue to perform some residual duties to his erst-while family, for example, continuing to finance a child's education. The great Shankara returned to his dying mother and performed her last rites. Why should not a renunciate do these duties which he would ordinarily perform for any member of his universal family, with-out claims or attachments and free of any weak emotions. He refers to his pre-renunciation family as purvashram:...
..."relations from my previous ashram". [previous stage of life] The act of renunciation is therefore not an escape, not a divorce.
Just as someone taking the vows as a Catholic nun, and changing her name, is not denouncing her parents, only enhanc-ing the scope of her love, so it is with someone be-coming a swami from out of (his/her) married life.
The spouse of such a one considers him/herself wed-ded but claiming nothing from the swami, for his per-sonage is now sacred, be-yond flesh and beyond the reach of touch.
The parents, spouse, child-ren who have let go of their child, spouse and parent are to be admired for their renunciation so that some-one may save the entire world freely.
In the Indian Law the act of sanyasa, or becoming a swami, is regarded as civil death. For example, any property acquired after be-coming a swami passes to one's disciples following the swami's death, and not to the children of one's body in the previous ashram [stage of life].
H. H. Swami Rama says that human beings are in un-finished product. A swami is the finished product, ideally speaking; or aspiring to become a finished product soon, in this very life; this is the ultimate in human evolu-tion. He has no specific name (except for others' convenience so they may refer to him), no birth-place, no caste, no social grouping, no religion, no countries. He is a citizen of all earth, everyone's closest relative to whom anyone may confide anything. He is the kind shower when someone is suffering a drought of love.
In the life of a spiritual seeker or teacher there comes a moment when a decision can no longer be postponed. One passes through emotions like those of a bride: sad-ness at separation from past love, looking forward to a future of a different ex-pansion of love, enhancing oneself. All weak emotion is to be watched and conq-uered--not by suppressing it but by merging the little love into the greater one.
One simply knows, at a certain time in life, that the pressing details of one's business from the worldly life will never be finished--while billions are dying without light. He ties up as many loose ends as possible, and walks out carrying a torch into the night. At that moment of decision, no consideration is weighty enough to tie his feet. The call to walk (to become a pari-vrajaka) has come:
•for the benefit of the many, bahu-jana-hitaya...
•for the comfort of the many, baha-jana-sukhaya...
as the Buddha said when exhorted and sent out his first batch of monks. At that moment one's own physical discomforts, mental sadnes-ses, and such, becomes as un-important as a mother's need to get a full night's sleep is ignored when her infant is suffering from a burning fever.
Such a moment is a moment of dying; dying to one's erstwhile limited self. The renunciate performs that ceremony to himself which is normally performed by rela-tives following the funeral of someone physically dead. H. H. Swami Rama tells the story of a man in a certain city in India. Every astro-loger in the city predicted that he would die on a certain morning. The evening before the predicted date for this man's death Shri Swamiji arrived in the city and the man went to see him. This dialogue followed:
• He: Swamiji, every
astrologer in the city
predicts that I am to die
• Swamiji: Do you want to
• He: Indeed, I do.
• Swamiji: Then renounce
the worldly life and
become a swami
tomorrow morning; die to
your previous world.
• He: Oh, but what will my
• Swamiji: What will she
say if you died in the
The gentleman went home, got his wife's permission, became a swami, and lived on.
On the day one is meant to become a swami, if one decides not to renounce but to con-tinue to cling on, the physical death is bound to grab him by the hair, for his work for "the previous ashram" is al-ready done.
Intense sadhana (under-taking concentrated spiritual observances); the reali-zation of universal love; the satisf-action derived from seeing the others' ignorance and consequent suffering have been reduced; and the unbounded grace of one's guru; these help a novice renunciate to walk on firmly and not to falter.
As to the renunciate's well-being, besides the guru's grace, the whole world takes care of him ever so lovingly. Those above him bless him, those below him are ever so grateful. How wonderful is the life of a renunciate, the life of an allembracing, incorruptible sky. Reach for the sky, friends!
The Basis of Renunciation
(from The Perennial Psychology
of the Bhagavad Gita, 1985)
By Swami Rama
The goal of the renunciate is to fathom one after another of the various stages of cons-ciousness that lead to the innermost One. The following principles are the basis of the path of renunciation:
1. The renunciate directs all his energy toward the attain-ment of the goal of life, Self-realization.
2. He does not waste time and energy pursuing de-sires based on self-interest.
3. The renunciate's journey is inward; it is neither action nor inaction nor retreat. It consists of performing ac-tions mentally and directing the mind and its modifica-tions inward rather than to-ward the external world.
4. Non-attachment is attained spontaneously because the renunciate is not involved with objects; they have all been cons-ciously renounced.
5. With pure reason all the samskaras are burned in the fire of knowledge.
6. There remains only one desire: the desire for Self-realization. That desire does not motivate one to do ac-tions in the external world but becomes a means to build determination, will power, and one-pointedness. Therefore such desire is an essential means rather than an obstacle in the path of sadhana.
7. In the path of renuncia-tion, Self-realization alone is the goal, and any action that does not become a means is firmly rejected and renounc-ed. There is no half-here and half-there; total dedication and devotion are essential limbs for renunciation.
This path of the rare few is the highest of all. It is difficult but not impossible. Those who are fully prepared should walk this path of fire and light. They should not listen to the suggestions of those who are not capable of following the path of re-nunciation.
Those who are not prepared to become renunciates should not think they cannot realize the Self. That which is important to understand and attain is the state of non-attachment, without which treading either path - renun-ciation or action - is mean-ingless.
Article Taken from:
Sharon R. Stone
BS, DD, VHT, RMT
Swami Sharon R. Stone BS, DD
November 21st, 2012
No army in the entire world is more diverse than that of the United States of America. When the soldiers of another country look upon the American soldiers rushing towards them in battle, fighting as one cohesive unit they will not see white faces, they will instead see a mass of black, white, yellow and brown faces of both men and women acting as one race, one unit, and one country. Though this is an important note of the reality of the U.S. military in this paper, it is not a rule of American policies or politics when it comes to the leadership of the same country. It seems odd, that so many of the little people working together day and night, fighting for the same causes in the world who possess an appearance of collective harmony is not a standard of those who cast votes for public offices. Though America appears to work together and the whites seem willing to work with those of color, they act differently when stepping into a voting booth. This goes beyond social psychology of general individual and group behaviors this crosses into the realm of the psychology of an entire culture.
People smile and wave at each other in the office and on the street in their neighborhoods, their skin is of varying colors; some of them best friends, more who possibly even practice the same religions and attend the same churches, masses, mosques, Ashrams, Temples and synagogues together, showing affection and love to one another and even appearing to be loyal.
These same friends, co-workers, business partners, family and acquaintances every few years walk right into a voting booth and betray one another when it comes to civil rights, equal pay, and when it comes to making choices on who has control over their bodies, or birthing rights. Why is this happening and who is driving this machine of fear and social prejudice still? Why are whites so afraid, when people of color run for public office or move in next door?
These are the same friends and acquaintances that are people of color and who are pew mates, business partners, family and those whom they appear to trust - outside of a voting booth. Is it about money or taxes? Why isn’t it about the actual constitution’s ability to influence a more humanistic and tolerant society? Is it the America that we have all come to live in and raised our families in, which was founded upon the belief in diversity and human rights? Or is it about race? Why do white men make more money than anyone else, if it is not about money? And, why do they absolutely insist on manipulating the strings of government and the control of everyone else? And finally, why do some people of color support them?
Standing in as the old majority of the republican party of the United States are white upper class businessmen who think are entitled to the vote. Racism in America is still just as strong as it has ever been amongst traditional white voters, even though they have been raised with a constitution that states otherwise?
The white vote is the primary talk amongst the last two U.S. presidential elections where the non-whites wanted a half black half white president and the whites (many, but not all) wanted another white man president. The black president, who values the constitution and defends it wholeheartedly against the old guard of rich white executives and millionaires, is called a socialist; this is due to his desire to continue the implementation of equal rights to all people regardless of color or gender and take care of those who are out of work. At any rate he did win the votes which are proof in itself that America is changing, but the question still remains. Why would white voters who do not benefit in any way from a white president, vote for the white president over the black one who will help them? Why do unemployed, poor white voters and the middle working class voters, who are not benefiting from the tax breaks of the rich or equal rights continue to support them? Why do women who are having their rights taken away from them regarding child birth continue to choose the white president who wants to send them back to the dark ages? This same white president, who primarily wishes to keep the leverage when it comes to taxation, like an old fashioned ‘monarchy’?
Is it about old social conditioning of the whites being in charge? Is it about what color of skin is sleeping in the president’s bed? I think it is, because our current leader is a Harvard educated, ex college professor, author, socially successful, articulate gentleman who abounds in the fraternal social graces over and above many of the whites who would vote for him; and a millionaire to boot! Not to mention that his own increased taxes would apply to him as well. Where is the logic? Are we dealing with fringe cults only who have a tendency towards the ex-slave owner supremacist’s mentality? This battle has been waged now for almost two hundred years and will continue to be waged as long as racial supremacy of any kind resides within U.S. borders.
As a religious leader in my own field it is incongruous to me to witness such a contradiction of societal and even public behavior. This level of personal societal treason and detachment towards one another would be punishable by death if it were against a country. If someone was acting as a double agent between two countries and working against one’s own country with similar clandestine behaviors it might be considered illegal. We understand this morally and humanistically as a country, and most people would not dare to harm their country in such a way, but why are the growing minority of republicans of all colors in America acting in such clandestine ways towards their neighbors? They are educated in the same manner as their friends and co-workers, live in the same neighborhoods, and even go to church with them; their children even play together! So, why do they feel compelled to force their personal biases and religious belief systems upon the rest of their own communities and their country unless they are dealing with some type of prejudicial psychological programming from the educational or generational systems that they are a part of?
Symbolic Racism is linked
to this social problem.
Symbolic racism involves a moral bias or prejudice. Symbolic racism causes resistance to change in the status quo with the belief that blacks violate American values such as individualism, self-reliance and hard work. The whites do not believe that the blacks are obedient or well disciplined thus have not worked for anything but only get handouts from the whites. Whites believe that the blacks do not deserve any rewards based upon hard work because they do not deserve them (Kinder, Sears, 1981). This is a scape goat theory that blacks and other races are poor workers, lazy, live off of the system etc. It accuses blacks in particular of being welfare cheats and those who take advantage of the hard work of the whites. The whites feel that they have worked hard for their neighborhoods and do not want blacks to move into them and enjoy them. The whites do not agree....continued below...
Continued from above....
with busing as they feel that they have worked hard for their schools and that blacks should not be entitled to just come in and learn in those same schools (Kinder, Sears, 1981). The whites do not believe that the blacks are moral, and so need the ‘system’ to pay for their abortions as well, which is why they are against abortion, even in the case of rape?
Symbolic racism is the most logical reason for racial prejudice today, especially when the former Boston Massachusetts Governor, who was the G.O.P.'s pick for the 2012 Republican candidate talked about the 47 percent of slackers in the U.S. voting democratic who were users of tax dollars and taking advantage of the system! This 47 percent who demands 'equal rights' and equal pay because many of them do in fact pay taxes. He is referring to all of the middle class. It makes sense that not much has really changed to reduce racism in the last several decades (Kinder, Sears, 1981). Though blacks have fought hard for the rights to vote and equal rights in general, things are still pitted against them while everyone says "things are better"! (Kinder, Sears, 1981).
Symbolic racism amongst the white culture is all about social morality and propriety when combined with racial fears and stereotypes learned as children growing up in America; together they form this premise that the blacks violate traditional values (Kinder, Sears, 1981). This bias is spread around in the white culture not from actual problems that they have ever experienced with people of color, but rather the gossip machine of the media and also stereotypical chit chat that goes on amongst them
(Kinder, Sears, 1981).
Not enough research has been done in recent years. 1981 was a long time ago to explain why symbolic racism is still going on in such large numbers amongst whites, especially since we recognized the problem then. There is not enough research being done in the schools where the children are actually learning, who come to school with tainted ideals of their adult parents and grandparents. Without the proper studies being conducted and interviews being made with the whole populace the ongoing abuse will continue against not just the black race, but everyone else of color as well. The government, via the educational system has not done enough to invalidate these false claims that blacks are being discriminated against today in a very real way. But how could things actually change as long as a 'symbolic racist' is still in public office?
This last election was rife with symbolic racism as the Republican G.O.P. nominee spoke over and over until even after the election about his personal burden of the '47 percent' of ‘dead beats’ who take advantage of America! This speculation included working middle class families, who pay taxes in a greater percentage than he does! Then he joked about being unemployed because he is a millionaire! How are they taking advantage of the system? This bias is blatantly incorrect, but who is telling them or the world that? Sure the media mocks him as well the whole party of fringe activists for the white race, but that is not enough, more research has to be done. There is an ‘elephant’ in the room and it is not our imagination!
People are talking about this in the media, on social web sites and laughing at the Republicans audacity of this ongoing ridiculous ‘superstitious’ behavior that the black man is going to ‘get them’, but yet what is being done nationally to expose it? What is being done in the field of psychology to show to everyone that it is not their imaginations gone wild, and that it is about RACE, not the economy! The very important aspect that is missing is more individuals to quash the symbolic racism now. It will go on for several more generations if proper studies are not conducted in differing states and communities that are so overwhelming that it shocks the whites into disbelief at their own behaviors. In order to get someone to stop doing what they are doing is to shock them with their own behaviors – rub their noses in the research findings. Then maybe they will let go of their state of willful denial and human dysfunction perpetuated by superstitious fears. They are so conditioned at this point to parroting what their racist parents and ancestors have programmed them to believe that they just will not see the elephant until someone takes off the blinders and shows it to them. They are as yet, only blind, deaf and dumb with their own lies (Kinder, Sears, 1981).
The Pulse of Social Morality in regards to Racism and Voting in America; does it still exist and to what degree does it exist? What level of ‘Social Responsibility’ and integrity do people actually possess when they cast a vote? It is immoral to cast a vote for a public official if one knows that the person who would take that office would deny equal rights to all individuals equally and even take away their rights to health care and medical treatments or unemployment and food stamps. It is inhumane to remove social services to a country that is in dire need of those social services! It is also inhumane to force people who are working in the U.S. and have raised families here in our borders to just 'self deport' and go back to nothing! When does the voter blue, white, black, brown or yellow become accountable for electing officials who deregulate Wall Street, only to cause a future stock market crash (Ball, 2011); resulting in major countrywide layoffs of a multitude of working middle class individuals whose families then lost their homes, and accept partial responsibility for electing presidents who commit war crimes and start new wars?
Voter integrity must be addressed in greater degrees within this country. This subject of casting the vote that is beneficial to all of us at once regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation by removing church from state votes or removing Religion and the Church from the Government once and for all must become a reality in this country or we shall become like so many third world countries with infightings and terrorist attacks that rip those countries apart. Likewise the accountability of those who run for public office under the stipulation that they take a list of requirements to take into account all Americans regardless of race, socio-economic status or gender as a fail safe regardless of who gets elected as sort of a ‘contract’ agreement with the people of this country. Someone must protect those who cannot protect themselves.
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