Occupy Raleigh group meditations will begin

meditating at Occupy Raleigh hey yoga man

Several people have stepped forward for the group meditations. The first one will be Sunday 11/6 at 11AM – assuming this does not interfere with some other important work and will be at the occupation site in a spot that won’t interfere with the occupiers who would rather continue picketing, marching etc. We expect this to be weekly and we will have one Wednesday night after GA as well.

This will be an estimated 25 min. event and will be quietly energizing and suitable for people of any religion or no religion. Look forward to seeing you all Sunday – still sniffling but doing better. ūüôā Oh, some really wonderful people have volunteered for this so I am looking forward to their addition to the mix!

Oh yeah, I caught my cold sitting on that sidewalk so we may be standing up and people are welcome to sit, stand, participate or not as we go forward.

Posted in 99 percent, compassion, human rights, meditation, non-local consciousness, occupy raleigh, occupy wall street, yoga, Zen | Leave a comment

Hey, Yoga Man! is travelling the world, Canada, UK, Europe, Lebanon, and Afghanistan

My book, “Hey, Yoga Man! :¬†Yoga Practices for Everyday Life from a Prison Yoga Practice” was meant to help support the prison yoga practice by giving the participants information on the basics of meditation, mindfulness, yama and niyama, and other yoga practices that support a quieter, more centered existence. ¬†It is now in use in several area prisons. ¬†It is also a great book for people who want to develop a meditation practice.

The surprise has been how far the book has traveled.  Last summer, Bryan sent me his picture in Lebanon with the book.  He is spending a year there with family.  And just recently, I sent some books to a radar operator in Afghanistan who thought some of the troops would find them interesting and helpful.  So here are some pics from Kandahar, Afghanistan.  Wishing you all the best.  Keep practicing.  Come home soon and safely, please!

The book is available on Amazon.com or on my web site.

Posted in Afghanistan, contentment, Hey Yoga Man!, Lebanon, meditation, military, prison, Raleigh, yoga, Yoga Man! | Leave a comment

Occupy Raleigh – people can follow yogic principles, can corporations?

Meditating at Occupy Raleigh - Hey, Yoga Man!

Meditating at Occupy Raleigh

The occupation started this past Saturday and for now the arrests are over. The people who stay are confined to the sidewalk so when I spend my time there we are on the sidewalk.  Negotiations are going on for a better spot. People drive by and honk in support.  The police are friendly and stand by.  My fellow protesters are all ages.  Many have had job troubles.  There are many concerns voiced.  The underlying theme is a more just society, more inclusive, more opportunities.  There are many ideas on what specifically should be changed.

When Adam Smith proposed capitalism, he had the landed aristocracy in his crosshairs.  Capitalism would spread the wealth more evenly than the king and his cronies.

Today’s America resembles nothing so much as the old feudal system that Adam Smith wanted to upend when he proposed capitalism and free markets. ¬†It is just a different bunch of aristocrats running the show. ¬†And now corporations are also running the show even though they are not really people. ¬†The idea that they are is a ludicrous invention of a bunch of people who have not thought things through, imagine trying to get moral and ethical behavior out of a “person” with no body, no soul, no morals, no ethics, a “person” made out of paper.

I have written here about Yama and Niyama, the Yogic Ten Commandments or guidelines for living.  Shrii Shrii Anandamurti said that the minimum that you had to do to live the yogic life was to meditate twice a day, and understand and try to follow Yama and Niyama.  Meditating on the meaning of Ahimsa (non-harming) can lead you to become vegetarian (less harming to animals), to recycle (less harming to the environment), and other behavioral changes that result in better world.  Meditating on Satya (speaking the truth with compassion) can result in less name calling and a quieter but more powerful way of expressing yourself.

But can we apply these principles to behavior of corporations and governmental agencies? ¬†Why not? ¬†If we are asked to entertain the ridiculous notion that a corporation that is a bunch of papers filed with the government is a legal person, then why can’t we evaluate whether they follow Yama and Niyama.

Let’s start with Ahimsa (non-harming). ¬†Do chicken producers running CAFO operations follow this? ¬†How about the company that sold the bad mortgage securities that their people knew were trash? ¬†How about coal companies that are blowing the tops off mountains, polluting the ground water with toxic poisons, shipping the coal to be burned in a way that puts mercury and toxic soot in the air, and then funding commercials for clean coal energy? ¬†When companies export jobs to places with lower wages and few worker protections and lay off thousands? ¬†Are all these following non-harming?

Anandamurti did not say that everyone had to follow Yama and Niyama perfectly all the time to be living the yogic lifestyle. ¬†He said that each person would have to understand and “try” to follow these guidelines.

Are these companies trying? ¬†I say no. ¬†I say that they do not recognize any obligation to try. ¬†They are governed primarily by the profit motive. ¬†They will follow laws and regulations to some degree and will also react to pressure from the public, but they also will spend money to buy regulation changes and fund “think tanks” to snow the public with a bunch of theory that backs up their “right” to stuff their pockets as full as they can and avoid anything that might slow them down.

This situation is not sustainable.  Sustainability is key to a good life for all.  Remember, no one is even asking for perfection here.  A start would be to incorporate these as goals.   Another start would be to revoke corporate personhood.  I am not the first one to suggest that.  Until something is done in this direction, I guess we Occupy!

Posted in Ahimsa, Hey Yoga Man!, Niyama, occupy raleigh, occupy wall street, Satya, sustainability, Yama | Leave a comment

Occupy Raleigh – meditate at the Capital for a more just society

Occupy Raleigh - the angle from padmasana - hey yoga man

Occupy Raleigh - peaceful energy

Occupy Raleigh - meditating on the signs - hey yoga man

Occupy Raleigh - meditating on the signs - great messages

Occupy Raleigh - George Washington approves! - hey yoga man

Occupy Raleigh - George Washington approves!

Occupy Raleigh - good energy and people of all ages - hey yoga man

Occupy Raleigh - good energy and people of all ages

Occupy Raleigh - so tiring - whew! - hey yoga man

Occupy Raleigh - so tiring - whew!

I had a very good meditation on the lawn of the Capital building and celebrated the crowd and the day!  It is good to see people asking for a more just society.  We need a society based on the idea that each individual PERSON matters.  That each PERSON is too important to fail.  Our current society is not providing jobs for all at living wages with enough time for individuals to do spiritual development.  Yogic principles give us a baseline for assessing the situation and suggesting improvements.  Many of the sentiments being expressed by the protesters are fully in line with yogic principles.  I look forward to a long occupation and will get out the word on classes, meditations, and workshops at the occupation soon.

Posted in 99 percent, Ahimsa, Aparigraha, Asteya, ban GMO, equal protection, human rights, karma, meditation, mindfulness, Niyama, occupy raleigh, occupy wall street, Raleigh, satvic, Satya, Yama, yoga | Leave a comment

Interview with the Monk arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge as we Occupy Raleigh

Occupy Raleigh and Occupy Wall St. are about a just society.  In yogic terms this means each individual and the societal institutions acting according to the yogic principles of Yama and Niyama.  Completely honoring these principles is not easy, but working toward it results in a society where everyone has basic needs met, has a job with a living wage, and has enough time to pursue spiritual development.  Here is Dada Pranakrsnananda describing what the Occupy movement is about for him.

Some people are saying the protesters are sort of confused or don’t know what they want. ¬†But, they have identified what they don’t want. ¬†And they do want to move toward a more just society. ¬†A better place for all God’s children!

Posted in 99 percent, Aparigraha, Asteya, compassion, equal protection, GMO, health, human rights, karma, meditation, mindfulness, nc, Niyama, occupy raleigh, occupy wall street, Raleigh, samskaras, Satya, Yama, yoga | 2 Comments

Guided meditation from the monk arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge

Dada Pranakrishnananda protesting at Occupy Wall Street Hey Yoga Man

Dada Pranakrishnananda protesting at Occupy Wall Street

Dada (means brother) Pranakrishnananda – said Prana, Krishna, Ananda – was arrested the other day on the Brooklyn Bridge with the Occupy Wall St. protesters. ¬†He is out there advocating for a more just society, one where each individual can pursue spiritual development while having basic needs met. ¬†Our society was aspiring to that when Franklin Roosevelt was president and he talked about a 2nd bill of rights. ¬†Right now, our corporate run America does not aspire to that. ¬†The 99 percent can change this. ¬†Here is Dada Prana’s guided meditation for the protesters.

Dada Prana guided meditation



Brooklyn Bridge Dada Prana Arrest Hey Yoga Man

NYPD Arrests Dada Prana while meditating at the Brooklyn Bridge Occupy Wall St. protest

Posted in 99 percent, human rights, meditation, mindfulness, occupy raleigh, occupy wall street, Raleigh, yoga | 2 Comments

Prison Yoga Practice has employable people available to you!

happy worker hey yoga manMy yoga students at the minimum security prison are generally nearing the end of their sentences and most work outside the facility during the day.  As discussed elsewhere on the blog, the dedicated yoga students have a much lower reincarceration rate than other inmates.  We have a study on this and Pashupati Steve Landau published a paper with the results.

I am currently helping one of my students apply to jobs.  A job for an outside employer is essential to success for these men.  Many jobs are not available to them.  This man is a qualified welder.  He has a college degree with honors from Shaw University.  He has work experience for an outside employer in a call center.  Any help you can give in suggesting places that are willing to hire a worker who is reliable and with a proven work record such as this man, please contact me on the blog or at ordog@earthlink.net.

Work site should be in Wake County and on a bus line would be helpful.¬† Employer must have workman’s compensation insurance.¬† There is a tax break available from the State of NC for hiring this worker and he will provide the necessary paperwork at the interview.

I will be able to provide you with another qualified welder in November if all goes well.

Posted in compassion, health, Hey Yoga Man!, human rights, mindfulness, prison, workers available | Leave a comment