By Jon Kelly
Roberts Creek, BC – In an exclusive new interview published to YouTube on January 22, 2016, NewsInsideOut met with yoga and meditation expert author Dada Vedaprajinananda during his tour of the British Columbia Sunshine Coast to discuss his spiritual memoir “From Brooklyn to Benares and Back.” From life in post-World War II New York, through the birth of Rock and Roll and the Vietnam-era draft readers discover compelling social and spiritual forces that culminated in the author’s pursuit of Self-knowledge leading to personal contact with one of the most profound intellectual and spiritual personalities of the twentieth century.
In his summary Futures Studies researcher and Professor Sohail Inayatullah explained how this book teaches “equanimity of mind” offering a “journey in authenticity, in humanity.” Told with characteristic humor and insight, the monk’s tale offers his clear, no-nonsense take on a life extraordinary in pursuit of the yogic goal of merger with Cosmic Consciousness. The title is accessible to beginners and of special value to meditation students, yoga teachers-in-training and spiritual aspirants of all faiths.
Seeming chance encounters with legendary musicians, Presidential family members and heroes of the Space Race populate the pages of this work. However, the most significant impressions are conveyed during his meetings with yogic Acharya’s (Skr: “Teacher by example”) who provide personal instruction in original spiritual practices of humanity’s ancient Sanskrit-speaking ancestors. These techniques emphasize unlocking the gates of consciousness through the recitation of personal mantras formulated to meet the needs of each individual’s character and emotional disposition.
The nature of these instructions and their accompanying lifestyle are further elucidated in “The Chakras and Kundalinii with Dada Vedaprajinananda,” a presentation given by the author in January of this year now streaming on NewsInsideOut Plus and available for rental or purchase. At just under two hours, this talk provides post-graduate-level insight including lucid articulations of the tantric chakra seed sounds and clear descriptions of their accompanying Vrttis (Skr: “Emotions”). Filled with music and fun, this title teaches and entertains in a way that could only be informed by decades of personal practice and instructional leadership given in more than thirty countries throughout the world.
For readers who wish to understand the secrets of spiritual living told in the voice of an expert western practitioner and experiencer, this reporter highly recommends “From Brooklyn to Benares and Back” by Dada Vedaprajinananda, now available through his website or on Amazon.com.
According to his biography, Dada is a monk, meditation and yoga teacher and a singer-songwriter. A native New Yorker, he has lectured, performed and taught in more than thirty countries since the early 1970s. He currently resides in the Ananda Liina Spiritual Community in Urbana, Illinois, where he offers regular instruction and retreats emphasizing men’s spirituality and personal development.
From DadaVeda.com: “This is Dada’s memoir. It chronicles his life, from his upbringing in New York right up to the present time. It give an inside glimpse showing how he was attracted to the spiritual path and how he went on to become a world-traveled monk , singer-songwriter and author.
““Many spiritual books try to enthrall with colorful language about the many states of nirvana. Dada’s
text is not like that. His words are even keel, just like the author. They live and teach equanimity of mind.
“One joins him for a journey in authenticity, in humanity. From his early days watching to in Brooklyn, to his meeting with the famous hippies of the 60s, to his transition to an editor and then to a monk. One flows. We go with Dada to Europe to Japan to Syria and then back to New York. In this journey, this peaceful journey, we share in Dada’s calm approach to giving, to living the right life. And to challenging our comfort zones. If we wish for the Divine to carry us, we need to first let go. Dada’s life has been an example of that. Read his book. And let go. Wade shallow or dive deep, but go in the water and the let the flow carry you to you. “”
Professor Sohail Inayatullah,
Tamkang University, Taiwan, Author of Transcending Boundaries