Sunday Service: Embodied Teachings

Week of March 15 – 21, 2015

This week we bring you a spiritual talk from our archives. We’ve published or reprinted so many spiritual talks over the years, sometimes it is good to go back and reprint some of the earlier work; this site is too deep to fully explore, so many gems can get lost or overlooked.

It is worth noting that we also have pages devoted to faiths other than Vedanta that highlight spiritual talks we have delivered in the context of those faiths. These pages include Christianity, Buddhism and Islam right now. All of our talks are in the context of Vedantic truth, of course, but these pages help bridge the gap between religions and share truth that otherwise go unnoticed in the Vedanta tradition.

So here you go.

Enjoy, and happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

Yours in service,


This Week’s Spiritual Talk

Embodied TeachingsBorder collie

By: Peter Kowalke

A dog carrying a basket casually entered the room. Many clerks, preoccupied with their paperwork, entered and exited. But this was the first dog I had seen. That he carried a basket in his mouth was almost beside the point; like other clerks, he obviously came here to fetch a document.

Sitting in the waiting room for my turn with the monk in charge, I watched the dog with something between interest and disbelief. Pre-development India sports many animals, not least of all cows, dogs and the occasional elephant. But there’s a glass ceiling that prohibits even qualified animals from joining its office world. Like a Far Side character, the dog felt appropriate on the surface but made no sense the more I thought about it.

“That dog’s potential is being wasted,” noted the head monk in disgust.

This was not the expected response.

“I may be unusual with this perspective, but we’re not using this dog right,” he added, aware that I was watching the scene unfold. “I mean, this is a talented dog. He’s a border collie. They are meant for herding, not office work. We’re wasting him, and I hate to see it.” He was serious. Or at least deadpan.

The border collie left the room with several colleagues, its basket still empty.

I also left empty. This was my third attempt talking with the busy monk, and my first real opportunity, but all I could manage was an amused laugh. The moment was too priceless for spiritual talk; I let us stay on this bizarre dog conversation, even though it burned my time for serious inquiry. Sometimes bonding is better, and there was a definite breakdown of the usual devotee/monk formality. Today we were just two quirky people having a silly conversation.

(read more)



videoVedanta Television

American Vedanta on YouTube

Finding lasting happiness. Applying the Bhagavad Gita to daily life. Learning about the history of Vedanta in the U.S. These are some of the topics covered at American Vedanta’s YouTube channel. We curate a list of spiritual videos that will help advance your spirituality and expand your mind. When wanting spiritual videos, give our YouTube channel a look.

We also recommend other resources such as Booksaudio lectures and web sites, among other resources.


Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

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