Sunday Service: Walking Joy

Peter in India

Week of June 15 – 21, 2014

I’m very excited. I’m excited because TV has gotten a lot more spiritual.

I’m not meaning that television is more wholesome than it was 15 years ago. It probably is the opposite. But what excites me is the new viewing revolution where people can now broadcast YouTube on their television set. Devices such as Apple TV and Roku make it easy, and everyone from TV manufacturer Samsung to retail giants such as are offering ways to do it. For those without much money, there even is a $35 offering from Google.

I’m not usually a big television watcher due to my busy schedule, but I also watch less TV than most because what’s on television isn’t very good for the soul. But with the ability to stream YouTube to the TV, that changes. Because in amongst LOL cat videos, there’s also a lot of good spiritual content on YouTube. And thanks to these devices such as the Apple TV, we now can skip the trashy television and instead watch video that uplifts and makes us better.

So I’m excited about television and where things are going.

At American Vedanta, we’ve begun curating YouTube playlists at our American Vedanta channel. So check out our American Vedanta playlist of Vedanta videos to watch, as well as our other suggested videos.

Until next week!

Peter Kowalke


NamasteThis Week’s Spiritual Talk

Walking Joy

By Peter Kowalke

When I approach, they smile. Almost everyone.

My coworkers at the bookstore do it. The groundskeepers and the administrative staff do it. Even the monks have begun doing it, a reversal of the normal practice where we acknowledge them.

People smile, or they say “namaste” and put their hands together in a prayer, or their face lights up. Often there is an informality bordering on rudeness here in India; no goodbye at the end of a conversation, no “please” when you ask for salt, no recognition when you pass someone on the street. But with me there always is a moment; there always is a smile. I am walking joy, as someone described it.

This is not because I exude some ineffable quality that commands love or respect. People smile when I approach because I smile back, because they have learned that I will be saluting them. I smile and give a casual but significant “namaste” to everyone I pass, strangers and friends alike. In group settings, sometimes it looks like I am working a crowd.

Some wait for my salutation; you see it in their eyes, waiting with hands and smile at the ready for my hello. Others break into smile whenever they see me, as if I were an object of adoration. They pay their respects to the saints on the wall with a prayer, then they turn and pay their respects to me with a smile.

But really I am the one praying. They are my objects of adoration, which is why I smile with such meaning.

(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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