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Philosophy

Patanjali and Practice

Patanjali and Practice

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ranju Roy and Dave Charlton, who have written a book about practical engagement with yoga philosophy (which I recommend). Their approach to the Yoga Sutra is a refreshing combination of accessible and scholarly, as we discuss on their podcast. Although the text has the ultimate aim of renouncing the world, they show how its underlying psychology can also be applied in daily life - improving our relationships with each other and ourselves.

See Here Now...

See Here Now...

It can be hard to express liberating insights without sounding banal. Perhaps mindful of the limits of words, some of the earliest teachings on oneness say it is conveyed by a single syllable. Chanting Om is said to teach the meaning of all of the Upanishads. This message is meant to be realised, not discussed, but some interpretive guidance is helpful. The first author to offer it as a philosophy was Gaudapada, whose verses - or Karika - on the Mandukya Upanishad laid the foundations of Advaita Vedanta, a widely influential system of ideas.

Roots of Yoga

Roots of Yoga

It was an honour to be part of this discussion with two of the foremost scholars on yoga, James Mallinson and Mark Singleton, reflecting on the work behind their book Roots of Yoga, which was recently published. The conversation took place in the members' room at the New York Society Library, and was filmed. An audio recording is available for download.