The Spiritual Aspects Of Naked Yoga

 

naked yogaNaked yoga is a hot new trend, at least among trendy folks in trendy parts of the US. At least that’s the word on the street.

In my never-ending quest to be part of the trendy crowd, I decided to go straight from No-Yoga and jump right into Naked Yoga.

Sure, I could have at least tried out a couple of  the more traditional classes where your fellow peeps have their naughty bits covered; but fuck the middle man, I decided to go balls out.

You may have many questions, such as:

Why would anyone choose to do Naked Yoga?

Is “Naked Yoga” just code for an ORGY?

When do you strip down?

Do the Gospel Pipes and Winnebagos just flop around everywhere?

Should you make an anal bleaching appointment before your first class?

Fear not, for I had these questions and more, and attended several Naked Yoga classes from two different studios to find out.

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Spoonk Mat Review: Lying On A Bed Of Spikes

spoonk mat review

I have a confession to make.

I use a Spoonk Mat daily, sometimes twice a day.

Despite the fact that “spoonk” sounds dangerously close to another slang term for baby batter or man chowder, this isn’t a mat designed for cleaner masturbation sessions.

A Spoonk Mat is substantially less fun than that.  And although it isn’t exactly a bed of spikes, it’s damn close.

Take a look for yourself:
spoonk mat

Don’t you just love the focus on the earth-friendly materials… as if they somehow don’t make it hurt like giving a knife a hand-job?

Full disclosure: I also have a near fetish-level relationship with cold showers.

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Adyashanti True Meditation

Adyashanti True Meditation Monkey

Adyashanti True Meditation is a nifty little book (under 90 pages) and an audio recording of two guided meditations.

Before I get into the details of the book, let me first throw out just a few of the reasons why I fucking love this guy:

  • Adyashanti is a white dude that grew up in the US suburbs.
    Of course, this can be seen by many spiritual aspirants as a negative; after all, he didn’t come from the mystical mountain caves of Tibet or a reclusive ashram in India.
    Adyashanti True Meditation Bio Photo

Adyashanti True Meditation Monk
This isn’t to say that I haven’t gleamed many words of wisdom from Swamis and Gurus from the East. However, I’ve personally found that it helps to have a guide with  a somewhat similar background to myself.

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Who The Hell is Cheri Huber?

Cheri Huber Accpetance

Cheri Huber is the subject for the virgin post of a new series entitled “Who The Hell is _______ ?

In this series The Big Toe and I will be waxing poetic (hardly, as that’s certainly not in our skillset) in regards to different teachers, gurus, sages, philosophers and porn stars that have been influential, in one way or another, on each of our paths.

Today I’ll share with you my experiences with Zen teacher Cheri Huber, from her books, audio courses and two separate retreats I’ve attended.

To set the scene, I was in graduate school studying comparative religions with a focus on Buddhism. I was rather deep in the process of reading the ancient texts and had begun the arduous, and eventually fruitless, task of learning Pali, the language of the time for The Big B.

I was starting to get bogged down with ancient texts; because truth be told, they were about as dry as a nun’s nasty (I got that saying from an Aussie friend, who swears it’s legit).

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Big Toetry Entry 3: Into The One

INTO THE ONE

Another merciless waves crashes
Over a jagged puzzle called the mind
Each piece a riddle
With a solution thought will never find

Confusion leads to a desperate flash
Stunning the groping mind into non-existence
We awaken to take our first real breath

This baby, an old soul, named God
Sees himself, admiring the
Grotesque horror and unspeakable beauty as one

Remembering once again
Nothing has ever changed & nothing ever was
As the dream passes, we awaken alone again
Into the one

The silence ripping away the screens of thought
The window is wide open
Recognizing, in the eyes of all we see, only our self

Seeing our creation, ourselves, and the glance
All as one, beyond the deception of time

The Big Toe

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Bullshit Spirituality Practices

bullshit spirituality

The Origin of Bullshit Spirituality Practices

Correlation and causation aren’t the same thing, no matter how inviting it is to act otherwise. Our quick attempt to equate them is a fool’s game.  Take it from a fool who’s played this game like a drum.

What the hell am I talking about and what does this correlation/causation distinction have to do your spiritual practice?

And more importantly, how does bullshit spirituality work its way into this messy mix?

Well I’m not talking about the bullshit fact that most tantric practitioners realize they’ve contracted crabs about 7-10 days after a practicing session on their “path”.

That’s bullshit spirituality for a different post (note to self).

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A Lustful Path To Enlightenment

lust and the path to enlightenment

As Ram Dass has repeatedly stated “Be here now. Whatever path you’re on, that’s your fucking path to enlightenment.”

Ok, so maybe he verbally expressed only the first half of the above quote.

However, my personal sense/interpretation/hallucination is that he could’ve said the the second half as well.

We get a lot of questions about how to deal with desires when you’re attempting to be on a “spiritual path”.

Of course, our standard answers are:

“Why would you be asking us?

How the fuck would we know?”

All I can do is share with you my experiences and my best guesses. Consider this your disclaimer.

Desires and The Path to Enlightenment

Desires are part of the human experience. Assuming that you’re part of the human species, you’re gonna have ’em.

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Dharma Movie Reviews: Fight Club And Buddhism

Fight club and buddhism - this is your life

I’ll never forget the first time I watched Fight Club.

It was Friday, October 29th, 1999, as a matter of fact.

I was in awe the entire time. My girlfriend reached over and closed my mouth, as the experience was literally jaw dropping. This fascination was certainly enhanced by the fact that I had been deep into the study of Zen Buddhism over the previous two years. I distinctly recall every single scene representing a teaching from the Zen tradition.

Within the trendy Buddhist communities or hipster movie crowds, the interplay between Fight Club and Buddhism is no secret. Director David Finch and both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton have mentioned it in interviews. I have certainly spoken at length about it in the last 15 years to anyone kind (or high) enough to listen.

Now that BT and I created this WUH platform, I thought I’d throw it up here:

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Nondualistic BadAss in Black

Nondualistic BadAss schoolbus

Almost 20 years ago now, I received a call from Hairy Yogurt Das.   We hadn’t talked in a while and after some introductory chit chat, shit-giving and banter, HYD said, “From a dualistic perspective, I’ve got some bad news.”

“What’s that?” I replied.

“Michael’s dead.” he responded.

“What happened?”

“Crashed his Harley.”

So, the most unusual thing about this interaction isn’t that Michael (one of HYD’s closest friends) was killed.  It was that HYD clearly knew that in the bigger scope of things, there is no such thing as “bad” or “good” news.  It’s just the manifestation unfolding.

However, if you want to get relative, something like this could be considered pretty fucking bad compared to Michael winning the lottery or even having a bad cup of coffee.  With the intention not to insult me by assuming I wasn’t operating at a state where anything was other than what is was, he qualified that he had some bad news from a “dualistic” perspective.  His parents raised him with proper manners, I’d say.

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The Jnana Yoga Path Of Intellectual Masturbation

intellectual masturbation cartoon

I was a dedicated practitioner and advocate of Jnana Yoga for more than a couple of decades.

I also masturbate a lot. At least more than the reported national average… but who actually admits truthfully how often they flog the dolphin.

In this post I’m going to explore the concept of Jnana Yoga being “spiritual” intellectual masturbation.

The Jnana Yoga path is that of knowledge or wisdom. I want to be clear that what I’m doing know, writing this blog post, or anytime that I think or talk about any of these “spiritual” topics, I’m essentially practicing Jnana Yoga.

So this blog is nothing but a Jnana circle jerk. Everyone is welcome, no judgments.

Some teachers attempt to make it clear that Jnana Yoga is not pursing intellectual knowledge, but rather knowledge of Unity or of Bhraman or Whatchamacallit (who remembers that candy bar?).

intellectual masturbation chocolate bar

Doesn’t it feel good to think of God as “chocolatey”? Or is that just me?

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Why I Fucking Love Krishna

love krishna sunset

Meeting The Devotees

My first exposure to Krishna, like many people in the 80s, were the Hare Krishna devotees at the airport. I was 16 years old and didn’t know my ass from my elbow, but I did make the effort to talk to these seemingly happy folks at each and every layover or delayed flight (much to my parents chagrin).

My initial impressions of them were as follows:

  • They were all high (looked like fun, but hadn’t tried it yet, personally)
  • Cool smelling incense
  • The baby they were worshiping seemed to need oxygen
  • They were spiritual vegetarians (which I found cool at the time)
  •  And most important – Was that Krishna hottie wearing anything under her robe?

love krishna girl

Although I was somewhat intrigued, I didn’t have any further contact with the group until I got to college out in crazy California. Out there the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) had a continual presence on campus. Not only that, but every Thursday night they would have a free vegetarian feast and some funky chanting.

My friends and I would attend every week. What we noticed was that we all felt like we were high afterwards. Again, I still hadn’t ever been high, but my friends knew the state well, and swore it felt like a light buzz.

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My Second LSD Trip: 25 Years Later

LSD trip voyage upwards

A full twenty-five years later, Big Toe and I met up in Boulder, Colorado to take our second big LSD Trip and psychedelic adventure together.

Related: Virgin Voyage: My First Psychedelic Experience

Honest to Goddess, I hadn’t consumed any mind-altering substances in that two and a half decade time period. From a spiritual path perspective, there simply didn’t seem to be any need for it.

Then I started to get an “itch”; but it wasn’t exactly an itch, it kind of felt like an ache. So I’ll call it an “Itch-Ache”.

There was something else that I needed to experience, or so I convinced myself.

As you may recall, on my first LSD trip, I spent a good deal of time after the “peak-behind-the-curtain period” in The Void. This was planned for that first trip, and was certainly liberating in many ways that I was able to carry into ordinary relative reality.

LSD trip into the Void

This Itch-Ache felt like a calling/desire for more than the loss of Ego into the Void, but rather a sense of Union. I was unsure exactly how this sense of Union would present itself, as I felt confident that the path of pure bliss, surrender and love wasn’t MY path. I had always been drawn to the more Jnana Yoga Path of knowledge and intellectualism, somewhat characterized by my leaning towards Alan Watts over Ram Dass.

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All Paths Don’t Lead To The Top Of The Mountain

top of the mountain path

This can be a very discomforting thought and will make many seekers anxious. Let’s face it, in the spiritual journey, there are an abundance of competing options positioning themselves as a sure fire path to get us to a goal that almost no seekers ever attain.

Search for ultimate truth is a high risk, low reward game to get involved in and the uncertainty of how to proceed on this journey, to somewhere we’ve never been, makes the average seeker feel pretty fucking lost.

Believe me, I know.

But wait! What could be more comforting and provide the lost ego more piece of mind than the statement that “All paths lead to the same place”.

Whew! I’m not fucked nor do I have to think any longer about the fact that I could be taking the path that seems easiest, least assaultive on my ego, or is most popular right now. This one is right up there with, “No matter what sins I commit, if I confess them, Jesus will forgive me and I’ll go to Heaven when I die.”

Who wouldn’t grab these moronic beliefs with both hands as fast as possible?

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A Conditional Acceptance of the Bhakti Path

Hello Bliss Seekers,

This one is kind of a sticky-wicket. What I mean by that is that “sticky-wicket” is really fun to say out loud. Please stop reading and quickly say “sticky-wicket” out loud.

All You Need Is Love?

For those you that haven’t been exposed to all the super cool and eastern sounding Sanskrit words thrown around by seekers immersifying their egos in “Eastern philosophy and spiritual practices”, thank your lucky fucking stars. Bhakti basically means love. The Bhakti path is a path of love and devotion. Is it dualistic or non-dualistic? It depends on if the seeker has the ability to truly embrace non-dualism.

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My God Is Real, Bitch! Kirtan With Krishna Das

god is real sunrise

I can’t sing. It’s not that I can’t sing well… I truly suck.

We’re talking mirrors cracking and babies screaming in terror.

Plus, until rather recently, I thought that all devotional practices just weren’t my path. So I had no reason or desire to sit down for a sing-along.

Then my psychedelic-assisted mini-awakening occurred in Boulder.

Related: My Second LSD Trip: 25 Years Later

All of a sudden, my heart was filled with gratitude and I consciously sought out ways to show my devotion to God. That’s when I “found” Krishna Das.

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On Spiritual Ego

A health check for your practice

From time to time it makes sense to take inventory of our practice and if we are effectively “moving forward”. As a start, you may want to ask yourself some of these questions?

  • How would I describe myself spiritually?
  • Where am I on my current path?
  • How dedicated am I?
  • How long have I been practicing?
  • How do I feel about my progress?
  • Do I feel more centered, calm, and peaceful than a month or year ago?
  • How do I deal with those less conscious that I have to interact with in my life?
  • Should I be doing more or adding time or dimensions to my practice?
  • How knowledgeable am I on the foundation and writers in my given path?
  • Do I feel good about my dedication and consistently?

Maybe even add some more of your own if you are serious about this. I suggest you briefly write out your answers before moving on. Look at the answers and assess your opinions, perspectives, and beliefs about who you are as a spiritual seeker and where you are on your path and what goals you may have achieved or are striving to.

Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step and are now looking, right in the face, at a steaming pile of dog shit called your Spiritual Ego.

This is a nice extra piece of luggage we can add to our existing baggage of beliefs around who we are and why we are special or a victim. The beauty of this is that we actually feel good about all these perspectives because they are “spiritual”.

We now have another dimension we can add to our beliefs about who we are physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally, and financially.   We have a spiritual dimension that makes us even more balanced, interesting, and pretty fucking deep.

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Big Toetry Entry 2: Coming Down

COMING DOWN

When we wake up and look

At what is doing the staring out,

Time crashes to a halt and

We stare deep into the face of God.

The dream of life fades away

And a luminous laughter

Wells up in our throats.

The actors dawn their mortal costumes

And the play goes on

As the plot intensifies,

Our mind lost in the role,

We become the individual once again.

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Big Toetry Entry 1: Introductions

INTRODUCTIONS

I am the belly laugh around the camp fire as the fondest of memories are recounted.

I am the intoxicated toddler rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought.

I am the razor blade’s edge on the wrist of the 14 year old boy whose classmates mock him.

I am the vacuous look in the starving child’s eyes.

I am the tears running down the cheek of the new father, watching his wife kiss their newborn child for the very first time.

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Virgin Voyage: My First Psychedelic Experience

psychedelic experience reaching the void

A Recount of My First Psychedelic Experience

This definitely ain’t Kansas.

As some of you are already aware, the totality of my drug experience (not to mention my psychedelic experience) throughout both high school AND college consisted of four beers. I suppose I should point out that the term “beer” is used lightly here, as they were really four bottles of Little Kings Cream Ale.

Seriously, I was that straight-edge (before that was a term) and vanilla, up until I was 24 years old.

Although slightly painful to admit, I was a Midwestern Country Bumpkin when I arrived in San Francisco, sight unseen, to study Religion and East West Psychology at The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).

Although I had obtained my BA in philosophy with additional foci on religion and psychology, I somehow missed the books and lectures on mystical experiences, induced both by various techniques and the use of drugs.

That all changed at CIIS, as there was a corner section of the library dedicated to the topic of the psychedelic experience for enlightenment. Mind you, that wasn’t the exact description header for those two bookshelves, but even I could figure it out.

It was like porn to me.

Like real, old school porn, before the Internet; when it wasn’t so easy to obtain, and that seemed to exponentially increase both the desire and appreciation for it. That’s what this new and tasty information was for me… Enlightenment Porn.

But I digress…

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My Unconditional Love of Pussy

My name is Hairy Yogurt Das, and I have an unconditional love of pussy.

There, I said it.

Of course, I am talking about my cat. I just find it funny to say it that way. If you find it in bad taste, I sincerely respect and appreciate your choice to feel that way. But I still find it funny.

From a young age, I found it natural to love animals. I should be clear, I’m talking about non-human animals here. The human animal has proven substantially more challenging to love.

I’d love to have a dog, but the closest I’ve ever gotten was a bunch of dogma. My karma has been cats, and I’m cool with that. As a matter of fact, I feel it has been more valuable for me in terms of experiencing unconditional love.

You’re probably thinking, “What the fuck is he talking about? It’s dogs that give you the unconditional love. Cats can be real assholes.”

Ain’t that the truth! But hear me out…

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The Philanthropic Egomaniac

Philanthropic Egomaniac burning money

Hello Fun Seekers.

For better or for worse, I’ve been exposed to more than my share of wealthy individuals during my tenure of this life. I ended up in some private school from 8th-12th grade. I was on scholarship helping to satisfy their “diversity” claims. I guess socio-economic diversity needed its token representation. Needless to say, you couldn’t swing a dead cat at back-to-school night without hitting some extremely wealthy, white, overachieving, stressed out, type-A parent right between the eyes.

Then I ended up raising kids in San Francisco, ground zero of shitty public schools, and we became the wealthy, white, overachieving, stressed out, type-A parents that sent our kids to insanely expensive private schools.

What I learned from my exposure to the other parents at this school is that if you are really into accumulating wealth, only an idiot would go into the software industry (me) if they could find a way into the financial services industry, especially any type of venture capital, merger and acquisition type of shit.

I got to hang out with these types for good part of seven years, until we pulled the ripcord on the whole circus and I quite my job, left the high-tech world, San Francisco, private schools and bolted to a small town and started over.

All this is an elaborate set-up to overcome the objection that the first philanthropic offended mother-fucker tries to slap into the comment section at the bottom of this article. This objection is the classic, “you wouldn’t say these things if you really knew these people and how big their hearts are, and how hard they work, and how much they love everyone, and blah, blah, blah…..”

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