NOTE: The Kindle Scout campaign for Krishna’s Counsel is over. No further nominations shall be accepted. A Big ‘Thank You’ to everyone who nominated.

994912da914e1e24f959f1934c116265True confession—I LOATHE self-promo with a passion! I don’t enjoy nagging and equally shy away from those who badger others to get what they want. If you too were born with a thin skin, I bet you would empathize. Being hypersensitive and hyper-empathetic is not always an asset in a world where external success often hinges on chest-thumping and being pushy.

Anyway, years ago I decided to write in order to channel my turbulent energies. You see, as I studied the nature of both absolute and relative reality, millions of thoughts kept bubbling up from the seething cauldron of my unconscious into my conscious mind, and yet I feared no one person would have the patience to really listen to me. So I melded my love for verbal self-expression with my passion for mysticism and decided to write a series of novels whose theme is enlightenment—and The Moksha Trilogy was born. ( Continue reading

Demon of Eclipses & Illusions – Part 5/9

smoking_demonBack to Theo and his encounter with the tulku. Tai Situ Rinpoche had made a critical point — that those on the path to moksha become the targets of dark powers. After Gautama had slipped permanently out of his slimy grasp, Tai Situ Rinpoche added, Mara appointed certain ferocious demons to focus on hindering those who’d set their sights on freedom.

One such was the demon of smoking; the tulku described this demon as a wizened imp with frizzy hair the color of straw. He could actually see this imp, hovering a few inches above Theo’s left shoulder. The Rinpoche ended by advising Theo on how to get rid of the demon, warning him to keep the instructions private, for they applied specifically to him. (All of this I report from memories of old conversations; I hope there are no serious inaccuracies.)

Unlike the thousands of sceptics who roam this earth rejecting all that conflicts with their system of rationality, I didn’t laugh when Theo related this fascinating experience. It’s always struck me as bizarre that “rationalists” so easily accept that a six-foot-six bodybuilder can be felled by an invisible flu virus, but will banish outright all notions of invisible entities — positive and negative — hovering around us. I myself had never had such credibility problems; ever since I was a child, I had had my brushes with both angelic and demonic forces. Continue reading

Demon of Eclipses & Illusions – Part 2/9

Can modern smokers blame the devious advertising of tobacco companies for their inability to quit smoking? After all, those catchy slogans have beguiled billions over the decades: You’ve come a long way baby; I’d walk a mile for a Camel; Winston tastes good like a cigarette should! And perhaps the worst of the lot: More doctors smoke Camels.

The Marlboro Man campaign that used real cowboys as models was such an astounding hit that it ran for thirty years, from the 60s all the way into the 90s. One of those cowboy gods was Wayne McLaren, who died of lung cancer in 1992. Before he passed on, McLaren appeared in a television spot showing him in a hospital bed. An earlier shot of him as the drop-dead gorgeous tough guy who’d sold millions of cancer sticks was juxtaposed over this shot, even as a voiceover detailed the dangers of smoking. Impossible to adequately express my admiration for men like this — humble enough to admit their mistakes even at the bitter end, and who spread the true word about nicotine — that eventually it kills, agonizingly and humiliatingly. The great actor John Huston, father of Angelica Huston, was another such hero. Continue reading

Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide – Part 6/6

male-domination-1My own emotional reactions to perceived suffering—mine and others—were always so intense that I was often paralyzed into depression. By the time I was a teenager, I already knew that in order to survive, I would have to make peace with the patriarchy.

Random investigations into the nature of reality proved to me that the foul concept of brawn over brain had distorted the collective psyche; everywhere—among rich and poor, educated and illiterate—I saw perverted masculinity. Instead of cherishing their womenfolk, men seemed to want to triumph over them. And by doing so, they smashed feminine self-esteem to smithereens. It was as if their own sisters, wives and daughters were arch rivals to  be diminished and trounced. As a result, sexual union was often reduced to the usurpation of the female body, and marriage, in many cases, to no more than a legal form of rape. Continue reading

Genesis: Whip of the Wild God – Part I

tantra-chakrasNeither of us being in the mood for the frenetic end-of-year partying for which Manhattan is justly famed, a friend and I decided to spend the last few days of 1993 at Ananda Ashram in upstate New York.

It was stunningly beautiful in that snow-blanketed part of the world, and I was immensely grateful for this brief respite. You see, after years of trying every damn thing to make my marriage work, I had finally left my partner of fourteen years. All I carried away with me were my clothes, some furniture, a precious collection of books and music, and the invisible festering wounds of what felt like a major failure.  Continue reading

Your Karma Ate My Dogma…1

karma1An emerald green SUV shot past us on the long highway leading back from Washington DC to Takoma Park. I read the bumper sticker displayed prominently on its back and grinned: it read, as you might have guessed: Your Karma Ate My Dogma.

What I enjoy most about Americans on the eastern spiritual path—along with their heart-warming generosity and willingness to embrace the universe in all its crazy splendor—is their irreverent sense of humor. And yet, while the “k” word is bandied around in new age circles almost as much as the “f” word in Manhattan, few westerners seem to discern just how wide-ranging are the implications of karmic theory—by which I mean its potential for transforming human life. Continue reading