Should every American go to India? There's no need; India already came to America.
Last night author Philip Goldberg visited Pasadena -- the "Benares of America," as the founder of the Self Realization Fellowship, Paramahansa Yogananda, used to call it. Wisdom Quarterly was there to interview him and hear him speak.
In his new book American Veda, Goldberg outlines the rise of India's massive influence on America, which goes far beyond yoga. It goes far deeper than anyone knows -- starting with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, Vivekananda, JD Salinger, the Beatles, and many Unitarian-Christian founders and gurus. (It actually started with Hindu Jesus).
Asked about the influence of Buddhism, Goldberg was emphatic that those who were studying with Indian gurus were simultaneously studying Zen and other forms of Buddhism being introduced to America at the same time. He added that if he had included what was going on with Buddhism, it would have resulted in a 1,000-page book.
"Spiritual not Religious" is the fastest growing category in US according to the author (WQ)
American Veda at Loyola Marymount Univ. Los Angeles
(LMU Extension) For over 200 years, India’s spiritual heritage has been transforming the way we in the West understand religion and practice spirituality. This workshop will illuminate that remarkable history. The presentation will reveal the many streams through which the great East-to-West transmission has impacted our lives.
We’ll meet the leading gurus and yoga masters who came here. Moreover, we'll follow the Western thinkers, artists, and scientists who became transmitters themselves, often in subtle and surprising ways.
Come away with a deeper understanding of how we’ve arrived at this moment in our spiritual history, and realize how we have all touched by India more than anyone imagined. Experience some of the yogic practices introduced by Indian teachers with special guest instruction by senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Lisa Walford and kirtan artist Terra Gold, who will lead the class in chanting.
Philip Goldberg articles (Huffington Post)