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Watch webinar: Love, Wisdom, and Will in Yoga and in Richard Sclove’s book “Escaping Maya’s Palace,” Feb. 19, 2023

Posted on: 3rd March, 2023

Watch Richard Sclove’s webinar with Michael Lerner, the cofounder of Commonweal, about:

  • the Bhagavad Gita (one of the great sacred texts of ancient India);
  • Richard’s book Escaping Maya’s Palace; and
  • the psychospiritual “collaboration with the gods” through which Richard’s book emerged.

Michael is a remarkably wise and compassionate teacher and interviewer. Richard reveals that he is several months into a prolonged period of psychospiritual transformation and healing from ancient trauma. Deep truth emerges. Watch here:

Michael and Richard were speaking to the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco. Michael opens with a beautiful 20-minute introduction to the Bhagavad Gita. Afterwards he interviews Richard about Escaping Maya’s Palace, and particularly his psychospiritual perspective on the Gita‘s deeper meaning and purpose. Finally, Michael invites Richard to discuss his longstanding “collaborative” relationship with “the gods” and how it has infused his professional and personal life.

The entire video is well worth watching. But if you want to focus in on Richard’s portion: Michael introduces Richard at 22:10 (i.e., 22 minutes, 10 seconds into the video). Richard first appears visually (i.e., pinned visually as the speaker in Zoom) at 37:58, telling his favorite story from the Mahabharata, the gigantic epic in which the Bhagavad Gita appears as an episode.

The conversation includes several Sanskrit terms that may be unfamiliar: “Sadhana” means “spiritual practice.” “Dharma” means “moral law” or “moral duty.” A “spontaneous kundalini awakening” involves the release of latent psychospiritual energy in the human subtle body (i.e., in the chakra subtle‐energy centers and in the subtle-energy channels that connect them).

Not shown in this recorded Zoom “speaker view” is the “gallery view” of the other webinar participants. As Michael and Richard spoke, in gallery view you could see other participants occasionally wiping away tears as they were moved by the conversation.

In this conversation, framed by the Bhagavad Gita, Richard discusses the 20 percent of his book in which he decodes the Mahabharata – a massive mythological epic from ancient India. (In the remaining 80 percent of his book, he uses that decoding as a lens for mounting a psychospiritual critique of modern civilization over the past four centuries. For a recent scholarly review of Escaping Maya’s Palace‘s civilizational critique and proposed action steps, click here.)

Michael Lerner is president and co-founder of Commonweal in Bolinas, California. He co-founded Commonweal in 1976. His projects include the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, CancerChoices, The New School at Commonweal and Omega. A Harvard graduate, he received a PhD and taught at Yale in the early 1970s before moving to Bolinas, California in 1976. He received a MacArthur fellowship for contributions to public health in 1984. He has been engaged with integral yoga since 1982.

Richard Sclove has been a senior staff member at the Mind and Life Institute, cofounded by the Dalai Lama, and at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. He earned his PhD in political theory at MIT and held a postdoctoral fellowship in economics at the University of California-Berkeley. He also founded The Loka Institute, which has worked nationally and internationally to make science and technology responsive to democratically decided priorities. The American Political Science Association honored his book “Democracy and Technology” as the best in its field, and he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.