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10/22/15 - Three Steps into the Temple of Bliss 
Stephen Sturgess

Superconscious meditation is meditation that frees us from suffering and allows us to experience the natural bliss of our own soul. The secret to success in superconscious meditation is found in the last three limbs of yoga’s 8-limbed path. Those interior limbs, concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and oneness (samadhi), help us to experience and realize the superconsciousness that is natural to us all. Tune in to the conversation between Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian and Stephen Sturgess, author of Raja and Kriya Yoga, and learn how you can enter into your own temple of bliss.

Stephen Sturgess is the author of several books on yoga, including his most recent publication, The Supreme Art and Science of Raja & Kriya Yoga. He is a teacher of Yoga and meditation in the Kriya Tradition of Paramahansa Yogananda and has studied and practiced Yoga in India, the UK, and Europe under well-known Yoga swamis and gurus. A direct disciple of Swami Kriyananda for 30 years, from whom he first received Kriya Initiation in 1983, Stephen was ordained in 2011 as a Kriyacharya by Roy Eugene Davis. Visit 

9/17/15 - Natural and Effortless: Meditation for Everyone
Dean Sluyter

Meditating can be as natural as water flowing downhill or a leaf gently floating to the ground. Are you being held back from a regular meditation practice because you think meditation is too difficult or requires too much discipline? Tune in for a conversation between regular guest host Dr. Laurel Trujillo and Dean Sluyter, author of Natural Meditation: A Guide to Effortless Meditative Practice, and learn how simple meditation can be.

  • Find out how anyone can settle naturally into meditation, where there is no “trying,” just being
  • Explore several natural meditation techniques and see which ones suit you best
  • Discover practical tips for adapting meditation to your daily life
  • Learn how to access the peace that lies at the depth of your being, regardless or external circumstances

Dean Sluyter (pronounced ""slighter"") has taught meditation throughout the United States since 1970. He is the author of several books and audio programs, including Cinema Nirvana and The Zen Commandments. His latest book, Natural Meditation: A Guide to Effortless Meditative Practice, is an Amazon #1 best seller in stress management.

A grateful student of eminent teachers in several traditions, including Advaita Vedanta, Vajrayana Buddhism, and Bhakti Yoga, Dean has completed numerous pilgrimages and long retreats in India, Tibet, and the West. He is known for conveying authentic teachings in forms that are practical, accessible, label-free ... and fun. When not writing or teaching, he narrates audiobooks, is a singer-musician (kirtan, jug band, etc.), and happily rides his Vespa through the streets of Santa Monica.

7/16/15 - Meditation, Wisdom, and the New Story
Michael Nagler

In deep meditation we perceive peace and joy through allowing our attention and awareness to rest in the expanded consciousness of our essential nature.  We feel connected to all of life.  This change in our consciousness opens a space where wisdom develops.  From this perspective we can create a new story that honors our essential wholeness.  When we share this new story with others, we can reach a tipping point and change the current narrative about our world from a meaningless, material place to a world that works for everyone.  Join Yogacharya O’Brian and her guest Michael Nagler in a discussion about how the roots of daily spiritual practice can flower into improving our lives and the lives of others.  Discover how you can live a life that is truly fulfilling by serving the sacred in all. 

Michael Nagler is Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC, Berkeley, where he co-founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He is the author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages; Our Spiritual Crisis: Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence (2005); The Upanishads (with Sri Eknath Easwaran, 1987), and other books as well as many articles on peace and spirituality. Michael has consulted for the U.S. Institute of Peace and many other organizations and is the founder President of the board of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education.  Michael is a student of Sri Eknath Easwaran, Founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, and has lived at the Center's ashram in Marin County since 1970. 

4/09/15 - Stress Less with Yoga and Meditation  
Carrie E. Demers, M.D.

The ancient system of yoga is ideally designed to counteract the effects of stress in our fast-paced lives. While medical research has linked chronic stress to negative health consequences and even many diseases, research has also documented the improvements available through the use of yoga and meditation. These ancient approaches not only reduce tension, they can also help us adjust our emotions and attitudes so that we experience more relaxation. Carrie Demers, MD, Director of the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center, joins The Yoga Hour’s co-host, Dr. Laurel Trujillo, for a discussion of the many tools within yoga and meditation that help us reduce stress and live with more peace and joy.

Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Carrie E. Demers, M.D. is a holistic physician who blends modern medicine with traditional approaches to health. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completing her residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Demers went on to study massage, homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine and Ayurveda. She is on the faculty of the Himalayan Institute, and is Medical Director of the Institute’s Total Health Center. Dr. Demers has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers, and lectures nationally on holistic health and ayurveda. She is a frequent contributor to Yoga International

11/15/12 - One with the One: Superconscious Meditation for Spiritual Realization and Enlightened LivingSwami Atmavidyananda
Swami Atmavidyananda from the Kriya Yoga Institute joins Rev. O’Brian for an in-depth exploration of the practice of Samadhi, or Superconscious Meditation.  Samadhi is the culmination of Patanjali’s Eight Limbed Path and the beginning of a life of liberation and unconditional joy. It is for every person who would walk the path of enlightened living. 

Swami Atmavidyananda, a senior monk in the lineage of Paramahamsa Hariharananda and Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, is currently Vice President of the Kriya Yoga Institute. He met Paramahamsa Hariharanand and was initiated into Kriya Yoga in 1994. After completing his professional responsibilities, in 2002, he dedicated his life fulltime to the cause of spiritual practice and joined the Hariharananda Gurukulam under the auspices of Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. Since 2006 Swami Atmavidyananda has travelled extensively in North America, South America, Europe and Asia to guide seekers on the path of Kriya Yoga.  

11/08/12 - Meditation: The Royal Path of AwakeningSwami Bodhananda Sarasvati

Meditation connects us with our inner power--it is a gateway to joy, peace and spiritual realization. Swami Bodhananda Sarasvati, Spiritual Director of the Sambodh Society, joins Rev. O'Brian for an inspiring and instructive conversation about this essential spiritual practice. Discover why it is so important and how you can begin, or enhance, your practice right away.

Swami Bodhananda Saraswati is an accomplished teacher of Vedanta, meditation, and management.  He is the founder and spiritual director of the Sambodh Society with its ashram and headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He also directs several other ashrams and organizations, including the Bodhananda Research Foundation for Management and Leadership Studies in India.  He is the author of twenty books. Among his widely read books are Meditation: The Awakening of Inner Powers; Self Unfoldment in an Interactive World; Seven Hindu Spiritual Laws of Success; The Gita and Management; Indian Management and Leadership; Management and the Mahabharata; and Rishi Vision.    

7/05/12 - Meditation, Science and Your Brain : Insights from Neuroscience That Can Change Your Life
Richard J. Davidson, PhD 

Visionary and world renowned neuroscientist Richard Davidson joins Rev. O’Brian for this fascinating and illuminating conversation about the mind, the brain, and our emotional nature that will change the way you see yourself and inspire your ability to make positive changes. A pioneer in researching the effects of meditation, Dr. Davidson was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He has co-authored a new book with Sharon Begley entitled, The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live—and How You can Change Them.

Richard Davidson is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience. He is also Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research. In 2006, he was awarded the first Mani Bhaumik Award by UCLA for advancing the understanding of the brain and conscious mind in healing and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Richard is the co-author (with Sharon Begley) of the book The Emotional Life of Your Brain.

7/07/11 - Meditation for the Love of It  
Sally Kempton

Sally Kempton joins Yogacharya O’Brian on The Yoga Hour online broadcast. Drawing from Sally’s new book, Meditation for the Love of It, these two spiritual teachers will mine the heart of meditation practice for the jewels of spiritually conscious living. Whether you are new to meditation or have been meditating for years, you’ll find their conversation to be a breath of fresh air that will infuse your practice with energy and inspiration.

Sally Kempton writes a regular column, Wisdom, for Yoga Journal. She offers monthly teleclasses in meditation, and an ongoing teleconference series called the Transformative Practice Journey, which unfolds different aspects of awakening practice. She is one of a select group of teachers in Ken Wilber’s Integral Spiritual Center, and teaches regularly at conferences, and at Kripalu and Esalen.

10/21/10 - Meditation and Your Brain 
Marty Wuttke

Ancient scriptures of yoga and the testimonies of self-realized masters describe higher states of consciousness and enhanced functionality that the new field of scientific study called Neurotheology is now able to examine, explain and quantify. Join Yogacharya O'Brian and Marty Wuttke, founder and director of Neurotherapy Centers International, for the latest scientific insights into the benefits of meditation practice for health, overall well-being and spiritual development.

The founder & clinical director of NeuroTherapy Centers International, Marty Wuttke is a pioneer in combining multiple protocols of Neurofeedback therapy as an intervention for depression, traumatic brain injury, addiction, eating disorders, chronic pain, and anxiety. In 2003 new advanced whole body neuro/biofeedback technology hardware and software was developed under Wuttke's guidance. With over 30 years of research and application of yogic science of consciousness, ayurvedic medicine, holistic nutrition and meditation, Wuttke is uniquely qualified in combining the wisdom and methods of ancient traditions with advanced technologies of today as a way to facilitate healing, personal growth and the awakening process. Visit