Best Self Magazine

Yogananda & Me: The Human Story of a Spiritual Guru

Paramahansa Yogananda and me, by Philip Goldberg, photograph of Buddha by Benjamin Balazs

Photograph by Benjamin Balazs

Philip Goldberg writes the human story of the spiritual guru Paramahansa Yogananda

As an idealistic, inquisitive student in the 1960s, I made what seemed like a radical shift from Marxist, atheist, anti-religious, political activist to questing seeker, enchanted by the philosophical and spiritual insights of the East. Neglecting my assigned course work, I read everything I could about Yoga, Vedanta, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and world mysticism, including Western commentators such as Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley, the fiction of Herman Hesse and J. D. Salinger, and the poetry and song lyrics of artists whose lives and work were influenced by those Eastern spiritual traditions. What I learned was not only revelatory, it was practical, empirical, and transformative. I was hardly alone in making that transition; the counterculture was awash in Indian music,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Best Self Magazine

Best Self Magazine25 min read
Dying Every Day: Exploring Life and the Near-Death Experience with Reincarnate Buddhist Lama Mingyur Rinpoche
_______ “How many of you did not understand anything I just said? Please raise your hands.” Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is addressing a crowd of 200 people in an auditorium on the campus of St. Thomas University, a Catholic college located in a residenti
Best Self Magazine3 min readPsychology
A God Box: A Practice For Surrendering Worries & Fears
________ Recently on the phone with my Aunt, I told her about my ‘God Box’. What’s a God Box you ask (and so did she)? Well… Let’s face it, we reach life saturation points from time to time, perhaps more often than we like. For myriad reasons we hit
Best Self Magazine3 min readPsychology
Why ‘Trying Harder’ To Prioritize Yourself Just Doesn’t Work
— When you’re drowning in all the things you do for everyone else, it’s time to hit pause and consider these three truths: That is to say, it happens automatically. We respond to stressors in our businesses, perceived messages from others, and even c