shelter in place

Advice for Yogis Who Are Sheltered in Place, Part I

Until the coronavirus and its immediate effects have passed, I’ve set aside my previous content plans for Quiet Karma. Those included a presentation of yoga’s basic principles. Instead, I’ll share smaller bits of advice—lessons I’ve learned through study and practice—that will help us get through this crisis together. As a young girl, I had the…Read More

introduction to karma yoga

An Introduction to Karma Yoga

The goal of yoga, indeed the goal of every spiritual path, is enduring peace and joy. Who wouldn’t want freedom from anger, worry, or fears? We all strive for contentment, happiness that doesn’t wane. This perfect state is known by many names: God- or Self-realization, enlightenment, nirvana. Whether you’re new to the idea of supreme…Read More

introduction practice of silence

An Introduction to the Practice of Silence

Our home lost power several times last year. Everything running on electricity stopped working, and the house became eerily quiet. When the power outages were lengthy, I began to appreciate the silence. Then I wondered, “What would happen if I could as easily switch off the noises in my head? Would I cease to function…Read More

a yogis willpower

A Yogi’s Willpower, Part II

We all have goals, from fulfilling a lifelong dream to simply getting through the day during tough times. Willpower is one quality that moves us toward realizing our goals. In “A Yogi’s Willpower, Part I,” I introduced Paramahansa Yogananda’s article “Developing Dynamic Will.” There, he outlines five stages of willpower. This post relies on advice…Read More

a yogis willpower

A Yogi’s Willpower, Part I

Yogis know that our practices—spiritual, mental, or physical—are most effective when done every day. But how do we keep up such an exacting commitment? The answer: we must develop the desire and the power needed to succeed—willpower. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” You might have heard this proverb from your elders. It tells…Read More

patience on the spiritual path

Patience on the Spiritual Path

When I was a little girl, my biggest wish was to go to Disneyland. Television commercials showed a wonderland of joy with cheerful characters at every corner. Even potentially scary rides were designed to delight. Visitors to Disneyland could expect their visit to be merry and memorable. In my mind it was the best destination…Read More


Mahendra Nath Gupta: “M”

All yoga masters are unique in their own ways. Many have colorful backgrounds with interesting stories. Some are miracle workers. Others speak and write with profound wisdom that lasts for generations. As true Gurus, these masters lead their disciples along the path to enlightenment. But no one knows how many disciples have themselves become masters….Read More

anandamayi ma quotes fault finding

The Habit of Fault-Finding: An Obstacle on the Path

Success on the spiritual path depends upon one thing—the sincerity of our intention. Our desire to find peace leads us to the path. Sincerity keeps us there. The Katha Upanishad tells us that the spiritual path is like a razor’s edge. Yogic texts and masters promise success in yoga. By sincere and focused effort, we’ll…Read More


How My Cats Made Me a Better Yogi

Our ashram in the Santa Cruz mountains has been refuge to many creatures. Three of them were stray cats: Emma, Kitti, and Stubby. They arrived at different times, desperate for food and shelter. We welcomed these sweet feline souls, and they lived out their lives with us. Kitti was the last to go. As we…Read More


Non-Injury: Essential Practice on the Spiritual Path

At a family gathering a few years ago I noticed a large ant crossing the carpet. Suddenly, my ten-year-old nephew stomped on the ant, trying to kill it. He was surprised when I cried, “Stop! Don’t kill it. He’s done you no harm!” He looked perplexed. Ants are sometimes a problem in his home. They…Read More

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