Category Archives: stairway to heaven

OFFICIALLY RELEASED!!! ALLOWAH LANI’S NEW BOOK, “WHO AM I? YOGA, PSYCHEDELICS & THE QUEST FOR ENLIGHTENMENT”

Top Choice cover

“With his excellent book, Allowah Lani gives us a tour de force of several major subjects. I’m not well versed in yoga or psychedelics, but I certainly learned a lot about those things from this book. And I was particularly struck by the author’s ability to move into a discussion of A Course in Miracles from the perspective of his own journey, and do a fine job presenting its message. I highly recommend this book to all seekers of the truth. I believe you’ll be blown away, as I was, by its depth and wisdom.”

—Gary Renard, best-selling author of The Disappearance of the Universe

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE

*

Book Description

Far more than a mere history of the practice of yoga and beyond a study of psychedelic-substance use to aid the pursuit of enlightenment, Who Am I? is a broad, expansive journey told through the eyes of a scholar and researcher—a pilgrim in search of the meaning of life.

While the use of psychedelics, yoga, and the interrelatedness of the two practices have been discussed in the past, Who Am I? explores these topics through both a scientific and a personal approach that is altogether new—the author’s own journey as he transitions from spiritual and yoga purist to open-minded examiner in the realization that psychedelics have been employed by yoga practitioners throughout its history. Does their controversial use in modern yoga ease the path to spiritual clarity, or does it hinder it?

Many questions and barriers face contemporary seekers of truth in the areas of psychedelics, yoga, and general spirituality. In Who Am I?, author Allowah Lani provides guidance on how to find the personal answers that must come from within.

*

About the Author

Allowah Lani has devoted his adult life to spiritual and religious scholarship, earning a BA in philosophy and an MA in liberal arts from the University of Pennsylvania and going on to study the Torah and the Bible in Hebrew in Jerusalem.

Lani began a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University comparing Kabbalah and the yoga philosophy prior to becoming a full-time yoga instructor. He is the founder and director of Yoga University, which offers teacher training and is registered with the Yoga Alliance.

Lani currently lives in Naples, Florida. Who Am I? is his first book.

*

Top Choice cover

What Readers Are Saying…

“With his excellent book, Allowah Lani gives us a tour de force of several major subjects. I’m not well versed in yoga or psychedelics, but I certainly learned a lot about those things from this book. And I was particularly struck by the author’s ability to move into a discussion of A Course in Miracles from the perspective of his own journey, and do a fine job presenting its message. I highly recommend this book to all seekers of the truth. I believe you’ll be blown away, as I was, by its depth and wisdom.

Gary Renard, best-selling author of The Disappearance of the Universe

*

“We are in a time of resurgence, the next wave of psychedelic and entheogenic exploration and reflection. Allowah Lani tours the reader through many different perspectives and differing conclusions on this crucial subject. He observes, explores and researches with a most important tool of [inquiry] meditation and Yoga— openness and questioning as opposed to certainty. Since ancient Eleusis, and time immemorial, a philosopher stoned has always used potent psychotropic means that open windows into other realities, new perceptions and into life itself. Most serious explorers of living and dying have not denied theses powerful tools and catalysts. This book will get you thinking, and perhaps seeing.”

Ganga White, Director of White Lotus and author of Yoga Beyond Belief

*

“Wow!!!!!!! Just need to tell you I can’t put it down… Reading excerpts every night even when I’m thoroughly exhausted… It’s very engaging and written from such a deeply intimate place… Truly exceptional and unique in its honesty and your sharing these parts of your history and experience are a gift to anyone who will be fortunate enough to read it.”

Marie Colandrea, Yoga student and teacher

*
“Allowah Lani has written an incredible book combining deep insights from the teachings of yoga, psychedelics, and A Course in Miracles, each of which provides us with doors and windows into what is possible for us including an awakening back into the heart of God. Though I’ve had no experience with psychedelics since the 1970s, I know how incredible that experience can be. Each of these disciplines are “alchemies.” Let them “cook” inside and you will see another world your body’s eyes could never find.”

Jon Mundy, Ph.D. author of Living A Course in Miracles

*

“This book MUST be read by people. Period.”

John Allen Gibel, Yoga Teacher & Scholar

*

“Your insights of the Yoga tradition are original and unique. I truly hope you can make this happen.”

Estella Arias, Literary Agent, New Chapter Editions

*

“The author’s new book dealing with an important topic on the history of yoga is a very engrossing read and a very unique book. In exploring its topic areas with the author, we feel as if we are falling down the rabbit hole hand-in-hand with him. He treats his exploration with the intellectual honesty, respect, and open-mindedness it deserves and the reader is drawn into the narrative by the lucidity of his prose and by his ever-expanding exploration of this fascinating area of study. Drawing upon a wide array of ‘seekers’ who have come before him, the author presents a straightforward and engaging narrative that investigates his topic for anyone and everyone on the road to enlightenment. The fact that there are no other books on the market that engages this specific subject makes this book’s appeal that much greater.”

Anne Dillon, Project Editor, Inner Traditions, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont

*

“Incredibly well-written, highly personal and throughly researched, Allowah Lani’s new book Who Am I? explores the links between Shamanism, Rituals, Plant Medicine and Yoga. Shamans and Yogis were the original explorers of evolutionary consciousness, healing and communication with the Spirit Realms. Nature and all its tools have been their guides since the emergence of the human race. Ancient Egypt was one of the first great centers of the mystic and healing arts including early forms of what would later be refined in India as Yoga. The Egyptians developed sophisticated spiritual initiations and practices that are still alive in different forms today throughout the world. Read this book and you will learn of many of the possibilities that have existed throughout time for Humankind’s evolution and how they relate to you.”

Danny Paradise, Ashtanga yoga master

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE

*

13516658_10210123016812725_1170682393434711352_n

 

Advertisements

To Be a Rock and Not to Roll: A Yogi Reflects on Stairway to Heaven

            I’ve been doing yoga for the past 18 years.  I’ve been playing guitar for nearly 33.  Picking up the guitar in the early ’80s, early songs that were de rigeur for a young guitarist were, of course, Iron Man and Smoke on the Water.  And after that, Stairway to Heaven.  Almost everyone back then wanted to see me play Stairway.  I just learned the opening chords and that was enough.  Though I loved Led Zep, I didn’t get as much into Jimmy Page’s playing as my other heroes: Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton.
           Years later, after being deeply immersed in the yoga tradition, I see the profundity of this song way beyond just the chord progression.  Robert Plant has said that the words came to him one night sitting in front of the fire place at Headley Grange, contemplating “spiritual perfection.”  Despite all claims to the contrary (that the band was in league with satan, etc.), the message of the song is ageless.  Let’s consider just the last verse:  
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When we all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.
     And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.
             This really is the essence of Advaita Vedanta expressed right here, and in words that are timeless and of this time.  There is a seeming war between the ego and God.  From our perspective, being in the throes of the ego, the odds are greatly against God, for the ego’s illusionary “reality” seems so real, so solid.  So much so that some of us need a kickass hard rock song to get the message through to us!  And yet, there is still a still, small voice of Spirit that we can listen for, tune into, and it will lead us to the place that is eternally golden light, to Heaven.   If yoga is a lifelong path (and possibly for many lifetimes — “rolling” here can be seen as an allusion to reincarnation, which is only real within the ego’s illusion), it is so only because this process of awakening is not an overnight thing, it’s gradual, lest we blinded by the light (see my next blog on Bruce Springsteen ; )
             So, it’s really nice to see Robert Plant’s eyes well up in this video.  I’m sure it wasn’t just pride in the song.  It was knowing that this song truly is ageless, timeless, immortal.  It will be with us quite a long time, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop, and yet, most important is to truly take in its message.
           ps.  If you’re interested in reading further, I would suggest reading the Katha Upanishad, which talks about two paths you can go by: The Good (shreyas), and the merely pleasant (preyas).  Also, I will blogging soon about another one of the greatest rock songs on all time, Hotel California, and how it connects with the deeper teachings of yoga.