- A conversation with Swami Chetanananda. Born and raised in the Midwest, his life was transformed, in an instant, upon his first meeting with his guru, Swami Rudrananda (Rudi), in New York City in 1971. He studied with Rudi until Rudi’s death in 1973. At age 24, after Rudi’s passing and at Rudi’s direction, he became the head of the ashrams established by Rudi. Swami Chetanananda is now the abbot and spiritual director of The Movement Center, based in Portland, Oregon. Like Rudi, Swami Chetanananda works with students to awaken their creative energy and support them in the process of its unfolding. He teaches eyes-open meditation, a direct transmission practice in which teacher and student share the experience of the underlying unity of all things.
In 1978, he took sannyas with Swami Muktananda, and took the name “Chetanananda,” meaning “the joy of consciousness.” In the course of his studies with Muktananda, he began to explore the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism. Recognizing that the treatises written by the practitioners of this tradition described much of his own experience, Swamiji studied Shaivism in depth. He has collaborated with scholars and sponsored translations of many Shaiva texts. He has also studied the Shije (Pacification of Suffering) teachings of Padampa Sangye because he came to understand that Padampa Sangye’s teachings and Shaivism shared a common origin. For the last 15 years, Swami Chetanananda has continued to study the tantric tradition in all its forms from the plains of North India to Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley and the steppes of Tibet. He has sought out adepts who preserve powerful lineages. With the experience he has gained, Swami Chetanananda has expanded and refined Rudi’s later teachings, which Rudi called his “tantric work.”
The fundamental method he teaches uses the power of the breath to circulate the creative energy (kundalini) and intensify its flow so that tensions and obstacles are dissolved, leading to a more refined awareness. As Rudi did, Swami Chetanananda emphasizes the importance of working deeply over time.
To complement his spiritual practices, Swami Chetanananda has a working knowledge of a range of healing systems and methodologies, from the time-honored traditions of hatha yoga and acupuncture to the more modern techniques of homeopathy and osteopathy. Swami Chetanananda is the author of several books on spirituality published by Rudra Press, including Dynamic Stillness, Vols. I & II ; The Breath of God; Open Heart, Open Mind; Choose to Be Happy; Will I Be the Hero of My Own Life? and There Is No Other.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #169 - 06DEC14
The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
More information about Swami Chetanananda's work and interests can be found at: