“We hear about the soul, we hear about divinity, we hear about the sacred — but how many of us know it?” asks Rod Stryker in this challenging Speakeasy talk, “Sex, Drugs, Gurus and Everything Else Yoga”. Rod tackles some of the meatier issues surrounding what it is to be on the yogic path, and addresses them with a no-nonsense candor that jolted the minds of several who attended this lecture at Wanderlust Whistler 2013.
Why was his talk so surprising? For some, it wasn’t – it was a respected voice in the yoga community drawing a line in the sand with regard to certain behaviors and tendencies. For others, it was the first time, perhaps, that they had considered that to be a yoga teacher in one room meant one must adhere to that same integrity in any room.
Rod doesn’t simply come out and denounce particular proclivities – he begins by explaining that many actions are rooted in the search for our true essense. The tantric trifecta of satyam, shivam, and sundaram (truth, beauty, and the essence of existence itself) is something we seek in yoga, but how many of us know it? Very few. Thus begins our search, and in the process, the “aids” of gurus, sex, and drugs are tools that some use to get closer to this ‘knowing’. Find out Rod’s unequivocal take on all three in this video.
“We seek it across the board, whether it’s in yoga, or gardening, or making love, listening to music, indulging in our iPhones,” he says. “There’s some kind of innate joy that we seek out in life. What I’m saying is that if we want to taste the ultimate level of it, we need our perception to be as clear as possible… There’s really no place for drugs and yoga, and that’s because the yoga game is a game of perception. When we use drugs, it shift perception, and for a short period of time, it shifts perception in a desirable way.” In this Speakeasy, like all of his teachings, Rod uses his unique ability to make the deepest of ancient teachings accessible, immediate and applicable to students of all levels.
What are your thoughts on the issues of sex, drugs, and gurus for those who are engaged on the yogic path? Are pursuits of short-term satisfaction incongruous to leading a truly happy and pure life? Let us know in the comments below.
Rod Stryker is the founder of ParaYoga and the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom. Widely recognized as one of the West’s leading authorities on yoga, Tantra, and meditation, his teachings weave a profound breadth of knowledge and experience.