“ Literary Yoga: Whitman & Salinger as Writers/Seers” (A Webinar) With Philip Goldberg, author, American Veda (Random House), and Cary Bayer, author, Walt Whitman: Poet of Enlightenment

Dates: October 3 & 10, 9–10 eastern time

Phone: Number will be given upon registration

Cost: $20, when paid by Sept. 26, $25 after.

To register: call Cary Bayer, 845-664-1883, or email successareobics@aol.com

They were not just literary geniuses; they were gurus. They did not just create extraordinary poems and stories; they transmitted universal spiritual wisdom.

Walt Whitman, in the 19th century, and J.D. Salinger, a century later, were New York writers who perceived the sacred essence at the mystical center of every human life. In seeking the Infinite, they pointed us to it. In expanding their consciousness, they expanded ours.

Awakened to the Transcendent Self within, Whitman had powerful glimpses of the One Spirit that pervades the universe. This awareness, coupled with his love of “comrades,” enabled his poetry to be, as one critic dubbed it, “a remarkable mixture of the Bhagavad Gita and the New York Herald.” His poetic chants of direct expressions of the Divine can awaken it in us as well, because he and we share that same infinite Self.

Salinger was deeply touched by the spiritual teachings of India. A Yoga practitioner of the Vedantic school, he felt a strong impulse to share his insights with his post-World War II peers, urging them to turn away from the shallow, phony concerns of the world and embrace the eternal quest for spiritual depth. Through his characters, he brilliantly explored the challenges of pursuing that quest in the modern world.

In varying degrees, both writers tasted the joys of an expanded mind and heart and delighted in describing them. Both have vital lessons for us as we integrate our spiritual values with our worldly concerns.

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Philip Goldberg (www.philipgoldberg.com and www.AmericanVeda.com) is a spiritual counselor, meditation teacher and the author of many books. A Huffington Post contributor, he researched Salinger and other leading artists and thinkers for his book, American Veda(Random House), which documents the influence of Indian spirituality on the West.

Cary Bayer (www.carybayer.com), who wrote his thesis at Maharishi International University on Whitman, is the author of Walt Whitman: Poet of Enlightenment and Meditations on Enlightenment. He’s also a Life Coach, a former teacher of Transcendental Meditation and trainer of teachers, and the founder of Higher Self Healing Meditation.