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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William


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I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience in the area

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.


I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.




I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

What do you like about this subject?

As a young man once said to Swami Vivekananda after hearing him lecture: "If all this is true, then nothing else matter. If it is not true, then nothing matters." Truth can be known, experienced directly. There is no need to believe blindly; you can find out for yourself by doing spiritual practice.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I am always learning better ways to transmit the ancient teachings in ways that people today can better understand and use in their daily lives.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Many people hold the mistaken notion that Tantra is primarily about sex. The purpose of Tantra is to enable one to spiritualize the whole of life, to become enlightened. To the extent that sex is part of one's life, Tantra helps spiritualize that, too. But sexual ritual is an advanced practice unsuitable for most beginners.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Some heroic tantric practices involve the use of items that the uninitiated might find horrible or otherwise contrary to conventional norms of spirituality. Sexual ritual with a partner who is not one's spouse and the use of forbidden intoxicants are some examples. One may practice Tantra without doing these things, however.

This expert accepts donations for Ashram West:      

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
T R Vasudevan08/30/16101010Thank you Sir ,
T R Vasudevan08/29/16101010Respected Sir, Thank you for this enlightening .....
T R Vasudevan08/29/16101010Thank you very much Sir for the .....
Prashant S Akerkar07/30/16101010Dear Brother William Thanks. Prashant
suresh07/20/16101010Thank you very much

Recent Answers from William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

2016-08-29 Meditation:

Dear T R Vasudevan,    Thank you for your follow-up question.    Be very clear that the purpose of meditation is total identification with the deity. This shift in identity typically happens in stages

2016-08-28 Focus of attention during prayer:

Dear T. R. Vasudevan,    Thank you for your question.    A saintly sadhu named Gopesh Maharaj, who was then living in Vrindavan, told me many years ago that one should at least understand the words you

2016-07-30 Kaikeyi's character in Ramayana Epic.:

Dear Prashant  S Akerkar,    Thank you for your question.    Kaikeyi's character, driven by raw ambition for her son regardless of consequences for others, is villainous. But every good story needs a good

2016-07-19 enquiry:

Dear Suresh,    Thank you for your message.    Although ahimsa is given the supreme position in our religion, killing for righteous causes is permitted, including self-defense. My own Guru used to advise

2016-07-06 WHO IS GOD:

Dear Vineet,    Thank you for your follow-up question.    The jīva does not remain in Moksha. Only Being-Consciousness-Bliss remains. However, sometimes, by the will of Bhagavan, a liberated jī


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