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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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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 .....

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

2017-02-18 MENIFESTING:

Dear Vineet,    Thank you for your question.    In the two-birds metaphor one bird watches while the other eats of the fruit of the tree. This is a metaphor for Consciousness in two aspects, Witness Subject

2017-01-14 Vedas and Dharmas:

Dear Santosh,    Thank you for your questions.    Veda ("Knowledge") is eternal, and the author is Brahmā, the Creator. Sages received the mantras in meditation and transmitted them to their disciples

2017-01-14 enquiry:

Dear Dhruv,    Thank you for your questions.    Giving in charity (dāna) is both a duty and privilege of householders. Give what you can, when you can.     Hijra dharma involves biological males identifying

2016-12-10 Death:

Dear Elena,    Thank you for your questions.    Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita tells us that a person's last thought at death determines the soul's journey after death. For this reason pious Hindus practice

2016-11-05 desire good or bad:

Dear Salish,    Thank you for your question.    The Gita's teaching on nishkama karma is only for the one who desires liberation. If all you want is some human companionship and connection, by all means


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