What’s ‘sustainable happiness’? This monk knows

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When Devamrita Swami delivers a talk, he bets on an audience sharing one fundamental human endeavor: Everyone wants to be happy.

“Happiness is a universal pursuit,” says Swami, a Krishna bhakti, Yale-educated monk. “And sustainable happiness is happiness that contributes to individual and global well-being without exploiting other people, the environment, other species, or future generations.”


Read the rest of the article at Penn Today

Krishna monk talks economy, sustainability and spirituality in upcoming events

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Is working toward world peace and pursuing personal happiness possible?  Can we transcend the social angst that eats away at our contemporary society?  Sometimes you need to ask the big questions. Devamrita Swami, the director of Mantra Lounge meditation studio, will be in town next week lecturing on these critical topics and connecting the dots between economy, sustainability, and spirituality.


Read the rest of the article over at Grid Magazine

Philly Yoga and Meditation Center Links City Dwellers Back to Nature

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Philadelphia is the launch pad for a spiritual group’s new attempt to link meditation-seeking city dwellers with replenishment in a rural setting.

“The purpose of the urban-rural farm connection is to demonstrate sustainable living and spiritual thinking,” said traveling monk Devamrita Swami. “We strongly advocate the combination of both.”

Read the rest of the article over at metro!


These $10 Yoga-and-Dinner Classes Are One of Philly’s Best Kept Secrets

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If I told you that 10 bucks could get you a yoga or meditation class followed by a vegan dinner here in Philly multiple days a week, you’d probably laugh in my face then shove your latest Sweetgreen receipt toward me to prove just how too-good-to-be-true this sounds. But, my dear friends, I am here to tell you that it is nottoo good to be true: The folks at South Kensington’s Mantra Lounge, a volunteer-led non-profit yoga and meditation-focused center that opened at 312 East Girard Avenue in August, hosts $10 yoga and/or meditation sessions followed by vegan dinners three times a week.


Read the rest at Phillymag.


More Garden Updates! – Spring Cleaning :)

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This time around we did some maintenance work. It was a fun spring cleaning session with our Mantra Lounge volunteers, headed by our plant expert Stephanie! We have cucumbers coming up, tomato plants growing big and strong, and some donated peppers and tomato plants just got planted. We also have a big oregano plant building up more and more right next to our baby cilantro sprouts.

We trimmed up and pulled out some unneeded greenery and everything is looking much neater now.

On the other end, in the front yard, Jude did some more clean-up work, with which we’re going to start fresh with flowers and more. More on the front yard plan coming soon!

For now, check out these awesome pictures of our mini-garden!

Permaculture! Mantra Lounge garden updates: Kale, cilantro, basil and more soon!

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Permaculture started with the idea of turning trashed suburban backyards into sustainable gardens, in which the natural environment dictated the garden’s plan and purpose.

As you may have seen on our social media, we started a little garden as an effort to grow some of our own veggies for Mantra Lounge. It is a very small effort, but we’re trying! Check out these little guys shooting up in our mini garden!

Exciting to see!

Here’s a cool article that shows a wonderful example from Australia!

Check out this New York Times article on Permaculture!

Volcanic Eruptions – What do the yoga texts say?

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The volcanic eruptions in Hawaii are proof that even places where people dream of living are subject to the power of nature. The yoga texts proclaim that as human beings we are subject to misery coming in three different ways: Adhibhautika, misery coming from other living entities, Ādhyātmika, misery coming from our own bodies and minds, and  Adhidaivika, misery coming from natural disasters. 

As we battle the realities of a changing climate, natural disasters are more frequent and destructive. Is there a solution? Or are we condemned to suffer the reactions, waiting for the ground to open up beneath our feet? 


Refer to this article: http://time.com/5278771/hawaii-volcano-ash-red-alert-aviation/

Loss of Tree Cover – Earth Cry

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“A study in the May issue of Urban Forestry & Urban Greening reports metropolitan areas are experiencing a net loss of about 36 million trees nationwide every year. That amounts to about 175,000 acres of tree cover, most of it in central city and suburban areas but also on the exurban fringes. This reduction, says lead author David Nowak of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), translates into an annual loss of about $96 million in benefits—based, he says, on “only a few of the benefits that we know about.” The economic calculation involves several such benefits that are relatively easy to express in dollar terms—the capacity of trees to remove air pollution, sequester carbon, conserve energy by shading buildings and reduce power plant emissions.

Nowak and a USFS colleague, co-author Eric Greenfield, found tree cover had declined in metropolitan areas across 45 states. The biggest losses on a percentage basis were in Rhode Island, Georgia, Alabama and Nebraska, together with the District of Columbia. Only three states—Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico—saw increased metropolitan tree cover, all by “nonsignificant” amounts.”
From article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/…/u-s-cities-lose-tree-…/

Some food for thought…

As a society, the way in which we place value is reflected in our actions and our economy. As the desire for all that is “bigger” and “better” consumes our world, the cost is high. Those deep thinkers of the world may wonder: why are human beings the only species that destroy their own habitat? What is the value of our advanced intelligence, when cost analyses fail to account for the destruction of the very things that maintain us?