Michael Rossato-Bennett lives in NYC. He is a householder with a wife, two beautiful children and two dogs. He has accepted the challenge to become Enlightened in one year. Will he succeed?

A conversation: Is Hari a good Teacher? from Michael Rossato-Bennett on Vimeo.


Day 4

Day 4   Friday 2/19

Teacher, Sensei,

I did my practice-  it was very interesting.  I can feel the bands holding me in, holding my heart in its grip, and my possibilities.  Sat Nam was very interesting too.  Holy Name is hard to say if you don’t believe in god, but i started to feel it as being open to the possibility, open to sensing for it-

That was amazing, and it shifted me.  Afterwards, I stared into my daughters eyes, looking for the possibility of Sat Nam in there.  The openness is everything.  I felt in my meditation my own ignorance of the real estate of my spine.  I felt ‘like a virgin’, opened for the very first time.  I am aware that this is a very special time, that this is the most progress I will ever feel, from nothing to hugely open…  I was feeling so much light in my chest that I felt I might actually get where I am trying to go in 361 days.

Your student,


Hari writes back:

Good morning – excellent!

I hope you are feeling better and not with pneumonia.

The yogi is the person that joins “Sat” with “Nam”

Sat means truth,
Nam means name but also to merge with – to bow – to name…

The yogi joins “truth with your name” “truth is your identity.” The yogi joins truth with your identity. You stop identifying with nonsense and start identifying with truth –

It is designed to cut the ties to false identities and cut the ties to illusion of our lives.

One of the biggest illusions is that we live like we will live forever and yet our lives are quite short.

This is in the Gita – the ancient story of Arjuna on the battelfield – which you will read:) Sat Nam is to remind us of the whole picture, of the entire reality that we live in – that is what “truth” and “sat” is designed to do.

In many – the reality of most traditions – God cannot be deconstructed (as it is not a person, not an animal, not a plant, beyond our comprehension – not a big guy with a beard running the show and keeping track of our every move) so symbols of this unifying force are used since we cannot conceive of infinity in our finite self and through our finite senses. So “Sat Nam” is also the “holy name” and “truth” – it is the “name” of God as it is a word, not god itself, but a vibration that points us in the direction of this experience of oneness – (of god as I might say)

“Mantra” is an extension of the mind toward that infinite horizon. “man” – mind “tra” projection. Since our senses are limited, mantra and vibration can match the vibration of infinity so you can imitate this infinite experience from vibrating your cells with mantra – more on that later…

One of the ultimate lessons of the GITA story is of renounciation IN action – not the renounciation OF action. We are being taught through our practice to let go of our attachment to how things turn out in favor of conscious action…short interpretation of course!

Acting in this way is the goal of the Yogi, fearlessness in the face of not knowing and not pretending we know (illusion), associating with truth instead of false identities like your job or how you look, or the trend – we could go on and on and on – seeing things as they are. Just as they are in that moment and acting from consciousness.

The next lesson is for you to learn the 8 limbs of yoga. To go on this journey you will first develop a foundation of how you treat yourself and how you treat others, so the power from your practice is directed in a focused and conscious way.

good work!!!


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