Terms & Definitions

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)

12 Step recovery program for alcoholics and addicts.


Entering a state of awareness and consciousness where the present moment and present mind merges into the state beyond thoughts and infinite love. 

Awakening Process

The process in which we wake up to the truth of existence.

Bhakti practices

Kirtan, prayer, japa.


Dedication, love and loyalty towards someone or something.


Life’s purpose


Holy or Sacred


Awakened aspects of the individual revealed as awakening progresses.


Hindu God, Half God – Half Human. The embodiment of Bhakti.

Higher Self

Soul Self

Human Ego

Our psychological identification. Who we think we are.

Human psyche

Individual ego and mind.


That which we are, imperfect, complex, and utterly sensitive.

It was He not I
it was Him knocking on the door
it was He from within

Inner Guidance System

 Inner knowing that surfaces in connection with your soul. A gut feeling.


Repetition of the name of God in whatever form we picture him (Vanamali 5).


The devotional chanting of the names of God.

Leela (Lila)

The play of God. As per Hindu philosophy, our manifest reality is simply the play of the Gods.


What is presented in our reality, something that comes to fruition.


Repetition of sacred sounds, words, or God’s name.


The veil covering the true nature of reality.


The process of using single-pointed focus to find stillness and to connect with a deeper aspect of ourselves.


A smaller version of something. Our planet is the microcosm of the universe.




Another word for Shiva. “The eternal, unchanging, infinite spirit” (Vanamali 285).


Another word for Shiva. “The eternal, unchanging, infinite spirit” (Vanamali 285).


Hindu God considered to be the Supreme Being, and the 7th Avatar of Vishnu.


A legendary Hindu text, one of the largest ancient epics in world literature.

Underneath all the thoughts, and underneath all the mind chatter lies the underlying energy that holds us all.


Any form of spiritual practice.  “Refers to any method by which the aspirant, or sadhaka, can establish contact with the inner realms of being” (Vanamali 5).


Truth – Consciousness – Bliss


“association with being.” Gathering in a group, or community for spiritual purposes (Goodman 105).


Corpse pose – used for relaxation at the end of yoga and considered the most important pose.


The greater aspect of the universe. The universal energy that flows through all existence.


As per Ramana Maharshi: Self-Enquiry is the act of investigating the source of  “I”.


An inner sense of steadfast belief in oneself.


Female aspect of the universe. The power, energy, and force of creation and manifestation. “Cosmic matter, the supreme embodiment of all manifestation” (Vanamali 285).

Shakti Pat

To awaken the dormant energy called shakti or kundalini.


Male aspect of the universe. The underlying ground of being. The energy that sustains and contains all of creation.

The 12 steps

A set of guiding principles in the treatment of alcoholism and addiction.


Practices used for continued exploration of the spiritual self.


A large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.

Vessels of love

Aspects that are the manifestation of love.


Feeling a lack of sense of purpose. Feeling of emptiness.


*Hanuman: The Devotion and Power of the Monkey March 25, 2010 by Vanamali (Author), Sri Krishna Das(Foreword)

Be As You Are Teachings of Ramana Maharshi by David Goodman.

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Abdi Assadi is unlike any other healer or spiritual teacher ever encountered. He is an expert in martial arts, and a dynamic healer practicing a diverse array of Chinese and Eastern Medicine, indigenous shamanic rituals, and meditation techniques. With a clinical practice in New York City for almost 4 decades, Abdi has accumulated a vast knowledge of real life experience working with several thousands of individuals, guiding them through the most difficult times, and teaching them how to understand themselves. One of the greatest things about him is he merges the human psyche with the spiritual psyche.

Steeped in deep wisdom and insight that is rare to find on this planet in these modern times, Abdi has an extraordinary ability in perceiving and comprehending human souls and their individual psyche. Guided by the divine, Abdi guides you to open up and see beyond your limited Self, into your own soul. His impeccable discernment enables him to unleash personal remarks that pierce through your veil, statements that you will never forget and in an instant alter your perception of yourself and your reality.

– Quotes from Shadows on the Path by Abdi Assadi:

All spiritual masters teach us that love is an activity before it is a condition – and that love is all-encompassing.
Page 18

It felt like I was coming off a race track and driving in a school zone. He knew, years before I did, that my speed was my way of suppressing my early childhood anxiety, and that only slowing down could heal it.

Why do you need to use all these words like God and spirituality? It is right here Abdi, all around you, all the time
Page 40

one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
Page 51

Ultimately it keeps grace out of our lives because we are using our will power to manipulate every event and person around us.
Page 74

His lesson, which I had begun to learn for myself, is that outside circumstances do not define our internal experience if we can surrender into them. Painful or undesirable situations will always arise; true suffering comes from our ego’s desire to resist life as it is.
Page 77

Note from Pernilla:
I met Abdi in the fall of 2014 and when I arrived in his office the first thing he said was, “It’s time that you stop carrying other people’s anxiety.” In the year that followed, my entrenched codependency patterns reared their ugly heads and I was confronted with a part of myself that I had never even known was there.

A few years later, Abdi said, “When are you going to start writing your book?”I looked at him in surprise. I was not a writer. My expertise was centered around creating crazy good Excel spreadsheets. However, I started writing and collecting notes about life issues and life experiences … and here we are a few years later.

Sally Kempton is a preeminent meditation teacher of our time.

She is an expert scholar in Hinduism and all Hindu texts especially in Kashmir Shaivisim. Formerly Swami Durgananda, she left monastic life in the 1980’s to teach publicly. She has written several books and is one of the most known and loved spiritual teachers in our time.

Note from Pernilla:

I met Sally at one of her workshops at City Yoga in LA in 2003. She had the most gentle and loving disposition, and I just wanted to always be around her. I was fortunate to have been part of her two year-long “Transformative journey” courses in 2006 and 2007 and many retreats ever since. She is the true representation of unconditional love and transmits intense shakti from her Guru Swami Muktananda.

Sally is the primary building block and foundation in my spiritual journey. Without her, I would have never found and stuck with meditation – the most transformative experience of my life. Without her, I would have been lost without a clue where to go next. Her wealth of knowledge of yogic philosophy and incredible understanding of the human condition is what makes her a force to be reckoned with.  She understands your depth and makes you feel seen, heard, validated, and deeply loved.