John Weddepohl | Siddharthan
Joining two time honoured teaching lineages dating back to India’s great revivalist Adi Shankara and the Siddha Patanjali John Weddepohl is one of few English speakers sharing the rare upanishadic teachings of Self-knowledge (आत्मा ज्ञानम् Atma Gnanam) and the Kriya Siddha method. Describing himself as a vagabond, rogue and rascal, teacher, musician John Weddepohl has always been blessed with teachers.
Born to teach.
Wondering why true happiness kept eluding him, John decided late in his life that the little fame and success had to offer was not good enough. Relinquishing his success, he went off in search of the solution. Hoping to catch a rare glimpse of what prophets and sages call Truth, John discovered there is only Truth. Finding out from his Masters that Truth alone exists, that being common Truth is the most ordinary thing there is (we just haven’t seen it yet!) and that happiness is our true nature, always present and available – (not something you can work for!) – changed everything.
Mandated by his Masters to go out and teach John has been traveling with the knowledge and sharing ever since.
‘Arriving in India, thirsty for knowledge, I finally met my Master who showed me long before I even looked for Truth, Truth had already found and reached me. For this understanding I am eternally grateful to my Master H.H. Suddhananda Swamiji to whom I offer my eternal pranams. Without Swamiji this vagabond would still be a homeless, aimless sadhu.’
Traditional without being traditionalist students love John’s quick wit, sense of humour and down to earth practical approach. (see testimonials below).
Drawing water from many different ghats (springs or watering holes), from traditional healers (sangomas) in Africa, to sadhus living on the ashrams of Orissa, Nepal, Rishikesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu, John’s teaching reflects these different streams of knowledge.
Meeting and marrying his partner Rachel Zinman John and Rachel share इष्टम् ISHTAM at festivals, workshops and teacher trainings in India, Japan, Australia, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the U.S.A. and South Africa.
Sharing in their love of music John and Rachel also share Kirtan whenever possible.
Spending the majority of their time travelling and teaching abroad John and Rachel hope to develop a centre where the teachings can continue on an ongoing basis. John and Rachel live between सुन्दरम् Sundaram Yoga Village and ashram the centre they are developing in Plettenberg Bay South Africa and Byron Bay Australia.
Hearing names we forget the nameless
Seeking forms we forget the formless
Listening to divine melodies we forget silence
Chasing rainbows we forget the light of our own consciousness
Seeking ourselves we forget our effortless presence
S i d d h a r t h a n – J o h n W e d d e p o h l
Teachers in India
Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Aghori Baba
see इष्टम् ISHTAM
John’s depth of understanding of Self-Knowledge and Advaita Vedanta and the Bhagavad-Gita are beyond compare. Even more beautiful is his ability to communicate or translate in an accessible way the meaning and nuances of these vast philosophies and texts. The sign of a true teacher is when he can share his knowledge in a way that inspires, helps us to understand concepts and ideas through our own deep knowing and experiences, as well as leave us with the desire to want to know more. John is this kind of teacher.
Jodi Boone– Seattle Washington
John Weddepohl taught philosophy on my Yoga Teacher Training course in Goa. The students loved him and I’m impressed by his kindness and humility. He teaches in a way that dusts off the old manuscripts and brings the Gita to life off the page. As a lecturer, he brilliantly takes difficult concepts like Advaita Vedanta and renders them simple and comprehensible. He is a brilliant teacher of Self Knowledge and shares his knowledge in a way that inspires others. John’s Kirtan performances are filled with beauty and bhakti. He teaches with humour and compassion – a truly great soul.
Heather Elton Yoga Teacher, Writer, Photographer- London, England
Brunch at Brenners with Rachel & John was great. And most of all John’s lecture at AIRYOGA was very very inspiring – after class I tried to push every thought away and just be me – it was most relaxing (even in a terrible traffic jam I was smiling) and to be not caught up in a thought:) Thank you so much John. Can’t wait to have you back at AIRYOGA next year!
We had the good fortune of experiencing John’s wonderful energy and colourful teaching style during a YTT 200 course. His shining baby blue eyes and radiant smile tell the tale of his joyous approach to teaching…and life. John has the ability to speak about the burning questions to life with a childlike wonder and fascination. By breaking down complicated philosophical teachings through the use of real world examples and stories, the lessons became easier to grasp. The stories also provided as much entertainment as learning value…we will never see ice-cream the same again! Our only complaint was not having more time to sit and learn from such a generous soul. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment with John and will take advantage of any opportunity to study with him in the future!
Simon Pacey and Lynsay British Columbia February 2012
John’s suggested practice and thoughts about self-knowledge make for a full week of yoga. I’ve since incorporated his sequence into my daily practice, and I’m liking it. Bradley Zeve Carmel Valley, California
As a teacher of Self Knowledge (Jnana Yoga)- John is really open to questions and discussions and has a seemingly endless pool of examples to help you understand the knowledge of who you are. John manages through his in depth teachings to create a unique experience that brings you to yoga in a broader context helping you to find yourself and get a different view on your life.
Simon Sipply- Dusseldorf
John has a way of giving meaning to your life in a fun and clear manner. He thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing his knowledge and makes me laugh at how simple and beautiful life can be. Azura Lallot -New Zealand.
– John, your teachings really blew my mind in the best possible way. I was literally hanging on every word thinking yes, yes yes that speaks exactly to me and my experience, thank GOD someone has finally explained this to me in a way that makes sense so I can get on with my life!! All the therapy to try and think myself out of my depressed state that is caused by my thinking – trying to cancel thoughts out with more thoughts – imagine how stupid this is! And then the mindfulness training, knowing that I need to detach from my thoughts but not understanding how to do that because I didn’t understand the whole happiness concept because nobody had ever explained who I am in a way that I understood.
I feel this incredible freedom that I don’t need any of the shit I thought I needed to be happy – some destination where I will magically find happiness – ha! I look at it now and it seems so stupid. … and the idea that it’s ok to have desires, that I don’t have to become some swami who lives in a cave and eats dal every meal.
– Madeline Lipson. Byron Bay. NSW
I gained a lot from learning about Self -Knowledge and now after the retreat being back in Germany, I realised that I took something very special home with me. Thanks for this wonderful present. Sabine Kuhnert- Cologne
** The term इष्ट माला ISHTA-MALA derives from Ishvarapranidana the core of the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. इष्ट माला ISHTA-MALA is a garland of practices used to balance the doshas and help build ojas thereby helping the practitioner prepare the mind for establishing a personal relationship with the Divine. A prepared and clear mind – called adhikari – is a mind ready to glimpse the Truth (darshan). इष्ट माला ISHTA Mala is a daily offering of Tapas on the alter of consciousness at the feet of the Divine – our Ishtadevata.
See you on You Tube.