About

John Weddepohl  |  Siddharthan

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 T e a c h e r

Describing himself as a vagabond, rogue and rascal, musician John Weddepohl has always been blessed with teachers. One of few teachers sharing Self-Knowledge John joins India’s time honoured knowledge traditions dating back to the great revivalist Adi Shankara and Patanjali Siddha.

The Lost Teachings of Yoga.
Rescued from obscurity of the past, Self-Knowledge (known as Atma Gnanam आत्मा ज्ञानम्) is the direct path to Self-Realisation. Threatened by orthodoxy and the caste system, the modern revivalist movement of India translating the timeless teachings into English, brings Self-Knowledge back to life exposing it to the broader audience.  

Throughout human history whenever man has questioned the nature of his existence, asking ‘Who am ‘I?’, the Upanishadic teachings of Atma Gnanam आत्मा ज्ञानम्t have always given him with the complete answer. (see Self-Knowledge).

Mandated by his Masters to go out and teach John has been traveling with the knowledge and sharing ever since.

After succeeding in business, having satiated all his desire for the world, awake in the knowledge, rather than live a life of monastic bliss as a renunciate, John chooses to embrace the discipline of living transparently in the world.

Born to teach
Finding 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 a successful career he went in search of the solution. Hoping to catch a rare glimpse of what prophets and sages call Truth, John discovered that there is only Truth. Learning from his Masters that Truth being common is the most ordinary thing there is – he just hadn’t seen it yet! – and discovering that happiness being our true nature is ever present and always available – not something you work for – changed everything.

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’s Journey
in 1969 John was persuaded by his first yoga teachers Alan and Mani Finger to open a yoga school in downtown Johannesburg. Under apartheid South Africa, it wasn’t long before the school was shut down by the authorities and he needed to find a job. A talented musician from the age of seven, John soon found success as a session singer and solo artist. Working with two of the countries top bands after recording a few hits locally and internationally he started composing music for film and television. Winning awards internationally for his work, despite the lavish lifestyle and success he found the flame of yoga could not be extinguished. 

Once Nelson Mandela was released from prison, sanctions barring South Africans from visiting India were lifted and in 2004, John started travelling exploring Africa and India as a western sadhu साधु.

 Chai stop on the way to Palani the home of the Siddha in central Tamil Nadu on Buddha the Enfield. Called ‘Buddha’ for its rich exhaust note ‘Buddha buddha buddha. . ‘  

India
Living in tribal villages in the jungles of Orissa, happy to sleep on concrete floors in central Tamil Nadu, hungry for knowledge John travelled north, south, east and west making friends with sampradayas and paramparas, different sects and lineages of India’s ancient Sanatana Dharma until he met his Vedanta Master. 

While it can be argued if Germany makes the best cars, Italian design is the best or French cook the best food, India has always had the best knowledge. Because the Self – ‘I’ Atman (आत्मन्) outshines and outlives everything, Self-Knowledge called Atma Vidya (आत्मा विद्या) – has always been held sacred.

Meeting his Vedanta Master and the Siddha tradition John spent the next seven years with his Master studying Atma Vidya (आत्मा विद्या) and practicing Asta Yoga, the yoga of Agustya Rishi.  

Kali Nath Aghori Baba, a dear friend and disciple of Great Aghori Guru Baba Ram Nath Aghori Baba of Nepal.

Ashram Life – Thiruvanamalai India
Breaking with tradition, as part of the modern revivalists movement, John’s Advaita Master invited him to join the 2 year brahmacharya course on his ashram. Part of India’s ancient gurukula system, joining the small group of students their Master, a PhD in English, broke with another tradition taking all the classes in English. Taken through the principle upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and other key upanishadic texts under Arunachalam, the Holy mountain of Shiva in Thiruvanamalai and on the banks of Mother Ganga in Rishikesh over a period of seven years, John received his education and initiation in Para Vidya (परा विद्या) – Supreme Self-knowledge.

It is through the grace and blessing of his Master H.H. Sri Pujya Suddhananda Swamiji and his Param Guru Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati the leading Advaita Vedanta scholar of the 20th century that John has been able to assimilate and share the deep transformative wisdom of yoga of the Upanishads

H.H. Sri Suddhananda Pujiya Swamiji Johns Vedanta Master visting Cape Town South Africa 

Combining Self-knowledge with Asta Yoga of Agustya John calls what he teaches इष्टम् ISHTAM. 

“Without Self-knowledge our life journey is incomplete. Every journey having a beginning has to end. Self-knowledge completes the journey. Knowing oneself as the beginning, the journey and end of all journeys is इष्टम् ISHTAM.”  

Sri Lasri Sivananda Pulipani Pathira Swamigal and John in Kolliemalai. Swamigal is the dynastic head of the Bhoganathar Siddha Parampai the lineage of Patanjali Siddha.

‘Arriving in India, thirsty for knowledge, I finally met my Master who showering me with his grace showed me long before I even looked for Truth, Truth had already reached and found me. For this timeless understanding I am eternally grateful to H.H. Suddhananda Swamiji to whom I offer my eternal pranams and gratitude. Without Swamiji this vagabond would still be a wondering, aimless, homeless sadhu.’

Traditional without being traditionalist students love John’s quick wit, sense of humour and down to earth practical approach.

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.  Simon Pacey and Lynsay British Columbia

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 teachings reflect 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 their love of music John and Rachel also sing 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

Recognising 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 


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 J o h n s  T e a c h e r s  i n  I n d i a 

Teachers in India

His Holiness Kaviyogi Maharishi Doctor Suddhananda Bharati 

Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Aghori Baba

Srilasri Sivananda Pulipani Pathira Swamigal (Boghanathar Siddha Kriya Yoga) 

H.H. Swami Suddhananda Saraswati (Vedanta Master)

H.H. Swami Dayananda Saraswati (Vedanta Master)

see  इष्टम् ISHTAM

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 T e s t i m o n i a l s 

ishtam testimonials

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

testimonial for john weddepohl

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

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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!

Dagmar Sturh – Director at  AIRYOGA München – AIRAYOGA Zurich.

testimonial from Lyns and Pace

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

ishtam 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

 

 

Simone Sipply

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

testimonial for John Weddepohl

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

Sabine Kuhnert

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 ISHTA-Mala इष्ट माला derives from Ishvarapranidana the core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. ISHTA-Mala इष्ट माला is a garland of practices to balance the doshas and help build ojas helping the practitioner prepare the mind and establish 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 – your Ishtadevata.


See you on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v01jHCOgI90&feature=youtu.be

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFQKZrSNASM&feature=youtu.be

Or on Facebook at Urb@n Vedanta or Urb@n Yogi or on Twitter.