About John

“It’s not possible to separate the Teacher from the Teachings in this instance, for John is simply the embodiment of these Teachings.” Angeline 

John Weddepohl  |  Siddharthan सिद्धार्थन 

Describing himself as a vagabond, rogue and rascal, John Weddepohl is a rebel with a cause. Growing up in Johannesburg South Africa John started teaching Yoga at nineteen. Blessed with teachers, hungry for knowledge, in 2004, he met his gurudev, Swami Suddhananda who initiated him in Atma Vidya or Para Vidya,  Supreme Self-knowledge. Studying the wisdom teachings and texts of the Veda/Upanishads with Swamiji over the next seven years, mandated to share the teachings, John has been travelling and sharing Self-knowledge ever since.


Deciding late in his life what little fame and fortune had to offer was not good enough, catching rare moments, glimpses (darshan) in yoga meditation of what sages and prophets call truth, in India John discovered that there is only truth – we just haven’t seen it yet!

Long before we even look for it, Truth has already found all of us. Already captured by the eternal, already present, Truth just has to be pointed out. Searching for meaning in our lives, Self-knowledge points out there is nothing more meaningful than ourselves.   

Not knowing what we are doing here, where existence is taking us, getting lost in identification, questioning, unless someone knowledgeable is there to introduce us to ourselves, left to fill in the blanks on our own, education leaves us high and dry. Leaving a vacuum the size of the universe in our lives., naming everything for us, education forgets to name the namer.
Locked in a blackhole, until someone turns the lights on, carrying the answer with us everywhere we go, the universe is a mystery waiting to explode. 

Creation’s only a mystery because we are a mystery in it. If we were not in it, would creation’s mystery even matter?
To be a mystery there has to be a secret. What is creations secret? We are the carriers of its secret. Only secret because we are, creation and our secret being one, if we want to explode our mystery and find out our secret and the secret of creation and universe, all we have to explode is the mystery of one word.
Getting introduced to ourselves and who we are, Atma Vidya Self-knowledge revealing who ‘I’ is, for millennia, resolves the mystery. Resolving our human mystery we get rid of all our human anguish and suffering. 

Until we answer the question of ourselves, existence and experience being blind, nothing tells us. Experiencing nothing else but the Truth 24/7/365, because experience is dumb, nothing in our experience of the universe tells us. Taking our existence for granted, only when life threatens us and crisis overwhelms and forces us do we ever question. Answering the question of existence by exposing this ‘I’, we explode our mystery. To do this has always required a teacher and teaching . 

Already in love with ourselves, already mesmerised by the truth, exploding the meaning of ‘I’ explodes the universe.
‘I’ is the password and universal PIN code that unlocks our secret. Once you unlock the meaning of the word ‘I’ and find out who you are, nothing can stand in your way, and you are free. Jivanmukti. Having identified and named everything else, once we identify and name the namer, the job of naming is done.
Until we know ourselves, by naming the Self, as human beings we are creations best kept secret.
To solve the mystery and resolve all suffering forever ‘closer than the closest’ is the solution. As long as Self, our true identity, is hidden beneath an idea, hidden in a word ‘I’, we stay secret and our mystery unresolved. Unable to function fully as a human being our life’s gifts and greatest surprise, ourselves, the Grand Prize of the universe, is ever pending discovery.

Every generation brings the secret with it. As long as I am blind to myself, spellbound, the more I try to understand myself and resolve the thought of myself on my own, the more difficult the solution gets and more mysterious and dangerous it gets. As a seeker, no matter how sincere and how dedicated the search, if the one getting lost and being looked for is the same ‘I’, being the truth already, hidden in plain sight is the solution. One simple question deserves a simple answer. As long as ‘I’ am the truth looking for the truth, the blind leading the blind, Self being the only mystery and missing piece in the puzzle of the universe. The teaching that points out the destinationless, destination, reveals our true identity, and the search for truth is over.  

The instant we recognise who we are, the blackhole instantly evaporates. Finding perfect sanctuary, recognising peace that was ever ours, not only that; is ourselves, finding the source of happiness; ourselves was ever present, needing no more introduction, discovering peace was ever immanent and happiness eternal, the teaching is over.

To complete the mystery you have to be here. You are its only solution. Without us, being no mystery there is no solution. Making it difficult is accepting it. Conditioning; believing it has to be something else. Thinking Truth needs to be complicated complicates what couldn’t simpler. In Self-knowledge we find out nothing is simper than the truth. Already the truth we all carry, pointing it out is the simplest thing in the world. Truth is easy. Lies complicate everything. Already perfect, the easiest of the easiest, making truth, already ourselves, complicated is one person; ourselves. Recognising the Truth as who we are, we cant believe it. Pointing out what has always been only a heart beat away, difficult is accepting that we could have been that close for so long; our whole lives, and missed it. Thinking something is missing in our lives, we discover the only thing missing is ourselves. The solution ever present, always available, never far, doubt creates the distance. No longer blind to myself, recognising I can never be separate, or apart, Truth cant escape. 

Once the teacher of Self-knowledge points it out: ‘Encountering our true identity and destination, meeting and being introduced to oneself for the first time, we discover the timeless solution to trauma, ever available, ever present is oneself. Looking everywhere, already the compass guiding us, Self has always been the only destination. Until someone points out what I can’t see or recognise by myself, coming full circle, I come home to Truth. Finding I am the meaning I’ve been searching for my whole life, the search for meaning is over.’  

Finding yoga at nineteen, John took to yoga like a fish to water. Urged by his teacher ISHTA founder Alan Finger to start teaching John was taking and leading meditations within ten days; “It was was like I had never stopped.” Opening ISHTA yoga with Alan and his father Mani Finger in downtown Johannesburg in 1971, on the top floor of the city’s first flea market, under South Africa’s apartheid regime, the building became a hotbed of anti-establishment radicalism, and forced to shut down by the authorities, John soon found himself out of a job.

A talented musician from the age of seven, John found success as a singer-songwriter and started recording and performing with some of South Africa’s popular bands. After recording a number of local and international hits, John found his niche scoring music for film and television.

Awarded internationally for his work, despite enjoying the fruits of success, finding something missing in his life, John started exploring African wilderness areas. Visiting Namibia and Okavango Delta, John found the flame of yoga could not be extinguished. In 2004, with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, the cultural boycott banning South Africans from visiting India was lifted, and John travelled to India where he lived as a western sadhu साधु.

Travelling north, south, east and west, meeting his gurudev, Swamiji suggested that the only thing missing in his life was himself! Suggesting that what we all carry with us is nothing but completeness, that the perfect solution and destination has already arrived we just have no way of seeing it. Looking for it everywhere, because we don’t know what we’re looking for, we just keep missing it. Hearing the words of his guru John withdrew into the seclusion of ‘Self-Knowledge Village’ in Tiruvanamalai Swamiji’s ashram and continued listening. Immersing himself in the wisdom teachings of the veda/upanishads under the holy mountain of Shiva Arunachala, beloved by Ramana Maharshi. Hearing the teachings of Atma Gnanam day in and day out, he discovered the ever fresh secret talked about in the upanishads that is ever oneself. Self-knowledge of the veda/upanishads, points out how the completeness we seek is never absent. Self ATMA blazing like the sun, hidden only by clouds of ignorance, until we hear our secret revealed and true identity named for us by somebody, someone who knows, who introduces us, teaching us, owning our own completeness, we never miss it. Looking for perfect peace and happiness in everything we do, we miss the most perfect peace that is ourselves. Ever nearer than the nearest, no ‘Long walk to Freedom’, Self-knowledge introduces us to the ever present beauty that is ourselves. Not knowing it or, how to recognise it, removing his blind spot, like the sun rising in the morning, Self-knowledge burnt away the darkness. Recognising Self as ever reached, ever gained, exploding the dimension of this ‘I’, our perception explodes. Going beyond all our understanding, lying dormant, the Grandest Prize and creations greatest secret having always been awaiting discovery erupts.’

Drawing water from many different ghats (springs and watering holes), from traditional healers (sangomas) in Africa, to living Guru’s on ashrams in Orissa, Nepal, Rishikesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu, John’s teaching reflects the different streams of knowledge. All tributaries stemming from the same source, traditional without being a traditionalist students love his quick wit, sense of humour and down to earth practical approach.

Insisting that Self-knowledge work in everyday life, meeting and marrying Rachel Zinman, John and Rachel spend their time teaching इष्टम् ISHTAM at festivals teacher trainings and workshops around the world.  Sharing their love of music John and Rachel also sing devotional Kirtan wherever and whenever possible.

Spending the majority of their time abroad, John and Rachel’s dream is to develop ‘Sundaram’ Ashram into a international centre for Self-knowledge. John and Rachel currently live between Byron Bay, NSW. Australia and सुन्दरम् Sundaram their home in South Africa.

one teaching secures our future and unlocks our secret

 The longer we carry creation’s Grand Prize and solution with us and remain its mystery the longer we suffer. That Creation blesses us to keep it’s secret and yet remain unaware of it is it’s real mystery. Long before we even look for the Truth, Truth has already found us. That Truth has not exploded yet is because, we just don’t know it. Already ourselves, having always been the complete solution, the magic we seek has already arrived. Not needing anyone to pull truth out of a hat like a rabbit, the teacher of Self-knowledge just points it out. Pointing out the real magic already immanent is all of us, having never been separate, the struggle for completeness is over. Not seeing or believing it is the problem. Because the solution is so obvious, we struggle to accept it. Having never been absent or apart, the resolution of the mystery and its secret always pending is closer than the closest. God’s Grand Prize and secret comes hidden in every generation. Each human being. As the Grand recipients the final resolution of the mystery literally blows our minds. Having it pointed out, relieves all tension and frustration and clears all doubts, difficulties and conflicts. Removing all sorrow Truth no longer hides from us. Self-Knowledge, explodes like the Sun.  Revealing our ever fresh nature that was ever immanent pending discovery, leaving us mute and dumbstruck, Uncovering our true universal secret and worth, resolved in silence, true happiness never escapes.

To gain Creation’s Grand Prize and unravel its secret all you have to do is listen. Once we show up, and make ourselves available, bringing nothing but the Truth with us, with the help, guidance, and words of the teacher, the Truth that is unmissable, unmistakable, bliss unshakeable is instantly recognised and permanent. 

Ignorance of one word is enough to ‘as though’ steal our freedom. Wherever we loose our freedom is where we find it. Having never left us, one word is enough. Exploding our secret and revealing the everlasting human treasure and destiny. Wielding the word ‘I’ like a laser, the teacher who knows the truth, knowing how to use it, uses ‘I’ like a weapon and the truth explodes.  

Waiting to see ones true Self, no longer hidden, truth no longer pending, the seeker of happiness and the destination, having always been one and the same meet, and recognition complete, the bliss is instantaneous.

Hitting the human jackpot, we cannot hide nor hide from the truth. To unpack the secret, the teacher and teaching has always been the means to explode it for us. Unable to see it on our own, once the thought of ourselves is resolved, truth no longer pending, the wonderment doesn’t stop. One word creates all our conflict and, one word used correctly, delivers everlasting freedom. In the hands of the teacher ‘I’ is enough to reveal the Truth. Having lived with our secret living in its shadow our whole lives, that truth was invisible, yet ever closer than the closest, once revealed,  leaves us gobsmacked and dumbfounded. 
The moment we recognise ourselves, freeing what was ever free, all unnecessary suffering and conflict like a black cloud instantly disappears.  No longer living in a vacuum, evaporating the cloud of ignorance, the teaching of Atma Vidya reveals the Sun of the Self the absolute eternally shining in all its glory as oneself.

Lifting the weight of the universe off our shoulders, recognising the limitless is instantaneous. Having always been the meaning and reason for existence, knowing removes all FUD *fear, uncertainty and doubt. Like the sun rising in the morning removes all darkness, in the light of Self-knowledge all sorrow evaporates. No longer bound or challenged, no longer limited, removing all FOMO, Truth once revealed, cant help but shine and we revel in our own glory and wonderment. As boundless and abundant as nature and creation, the bliss never stops. The worried wanting person no longer there, all difficulty disappears. Having always been the prize, our recognition complete, the teacher and teaching no longer needed drops out. No more burdened by the mystery, recognising ourselves as the only mystery, we get on with our lives. om




From Our Students

“I don’t believe there is anything I could do on this planet more valuable than gaining this teaching. What an extraordinary blessing and privilege to have the deepest and most ancient revelatory wisdom not only available but given by a living teacher in a timeless lineage of living teachers. This knowledge can only be given by one who has already realised the truth of themselves. John’s realisation, his complete humility, his love and his deep, deep knowledge are a delight and a living access to Self-Knowledge. – Dale Rhodes

-Dale Rhodes

“Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! If everyone listened & participated in these teachings the world would become a better place for all of us to live in. ‘They’ say the best way to heal the planet is to heal ourselves and these teachings provide that level of insight & opportunity for anyone willing to take the leap. “ Thank you John

Alka Franco

“I loved the simplicity of the teachings. The step by step approach over seven weeks gave me ample time to digest the content of each session. It deepened my understanding of the nature of happiness, the nature of my thoughts and ideas/beliefs, as well as the nature of consciousness. Practically speaking, it helped me get better at slowing myself down when I catch my mind racing away. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s even remotely curious about Self Knowledge.” 

– Aris Athanasopoulos

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

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 Stuhr

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 and Lyndsay Pacey