Break Trail: Stay True to Your Self

There is so much more to life than the number of Facebook likes, one night stands, fancy cars and prestigious jobs one can manage to zoom through the checkout counter with – before time runs out at the time of death. The ideal life is not a fast-paced competitive run through a self-serve consumer paradise. Rather, an awakened person will try to learn something worthwhile along the journey of life, to gradually accumulate assets of permanent value. In the final analysis, the supreme accomplishment is to improve significantly the one possession that is really ours to keep – our consciousness, our sense of identity, our inner self. Real wisdom. All else eventually slips away.

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- to take a new trail in life, toward spiritual happiness

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Breaking Trail
Breaking Trail
#1: Break Trail - Stay True to Your Self
  • #1: Break Trail - Stay True to Your Self

    #1: Break Trail - Stay True to Your Self

    Jul 23, 2021 • 01:09:56

    Do you also feel like you don’t really fit in, like there’s another calling? In this first episode of Breaking Trail, we dive into the question of how to be true to oneself. Knowing who I really am, and with proper guidance, I can stay true to myself and make…

  • #2: What is the Root Cause of Jealousy?

    #2: What is the Root Cause of Jealousy?

    Jul 24, 2021 • 01:26:12

    Jealousy: “The thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, and concern over a relative lack of possessions or safety”. We’ve all experienced it. Studies show that even 5 month old babies experience it. But is it necessary? And is it natural? Today we discuss jealousy, why humility is essential to feel…

  • #3: Can't Get No Satisfaction?

    #3: Can't Get No Satisfaction?

    Jul 24, 2021 • 01:24:18

    As The Rolling Stones sang; “I can’t get no satisfaction”. Is true satisfaction possible, or are we meant to just accept that we will never really get there? We also discuss how we’re all sacrificing something for something else (and we’ve got to learn what’s really worth sacrificing for), the…

  • #4: How to Master the Mind

    #4: How to Master the Mind

    Jul 24, 2021 • 01:40:50

    We’ve probably all experienced how all sorts of unwanted things pop up in our heads. So many people today struggle on the mental level, in the form of depression, anxiety, and restlessness. It is said that the mind can either be our best friend, or our worst enemy. But how…

  • #5: The Truth Behind Death

    #5: The Truth Behind Death

    Jul 24, 2021 • 01:27:20

    Death can be the most painful and scary experience we face in our life. It can be the death of family members, friends, lovers or even our pets. And it also brings with it a lot of fear, especially of our own death, which is always there lurking in the…

  • #6: Food, Lifestyle & Vitality

    #6: Food, Lifestyle & Vitality

    Jul 25, 2021 • 01:37:35

    Health and vitality — who doesn’t want to have good health? We all do. So let’s talk about how to balance our bodies and minds simply through our food and lifestyle choices. It’s actually simple and easy to start a healthy lifestyle. The ancient Vedic wisdom gives us amazing insights…

  • Intro | Never Give Up

    Intro | Never Give Up

    Jul 25, 2021 • 00:02:08

    Life is a journey. It really is. It’s an eternal journey, because we are eternal. It’s not going to end when the body ends, this is just one blip on the radar. Life is a puzzle, but every little piece of the puzzle that you put in it’s proper place…

  • #7: Addictions, Drugs and Spirituality

    #7: Addictions, Drugs and Spirituality

    Jul 30, 2021 • 01:45:41

    In today’s world, so many things pass as ‘spiritual’. But what does real spirituality actually mean, and what is the result of engaging in psychedelics, kundalini yoga, or thinking ‘I am everything’? In today’s talk we start off by discussing something Balakhilya’s dad told him in regards to intoxication, namely…

  • #8: Life vs Matter

    #8: Life vs Matter

    Aug 3, 2021 • 01:35:48

    Have you ever wondered what ‘life’ actually is? Still today, modern science has no clear idea of what ‘life’ means. Actually, life and matter are two completely different energies. Life is always alive, and matter is always dead. In today’s episode we look closer at the difference between matter and…

  • #9: The How and Why of Meditation

    #9: The How and Why of Meditation

    Aug 10, 2021 • 01:41:30

    Maybe you are already interested in making a spiritual journey, or maybe you are feeling stressed and would just like to improve your physical and mental situation? In whichever case, meditation is the method by which we can approach a more harmonious life. Less worry, more happy. But there are…

  • #10: How to Go Beyond Karma

    #10: How to Go Beyond Karma

    Aug 12, 2021 • 01:40:09

    Why is it that bad things happen to seemingly good people? Can I change my destiny, or am I predestined to follow a certain path in life? What did Jesus mean when he said “As you sow, so shall you reap”? In today’s episode, we look closer at karma, destiny,…

  • #11: How to Manage Stress

    #11: How to Manage Stress

    Aug 16, 2021 • 01:42:59

    Did you know that stress is recognized as the #1 proxy killer disease today? The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease. Statistics are cruel: 77 percent of people experience stress that affects their physical health.…

  • #12: The 3 Psychological Influences that Control Us | Part 1

    #12: The 3 Psychological Influences that Control Us | Part 1

    Aug 23, 2021 • 01:53:22

    Have you ever heard about three modes of material nature? Probably not, because most of the western people do not even know about its existence and influence upon us. Sattva-guna – mode of goodness, Raja-guna – mode of passion and Tama-guna – mode of ignorance — these are three different…

  • #13: The 3 Psychological Influences that Control Us | Part 2

    #13: The 3 Psychological Influences that Control Us | Part 2

    Aug 30, 2021 • 01:42:53

    “Your diet is not only what you eat. It’s what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang around… be mindful of the things you put into your body emotionally, spiritually, and physically.” What do we ‘eat’ with our consciousness? Which mode of material nature,…

  • Real Equality, Beyond ‘Us’ vs ‘Them’

    Real Equality, Beyond ‘Us’ vs ‘Them’

    Sep 6, 2021 • 00:16:20

    Society has become so radicalized, racially oriented, ‘us’ versus ‘them’. We are in dire need of absolute truth, an absolute platform to stand on, that can lead us in a direction of unity and true respect. The truth is that we all have different roles to fill in this world.…

  • #14: The Hunter Who Became a Saint

    #14: The Hunter Who Became a Saint

    Sep 28, 2021 • 01:14:23

    Everybody likes stories – and the Vedic literature is full of amazing stories that we can reflect upon. So today we would like to invite you to listen to the famous Vedic story about the hunter named Mrgari. This is a story close to Balakhilya’s heart, since he himself was…

  • #15: Career, Motivation & Spiritual Life | Jonathan Amantea

    #15: Career, Motivation & Spiritual Life | Jonathan Amantea

    Oct 1, 2021 • 01:12:28

    In his younger years he was known as Firebird, a well-known personality in the nightclub hosting community in Toronto, Canada. At the time his life was seeking pleasure through late nights, intoxication and partying but when his health started to decline he figured that something had to change. He wasn’t…

  • #16: What is My Duty?

    #16: What is My Duty?

    Oct 5, 2021 • 01:31:02

    “Non-violence, truthfulness, honesty, desire for the welfare & happiness of all others, and freedom from lust, anger, and greed, constitute duties for all member of society” We speak a lot about our rights, but how about our responsibilities? What is my duty as a human being in this world, that…

  • Bonus: How Singing Changes the Brain

    Bonus: How Singing Changes the Brain

    Oct 9, 2021 • 00:12:48

    “Group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins.” Are you wondering why we are always ending our episodes with a small music meditation? We take a closer look at the powerful physical and mental benefits of kirtan – an ancient form of meditation focused…

  • #17: Find Shelter in the Eternal

    #17: Find Shelter in the Eternal

    Oct 12, 2021 • 00:54:05

    Jesus said, “Don’t build your house on the sea shore in low tide”. The truth is, it’s our nature to have a permanent, stable situation. That’s why everybody’s trying to achieve it. Because in the spiritual world, there is no birth, no death – you’re not struggling to hold on…

  • #18: Living in the Age of Chaos | Kali Yuga Part 1

    #18: Living in the Age of Chaos | Kali Yuga Part 1

    Oct 15, 2021 • 01:30:03

    Kali Yuga – the age of chaos and confusion, the age of conflicts and wars, duplicity and corruption. This is the time epoch we are living in right now. Just as we have seconds, year, minutes, millennia, we also have 4 time periods – each with a certain duration, and…

  • #19: Thriving in the Age of Chaos | Kali Yuga Part 2

    #19: Thriving in the Age of Chaos | Kali Yuga Part 2

    Oct 20, 2021 • 01:28:34

    When we go for winter hikes in freezing temperature, knowing that unforeseen things may happen and that the cold can create dangerous situations, we prepare for it properly and adjust our clothing, food, travel plans, etc. Just like that, in our last talk we described how this is a difficult…

  • #20: How Alcohol Affects Us & Society

    #20: How Alcohol Affects Us & Society

    Oct 22, 2021 • 01:29:59

    We all know that alcohol abuse causes tremendous negative impacts for individuals and society. The cost of excessive alcohol use in the US alone reaches around $249 billion every year. And the aggression and violence that comes from such an abuse has tremendous impacts through broken families, traumatised children, etc.…

  • #21: How to Prepare for Death

    #21: How to Prepare for Death

    Oct 26, 2021 • 01:25:22

    “For one who is born, death is certain” – Bhagavad-gita 2.27 A few months ago, a friend of ours started having a minor headache. The day afterwards, it got a lot worse with vomiting and extreme pain. She went into a coma. The doctors diagnosed her with brain cancer. The…

  • #22: Habits - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    #22: Habits - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Nov 5, 2021 • 01:42:19

    Repetition of a certain behaviour creates habits, and many of those truly control our lives. We may have some good habits, bad ones, or even some really ugly ones. We all know that it is very easy to get into bad habits – you do not need to make an…

  • #23: Why Mindfulness?

    #23: Why Mindfulness?

    Nov 16, 2021 • 00:58:02

    ‘Mindfulness’ has become a buzzword that is used both in business world (often as a means to achieve material success) as well among spiritual seekers (often as a means to quiet the mind). But the fact is, most mindfulness techniques are not spiritual at all; just being mindful of the…

  • #24: Misuse of Human Life

    #24: Misuse of Human Life

    Nov 27, 2021 • 01:46:09

    It is a fact that we humans have wrecked havoc on the planet. Not only are we causing irreversible changes to ecosystems all over the world, but also created societies plagued by greed, anger, and division. These are all results of our misusing the opportunity we have in the human…

  • #25: Finding a Spiritual Guide - Part 1

    #25: Finding a Spiritual Guide - Part 1

    Dec 6, 2021 • 00:42:04

    Polar night has just started at Ruben’s house in Tromsø, Norway—the sun is gone and will be back by the end of January again. This, together with the outdoor temperatures of -18°C, inspired us to cosy up about the fireplace and speak about how to be able to maintain an…

  • #26: Finding a Spiritual Guide - Part 2

    #26: Finding a Spiritual Guide - Part 2

    Dec 11, 2021 • 00:36:04

    It sometimes seems like the whole world is going full speed off track. With no proper spiritual leadership guiding the way forward, moral standards have been replaced by ‘just do what you feel like’. In part 2 of Finding a Spiritual Guide, we discuss how you and me can be…

  • #27: Adapting to a Changing World

    #27: Adapting to a Changing World

    Dec 24, 2021 • 01:03:57

    The world around us is changing rapidly. And many of us feel great stress & worry as a result. But actually, feeling stressed and in anxiety in a changing world is natural for the spirit soul. Just as it is natural for fish to be suffering and unhappy when he…

  • #28: Finding Home

    #28: Finding Home

    Jan 3, 2022 • 01:04:33

    What if you knew you had a friend somewhere in this world who had a sanctuary, his very own place, a piece of land that he himself owned, and where none of the world’s turbulence and conflict could reach? Where the people who lived there were just nice to each…

  • #29: Living with a Terminal Disease | Madhavendra Puri dasi

    #29: Living with a Terminal Disease | Madhavendra Puri dasi

    Jan 8, 2022 • 01:16:09

    9 years ago, she was diagnosed with the terminal disease of ALS. But that hasn’t stopped her from leading a meditation center in Toronto, Canada, and inspiring countless of people with her positive outlook and focus on the internal world. As she says herself, “the disease is an opportunity to…

  • #30: Hate to Burst Your Bubble, But…

    #30: Hate to Burst Your Bubble, But…

    Jan 13, 2022 • 00:59:11

    We all try to find a stable, comfortable situation in this world, and make that our ‘bubble’. The problem is, this world is ever-changing. And so as my bubbles burst, as they inevitably do, we may feel like the rug is pulled out from under our feet; whether it be…

  • #31: How to Stop Faultfinding

    #31: How to Stop Faultfinding

    Jan 22, 2022 • 01:04:22

    We all tend to find faults in others, instead of seeing (and working with) our own shortcomings. And the basic problem is us expecting perfection in the material world. We think that if other people and all material situations are as ideal as we want them to be, then we…

  • #32: Have Faith in 2022

    #32: Have Faith in 2022

    Jan 30, 2022 • 01:06:11

    Let’s really make 2022 a new year; not just a different year. In today’s episode we hope to give you courage and faith to cross the bridge of change, toward a life of genuine happiness and inner fulfilment. We touch on various topics such as the importance of thankfulness, how…

  • #33: Is Hell for Real?

    #33: Is Hell for Real?

    Feb 5, 2022 • 01:12:02

    “Follow us, surrender, or you will go to hell!” The concept of Hell is often used as a way to control and instil fear in people. For some people (like Ruben), this faulty presentation of hell may lead to a full rejection of anything that has to do with religion.…

  • #34: Having Fun is the Goal | Chandra Schuett

    #34: Having Fun is the Goal | Chandra Schuett

    Feb 11, 2022 • 01:13:05

    Chandra is an exceptionally talented, well-spoken freelance type of guy; yet incredibly humble and reflective. The words we used the most in this episode was Fun, followed by Skiing – Chanting – Feel – Nice – Friends – Smoothies – Biking. Tells you something about the guy. Only 23 years…

  • #35: Does Truth Really Exist?

    #35: Does Truth Really Exist?

    Feb 20, 2022 • 01:01:41

    In a society characterized by conflict and “hair-splitting sophistry”, we might be attracted to solve the discords by concluding, “Whatever, all roads lead to the same place!” But giving in to wishy-washy philosophy in order to avoid conflict is not being truthful. And it won’t do anyone any good. Jesus…

  • #36: Who is a True Guru?

    #36: Who is a True Guru?

    Feb 27, 2022 • 01:07:05

    Did you ever try to learn tennis simply by reading a book?Or tried figure out physics simply through your own speculations? The need for a teacher is obvious in any field, and spiritual life is no different. In fact, it’s an absolute necessity;“The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order…

  • #37: Achieve Real Progress

    #37: Achieve Real Progress

    Mar 5, 2022 • 01:07:18

    Society is definitely making huge progress—going nowhere really fast. Material sense gratification has replaced spiritual growth, and is now the standard of civilization. We always try to get ahead of everyone else; whether it’s within sports, career, or family life. We all need to take a step back and ask…

  • #38: Faith vs Fanaticism

    #38: Faith vs Fanaticism

    Mar 12, 2022 • 01:08:48

    Due to so many religious fanatics (though fanaticism really has nothing to do with real religion), we tend to think that having faith is a dangerous thing. Actually, without faith, one can never make any real progress. But such faith does not come from joining a certain team and blindly…

  • #39: Shelter in the Eye of the Storm

    #39: Shelter in the Eye of the Storm

    Mar 20, 2022 • 00:55:15

    The storms of this material world comes in many forms; war, conflict, being hurt by someone we love, feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and so on. We try to find comfort and shelter in friends, family, career, prestige, or even in drugs and alcohol. But as hard as we try, the…

  • #40: Take Responsibility for Your Life

    #40: Take Responsibility for Your Life

    Mar 29, 2022 • 00:57:49

    There are a lot of misunderstanding about what spiritual life really is. Including the idea that if you don’t care about personal hygiene or your appearance, if you are very poor, or refuse to make any plans for the future but choose to float around in a careless bubble of…

  • #41: What Does ‘Spiritual’ Mean?

    #41: What Does ‘Spiritual’ Mean?

    Apr 3, 2022 • 01:06:37

    We always promote people to engage in a spiritual lifestyle, but what does ‘spiritual’ really mean then? Is it (or does it have to be) cosmic, filled with experiences of higher vibrations, or based on some drug-induced alternate states of consciousness? Spiritual life really means a gradual evolution of soul…

  • #42: Discipline Leads to Happiness

    #42: Discipline Leads to Happiness

    Apr 11, 2022 • 01:13:21

    All genuine spiritual processes are based on discipline. And even if you strive for material success, you will still need to apply the spiritual principles of hard work, respect, discipline, and a higher goal. This episode was inspired by Emma Raducanu, the 18-year old tennis star who won the US…

  • #43: The Connection Between Food & Mental Health

    #43: The Connection Between Food & Mental Health

    Apr 16, 2022 • 01:04:35

    If we want to feel good and be happy, what we eat is one of the most important factors to consider. We all know that some foods are healthier than others, but fewer know that different foods will impact our mental condition in a specific direction. Depending on what food…

  • #44: Lust vs Real Love - Part 1

    #44: Lust vs Real Love - Part 1

    Apr 23, 2022 • 01:11:33

    Real love has become so rare that we barely even know what it means any more. What we think is love is often just lust in disguise; that is, based on mutual exploitation and sense enjoyment. Consequently, instead of living the life we are meant to live—a life of inner…

  • #45: Lust vs Real Love - Part 2

    #45: Lust vs Real Love - Part 2

    May 1, 2022 • 00:59:06

    We are all hungry for real love, but nothing but the real thing will ever satisfy that hunger. In that way, lust is not bad, it’s just a manifestation of an inner spiritual hunger, a desire that comes out in a perverted or distorted way. The good news is that…

  • #46: Facing an Ice Storm

    #46: Facing an Ice Storm

    May 14, 2022 • 00:41:16

    “The wind picked up more and more. And snow is one thing, because it doesn’t hurt your face, but this was ice-water-snow. So it hurt your face that much you had to cover it all, and when that ice slush hits your glasses that gets totally covered as well. But…

  • #47: How to Build Internal Strength

    #47: How to Build Internal Strength

    May 28, 2022 • 00:55:36

    We can always find excuses to not do what we should do. But if we’re wishy washy, we are not going to be successful in life. Building internal strength and determination is an absolute necessity, and we do that by following the time-proven and scientific Bhakti Yoga process. Highlights: (1:47)…

  • #48: There is Hope

    #48: There is Hope

    Jun 11, 2022 • 00:59:34

    There is really no hope—for the material body. Nor for the material utopia we sometimes dream about. But there is real hope for you, the spirit soul. What is that hope?Coming to know about and gradually realize your true nature as eternally joyful, vibrant, and youthful. And we can move…

  • #49: Death of a Loved One - A Conversation with Family Left Behind

    #49: Death of a Loved One - A Conversation with Family Left Behind

    Jun 18, 2022 • 01:08:08

    Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things we go through in life. A few months ago we recorded episode #29 with Madhavendra Puri dasi as our guest, where she spoke about living with the terminal disease of ALS and facing death without fear. This time we’re joined…

  • #50: Your Body is a Vehicle | Who Am I? - Part 1

    #50: Your Body is a Vehicle | Who Am I? - Part 1

    Dec 18, 2022 • 00:38:06

    “Perfection starts with the perfect understanding that I’m not the body. That’s a perfect truth, a perfect realization.” If you don’t know who you are, how could it ever be possible to know where to go and what to do with your life? Without knowing you you are, you cannot…

  • #51: You Will Never Die | Who Am I? - Part 2

    #51: You Will Never Die | Who Am I? - Part 2

    Jan 16, 2023 • 00:34:04

    We learned last week that we are not our bodies; neither our gross physical body or our subtle mental body. This time we dive deeper into the truth that we don’t stop existing at the time of death. You, me, and everyone else – indeed everything around you that shows…

  • #52: Service is Our Natural Function | Who Am I? - Part 3

    #52: Service is Our Natural Function | Who Am I? - Part 3

    Jan 30, 2023 • 00:49:52

    We learned from the previous episodes how we are actually an eternal spark of life, a spirit soul. Now what? Do we just kind of float around and exist, that’s it? No – we have an eternal function, an activity in which we align with our true selves and find…

  • #53: What to Tell a Dying Man?

    #53: What to Tell a Dying Man?

    Feb 27, 2023 • 00:59:14

    A relative to a friend of Ruben is right now on his deathbed, in the later stages of cancer. And sooner or later, you and me might also be in a similar situation—facing the reality that at any time, one of our loved ones will leave this world. We might…

  • #54: The Prostitute Who Became a Saint

    #54: The Prostitute Who Became a Saint

    Mar 5, 2023 • 00:43:50

    500 years ago in India lived a spiritual personality of extraordinary character and devotion, called Haridas Thakur. Due to their unfortunate team-spirit, both the Muslims and Hindus rejected him as he failed to abide to any particular process or religion. Joined by their envy of Haridas, they planned to send…

  • #55: Thankfulness Leads to Determination

    #55: Thankfulness Leads to Determination

    Mar 18, 2023 • 01:03:22

    We have a choice to make in life. I can be immersed in meditation upon the things I don’t have – I can meditate upon how difficult my life is, how I don’t deserve the hardships that come my way – and fuel the fire of anger. Or I can…

  • #56: What If You're Caught in an Avalanche?

    #56: What If You're Caught in an Avalanche?

    Apr 16, 2023 • 00:52:33

    You’ve just been caught by an avalanche, and you’re now rock stuck underneath a deep layer of hard-packed snow. You’re helpless. You’re stuck. There is nothing you can do materially. And thinking positively will not change the reality of the situation you’re in. But you’re still you; the spirit soul…

  • #57: The Decline of Morality: Lessons from a Father Who Lived the Golden Rule

    #57: The Decline of Morality: Lessons from a Father Who Lived the Golden Rule

    Jun 11, 2023 • 00:55:24

    “Treat others the way you want them to treat you” – a simple and powerful philosophy, but also just an empty philosophy if we fail to actually implement it. In this episode, we discuss the decline of morality in modern society through the example of Balakhilya’s father, who lived by…

  • #58: Moving Forward in Spiritual Life: What’s the Next Step?

    #58: Moving Forward in Spiritual Life: What’s the Next Step?

    Jun 14, 2023 • 01:01:32

    You’ve come to realise that you want to live a more spiritually oriented life. Now what? This episode is centred around a question a friend of Ruben had for him, namely what the next step is if one wants to develop spiritually. What practices are important, and if I’d like…

  • #59: Connecting with the Divine: The Real Meaning of Yoga

    #59: Connecting with the Divine: The Real Meaning of Yoga

    Jun 25, 2023 • 01:32:00

    Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years, with people of all ages and backgrounds seeking its numerous benefits, such as reduced stress and anxiety, increased flexibility and strength, and improved overall health. But what is the essence of yoga, and its ultimate goal? In this episode of Breaking Trail,…

  • #60: We Need to be Perfectly Attached: Finding Shelter in the Eternal

    #60: We Need to be Perfectly Attached: Finding Shelter in the Eternal

    Jul 2, 2023 • 01:10:44

    “I was in a concrete bunker when the world outside exploded in a huge nuclear holocaust. I was watching my relatives and friends melting into the ground around me, and I was completely helpless” Reflecting on a dream Ruben just had, we dive into the topic of how to actually…

  • #61: The Two Spiritual Paths - Impersonalism vs Personalism

    #61: The Two Spiritual Paths - Impersonalism vs Personalism

    Jul 8, 2023 • 01:01:49

    Imagine choosing between coca cola and freshly pressed sugarcane juice; just like our tastes differ, so do our spiritual paths. Some prefer to relate to the ocean of light or the impersonal path, while others embrace the personal form of the Supreme Lord. While at first the paths run parallel…

  • #62: How to Follow My Heart in Life?

    #62: How to Follow My Heart in Life?

    Jul 22, 2023 • 00:56:19

    How do I know what to really do with my life? And how can I discern between material and spiritual desires when I try to follow my heart? Tune in for a heartfelt and personal podcast, where Balakhilya tells the story of his finding deeper purpose and direction in life.…

  • #63: Getting Older - What Can I Do About It?

    #63: Getting Older - What Can I Do About It?

    Jul 29, 2023 • 00:48:28

    They call old age the “golden years”. A time to rest and enjoy all the things you never had time to enjoy before. The only problem then is that your body is too old to enjoy all the worldly pleasures, and there is an increasing amount of pain and discomfort…

  • #64: Respect Your Elders? - The Downfall of Upbringing

    #64: Respect Your Elders? - The Downfall of Upbringing

    Aug 12, 2023 • 00:59:37

    It’s hard to overestimate the value of a supportive upbringing. An upbringing that teaches children the essential value of respect. When missing, as generally we see in today’s society, the consequences are disastrous – for generations to come. In this episode we explore the impact of upbringing on a personal…

  • #65: Conquer Anger from Within

    #65: Conquer Anger from Within

    Sep 12, 2023 • 01:02:49

    For you, maybe it comes out as frustration, irritation, self-pity or just anger at the universe itself. But in any form, anger completely disconnects us from our true spiritual nature. And as long as we hold on to it, we are hindered from making any spiritual advancement.  So what can…

  • #66: The Spiritual Journey of Phenop das

    #66: The Spiritual Journey of Phenop das

    Oct 8, 2023 • 01:29:10

    Today we have a very special guest with us: Phenop das, an old-time friend of Balakhilya. He shares an incredible story that takes us from living of jungle fruits on the island of Kauai to finding spiritual guidance and discovering the true path to happiness. Phenop recounts the challenges and…

  • #67: Is Money All Bad?

    #67: Is Money All Bad?

    Oct 17, 2023 • 01:06:55

    Many people with a spiritual inclination feel that there is something dirty about money. Like money in itself is bad. But is that always true? Today we explore the complex topic of money; its role in society and its impact on individuals’ lives. Through verses and teachings from ancient yoga…

  • #68: What Creates a Mass Shooter?

    #68: What Creates a Mass Shooter?

    Oct 21, 2023 • 01:04:12

    In the US there has been average 2 mass shootings per day this year, and more than 25000 deaths from gun violence. What can be done to stop this escalation?  In this episode we look at the phenomenon of mass shooting on an individual level, and get to the root…

  • #69: Deep Work

    #69: Deep Work

    Oct 25, 2023 • 00:45:31

    Drawing inspiration from the book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, we explore how our modern society’s constant distractions and focus on surface-level engagement hinder us from experiencing meaningful introspection and genuine growth.  We reflect on the impact of technology, social media, and the lack of solitude in our daily lives,…

  • #70: The Reality of Pornography

    #70: The Reality of Pornography

    Nov 4, 2023 • 00:52:15

    In average, the first exposure our kids have to pornography is when they are 10 years old. This is one of the consequences of a a culture that promotes sexualization and indulgence. And the fact is that sexual addiction is one of the hardest to overcome—physically changing the functioning of…

  • #71: The Heart of Jesus - Ep. 1

    #71: The Heart of Jesus - Ep. 1

    Nov 12, 2023 • 01:13:16

    He is probably the most known person in the world. We hear a lot about his death, but know little about his life and what he actually taught. Some say he was a Christian, others that he was a yogi. Some claim he was God, others that he was a…

  • New Series: The Heart of Jesus

    New Series: The Heart of Jesus

    Nov 19, 2023 • 00:02:25

    Maybe you see yourself as a Christian, but struggle to find satisfying answers to your doubts? Or maybe you’re curious on understanding the concept of God and religion through a non-sectarian perspective? In our new podcast series “The Heart of Jesus”, we help those whose hearts are ready to get…

  • #72: What is a True Christian?  | Heart of Jesus - Ep. 2

    #72: What is a True Christian?  | Heart of Jesus - Ep. 2

    Nov 19, 2023 • 01:01:22

    Today we explore the essence of Christianity and what it truly means to be a Christian. Going to church every Sunday does not really make us religious, and being religious is not a denominational label or a cause for division.  We are all children of the same Father, and acting…

  • #73: You are Not Your Body | Heart of Jesus - Ep. 3

    #73: You are Not Your Body | Heart of Jesus - Ep. 3

    Nov 24, 2023 • 00:59:32

    The essence of spiritual life is understanding that I am not made of flesh and blood. I am not my body; I am the spirit soul inside. The Bible makes this very clear in verses such as “though our outer body is decaying, yet our inner body is being renewed…

Latest episode:

#73: You are Not Your Body | Heart of Jesus – Ep. 3

The essence of spiritual life is understanding that I am not made of flesh and blood. I am not my body; I am the spirit soul inside. The Bible makes this very clear in verses such as “though our outer body is decaying, yet our inner body is being renewed day by day” and “flesh...

We are not matter. We're not products of this material world. We are eternal persons. That means we're eternally spiritual personalities. We never cease to exist, because that's the nature of spirit; it's eternal.


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Balakhilya (right side) is a traveling yogi, former surfer, lifelong outdoor enthusiast, and Vedic scholar. He was raised on a farm in rural North Carolina, USA. When he started his spiritual journey he was living in a Volkswagen bus by the beach on a remote island of Hawaii, surfing the best waves and eating whatever fruits where freely available in the jungle. He was living a perfect life materially, but deep inside knew there had to be more. A higher truth. That’s when he met his spiritual teacher, and found the true path to happiness. His life was never the same. Now he has lived a Bhakti-yoga lifestyle for over 50 years and shares this most ancient wisdom with everyone who will take the time to listen and be inspired.

Ruben, born in Sweden, has loved to be in nature since childhood. With a desire to make the world a better place, and instill in others an appreciation for Mother Earth, he started his own mountain hiking business while taking a masters degree in environmental engineering. But chasing his dreams as he thought best never really satisfied him. Wrapping up his studies with co-authoring a scientific paper on the environmental footprint of various lifestyle choices, he grew increasingly frustrated – clearly, overconsumption is the problem, but what’s the deeper reason for it?

That’s when he met Balakhilya in Trondheim, during one of the traveling yogi’s lecture tours through Europe. And everything started making sense: an internal satisfaction is what we are all actually longing for. Wanting to “be the change” and inspire others to do the same, he left his degree behind, changed course in his life and started working full time as a yoga teacher for his own company. He later moved to Tromsø, north of the Arctic circle in Norway, where he is now helping to run a yoga meditation centre.

Ruben & Balakhilya have met frequently through the last 7 years, and have always had a natural bond through their passion for nature and the outdoors. During the spring of 2020, they started a joint effort to share ancient wisdom online, providing a beacon of light in difficult times. And a year later, the idea of this podcast came to be. Since they both in their own journeys had to dare to explore the unexplored, and dare to listen to their inner voice to take a different path in life, the name “Breaking Trail” came naturally. It’s an analogy for us to dare to move out of our comfort zone, away from the norm, into a direction where we are actually being true to ourselves.

Hi, I’m Ruben.

People have always called me stubborn. And that is perhaps my only merit. I’ve never be able to be satisfied with an “OK” life, that I cannot really know the absolute truth (“it’s a mystery”, right?), or to get so caught up in hamster wheel that I never had time to really live.

I also love nature (to a big degree influenced by a mountain fox of a mother) and I’ve always wanted to pay her back for the peace, tranquility and life energy that Mother Earth has given me. So I came to the yoga teachings, and learned from one of my spiritual teachers that

This planet can be made a happier, more peaceful place to live in, but the change will have to come from within the hearts of all of us living here.


So it made perfect sense to steer away from my prestigious career (I’d just finished my masters degree in environmental engineering) and instead help others look inward to solve the huge challenges that faces humanity. Since then, I’ve been running my own yoga business to make ends meet. I guess it was my stubborn nature again; I just didn’t fit in, and I couldn’t just accept that. And I was inspired by other people that felt the same way, people like Balakhilya.

On my quest to finding out where I really fit in, and what the real purpose of my life is, my hope has always been to like him, be able to inspire someone else to do the same. That’s what «Breaking Trail» means to me; to be the change you want to see in the world. To take another path – not because it’s the difficult one, or because it means going against the stream, but simply because that path means I’m being true to myself.

I’m really not anyone special, I’m just a stubborn ox who never accepted being confined to a mediocre life. So I took one small step in the right direction. And one more. And so it goes.

And like every thousand mile journey, your journey will also start with one small step. My only hope is that this podcast and the conversations with Balakhilya can be that first step for you, the inspiration for you to make a change, and that I that way will be able to make a minute repayment of my eternal debt to those who broke the trail for me.

Me and my wife Linn who does a huge job behind the scenes

Hi, my name is Balakhilya.

I was born & raised on a farm in the southeast United States, North Carolina. We had forest all around us, and a very nice stream running through the farm. My mother always used to encourage me to look at the flowers. So that kind of instilled that in me appreciation for the outdoors, for nature. And it just carried with me until the present day.

So when I was in university, I started surfing. I was attracted to the ocean because I was working at the ocean to support my education. And the whole thing was again just harmony with the energy, the elements of whole natural flow, so to speak. And so I went to Hawaii and spent many years surfing, living in my van, eating whatever the forest gave me for free. No job, no rent, no obligations, free.

You know, we used to talk about it, like; “Okay, if you had the choice of a very attractive material situation, with this beautiful woman, or spending a day here in perfect waves, which would you choose?” And we always chose the waves. It was more attractive.

I never really struggled. I don’t know, somehow I just knew that there was nothing to gain from a materialistic life. There was nothing that I wanted there, no solutions there. And I was already experiencing higher things. I always wanted to find a brighter light, a more wonderful, brighter existence where there are things that are even higher than anything I’d experienced so far. It was like A Space Odyssey so to speak. And one day I met my spiritual teacher, under his expert guidance I entered the world of Bhakti Yoga.

But I’m not a yoga master. You know, in the world we live in today, people are very attracted by that word – master. Well, all I have to say is what I learned from my gurudev, you see, who learned it from his gurudev, and so on, and so on. And no master feels like a master, they’re always the student.

I’m just a servant of my master trying to pass on what he is so kindly given to me. And that doesn’t make me a master that just makes me a messenger, so to speak; I’m just passing it on. But I know the message is pure. And if I can retain it’s purity by not getting in the way and changing it and interfere with it, and so on, then it will purify those who may hear it and receive it.

I’m just delivering the package. I’m just the mailman.
And that’s all I’ll ever be.

Something on your mind? 
Write us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we’re in front of the computer again.


Stay on track.

Join the quest for self-discovery. We'll keep you posted on our latest episodes, give you weekly inspirations and help you on your own personal journey.

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