Introducing a spiritual master: Tony Samara (beautiful video)

Via Ben Ralston
on Jan 18, 2011
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Tony Samara

Some people talk of the world ending in 2012 – personally I think that’s nonsense. The world won’t end; but our world just might, unless we evolve human consciousness from the fear mentality that currently pervades, to a new paradigm of love.

I have always had this feeling, this vision (and it has not faded) since I was a child. Indeed, as I have grown older, it has been re-affirmed.

Swami Vishnu Devananda founded the Sivananda Yoga teacher-training course because he had a vision during meditation of the world burning; human beings running around in chaos and fear and desperation. He created that yoga teacher-training course not so much to train yoga teachers as to train world leaders. He recognized that moral, ethical, and spiritual leadership throughout society would prompt change at a ‘grassroots’ level: the change that is necessary to avoid the kind of disaster we may be facing now.

When I learnt of this – as I took the teacher-training myself – I was deeply moved. I silently vowed to do all I could to become the kind of leader that Swami Vishnu envisioned. I did this not only out of love for him (although I never met him – he died in 1993, the year I discovered yoga – I have always felt a tremendous loyalty and love towards him). I did it also because I resonated with his vision, and because I love this Earth, this home that we all share; upon which we float together through space, and towards our shared destiny.

So my work for many years now has been about making a difference. My work as a therapist, healer, and teacher; running yoga retreats and healing holidays; and indeed everything I write; all comes from a heartfelt urge to create a more positive human society.

Today, I begin to do something more.

Today I tell you about a spiritual teacher called Tony Samara.

I call myself a spiritual teacher from time to time – I don’t mean, and have never meant to imply, that I am a guru, or that I am enlightened. Like many, I have tasted the bliss of self-realization but have not been able to sustain it.

Tony Samara is different. I have never met anyone like him, and believe me: I have searched; and I am not easily led.

He is endlessly patient, yet utterly intent.

He is simultaneously deeply compassionate and ruthlessly detached.

He is powerful – miracles seem to happen around him all the time – but his power is matched by a deep humility and gentleness.

I invite you to watch the following video. Made by those students closest to Tony, it is stunningly beautiful. However, the most beautiful aspect of it, for me, is simply Tony’s voice. I invite you to listen to his voice, feel his energy, and consider his words.

If you feel drawn to his teachings, know that there is no dogma or doctrine. He teaches a path of simplicity, and is himself a family man – he has four children.

You can find out more about him on this website, and tune in, for free, to his live Satsang at 17.00 UCT every wednesday. You may also view many of his previous Satsangs, and other videos, at the video archive accessed from the same page.

I will write more articles promoting Tony’s work: how I met him (and the amazing impact that simple moment had on me!); how other people met him; some of my personal experiences whilst being guided by him in meditation; how he has visited me (and others) in dreams.

For now, please enjoy this beautiful video!

With love, Ben


About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting. He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


47 Responses to “Introducing a spiritual master: Tony Samara (beautiful video)”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Have you met Tony Samara?
    Do you believe in the possibility of enlightenment, or is it just a myth?
    What did you think of the video?!

    Please leave a comment…

  2. Thank you for your beautiful words about Tony, Ben. The opportunity for others to experience him for themselves has now expanded exponentially. Thank you for your eloquence.

  3. Ben_Ralston says:

    Well Tony Team, thank you for your tireless work promoting Tony's love!

  4. Wahido says:

    I've met Tony Samara YES : ) and i have been blessed in this life time to have the possibility to learn how to put spirituality into practice with him : ) have the courage to jump into the unknown with us and enjoy the ride : ) THANK YOU BEN!

  5. Petra says:

    Ben here, writing a comment for my wife Petra who would like to leave a comment but our baby has different ideas – apparently her breasts are too tasty!
    "I was looking for a different kind of holiday 8 years ago and came across an article in a spiritual magazine publicizing a retreat about 'opening the heart'. I had always hoped to meet a spiritual master, but expected that I would have to go to India to do so! Imagine my surprise when, on the first day of the retreat here on the coast of Croatia, Tony started speaking and my heart began to SING! I knew immediately that he was special…"

  6. Teja says:

    Thank you Ben, the article is absolutely wonderful. Tony is an amazing teacher and a real blessing to our world. I hope that as many people as possible open their hearts and receive his beautiful and divine guidance. Much Love 🙂 Teja

  7. Ben_Ralston says:

    yes, to be able to meet a living master… I was often told "not in this lifetime". But it is possible, if we have an earnest desire to do so. it's a pleasure to be of service…

  8. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Teja, I hope so too.

  9. Secret Devotee ;p says:

    ((Yeyyyy Yeyyyy Yeyyyy Shri Shri Mahatma Avatar Guruji – that's how I refer to him in my heart. HA HA!!)) Tony 😀
    Love him! So grateful for all the blessing he showers on this world.

    Thank you Ben for sharing 🙂

  10. Zarqa says:

    Thank you so much for your article Ben.It is so important to share Tony´s wisdom with the world, to inspire all of us to have the courage for the transformation we are being asked to take upon our lifes.
    Meeting Tony and what he represents to all of us gave a whole meaning to my life.
    Forever grateful

  11. Wahido says:

    : ))))))))))))))))))))

  12. Olana says:

    Thank you Ben for this article and the beautiful video, it resonates with something within myself that is magical and that words cannot fully express. I am so greatful that my path has crosed with Tonys and i have learned so many things about myself that i even wasn't aware of. The work that he does is amazing and the patience that he has is never ending. Thank you Tony for being the butterfly and showing to me and others how to fly and trust that everything is going to be ok and perfect every given moment that we experience.

  13. Erikalynn says:

    Thank you – I am already looking forward to your following articles too.

    To answer your question: I believe some people are enlightened… very few, as Tony would say. I believe (thanks to personal experiences) of moments of enlightenment. Is Tony one of them, is my question? (-:

    Have a wonderful time with your new born baby!

  14. Erikalynn says:

    Oups, typo above:

    The question "Is Tony one of them, is my question?" refers to whether he is an enlightened being.

  15. Ben_Ralston says:

    Is Tony enlightened – that's your question right?
    Great question, and one that many people before you have asked, and will continue to ask.

    My conclusion is this: anyone that works as tirelessly, selflessly, and humbly as Tony does, whilst remaining always patient, always joyful, always peaceful, must be enlightened.

    But you'd have to ask Tony himself… do it! He's available 🙂

    With love, and thanks for your comment Erika.

  16. Wahido says:

    Great question Erika.

    From my understanding there is only and only one way to know for sure and that is by your own experience of enlightenment : )))))))))))))))) or enlightening moments where your whole being is aligned with existence and the understanding of what enlightenment is is very clear for you; it becomes a knowing rather than a belief.

    So… are you ready to find out for yourself if Tony is enlightened or not??? Let us fly together!!!

    Love, Wahido

  17. Erikalynn says:

    @ Ben: so true – in his Satsangs, one can feel that joyful devotion, trust, conviction and modesty. I have never met him in person, but have eaten a lot of BioSamara food (doesn't that count?) Like you, I have also seen him clearly in a dream. His enlightened words have changed a lot in my life and in those of my family. My little four year old has more enlightened moments as her parents are so much more… aware and joyful than before.

    So you say I should ask him? Maybe you'd care doing so (embarassed laugh?)

    It just occurred to me that another question that could be asked once is: what are some of the salient ways in which the Samara Foundation's work affected you? Even if it is difficult to articulate the depth and the meaningful shifts, maybe some are easy to express verbally?

    @ Wahido-who-has-such-a-great-name: I love that answer; a knowing rather than a belief. Exactly. A knowing is so much more expansive, hé?

    So… ready to find out for myself? Ok. But maybe I should wait for Ben to ask first?

    Love love love your way too!

  18. Aaron says:

    This is pretty cheesy. Enlightenment is over-rated. Whether he is is or not who cares. The man seriously needs a hair cut.
    Someone cut that mullet please!

  19. Ben_Ralston says:

    hey Erika,

    Well, if I asked Tony your question I would prevent you from a wonderful opportunity to spread your wings by doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone… and it's not my question: I already know!

    If you're asking *me* the question about how the Samara Foundation's work has affected my life, the answer is that through the BioSamara food (especially the Theriaca Elixir) I have felt my body become more integrated and whole; through the videos and Satsangs I have found myself anchored and grounded and supported and loved at times when I needed to; and through my meetings with Tony (both in person, and in dreams, and so on) I have felt my consciousness expand into new dimensions. It is, as you say, difficult to express, but there… I tried 🙂

    Don't wait – jump!

    Thanks for another great question! with love!

  20. Ben_Ralston says:

    Fashion / style / appearances are definitely not at the top of Tony's list of priorities 😀

  21. Tony Samara says:

    So to answer your question am I enlightened? Really the only way to know this in its truth is to be enlightened yourself and then you will see whether that sense of enlightenment corresponds to the person that you ask the question of. If you do not have such a reference point then ultimately the relationship would have to be of trust. Not in my words saying that I am enlightened but rather in the work that allows you to experience this sense of enlightenment. Many people that have worked with me say that I am very confusing as there is no formal dogma or simple guideline that helps one see the complexity and at the same time the simplicity of becoming "enlightened". This confusion is simply the minds of these people seeking an understanding of enlightenment and somehow it is confusing for them as they are unable to put a label onto the work that I do. Ultimately the goal is for all of us to be enlightened as we are all the same, we are all one.

  22. Erikalynn says:

    Thank you.
    The trust is necessary when there's a huge huge hole in the road, an insult in our faces (or rather ego), an accident, fears, uncertainties, war, crime.

    Which leads me to believe an enlightened being has no dark sides – or rather, as you often say, sees the light, the bigger picture in darkness. Can you see the light and bigger picture even when your/our children are at stake?


    In the moment of danger/stress/attack do you breathe deeper, and accept a form of powerlessness? What do you do in the very moment of crisis? Accept the pain?

    Thank you

  23. elephantjournal says:

    i watched this earlier in day and my first response was to share with others 🙂 as i watch again i realize this will not be the last time i watch..the smile grows each time and so does the sense of inner lifting breath….loooking forward to Ben's further writings about Tony

  24. Erikalynn says:


    Exactement – wuper super well articulated! Merci!

    Bonne journée!

  25. Ben_Ralston says:

    Wonderful! I'm looking forward to writing more about Tony…
    Thanks to Ele Journal for giving me the opportunity to share this here!

  26. I feel lighter after watching/listening. Thanks for sharing that, Ben, and for introducing me to Tony's work. xoxo

  27. Ben Ralston says:

    Truly a pleasure Lynn… enjoy 🙂

  28. Katja says:

    Dear Ben! Wonderful work! A lot of times i'm in situation to tell people about my spiritual teacher and it is so difficult, because Tony means so much to me, that is very hard to express it with words, although expressing with words is my occupation ;))) When i met him eight years ago while doing interview with him i had a deep feeling this was not the last time i met him. I'm working with him for seven years now and my life changed so much and a lot of things happened in my life – and everything happened and it is happening just the way as it has to. I feel very grateful that universe brought him in my life!

  29. funnygirl says:

    Thanks, but I am really over the whole enlightened guru thing. I have met many and ALL of them have eventually been corrupted by money, power, sex, drugs….. I am grateful for what I learned from them at the time. Perhaps they were a bit more advanced on the path than myself at the time and that is always a nice thing to see. However, the surrender and trust that they demand has always shown itself to be a power trip. Perhaps I have graduated from having a guru. Good luck on your journey and he does seem like a nice man, but that is all he will ever be to me, a nice man. My guru is now my own inner knowing and wisdom from years of meditation and yoga practice. Namaste

  30. Ben Ralston says:

    Hello Katja,

    Thank you for your comment 🙂

  31. Ben_Ralston says:

    Hello Funnygirl – I understand. You've obviously had some bad experiences with people who abuse their position of power… and there are a lot of people like that in the world. If you will easily give your trust, and especially your power, away, then it's tough.
    However, I have to just correct you on one thing: you have not "met many … (enlightened gurus)". I know this because there are simply not many to meet, and even if you spent a lifetime searching you would be lucky to meet two!
    There's a simple test – if they want something from you other than your happiness, they're not genuine. Tony passes this test – he doesn't charge loads of money (even does much work for free), and he is the first to tell you that your own "inner knowing and wisdom" (as you say) are the *real* guru.
    I wish you luck on your path… if ever you are thinking of guidance, remember Tony. He's pretty special.
    Love from Ben

  32. jdk says:

    Thank you for posting this lovely video Ben. I've never heard of Tony Samara, but this is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I'm in a rigorous power teacher training program right now and have discovered that it is TOO rigorous for me. My poor spine was getting thrown out of whack with each intense power class I atended, and through that process I turned to searching again. Fortunately, I've also begun an additional program through a different "school" and have discovered "therapeutic" yoga. My current power curriculum is complete in two weeks, thank God! I know my instructor is not pleased with my progress in his program, but I know it is the right decision for my life and my future as I guide others through their healing process.

  33. Dan Slanger says:

    Thanks for this, Ben.

  34. Ben Ralston says:

    jdk – fantastic! I’m sure you’ll look back (even though having to change direction like this now must be hard) with gratitude… yoga isn’t meant to be about ‘power’ – of course in a sense it is, but a limited sense – and I’m sure you’ll find something better.

    Good luck on your journey!

    Love, Ben

  35. Ben Ralston says:

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity Dan…

  36. mareynolds says:

    Thanks for posting, Ben. Had not heard of Tony before, but what a beautiful video. Will check out his website. Best wishes to you and your family.

  37. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thanks MaryAnn, enjoy his website, and I recommend especially tuning into the live Satsangs on Wednesdays.

  38. Megajn says:

    Wow, that sounds amazing!
    I have only heard about Tony through Ben's blog, etc and just watched "Be free butterfly" online. His voice sounds powerful and gentle…

  39. Ben Ralston says:

    Hey Megajn,

    Somehow missed your comment here – this ‘intense debate’ system is somewhat temperamental I think!

    Yes, Tony’s voice… now that you’ve heard it you may want more! Check some of his videos out, and I recommend the live Satsang on Wednesdays at 17.00 GMT.



  40. Ben Ralston says:

    Thank you for your comment Zarqa – (having met you) I think you have a great deal of courage, more than you know. Love, Ben

  41. Ben_Ralston says:

    Hi Olana, thank you also for sharing your experience. His patience is also one of the things that amazes me about Tony. Even after many days intense workshop / retreat, he answers each person's questions privately and with great attention and love.

  42. Ben_Ralston says:

    I tried to answer you before JDK but somehow what I wrote got lost…
    it sounds as if you are going through a difficult process: being 'forced' to change direction… but in the end I am sure it will be a blessing. As a long term yoga teacher I find that very often the 'power' styles of yoga really miss the point – they are too focused on the physical, and on competition. Ultimately, yoga is about freeing ourselves of the pull of the ego, and being physically 'powerful' can often be a negative thing… therapeutic yoga sounds much better to me, alhough certainly less 'cool'! Best of luck, and I'd love to hear how it goes.
    Love, Ben

  43. Hilary Lindsay says:

    Hi Ben,
    I have not met Tony.
    I thought the video was lovely. In the absence of anything negative or oppressive all there is,is beauty. I'd love to see the video with the same words in the middle of the stock exchange. That would be radical.
    I believe enlightenment comes in moments at different times. I believe we are enlightened when we strip away everything that is not our natural joy. I'm happy that you have a spiritual guide who inspires you. Best, Hilary

  44. Malina says:

    Is this video on youtube? I cannot watch it here, just does not show on my computer. Could it be because I am on Mac? Thanks.

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