Welcome! My name is Swami Mahavirananda, a.k.a., Brother William. I founded Ashram West in 1997 and incorporated it as a non-profit, 501(c)3, corporation in 2001 to inspire and guide spiritual aspirants to personal fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment. The teachings of Ashram West are based on traditional Hindu Tantra that encourages the integration of all aspects of life with spirituality, including sexuality. Tantra teaches that our essential nature is pure, perfect, and divine, and one specialty of Tantra is a vast body of spiritual technologies for developing greater awareness of the our true divine Self.
Ashram West's adaptation of traditional Hindu Tantra for gay-identified persons is called Gay Tantra. Gay Tantra recognizes the special needs and unique advantages of those who have developed a gay identity. Most gay-identified persons have grown up in a culture that views gay love as unnatural and immoral. These false notions about gayness often get internalized leading to feelings of shame and unworthiness. Most traditional religions contribute to the psychic and spiritual wounding of gay persons by promoting these notions. Many gay persons rightly reject traditional religions as a result, perhaps substituting work, compulsive sex, drugs, or a combination of these. Gay Tantra can help gay persons develop a well-integrated gay identity that can be a positive asset in spiritual life.
Individual Instruction & Counseling
Ashram West offers private, individualized instruction in meditation and other spiritual practices to all sincere seekers regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Instruction is given by appointment. Individual and couple counseling is also available by appointment. There is never a charge for these services. A tax-deductible donation of $35-$100 per session is suggested. Give according to your ability and desire. No one is ever turned away for inability or unwillingness to donate. Donations are an important source of support for the work of Ashram West and can be made conveniently on-line using PayPal.
To Get Instruction or Counseling
Call or e-mail to make an appointment with Brother Williamfor individual instruction or counseling. Those who live an inconvenient distance from Los Angeles can get instruction via e-mail. We also offergroups.It is recommended you read the Introductory Essaybefore making an appointment or asking for e-mail instruction.
Ashram West publishes a periodic e-mail newsletter that usually contains a short essay on some aspect of spiritual life and occasionally announcements. To subscribe to the Newsletter please enter your information in the form below.
Ashram West Membership
There are three basic levels of membership in Ashram West, Student, Supporter, and Resident:
of any race, creed, religion, gender, or sexual/affectional orientation
may be considered a Student Member of Ashram West by seeking and
receiving instruction or counseling from the Ashram or by reading the Newsletter regularly. Student Members may participate in all public activities of the Ashram and in those private groups for which they qualify.
Supporter Members are those who support the work of Ashram West either by volunteering at Ashram events
or by making tax-deductible donations by subscription.
Supporters can also make individual donations of any amount by clicking on the donate button below:
The Ashram West Logo
In the center is the Sanskrit syllable OM, an ancient Hindu word for the divine Self
In the center is the Sanskrit syllable OM, an ancient Hindu word for the divine Self. The interlocked triangles are a Tantric symbol that represents the integration of spirit and matter and of male and female. The circle and square both represent spiritual wholeness as they manifest in the mind and in the outer world respectively. The message is that one may experience the divine Self and manifest spiritual wholeness by integrating spirit and matter, male and female within oneself and in the world.