SFTS Journal

The SFTS Lodge Journal offers a glimpse into the life of this center, including recordings of select Friday night presentations, poems and essays contributed by Lodge members, and even the minutes from a Lodge meeting one hundred years ago. Enjoy.

Lodge Caravan Event – COMPASSIONS, An MPOWERANCE Performance (7/22/18)

On rare occasions, the San Francisco Lodge of the Theosophical Society declares a Lodge Caravan Night and forgoes our regular venue to gather in support of some important event in the arts, science and humanities. And so, on Friday June 22nd, 2018, the SFTS Lodge Caravan will journey to NOHspace Theatre, 2840 Mariposa St. in San Francisco to attend “COMPASSIONS” an MPOWERDANCE performance. Tickets are available via Eventbrite (see the link below). Join us! Here are the details –


The heart must dare to be bold.

COMPASSIONS is a culmination of recent works created and performed by Mary Power, showing original dance, paintings, song, short dance films, and art installation “MotherPeaceMotherWar”.

Guest Artists and collaborators include dance by Elaine Santos, masks by Bart Frescura, and Richard Power reading from his latest book, “I the Dragon.”

Showtimes: 7-8:30 pm Fri., Sat., Sun. (June 22, 23, 24)

“All these moments and actions have their inner justification. Taken as a whole they reflect the feelings, the passion, or the state which we describe by the use of the one word love…Every passion is a complex of things experienced emotionally, it’s the sum total of a variety of different feelings, experiences, states. All these component parts are not only numerous and varied but they are also often contradictory. In love there is often hatred and scorn, and admiration, and indifference, and ecstasy, and prostration, and embarrassment, and brazenness, [addiction and betrayal].” — An Actor’s Handbook by Constantin Stanislavski

To purchase tickets for Compassions, click on this link to Eventbrite.


Dharma Message for 2017-2018: Pope Francis Calls for “A Revolution of Tenderness”

Just as in April 2017, TED conference attendees in Vancouver were graced with a surprise message from Pope Francis, who delivered a TED Talk via video link from his desk at the Vatican, in May 2017, SFTS Lodge members and guests attending our weekly Friday Night Conversation In Theosophy were graced with the same surprise message, courtesy of TED which makes all of its content publicly available. The profound insights Pope Francis shared in his talk are in deeply resonant with the motto and twin core principles of our Lodge: “No Religion Higher Than Truth, No Power Greater Than Love.” To further the reach of this important message, we have also chosen Pope Francis’ TED Talk as our Dharma Message for 2017-2018 and are embedding the video here at SFTSlodge.org (again courtesy of TED).

Here is an excerpt from Pope Francis’ remarks (we also have included a link to the full transcript):

The third message I would like to share today is, indeed, about revolution: the revolution of tenderness. And what is tenderness? It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands. Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.Tenderness is the language of the young children, of those who need the other. A child’s love for mom and dad grows through their touch, their gaze, their voice, their tenderness. I like when I hear parents talk to their babies, adapting to the little child, sharing the same level of communication. This is tenderness: being on the same level as the other. God himself descended into Jesus to be on our level. This is the same path the Good Samaritan took. This is the path that Jesus himself took. He lowered himself, he lived his entire human existence practicing the real, concrete language of love. Yes, tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility. Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other. There is a saying in Argentina: “Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.” You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness. Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they do hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a “you” and themselves as part of an “us.” We all need each other. And so, please, think of me as well with tenderness, so that I can fulfill the task I have been given for the good of the other, of each and every one, of all of you, of all of us. Thank you.

Full Transcript of Pope Francis’ Ted Talk

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

SFTS Lodge November 2016 Founder’s Day Statement


SFTS Lodge Altar for Founder’s Day, November 2016.

NOTE: On Friday, November 11, 2016, the SFTS Lodge held its annual celebration of Founders’ Day. (The Theosophical Society was founded in New York on November 17th, 1875.) As we do every year, we honored the contributions of H.P Blavatsky, Colonel Henry S. Olcott and William Q. Judge by sharing stories of their high adventures, great good works, exemplary characters and astonishing karmas. On this particular Founder’s Day, acknowledging the deeply troubling state of the nation and the world, we also discussed the Three Avowed Objects and their practical application, and collectively composed a statement affirming our dedication to these core principles, our core principles. The circle is unbroken. May all beings be well, may all beings be happy. Peace, peace, peace. — Blessings, SFTS Lodge.]

SFTS Lodge November 2016 Founder’s Day Statement 

We do not discuss politics or political issues. But we do …

Stand together in strength and solidarity and declare our cultivation of a humanity that meets upon a common ground of respect and tolerance; to form the nucleus of brotherhood-sisterhood in relation to all sentient beings, regardless of race, creed, sex, gender, caste, class …

Hold fast to the provision of a safe environment where learning and discussion prevail, one which does not tolerate superiority complexes (whether individual or group), hate speech, oppressive attitudes, aggressive behavior, or violent actions.

Defend all (ourselves and others) against the violence of hate speech, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, racism, economic prejudice and religious intolerance.

Continue to protect our religious freedom by studying comparative religion, philosophy and science, with empathy and the desire to progress in our understanding and our own spiritual growth,

Build our collective understanding through discovering and tapping into the unexplained powers of nature, and through cultivating and celebrating our relations with all sentient beings.

Three Avowed Objects of the Theosophical Society  (Slightly Modified)

To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood-sisterhood without distinction of race, creed, sex, gender, class, or color.

To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy and science.

To investigate the unexplained powers of nature and the power latent in all human beings.

Sound and Singularity: A Discussion and Practice Exploring the Nature of Sound and Consciousness

Sonya Genel and Arasa Maram, Theosophical Society of San Francisco, July 29th, 2016.

Sonya Genel and Arasa Maram, Theosophical Society of San Francisco, July 29th, 2016.

On Friday evening, 7/29/16, at the Theosophical Society of San Francisco, our dear friends, Sonya Genel and Arasa Maram presented a delightful exploration of “Sound and Singularity.” Sonya, a great yoga teacher, led the circle in several powerful breath/sound/movement practices, both traditional and free-form, including a call and response version of the long form Gayatri Mantra, in which the first line of the Gayatri is expanded into one syllable bija (or “seed”) mantras for each of seven chakras; starting with the singing of Om at the heart (“the original sound of the universe”), then moving down to the first chakra, Muladhara, for Om Bhur, then to the lower belly, for the second chakra, singing om Bhuva, then to the solar plexus for the third chakra, singing Om Swaha, then to heart space again for the fourth chakra, singing Om Maha, then to the base of the throat for the fifth chakra, singing Om Janaha, then to the third eye, for the sixth chakra, singing Om Tapaha, and then moving to the crown for the seventh chakra, singing Om Satyam … Rasa, an accomplished inventor and gifted musician, spoke compellingly on the profound challenges and opportunities of the Technical Singularity: “In my experience, there are areas of my body that I forget about both in terms of range of motion, it’s limited, and also the way I experience vibration in my body. I know I am not alone in this … One of the prime culprits for this is technology, because we have all of this technology around us that’s providing almost everything that we need … We sit in a car in this position, we sit at our desk in this position, we eat in this position, we don’t have to forage for food, we don’t have to wander, we don’t have to bend down or reach up to pick berries or crops. We don’t have to run, chase and hunt. So our capacities as humans, because of the technological revolution, has become smaller and smaller. What we are finding now with the cell phone technology is that people are becoming more and more hunched over, I have heard that being hunched over like this reduces testosterone production among other things. So are bodies are slowly forgetting what they were made to do. And the capacity of the machine is growing more and more. The title [of this presentation] is ‘Sound and Singularity. There is a theoretical concept called technological singularity, it’s when artificial intelligence becomes more intelligent than man. As of yet, computers haven’t been doing the design or creative process. They’re starting to, more and more, and that human creativity would become obsolete. And that the role of humans will drastically change. To degree that the roles betweeit, we see it in our own bodies, but one of the best ways to protect against those dangers is to reintroduce ourselves to our own capabilities, and sound is one of the most unifying and powerful forces that we have … “


Sonya Genel and Arasa Maram, Theosophical Society of San Francisco, July 29th, 2016.

Talking with the Dead: Grief, Loss and Acts of Courage – Peggy Tahir

Peggy Tahir on "Talking w/ the Dead: Grief, Loss and Acts of Courage" (SFTS Lodge, 4-1-16)

Peggy Tahir on “Talking w/ the Dead: Grief, Loss and Acts of Courage” (SFTS Lodge, 4-1-16)

On April 1, 2016, Peggy Tahir offered “Talking with the Dead: Grief, Loss and Acts of Courage.” Both poetical and practical, Peggy’s talk offers invaluable insights from her healing journey. Here is an audio recording, synced to the presentation slides, with some photos interspersed …

Mary Magdalena: Dark Goddess, Female Christ

Megan Rose Woolever on Mary Magdalena: Dark Goddess, Female Christ (SFTS, 2/26/16)

Megan Rose Woolever on Mary Magdalena: Dark Goddess, Female Christ (SFTS, 2/26/16)

On February 26, 2016, at the SFTS, Megan Rose Woolever delivered a marvelous talk on “Mary Magdalen: Dark Goddess, Female Christ.” Erudite and juicy. Here is an audio recording, synced to the presentation slides, with some photos interspersed.

Megan Rose Woolever, Priestess, Healer, Scholar: Megan Rose is an initiated ceremonial magician, Kabbalist, and Tantrika. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Consciousness and Transformation and holds a seminary degree in Religion in Society. She practices Celtic Shamanism in the Faery Seership tradition and is a Holistic Healing Practitioner specializing in Energy Healing, Hypnotherapy, Bodywork, Intuitive Guidance, Life Coaching and Sacred Sexuality. Rose has been certified as an Intimacy Counselor, and is an ordained minister. She regularly shares her gifts as a priestess, ritualist, healer and sacred temple dancer, most recently seen at Pantheacon, the Spiral Dance, Seven Sisters Mystery School rituals, the Mary Magdalen Unity services, and at various San Francisco Bay Area rituals and events.

For more information on Woolever’s work, visit http://TempleMagdalen.com

Songs to Live By (Individual Tracks w/ Sheet Music)


Joe and Guin Miller, SFTS Lodge, circa early 1980s

In the 1970s, Joe and Guin Millers’ friend, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, called the couple’s “Songs to Live By,” the “first American mantras.” Here is a list of links to individual audio clips of some of these powerful compositions. These links to individual tracks will allow you to share specific songs with friends, for solace and inspiration, in e-mail and blog posts, and through social media We have also included the sheet music to each song. The entire cycle (in both performance recordings and sheet music) is available from the “Songs to Live By” section of this site’s Miller Archive. The recordings were made by Sarmad Ocampo, the sheet music was created by W. Blake Derby. We will add further notes and background as time goes by, and even add a few more tracks, but for now, just listen, enjoy and SHARE! — Blessings, SFTS Lodge

Only Through the Orchid Door (Songs to Live By)

“Faith is a bird that feels the light …” (Songs to Live By)

Heart of My Heart (Songs to Live By)

Rose of Light (Songs to Live By / Richard Power Poem)

Akshobiya (Songs to Live By / Richard Power Poem)

Ignore the Opinions of Others (Songs to Live By / Richard Power Poem)

River Meditation of Milarepa (Songs to Live By Evans-Wentz)

Joy is the Natural State / Key to Eternity (Songs to Live By)

Let Us Consider the Christ Within (Songs to Live By)

A New Commandment (Songs to Live By)

“By the Confidence …” (Songs to Live By)

Never the Spirit (Songs to Live By / Bhagavad Gita)

Who Seeks Me By Form and the Buddhist Trilogy: Bodhi Tree, Thus Shall Ye Think and Six Rules of Tilopa (Songs to Live By / Diamond Sutra & Evans-Wentz)

5 Dhyani Buddhas (Songs to Live By)

Ask and Ye Shall Receive (Songs to Live By)

23rd Psalm (Songs to Live By)

Koan of Dr. Seo (Songs to Live By)

So Long As Love Remembers (Songs to Live By)

Crossing the Bar (Songs to Live By / Tennyson)

Klee Irwin on Scientific Clues That We Are Living In The Matrix – A Self-Organized Program

On October 9th, 2015, at the invitation of Dr. Jeff Curtis, the SFTS Lodge’s “Science Officer,” researcher, scientist and philanthropist Klee Irwin spoke on “Klee Irwin on Scientific Clues That We Are Living In The Matrix – A Self-Organized Program. For more information on Irwin and his work, go to http://kleeirwin.com

Embedded above is the slide show from his presentation, embedded below is an audio tape of his talk.

Klee Irwin at SFTS Lodge, October 9, 2015

Klee Irwin at SFTS Lodge, October 9, 2015

Richard Power: Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Future

Here is the video recording of Richard Power’s presentation on “Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Future.” This talk was delivered at the Theosophical Society of San Francisco on 9/25/15. In this presentation, Richard shares some perspectives on the nature of true embodiment and the future of civilization. It is a talk about who and what we are, where we are and where we are going. His book version of  “Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Future,” which will include extended commentary and fresh epiphanies, is to be released in softcover and electronic form this coming winter.  — Blessings, SFTS Lodge


Tim Boyd on the Present Need (SFTS Lodge, March 2015)

The Theosophical Society of San Francisco feels very fortunate that Tim Boyd is at the helm of both the Theosophical Society in America and the International Theosophical Society, and we were honored to host this wonderful talk on his recent visit to the Bay Area.


Our Present Need (Part One)

Our Present Need (Part Two)