Mill valley doctor larry brilliant writes about hippie youth as a ‘smallpox warrior’

Dr. Yoga exercises for upper back and shoulder pain Larry Brilliant at home with his dog. Yoga wall nj He said a pivotal moment in his life came while living in the Himalayan ashram of Neem Karoli Baba, also known to followers as Maharaji.

As a young, long-haired doctor in the 1960s, Larry Brilliant crossed the country with the rock ’n’ roll road show Medicine Ball Caravan, followed the hippie trail to India with Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm commune, became a devotee of the guru Maharaji and, oh yeah, played a key role in eradicating smallpox in India.

Just to remind you how big a deal that last bit is, smallpox killed an estimated 300 million to 500 million people in the 20th century.

Simple yoga routine for beginners with pictures And it was raging through India’s huge, widely dispersed population when Brilliant, then a 27-year-old physician with little or no experience, became one of the World Health Organization’s “smallpox warriors.”

“In one year in India, there were 188,000 deaths from smallpox,” Brilliant said in a phone interview from his home in Mill Valley, where he’s lived since 1989. Yoga diet plan weight loss “It’s a horrible disease. Yoga ballston Victims have pox all over their face, inside their mouth, in their stomach, many were blinded by it. Amazing yoga oakmont Nobody deserves to die like that, and there is no treatment. Yoga journal conference florida There was nothing to do except eradicate it.”

In his new memoir, “Sometimes Brilliant” (HarperOne, hardcover, $27.99), the 72-year-old physician writes about his spiritual quest and the decade he spent in India helping to conquer the worst disease in human history.

Jack Kornfield, founder of Marin’s Spirit Rock Meditation Center, calls it “a wildly inspiring, wondrous, improbable, heartbreaking and triumphant tale.” And Sausalito’s Dean Ornish, clinical professor of medicine at UC San Francisco and founder and president of Preventive Medicine Research Institute, says “Sometimes Brilliant” is “one of the best books I’ve ever read, period.”

Originally from Detroit, Brilliant came to the Bay Area to do his internship at Presbyterian Hospital in San Francisco, now California Pacific Medical Center. Yoga jobs san diego While he and his wife, Girija (Gear-jah), were looking for a place to live, they house-sat for a month in a fellow doctor’s home in Mill Valley. Beginners yoga classes plano tx Seduced by the town’s natural beauty and celebrity citizenry, they knew where they wanted to live and raise their family once they settled down.

“We were living amidst all these redwood trees,” he recalls. Bikram yoga perth scarborough “The Depot was the gathering place for all these musicians and poets. Yoga brighton beach Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick and Bobby Weir lived in Mill Valley.” And then, laughing, “It wasn’t fair to expose a young kid from Detroit, Michigan, to all that.”

‘Rock Dock’ As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he heard Martin Luther King Jr. Yoga camp day 2 talk on campus about the civil rights movement, kindling what would become a lifetime of activism.

During the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz in 1969, the still wet-behind-the-ears doctor found himself in a position to put his idealism into action. Yoga games A call went out for a doctor to deliver a baby on the island and he answered it, hitching a ride on a boat from the San Francisco Yacht Club, skirting a Coast Guard embargo and delivering a baby boy. Videos de yoga para el estres He was named Wovoka after the medicine man who created the ghost dance religious movement intended to drive away the white man.

“When Wovoka was born, it meant renewal for the Indians,” Brilliant remembers. Ashtanga yoga research institute “I had never met an Indian until I went out to the island. Restorative yoga benefits I’m from Detroit.”

Honchos at Warner Bros. Charm city yoga baltimore md heard news reports about the hippie doctor who delivered the Alcatraz baby and invited Brilliant to be a “rock doc” on the Medicine Ball Caravan, a cross country hippie bus and concert tour that Warner Bros. Yoga for concentration would film and release in 1971, hoping to capitalize on the success of the “Woodstock” documentary.

The movie bombed, but it was successful in introducing Brilliant to Wavy Gravy, the cosmic clown, Hog Farm leader and celebrity do-gooder who remains his closest friend to this day.

“When Wavy smiled and showed me his rainbow-colored teeth, I knew I was meeting someone unlike anyone I’d ever met before,” he recalls. Yoga teacher training rishikesh 2014 “I was just totally blown away. Purple yoga tustin class schedule I said, ‘OK, I want to know what this guy knows.’”

When the Caravan played its last concert in Canterbury, England, Wavy suggested the hippies load up a couple of buses with food and medical supplies and drive to the aid of victims of a catastrophic cyclone that had devastated East Pakistan.

“Wavy’s idea was that if the hippies can deliver aid, we’ll embarrass the U.N. Yoga symbols copy and paste and Red Cross into doing more,” Brilliant says. Yoga studios london ontario “That was the vague idea on which we began our journey to the east.”

A civil war between east and west Pakistan prevented the buses and the 40 hippies on them from reaching their original goal, so they brought their aid to remote areas of Tibet instead, helping people in need wherever they could.

Maharaji Brilliant and his wife ended up in India, living in the Himalayan ashram of Neem Karoli Baba, also known to followers as Maharaji, a Hindu guru and mystic known for the Americans he attracted in the 1960s and ’70s, including Marin musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal.

His wife was an avid devotee, but Brilliant worried that he was stuck in some kind of cult that had grown around a silly old guru who wrapped himself in a plaid blanket. Bikram yoga nyc A scene in “Sometimes Brilliant” that describes the guru opening the skeptical doctor’s heart is one of the most powerful in the book.

“What little was left of my skepticism vanished,” he wrote. Yoga space portland “I felt utterly at peace. Divya yoga website … Yoga body types I felt loved like never before, completely understood, naked and yet unashamed. Yoga poses for sleep I felt accepted. Back bay yoga boston ma Tears streamed down my face.”

But doubts crept back in when Maharaji instructed him to travel down from the mountains and become part of the World Health Organization’s campaign to end smallpox in India. What is meditation supposed to do It took 15 trips for officials to finally take the young doctor seriously and hire him, but each time he was rejected, Maharaji would send him back to try again.

“I can’t explain how he even knew the words ‘smallpox’ or ‘eradicate’ in English,” Brilliant said. Yoga chair exercises youtube “I don’t know how he knew that smallpox would be eradicated, or how he had the confidence that there would be a place for me in that effort. Tara stiles yoga core I was the youngest person ever hired by the World Health Organization. Yoga asanas for weight loss by ramdev in hindi They tolerated a hippie kid who had been living in a monastery in the mountains. Yoga classes dubai marina And, as it says on my recruitment papers, I was the only one recruited from the Hanuman Monkey Temple in the Himalayas.”

“I was taken out in the field, and I see these children dying of smallpox in front of me,” he remembered. Yoga dot calm “The first thing that happened was that I got mad at God. Bikram yoga nyc schedule What kind of a god builds a world where these children have to die?”

But his anger turned to resolve and a dedication to the task of identifying and isolating smallpox outbreaks and vaccinating thousands against the disease. Musica de yoga kundalini para descargar gratis It was a monumental effort in a country as large and culturally complex as India. Shilpa shetty yoga full dvd download It could only be accomplished through cooperation between people of many countries and political beliefs.

No hippie fantasy Brilliant sees it as a repudiation of the current political climate in the U.S., the wall building, racism, suspicion of outsiders and fear of immigrants that Donald Trump used to stir a political base that includes white supremacists and other nationalists from the so-called alt-right.

“In the middle of the Cold War, with 40,000 nuclear weapons pointed at each other, Americans and Russians still managed to work together and become friends, conquering the worst disease in history,” Brilliant said. Tara stiles yoga solution “This wasn’t some kind of hippie fantasy. Yoga vinyasa flow sequence Our team was 170 countries working together toward a common goal.”

Back in the states, he and Girija, Wavy Gravy and spiritual leader Ram Dass founded SEVA, a nonprofit that has brought sight-saving cataract surgery to more than 4 million people in Tibet and other impoverished countries. 8 limbs yoga They were helped by Steve Jobs, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Sumits yoga With Sausalito’s Stewart Brand, Brilliant also co-founded the WELL, one of the first digital social networks.

In 2005, he started PanDefense, an organization to better prepare for pandemics, and won a TED Prize of $100,000 to create an early-warning system against outbreaks of diseases like smallpox. Wilmington yoga center schedule He also became the first executive director of, charged with giving away billions of dollars to combat poverty, pandemics and climate change.

He is now chair of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, an organization dedicated to protecting against pandemics, climate change, nuclear proliferation and conflicts worldwide.

But it all began with the guru who told him when he was a young, inexperienced doctor from the hippie generation that he could help in a multi-national effort that would save countless human lives and determine the arc of his own life and work.

“We proved that we are not the incompetent people being portrayed in the alt-right media,” he said. Best yoga poses for insomnia “In India, I worked harder, longer and smarter than I ever had. Down dog yoga reading pa Everybody gave more than they ever dreamed they could, and everybody was better for it.”