Jai Ganesha!


Murtis & Vedanta for the 21st Century

$108 total fees

Murtis = Archetypes of Hindu/Buddhist deities

Vedanta = non-dual philosophy

   With Dr. Manoj & Jyothi ChalamManoj & Jyothi

  4th Annual July Retreat:

July 17-21st, 2019

       Begins July 17th 5-8pm , July 18-21st 7:30am-6pm

$108 includes gourmet Sattvic lunch, snacks, coffee& chai

Adventure to the Realm where Mythology and Murtis meet

Get Inspired in Your Hero’s Journey by Uncovering your Yogic Archetype along with Shared Storytelling

with Manoj Chalam

Explore Texts:  Bhagavad Gita

with Jyothi Chalam


Each Verse we contemplate and practice on is a hologram of the whole. 

190312 - July 2019 Retreat Flyer (final180)

To Sign Up:   PayPal or Venmo $108 to Manoj (use family and friends) and email address; mikechalam@yahoo.com, or Paypal Here

Retreat Address:  Unique Arts Temple 7868 Silverton Ave, Suite J, San Diego, CA

“Some thoughts on our Retreats”  Retreat News and Logistics:

Blessed Bhens and Bhais (sisters & brothers):
Jai Ganesha! 
Dear friends of the bhav,
See you at our temple on July 17, 2019 Wednesday at 5 pm.
There are many people coming for our July Bhav so buckle up. This is a “Come to Ganesh” moment.  I need to hear from people who are on the fence doing the Indian head wobble and internally saying “What to do” – to make a decision on attending our retreat or not.
Because I need to let the delicious food chef and caterer (Marten of Green Door Cafe Organic Cafe of La Jolla) know how many are coming, who’s vegan, etc. And also finalize the one on one filming schedule with me.  So please do the following:
1) if you are coming and have not paid yet, please PayPal the $108 to my email mikechalam@yahoo.com (use friends & family option). Or Venmo to @Mike-Chalam.
2) Everyone please let me know if you are vegan or not. Default is vegetarian. There will be some gluten free dishes. Everything is organic and Martin himself sources the veggies from local farmers.kate
3) Jyothi and I have created some YouTube videos with intro teachings on the secret symbolisms of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas as well as Karma Yoga from the Bhagavad Gita – how they are relevant  in today’s times. People have requested Jyothi to sing songs along with their spiritual meanings – she has recorded a few videos.
 Here are the YouTube links. Please try to see them and see if you can spot a few deadpan jokes I slipped in mine. And many thanks to Kurt Folkendt who has spent many hours to film and create these videos as well as others for our YouTube channel.
Ramayana, Mahabharata and Your Stories – Part 1: 15 min
Ramayana, Mahabharata and Your Stories – Part 2: 32 min
Sri Krishna’s vision of Karma Yoga: 17 min
Songs with their Meanings:
Ramam bhaje syamam manasa: 13 min
Vandeham saradam 9 min
Nirvana shatkam 7 min
Mahaganapatim manasa smarami 14 min
The easier way is to just to go our YouTube channel MurtisAndVedanta. More videos are going to be added.
4) One on One Filming with Manoj – professionally filmed by Kurt: As I’ve indicated in my retreat invite, I invite you to be part of filming at our temple. before or after the July retreat.  Its about discussing your Murti story and deeper symbolisms one on one and finally your hopes, dreams and aspirations. If you wish to do it, Kurt has created a spreadsheet. Please sign up at
5) Roommate requests: Please reach out to Kurt at
6) A final word on the $108 Retreat fees: Some newer people have been incredulous on why the retreat fees are so low. Someone asked whether it’s $108 per day or even $108 per hour!. We are living in interesting times where people assign value based on price. These teachings are not about the finite material world; they are about the infinite truth that is us. You cannot put a price on it. The $108 fees is nominal and probably below my cost and I stopped caring many years ago. Interestingly, this model has been working well over the past 7 retreats (since 2016) with many people coming from all over the country and even overseas.
It’s actually the other way around. You are giving us your precious time and in today’s times, deep attention is the real currency. And that’s very humbling for us. 
Jai Ganesha – Manoj & Jyothi
Here is the invite for our July 17-21 2019 Retreat at our San Diego temple. Flyer is attached. 
Dear Bhaktas: I decided not to write a long invite letter this time. Just a long title. And put the long winded, wordy stuff at the end of this invite. What to do. 
Short title is “Can you draw a happy face on the formless?” 
(Form & Formless: Yogic Deities & Enlightenment)
Long title is “Secret symbolisms & stories of:

Ram & Hanuman in the Ramayana (Treta Yuga);
Krishna & Arjuna In the Mahabharata (Dwapara Yuga)
What’s your story in Kali Yuga? By Manoj”
“Karma Yoga Chatussutri (from Bhagavad Gita 2nd Chapter) By Jyothi”

 $108 total fees
includes gourmet lunch, snacks, coffee and the bomb chaiTo jack you up.  Because the retreat is about 3 pillars
1) Intellectual Jnana philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Non dualism.
2) Bhakti devotion to Murti Archetypes and the Self
3) Sadhana practices, includes team exercises with yogic archetypes
RETREAT LOCATION will be at our temple in San Diego.
Unique Arts
Manoj’s cell phone 858-735-4869
PayPal the $108 to my email mikechalam@yahoo.com (use friends & family option). Or Venmo to @Mike-Chalam.
I also want to invite you to be part of filming at our temple. before or after the July retreat.  Its about discussing your Murti story and deeper symbolisms one on one. If you wish to do it, please contact me to schedule a time. It’s totally optional. Like everything in life. 
I’m having yogis professionally filmed at our temple in a conversation with me. Its in a one on one format where we talk about your Murtis and your stories and overlay them onto Yogic mythology. We put our stories onto these ancient memes and have fun.

When I look at Murtis through your eyes, it inspires me to geek out into the many nuances in their symbolisms and stories. That’s Murti Dhrishthi. Many teachings emerge from this deep dive into Yogic Archetypes within the collective unconscious.

All going on our YouTube / podcast channel called MurtisAndVedanta.com. I’ve been interviewed by The Ram Dass foundation and other podcasts and I want to open it up to everyone.

It’s not a testimonial or any marketing bs. It’s a conversation between you and me that can be anywhere from 30 min to 1.5 hours. For instance, Kurt and I just spoke for an hour and half. Jill and I did 30 min before I left for India.

Everyone learns from Everyone. A non hierarchical and contemporary manner of knowledge transmission of the Bhav. The world of Bhav is a University and we are all professors and students that can learn from each other in satsang.

Because we are the Bhav.

So bring on the Bhav!
People call me more of a “spiritual stand up comedian” these days but I often flat on my big Ganesha belly and that keeps my ego in check. I’m currently working on so many new stories, jokes and metaphors that I feel like a mosquito at a nudist colony – I don’t know where to start. 

All Love,



SCHEDULE (Ashram style teaching, that is, get up early in the morning!)          


Wednesday July 17

5 pm to 8 pm Group Introductions, lectures, team exercises

with mango lassi, samosas, snacks, chai, coffee

 Thurs July 18 to Saturday July 20

Sunday July 20

  • 7.30 am to Noon Puja, Meditation, Yoga, Archetypes, Bhagavad Gita 
  • Noon Lunch END OF RETREAT
FILMING WITH MANOJ (optional, one on one, please schedule in advance)
Wednesday July 17:  10 am to 3 pm
Monday July 21: 10 am to 6 pm
Jyothi and I are humbled that many of you have come to our retreats over the years. As the Vedas teach us: “Athiti Devo Bhava.” – Become the One that considers Guest as God.
We missed some of you at our 4 day Jan 2019 retreat. We had about 65 people come from all over the country and did lots of team work on Jungian archetypes, shadow work and the heroine’s journey. The energy went thru the roof. It’s interesting how people have been synchronistically showing up to our retreats over the past 5 years – I don’t normally don’t do email list nor do social media marketing. Please come to our next one July 17-21. It does get intense but fun.
Back to spiritual stuff:
I’ve been in the whirlwind of Bhav visiting temples in Mumbai for the last 3 weeks here and blissfully unplugged from stuff from there.

I just went to a 300 year old Ganesh temple. And a 1000 year old Lakshmi temple called Shri Samudri Mata. Just imagine how much Shakti has been infused over the years because of people’s Bhakti. The energy has percolated and escalated over the years because of all the people who visit for a Bhav transmission.

The energy comes from all of us over the years. When millions and millions of people have gotten Darshan from the Murti and touched the floor in reverence, it’s a collective energy you can palpably feel. The Murti embodies the Bhav of millions. The archetypes then bubble up from the Bhav of the collective unconscious.

There is a book that alluded to this phenomenon called “The wisdom of crowds”. The Murtis are the ancient memes and archetypes of the wisdom of yogis over hundreds of years

And now to chop wood and carry water.

– Can you handle a 10 hour intense day with fellow practitioners? Can you be at our temple for Puja by 730 am? Because we can all get into a group flow state when we do this intense 3.5 day retreat. Lots of laughter and crying and releasing. And that affect and effect lingers.
– A spiritual Yoga asana practice will be led by Jyothi every day. As a part of Sadhana for gaining the knowledge of Vedanta.
– I’m already working on new jokes when I occasionally need to wear a hat of a spiritual stand up comedian. Don’t want to be SOL (Spiritually Out of Luck).
Jyothi is taking us all into powerful group flow states through Vedanta Sadhana of non dual philosophy. It involves Shravanam (listening), Mananam (contemplation) and Nidhidhyasanam mediation of Abiding in the Self. Also will have Puja and traditional yoga asana every day – Vivekananda Kendra spiritual yoga asana as practiced by Jyothi. Questions are strongly encouraged during the philosophy sessions in a Satsang format.
Murti / Yogic Archetypes Flow State practices led by Manoj are about aligning with the source energy. Includes 21st century team practices such as Liberating structures & hero’s journey (Joseph Campbell & Carl Jung).  Along with ancient practices such as mythology, meditations on archetypical symbols and shared story telling. Many team exercises.


My wife Jyothi and I will co teach. Our Bios are at the bottom of this email. You already know me as a murti wallah/scientist/story teller that illuminates archetypical and synchronistical living in samsara with a lightness of being. Whenever I develop a huge egotistic head, I often fall flat on my face and that keeps my ego in check. Jyothi is a Maha scholar and teacher of Advaita Vedanta philosophy (and my teacher) as well as an accomplished South Indian classical music singer. Many people end up studying Vedanta from Jyothi by Zoom after the retreat. All at no charge.

Retreat will be at our temple in San Diego.
Unique Arts
– You can search online at Expedia and other sites such as Airbnb. A couple of hotels are giving lodging discounts to us. Can split room with 2 beds.

Inn By the Sea. 12 mi, About 23 min drive. Beautiful sea side location in La Jolla. Lots of stores and restaurants around.  7830 Fay Ave, La Jolla CA 92037 phone 858-459-4461Discounted rate $134/night+tax for room with 2 beds.  Maybe slightly different for Jan.  Free parking. Ask for room block under “Manoj”

Quality Inn. Off the freeway. 2.2 mi, 7 min drive. Inexpensive but decent. Very close to temple. Can’t walk around to stores or restaurants. Breakfast included. $89/night+tax for room with 2 beds. Maybe slightly different for Jan.  9350 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego CA 92126 Phone 858-578-4350. Ask for room block under “Manoj”

Parking near my temple: Our temple is in a business park and there are quite a few parking spaces around as well as on the street. . Please don’t park in an illegal spot and pray to Ganesh and make him a co conspirator. Because Ganesh will not get the ticket, you will.

Manoj’s email is mikechalam@yahoo.com.
Cell is 858-735-4869

Manoj is the Murti Wallah, somebody who schleps and sells Murtis (statues of Hindu & Buddhist deities), teaches their symbolisms, archetypes, philosophy, mythology and a story teller who combines science, popular culture, psychotherapy and whatever I can get my hands on. I’m a scientist by training (Ph.D. In chemical engineering from Cornell) and try also to keep the whole thing real with a healthy dose of humor.
Many of you know my wife Jyothi as a scholar of Advaita Vedanta (non dual philosophy) and South Indian classical music singer. Jyothi is my teacher when it comes to sadhana and Vedanta philosophy. Jyothi’s guru is Swami Tattvavidanandaji from Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Pennsylvania. Jyothi spends 3 months every fall at their ashram studying the Vedantic scriptures of the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras.