The Silent Way is a non-profit organization that teaches the timeless message of Advaita Vedanta to Westerners. Founded in 1986 by Jim Gilman, a direct disciple of H. H. Swami Chinmayananda, the Silent Way has served the diverse community of the San Francisco Bay Area, providing classes in meditation and in-depth study of the principle Advaita Vedanta texts in English.

Currently classes are held in Jim's home in Oakland, California. In keeping with the tradition, this Knowledge cannot be bought or sold. All Silent Way classes are offered on a donation (Gurudakshina) basis.

Jim Gilman, the principle teacher at the Silent Way, met Swami Chinmayananda at a lecture series at Stanford University in 1975. Jim says, “I was totally unprepared for the experience of meeting Swamiji. I had studied western metaphysics for seven years and had no real background or understanding of Eastern thought or practices. When I met Swami Chinmayananda, I felt a palpable presence of holiness. It was overwhelming. To this day, he is the holiest man I have ever met." 

Jim has taught meditation and Vedanta around the world for over 30 years. For several years he served as an acharya with the Chinmaya Mission, Swami Chinmayananda’s world-wide organization.

Jim’s approach to this work is immensely practical. He has a unique gift to express these subtle and profound truths in a manner that makes them easy for Westerners to understand, even with no background in Sanskrit or Hindu thought.

In keeping with the tradition set by Swami Chinmayananda, Jim stresses that this teaching is open to all, regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, or walk of life. All may come, and as the Hebrew psalmist says "taste and see the goodness of the Lord."    

Advaita Vedanta is the ancient non-dual Science of Self Knowledge found in the Upanishads, one of the core scriptures of Hinduism. The essence of the teaching is that the core of our humanity and the Essence of Ultimate Reality are one and the same, and that this unitive Truth can be directly experienced. 

This fundamental truth is the essence behind all the great mystic teachings around the world and in all periods of history. It is thundered by the great saints and sages of all time – that the real nature of the human person is divine – changeless, eternal, infinite and non-dual.

Vedanta makes no claim to being the only expression of this truth. What makes Vedanta unique is that it has developed a "spiritual technology," wherein through study and practice the student develops a clear understanding of this truth based on direct experience. This tradition was practiced exclusively by the Hindu Brahmins throughout history until recent times, when gurus from India began coming to the West and teaching in English.

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