Chanting & Altered States

Asheville…
driving in the car
windows rolled down,
breeze blowing, radio off.
Mountain air.
Energy. Pulsating.
Blue sky.
Clear mind. No-thought.
No time. Boundless.
Centered. Just the moment.
Chanting.

This was one of my earliest experiences of bhakti yoga- each month I’d immerse myself in 3 days of group chanting to my teacher’s guitar sing along of Baba Nam Kevalam (translates to “Only the beloved”) and then explore Asheville kirtans around town. Afterwards I’d get into my car with a coffee and a mantra and hit the road.

And since my radio was broken I’d roll down the windows and entertain myself with sounds- the breeze, zooming cars, and my voice repeating mantras out loud for hours (sometimes the whole 6 hour car ride!) not realizing I’d enter an altered state. 

Colors were brighter, thoughts stopped.  Everything was just…existing.  And never once did I snap out of it or get bored…for each 6 hour car trip I stayed blissed out and unaware of time!

No substances needed!  Chanting is safe & natural.

Have you ever switched to listening to a vinyl record after years of listening to digital? You can SEE the record spinning, SEE the sound getting made by the needle on the grooves in the record, you feel a presence in the room, it’s a physical experience. It has weight to it.

Similarly have you ever switched from busy life to a quiet nature walk in a forest- the sounds of birds chirping, a natural waterfall, crickets, or leaves rustling? Again, it slows us down, stops our thoughts & sense of urgency…we merge with the present moment and appreciate it, even see it as god or divine.

This is how I see mantras affecting us- they are like the vinyl record, or the nature sounds. They slow us down from fast autopilot communication to ancient, root sounds that carry mystical weight- these were some of the first sounds ever uttered by humans…the roots of language itself!

Imagine the vibrations of these mantras and how they can shift our energy/ thoughts!

If you’d like to explore altering your state of consciousness safely w/ mantras join me in Kentucky at the following: every second Saturday at Yogaia Yoga School for community kirtan and every Monday at The Inner Warrior for Dharma Talks & Chanting.