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 … Continue reading Chanting & Altered States
I used to be very hard on myself with meditation. I put myself through a 10 day silent vipassana retreat, would set my timer for 2 hours a day and suppress my imagination entirely to just sit there hyper-focused on the breath and bodily sensations. I considered meditations that included visuals & sounds to be … Continue reading 18 Ways to do Japa Meditation
This morning I received a message on social media from a man warning me that several of his friends had 'OD-d' on kirtan & that I needed to be careful and stay balanced. Although it caught me off guard (I'm pretty confident I'm grounded with this devotional stuff) the urgent tone of his message got … Continue reading Can You OD on Kirtan?
Mantra is often translated as 'that which liberates, or frees the mind.' Another interesting interpretation is 'that which protects the mind.' This fits with the new spirituality that says we don't have to escape thoughts, that it's ok to have thoughts...it's human to think. To protect the mind means we gently and lovingly feed it … Continue reading Mantra Practice- the Antidote for Ruminating
Here's a video you can practice along with to get into a a fluid motion of chanting bij mantras (Sanskrit seed syllables) with mudras (hand gestures). It’s peaceful, invigorating & fun to do out in nature! The hand gestures aren't required...I am just attempting to recreate what I saw a guy do in on a … Continue reading A Chanting Exercise
I don't know about you, but when I was a kid I saw god as an old man in the sky with a white beard & white robe. God didn't feel safe, fun, or loving. He felt...distant, unknown, scary. My few attempts at churchgoing were met with 'Sure you can join us as long as … Continue reading Why I Love Hindu Deities
My first time chanting was mystical. I was about 22, had been woken up at 5am and led out in the Arizona desert with 50 women on a white tantra retreat called "Womanheart". Surrounded by the red rocks & beautiful music playing in the background, we chanted together "wahe guru, wahe guru, wahe guru, wahe … Continue reading The Power of Chanting