Bhagavad Gita- Willpower

"Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self."The Bhagavad Gita I love this verse of the Bhagavad Gita because it gets me thinking about why I go after the … Continue reading Bhagavad Gita- Willpower

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 … Continue reading Chanting & Altered States

Can You OD on Kirtan?

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?

4 Beautiful Reasons To Fall in Love With Chanting

A few days ago while on a job interview my I looked down & noticed my thumb shaking. In the past this would have spiraled me into more anxiety. But this time I had a relaxation tool- japa meditation (silent repetition of a mantra). Quietly to myself I repeated my mantra and I watched in … Continue reading 4 Beautiful Reasons To Fall in Love With Chanting

Japa- A Meditation That Works

Japa is a beautiful art of repeating sacred sounds (mantras). It starts by vocalizing the sounds out loud, then whispering them, then silently 'hearing' them in your mind. Running your fingers over beads or a stone give it a tactile sensation that keeps the mind and body connected. The sounds come from ancient traditions rooted … Continue reading Japa- A Meditation That Works

Meeting My Inner Parvati

My first night in Mudhuban, India a deep emotion struck me. As everyone entered the room & gathered for kirtan, some people in the group sat far off to the left and a few others together to the right but no one had chosen to sit next to me. It was a familiar theme. Space. … Continue reading Meeting My Inner Parvati

The Gift of Surrender

I am fascinated with the art of surrender. From totally yielding in child's pose to rolling with the punches of 'failure,' to bowing & saying 'namaskar' to a stranger, to surrendering the human voice to mystical repetition of Sanskrit syllables. Surrender is the main reason I love chanting. The first thing I do when a … Continue reading The Gift of Surrender

Why I Love Hindu Deities

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

The Power of Chanting

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