Experience has shown me it’s possible to transform ‘cold’ emotions into warmer ones by chanting and contemplating the Gayatri mantra. Chanted over 3,000 years ago, the Gayatri is a primal and ancient poem to the sun. Chanting it today is a powerful way to remember that we’re plugged into something much more real than our … Continue reading A Mantra to Beat Winter Blues
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
Why is Bhakti yoga special? Hidden from the glamour of the modern yoga world, you won’t find it in the insta-famous posts of sexy bendy bods, and it isn’t intelligent or scientific. Except that it is. Because all yoga is experimental. And Bhakti lets us experiment with a phenomenon that we’re just waking up to … Continue reading What’s so Special About Bhakti Yoga?
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?
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
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
I don't believe in using mantras to 'call things in' so much as I believe in letting life happen naturally & then using mantra practice as a way to ease suffering if there is suffering or to express love & gratitude if there is joy. If you're going through an uncomfortable change & resisting it … Continue reading On ‘Calling In Things’ With Mantras
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
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
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