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
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?
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
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