Tag Archive: kirtan

A Glimpse

On the way to Madhuban, we caught a rare glimpse of Trishula and Nanda Devi. It is usually too misty to see them from where we were staying, and they were not visible when we were on the drive back to Delhi.

In a few hours, I head to the airport for the long ride home, having bathed in the beauty of music and mountains, with, I hope, fresh perspective for the work ahead.

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Prayer

As a nontheist, I’ve not been much called to prayer throughout my life. In these days of social crisis though, in addition to taking concrete action, though not directed at a being, I find myself praying as a mode of personal comforting.

We leave Delhi before dawn tomorrow to go up into the Himalayan hills where we will be meditating and chanting in a place of great beauty.

I’m told there’s WiFi. I will no doubt find myself reading the news, signing petitions, and sending comment letters, as well as posting photos, but perhaps not every day.

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Chanting the Names/Listening to the Silence

Krishna Das reminding his listeners the reasons he practices and offers kirtan scrolled across my Facebook feed last week with this quote:

“My path is to be in the living Presence; We have to find a way inside us, we have to find a way to open our hearts, to quiet our minds, to let go our fears and our selfishness, our guilt and our anger and jealousy; Everything is already present in our own hearts; By repeating these Names over and over, we are moving ourselves into that place in us; the Heart in us is deeper than any emotion or psychological issues; I don’t know if there is God, I know there is Love – Unconditional Love and I know I like to be in that love, and that maybe God; all you have to do is look, and chanting remembers us to look.”

I am in a space right now where chanting is serving me to help remember the good, despite all that is going on that doesn’t feel particularly good or hopeful.  I don’t believe in “God” as an actual being (though I can no more disprove the actuality than anyone has been able to prove it), and history certainly proves the power of the idea of such a mystical being.

Regardless of whether the very real ideas of God(s) represents an actual being, it has been my beautiful experience–studying with Krishna Das and others over the years–that engaging in practices that turn our hearts towards love and universality helps us be sweet living in relationship to ourselves, to others, and to the ecological fabric of the whole of embodied existence.  I chant because calling out the names in their universal multiplicity is a recognition, not dissimilar to what I have found offered in the silent collective worship of Quakers, that everyone has their own individual access to and ideas of the sublime, of the divine, of what brings them to feel a fullness of love.

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Parama Shiva Tattva (playlist from class)

Per Pam’s request, here’s the Shiva-themed (with a little Ganesha {son of Shiva} and Bhuvaneshwari {Adi Parashakti inseparable from Shiva} included)  playlist from Saturday’s class:

  • Om Shiva, Chloe Goodchild, from Sura
  • Hey Shiva Shankara, Dave Stringer, from Japa
  • Shiva Shambo, Bhagavan Das, from Now
  • Son of Shiva, MC Yogi, from Elephant Power
  • Om Mata, Ragani, from Best of Both Worlds
  • Dancing with the Goddess, Atman, from Eternal Dance
  • Namah Shivayah, Krishna Das, from Live on Earth
  • Hara Shiva Shankara, Jai Uttal, from Spirit Room

Enjoy.  Practice.  Dance.  Sing.

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