Published on July 29, 2011
Do you happen to remember way back in the beginning of June when I took a bit of a bloggy break? What I didn’t tell you is that at the time I was making my way through the trenches of some real heavy and difficult things in my personal life. I will be honest and share that at the time I let myself fall into a bit of a depression and wasn’t very interested in doing the things that usually fuel my heart–like painting–writing–yoga.
Finally, I was getting tired of living like such–and knew I had to do something to start to break up the heaviness around my heart.
So I turned to kirtan.
It seemed easy enough. I could drag my ass to my altar in the morning and sit and bolt out some sanskrit for 15 minutes or so. What could it hurt? Right.
Kirtan got me out of my funk. Kirtan changed everything…and pretty quickly even.
I would sit and chant along with Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, and Deva Premal and tears would flow–anger would rise–and even laughter would start to bubble to the surface at times. But the best part is that I would feel worlds better after every time I chanted. I would feel lighter–even buzzy!
Chanting–singing–kirtan–it all has an energetic effect on the body and mind. What is most beautiful about kirtan is that it is believed to be singing the name of God over and over again. So this deep thread of love and devotion is naturally embedded into the music already.
For me kirtan is a prayer. A deep, active, loving prayer. Not just for me–but for the world. A prayer to bring more love and peace and healing and beautiful creativity and strength and radiance into the Universe.
Kirtan got me through the trenches–and ever since, I’ve been religiously practicing kirtan first thing every morning. Sometimes for 15 minutes–sometimes even an hour. In yoga this practice is called Bhakti Yoga–which means the Yoga of Love. And when I chant I close my eyes and let the vibrations wash my heart–then I imagine the vibrations spreading across the earth–touching all of those that need love and healing.
Since my first “official” kirtan concert with Jai Uttal back in Spring–I’ve been longing to go to his week long kirtan camp this August. From time to time I would hop on his website and try to figure out how I could make the funds to attend.
After my deep and healing experience with kirtan in June–I decided whole heartedly that I would make it happen. That this practice of Bhakti Yoga is very important in my life–and I need to be there.
I’m happy to say that the Universe has delivered this gift.
On Monday I will be traveling to California where I will stay for seven days learning, practicing, and chanting wildly with Jai Uttal and 50 other devoted Bhakti practitioners as well.
I know already that this is going to be an amazing experience.
I am writing this today to extend the power of Bhakti Yoga to you. There will be an altar at the retreat for each of us to bring something that we wish to place there–an offering or intention for this retreat. I wish to bring not only my prayers…but yours as well. I wish to extend the seven days of 50+ people chanting love into the Universe to you as well.
So I am collecting prayers.
From now until late Sunday evening you may leave a prayer or your heart’s deep wish here in the comment section. I promise not to read them–and I would like to ask all of you not to read each other’s prayers as well. But instead let your words come from such a sacred and intimate place inside you.
If this sharing is even too hard for you–please feel free to simply write a code word–or an expression–that only you and the Universe know what it means. The intention behind your words is more important than the words themselves.
Sunday night, before I begin to pack my suitcase, I will print out the comments and place them in an envelope in which I will put on the altar at the retreat on Monday. Your prayers and heart’s wishes will be soaking in seven days of incredible love and healing.
I only ask that you please share this with others as well and please, only leave prayers and wishes in the comments. Thank you.
Be love, spread light, paint FEARLESS™.