Meditation—the practice of being present moment by moment—has been practiced throughout the ages as a way to know more about one’s self and one’s world. The benefits of a meditation practice are on many levels: increased relaxation on the physical level, greater calmness and peace on the emotional level, and more clarity and ability to focus on the mental level. But perhaps the greatest benefit is that the practice can unhinge us a little from our habitual, patterned thoughts and behaviors so that there is the possibility of a new perspective on the world and with that the possibility of new responses.
There are of course many different techniques of meditation and, depending on the length of the workshop, Bhavani offers one or more of the following: meditation on the breath (anapana sati), walking meditation, mantra meditation, lovingkindness meditation (metta), pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) as meditation, and chanting as meditation.
Chanting and Meditation
Chanting and Meditation have always been part of spiritual traditions. Sanskrit chanting is the yoga of devotion, eliciting a meditative state that moves naturally to stillness, so that meditation is easier and deeper. No previous experience with chanting or meditation is needed; the background of the group will guide the workshop. The benefits of both chanting and meditation are magnified when practiced in a group, so don’t miss this opportunity to join with others in these ancient transformational practices.
Applying the Magic of Mantra
Rishis have said that when you do mantra practice in a group you get the benefit of saying the mantra not only the number of times that there are people in the group with each repetition but the square of that number. This workshop is the perfect way to unite in the power of a mantra practice community! In our four days together we will support each other with heartfelt purpose as we invoke specific energies to clear away obstacles and set in motion our conscious intentions.
Each day will begin with a powerful guided “cleaning out” pranayama. After that we’ll practice mantras in many ways: speaking them; singing the simple Vedic tunes of mantra meditation; chanting full out—with dancing, of course; doing meditative yoga and other movement to mantra; and sitting in silent mantra repetition.
As our primary mantra during the program we’ll take the 12-syllable mantra of liberation, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, which can be translated “Om and salutations to the Indwelling One in me that is ever in unity with all of creation. Kindly reveal your truth to me.”
We’ll also chant
- mantras to Ganesha to clear away obstacles, both for ourselves and our planet,
- mantras to Lakshmi to attract abundance in every area of our lives,
- the Gayatri mantra, said to be the most supreme and potent of all mantras, and
- the ancient mantra for transformation, Om Namah Shivaya.
Participants will emerge from the program with a clear intention and a personal “family” of mantras to continue their practice at home. This program is appropriate for those with any level of experience with mantra. The only prerequisite is the willingness to join in the group practice. Note to participants: Be sure to bring your journal and a mala.