Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost in Love: An Evening With Krishna Das

While I was in Grass Valley I had the opportunity to go to a live kirtan concert with Krishna Das! It was an amazing night, so powerful and filled with love. There were probably a few hundred people from the local community, and it was so nice to be surrounded by such beautiful loving souls. KD was accompanied on stage by a lovely women on violin, an older man on the "buddha bass" plucking strings that "penetrate through illusion", and a young man on the tabla drums who was amazing! They said they were in Oregon a few days before and decided, hey let's go to India for a couple days. So they flew across the globe, hung out in India for a few days, and just got back to cali in time for the show! What a crazy life... they were pretty jet lagged all over, but still managed to lead an incredible kirtan.

The chanting has quickly becoming one of my favorite practices, it's a way to drop out of the mind, and sink deep into the heart. When we chant in the sacred sanskrit tongue, we are able to tune our consciousness into the ancient vibrations of the Infinite, as the language and words themselves have been spiritualized by the ancient rishis of India. The singing usually starts off slow then picks up real fast and slows back down toward the end. Some of the songs last up to 20 minutes! Sometimes my whole body starts vibrating and I feel really strong sensations around my nose and face, sending me into a deep meditative absorption. After the song ends, my heart melts into the silence, the stillness sends waves of peace through every fiber of being, everything stops......... you just drop in. It is a powerful practice of Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion, of pure love. We're singin love songs to the Divine Mother. Opening our hearts and allowing light to pour in - it is an incredibly healing practice that left me feelin so so high. Here's the words to one of my favorite chants:

Om Namoh Bhagavate Vaasudevaayaa

Ram Ram Seetaram Ram Ram Seetaram
Seetaram Seetaram Ram Ram Seetaram

KD has such an incredible presence, and I could feel strongly the presence of his guru Maharaji through him. He's also a great story teller and has a beautiful sense of humor, partly from his New York Jewish roots! Another Jew lost and found in the (far) East. There was a more serious story in particular which was so inspiring it set the mood for the rest of the evening. Some years ago, Krishna Das, Ram Das, (all the Das's!) and other westerners were at the ashram in India, when another westerner from Canada came on the scene. He arrived in hopes to learn about meditation. So he went up to Maharaji and asked him, "How do I meditate?" No one had ever seen Maharaji meditate before. He never gave formal teachings or lectures. He was always laying around, throwing food, smiling, loving, very playfully, just BE-ing. When the man asked him how to meditate, he responded, "Meditate like Christ meditates." And sent him to the back of the ashram with the rest of the westerners. "What did he say?" they asked. "Meditate like Christ." "Oh."....... "What the heck does that mean?" They went back and asked Maharaji, "How does Christ meditate?" He started to respond, then suddenly became silent, his eyes closed and he entered into a deep state. Everyone was blown away, they'd never seen him meditate. All of a sudden he started smiling and tears began to pour from his eyes. He returned and said, "Christ didn't die on the cross. He lost himself in love... He lost himself in love." Krishna Das asked us, "How can we do that? How can we love everyone so selflessly. How do we get lost in love?" The music began... as his question melted into my heart, it became a mantra for the rest of the evening. I was lost in love.

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