The subtitle of my blog is Wondrous Things Will Be Revealed Here. This will be a post where something wondrous will be revealed.
I often speak to my friends or post to twitter or Facebook about being in the BHAV. They scratch their heads and ping me asking “What is this BHAV you are always going on about; what planet are you on now???” Well my friends, the BHAV comes from the Bhakti tradition of Yoga. It is the fruit of devotion or in Christian terms the fruits of the Spirit. Being in the Bhav is a mood; it’s a devotional state of mind. The Bhav is becoming. For me it’s being in the rapture — becoming one with the rapture. I’ve been in the Bhav for several straight days as I was at Bhakti Fest Midwest and have had a soul opening experience.
This picture of my friends Deb & Deann (sisters by-the-way who have their own Kirtan group, Brilliant Bliss Kirtan) best shows what it’s like to be in the Bhav.
I took this picture at a Kirtan at Inner Sun Yoga in Oshkosh. It is during a Kirtan (chanting to God) that I most often enter the Bhav. I also enter thru mediation, prayer and yoga. Others enter thru exercise (runner’s high), or thru a hobby (my mom enters this state while knitting); some enter thru service projects and others thru their daily devotions. The point I’m trying to make is there are many paths to entering the Bhav. Or as the saying goes in Vedanta: “Paths are many. Truth is one.”
As I said, I enter this state mostly thru chanting, or Kirtan. I chant (sing my prayers) daily. This is the best part of my day.
I was introduced to Kirtan by my beloved teacher Janet Stone many years ago in San Francisco (if you ever find yourself with 100 miles of Janet seek her out. She is an amazing yoga teacher). Chanting with Janet and the hundreds of people in her classes was an amazing third eye opening experience for me. Soon I found myself chanting a couple of times a week with David Lurey (another amazing yoga teacher who just released a great Kirtan CD, Global Bhakti), Jai Uttal and David Newman. Once I started chanting I felt like I found the missing piece to my spiritual practice. I chanted so much at home my roommates said that when in my room it felt like being in a church. I was a chanting fool.
So why do I chant? I chant because it’s awesome.
I believe that the vibration of a Mantra can bring one closer to God. In the recitation of Mantras the sound is very important, for it can bring transformation in you while leading you to power and grace.
It’s well documented that different sounds have different effects on human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunder may cause awe and fear.
The chanting of Mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the divine. They give us the power to enter into an exalted state of communion and for attaining blissful state and attain liberation.
Good — I haven’t lost you.
I chant to keep in touch with that great big peace deep inside. I chant to keep the path between us clear. I chant to clear out the clutter that covers up my heart — you know the stuff that trips us all up. I chant to get unstuck and clear out all the old junk I’ve been working for years to get rid of and keeps sticking around for a variety of reasons. I chant to let it go bit by bit. Yes, chanting makes my heart clear.
I chant to remember who I AM. When the dust of life settles over everything, and I start to believe I’m stuck and struggle with what I’m experiencing, I chant. As I do, it’s like a big wind blows by and carries away the dust and debris. And then the light bulb comes on and I experience that A HA moment: “That’s who I AM!”
I can spend a couple of hours going round and round, where absolutely nothing gets done. Then I chant for ten or fifteen minutes, and the gears shift and the road opens and whatever I’m doing flows like water. So now I’m trying to remember to turn to chant sooner to remove obstacles – JAI Ganesha.
I also chant to give thanks. Some days are amazing from start to finish. So I chant to celebrate, to give thanks to the Universe. So days are not so amazing. So I chant to celebrate, to give thanks to the Universe.
I chant to be closer to God. When I chant I feel the presence of something bigger than me and yet I also know I AM part of that bigness. Being part of that bigness helps keep everything else in my life in perspective.
We all know a happy life requires good health. Proper diet, adequate exercise, and sufficient rest are necessary to keep our bodies strong and fit
More important, but less well known, is the inner self’s need for spiritual nourishment and attention. If we ignore our spiritual health requirements, we become overwhelmed by negative material tendencies like anxiety, hatred, loneliness, prejudice, greed, boredom, envy, and anger.
I chant in order to counteract and prevent these infections of the self. Yes, this is why I chant.
Welcome to the Bhav …
Bhole Babaji ki Jai!