If you had told me a few years ago that I would be spending a Saturday singing devotional chants for 11 hours, and it feel like home, I wouldn’t have believed it. That’s precisely what I did yesterday though at Be Love 11 hr Bhakti Immersion; it was inspiring, emotional, uplifting and completely heart opening.
Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion, yoga means union and Bhakti Yoga brings you together with Divine Love, God, Consciousness, what ever you choose to call it. By chanting the same sounds repeatedly over and over the vibrations go through your body causing you to drop into your heart centre, into a feeling peace and love – our true state of being. There is a silence in between each chant and it’s amazing how easy it is to experience that complete silence within which is often so hard to experience when just sitting trying to meditate.
Tim Chalice one of the singers said yesterday that chanting is great for those people who have busy minds and are too lazy to try to just sit and meditate. All you need to do is keep chanting the mantras and eventually you drop into meditation. I can relate to this, as much as I aim to meditate every day, often I am sat there in silence still with a completely busy mind! Plus I love listening to the drums they play, I get completely lost in the rhythm of them which again makes it easy to switch off all other thoughts.
For those who have not experienced this and are still a bit unsure of their beliefs around anything bigger than us, I know this might all sound a bit bonkers! I was in your place just a few years ago. The first time I experienced chanting was in an ashram in India and I didn’t like it at all, I didn’t know the words, I couldn’t connect with the devotional aspect and I just thought every one looked a bit “religious”.
It was only a matter of days practising it anyway that I started to enjoy it, by the end of the two weeks I knew the Sanskrit words and was even joining in with a tambourine! Even the times when I did it feeling tired I was completely energised afterwards. I also left with a strong deep knowing with in that God existed, even though I wasn’t sure of the details or how I could believe it.
So yesterday we all gathered in a wonderful space in West London for 11 hours of devotional chanting. Through out the day I made a few notes of things people said and thoughts that came to mind. I’ll share them with you now in hope you get an essence of what Bhakti Yoga is all about:
- This place right now is exactly where you are meant to be (after chanting this with Tim Chalice)
- “I’ll borrow your sorrows and share your tears, I want to sing my heart out to the One who hears” more beautiful words from Tim Chalice and his teacher Babaji. This made me feel like we are all in this crazy thing called life together and we join together in love.
- Be free from attachment, so often we feel like we need money, our possessions, our phones, our diaries, photos to feel safe, we look outside of ourselves to feel security when it’s within us always.
- We are all one, it’s like a little drop of the sea thinking it’s separate.
- Be yourself, be your truth, be authentic, be love – our true state of being.
- Those things that trouble or upset you are not really who you are.
- Venus Cumara read some beautiful devotional poetry and one was about goals. How her life had always been run by achieving something, and realising this led her to write a poem about sandcastles being washed away by the sea. We can so often think we know what is best for us then get attached to that but there is a greater plan and it’s often even better than we could have ever imagined.
- Be still and listen to your heart.
- Choose to focus on love, not the negative thoughts that arise in the mind.
I’ll end with a little chant….
Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free