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RETREATS AND WORKSHOPS:
Ecstatic Chant Weekend Omega, Sept 3-5
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Sacred Chant Workshop Clearwater, FL, Sept 26
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SACRED CHANT CONCERTS:
Lebanon, NH, Sept 1 Auburn, NY, Sept 7 & 8 New York City, Sept 10 West Long Branch, NJ, Sept 12 Philadelphia, PA, Sept 15 Norfolk, VA. Sept 21 Atlanta, GA. Sept 24 Sarasota, FL, Sept 29 Clearwater, FL, Oct 1 Hollywood, FL. Oct 3
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increasingly callcd to act and serve in the world. And that is exactly what the authors intended. "At this time in our history, we need the ancient practices and wisdom of yoga to sustain, inspire, and encourage us to respond in healing ways to the many world crises," Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson write in the book's introduction.
Harvey, an author and teacher of mystic traditions, and Erickson, a psychotherapist and yoga teacher in British Columbia who has assisted Rodney Yee (who wrote the book's forward), met during a class Harvey taught about Rumi.Thc relationship blossomed into an exploration of the embodiment of spiritual inspiration through the practice of yoga. This book is the result.
Yoga, the authors argue, is the ideal practice for "sacred activism," or actions for global healing performed with calm focus, peacefulness, and strength inspired by mystic wisdom. To help us touch the flame of "radical self-empowerment" that ignites passion for such action, the book offers five sequences organized around such themes as the joy of love for all beings and the joy of service. Using stories, imagery, and quotations from mystics and philosophers, each practice reminds us that asana infused with intention is a powerful force for change.
The term heart yoga does not describe a new style. Rather, the authors have given us a contemporary lens through which to view and experience what yoga has always been: a transformational practice. "A new world can only be created by beings who know how to renew themselves constantly in the fires of the sacred heart," they note. Heart Toga guides us to be illumined yet rooted, so that we can help fulfill this vision. K.V.
I:T.T.1!< G3 CHANTS OF A LIFETIME: SEARCHING FOR A HEART OF GOLD, by Krishna Das. Hay House; hayhouse.com Krishna Das would probably blush at being described as the first superstar of mantra music. But he was undeniably the man who introduced kirtan (chanting) to the West in the '90s. His autobiography, Chants of a Lifetime, recounts how he came to play that role. It's the story of a baby boomer's spiritual journey, starting with a 1970 trip to India that brought Krishna Das (born Jeff Kagel) into contact with his beloved guru, Neem Karoli Baba, who passed away in 1973.
Krishna Das is unstintingly candid in describing his own perceived failings and lapses from the yogic path—drugs, alcohol, and failed relationships. But he offers advice and encouragement for all of us who are less than perfect in our practice.
our attention wanders in meditation or ^^^^^^^^^^ how many times we stray from or abandon our practice. What matters is how many times we come back to the mantra or meditative focus, how many times we return to the path.
Most of all, Chants of a Lifetime is a poignant account of the guru-disciplc relationship—a relationship based on unconditional love as seen from a Westerner's point of view. Included with the book is a CD of Krishna Das's best-known call-and-response kirtan tracks, including the "Mahamantra" and "Baba Sita Ram." The tracks were specially recorded with the audience-response parts left blankleaving it up to the listener to sing out and fill the gaps, and reminding us that spiritual practice is not passive but participatory; ALAN DI PERNA
GD SHARANAM, by Sharon Gannon. White Swan Records; whiteswanrecords.com The latest musical venture of Jivamukti Yoga co-founder Sharon Gannon is a collaboration with electronic-musician multi-instrumentalist Ferenz Kallos. The eight tracks touch on familiar stylistic ground such as "mantronica" (mantra and electrónica music), including three versions of "Loka Samastah" (an upbeat danceable version, a slow devotional twist, and a "Happy Free Mix") as well as m get centered
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Sharon Guftnun heart-centered mantra narratives, such as the lovely "Govinda Fly." On "Guru-ji," Gannon sings over an infectious electronic reggae beat.
For the most part, however, the devotional music on Sharanam is a different creature entirely-a rare and fragile bird of delicate beauty and exotic grace. Gannon's ethereal and frequently high-pitched vocals (akin to the early work of Kate Bush and the softer side of Yoko Ono) glide through sonic landscapes masterfully wrought from spectral electronic keyboard synthesizer tones. Think of this as bhakti (devotional) performance art. Immerse yourself in its joyous, celestial spell. ALANDI PERNA
l-W'1'l THE MINDFUL CHILD: HOW TO HELP YOUR KID MANAGE STRESS AND BECOME HAPPIER, KINDER, AND MORE COMPASSIONATE, by Susan Kaiser Greenland. Free Press; simonandschuster.com Susan Kaiser Greenland, founder of the Inner Kids school program in Los Angeles, believes that you don't have to be an expert on mindful awareness to teach its stress-reducing, attention-boosting techniques to your children —provided that you "teach only what you know from direct experience."
To that end, The Mindful Child blends mindfulness philosophy with success stories about how Greenland has used these techniques with her own children and with her young clients.
She also offers exercises that parents can do by themselves to experience the benefits of mindfulness firsthand as well as ones they can do with their kids. All arc designed to improve body and breath awareness while teaching you to reflect and meditate.
Greenland provides advice for parents of young people struggling with issues like school performance, anxiety, ADHD, and overeating. Although many
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The Yoga Revolution™ CD features an incredible mix of original songs by Sarah McLachlan, Ziggy Marley, Peter Gabriel, Michael Franti, Sheryl Crow, Krishna Das, Anjelique Kidjo, Seal & Guru Singh, Donna De Lory, Anoushka Shankar & Sting. All brought together to promote the benefits of yoga, music and a healthy and balanced lifestyle and to support yoga and fitness programs for underserved youth.
Produced by Frank Fitzpatrick as part of EarthTones' Music with a Heart program, CD proceeds support the Yoga Health Foundation. More info at www.yogarevolution.org
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of the activities described (ranging from songs to games to visualization exercises) are geared toward children 12 and under, most can be adapted for teens. This useful manual will help parents and their children practice mindfulness together, whether they're seated at the dinner table or on meditation cushions. SHANNON SEXTON
GD GUIDED MEDITATIONS, by Davidji. Davldji Sweetspot Productions; davidji.com Whctheryou're new to meditation, meditate only in moments of crisis, or have been meditating regularly for years, you can bring more wholeness to your life through the practice, says Davidji, who has apprenticed with Deepak Chopra for the past seven years and is the lead meditation instructor at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California.
On Guided Meditations, Davidji teaches listeners how to access this wholeness through eight unique meditations. At the same time, he delivers potent spiritual teachings on silence, stillness, creativity, and intuition.
The CD's meditations include a healing 3-minutc guided visualization; a 10-minute meditation and writing practice on gratitude and abundance; and meditations for emotional, physical, and energetic healing. Interwoven throughout the verbal instruction are the sounds of nature and devotional music, including vocals and harmonium by Snatam Kaur and Damien Rose's Tibetan bowls.
Throughout the CD, Davidji encourages listeners to find wholeness in daily life through momcnt-by-momcnt attention, relaxation, breath awareness, and concentration. The goal is to help you find personal empowerment, healing, and peace anywhere and anytime. The practices on Guided Meditations are embedded within Davidji's inspirational narrative that "you are never stuck... you always have a choice. You just have to give yourself permission to grow, to love, to thrive." These meditations arc a step in that direction. CHRISANDRA FOX *
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