How do you explain a kirtan with Krishna Das to someone who isn't a yogi? "I'm going to a yoga rock concert" I tell my co-worker. Along with what felt like every yogi in the city of Philadelphia, I was at the
Krishna Das/Deva Premal kirtan last night. I had no idea that so many people could fit into the Keswick.
I'm not going to write a review but I will say that I enjoyed Deva Premal's side kick, Mitten the best of all.
Whenever I have the opportunity to meditate in a group setting I'm always amazed at how powerful the energy of a group is. After chanting 108 mantras to Ganesha we sat for just a few moments in meditation.
The event was sold out - imagine 1300 people all chanting "Om Gum Ganapataya Namaha". As we chanted our individual voices seemed to join together and it was one voice chanting. One collective voice asking for Ganesha's blessings. There was no way to distinguish one voice from another.
It was a beautiful experience. (not so beautiful when 1300 people are trying to use the bathroom at the same time - word of advice - go to the bathroom at the restaurant next time.)
There's no doubt that group meditation is incredibly wonderful and honestly it's what I miss most about old yoga class. We always ended our asana class with a 20 minute meditation. So what's a yogini to do when there isn't a group to meditate with??
Do sadhana (spiritual practice) early in the morning. Early morning is the best time for practice. During periods of deep meditation or prayer our consciousness connects with that "cosmic" consciousness. We enter into a state where we have joined our consciousness with the consciousness of all others who are doing their own practice in their own homes at the same time and beyond. There's a better chance of this happening if you practice early in the morning - before the sunrise.
Ever have the experience of sitting in your favorite yoga class and the teacher is talking about something that you've been thinking about? This happens all the time for me. At first I thought he was reading my mind. When I asked him how he always seems to know the right thing to say he told me that maybe our consciousness is operating on the same plain. Like our minds are riding on the same wave length. I love when that happens!
You'll notice as you practice meditation, "sincerely, systematically and with sustained enthusiasm" over a long period of time that things like that will happen more and more. Rather your awareness of these moments of oneness with others will be more apparent to you.
This awareness that we are all one is fundamental. Nothing helps you to realize this better than meditating in a group. Even if it's only for a few moments. Once we have a glimpse of this reality of oneness our interactions with others will improve. It's not me against them - you against me anymore. You will know that my struggles are your struggles. Your needs are the same as my needs.
Imagine, 1300 people chanting "Om Gum Ganapataya Namaha". Imagine, the millions of people sitting on their meditation cushions each morning doing sadhana! It's a beautiful thing.