Tag Archives: Law of Attraction

100 Quotes from The Secret

1. If you can think about what you want in your mind, and make that your dominant thought, youwill bring it into your life.

2. Through this most powerful law, your thoughts become things in your life.

3. As you think of yourself living in abundance, you are powerfully and consciously determining your life through the law of attraction.

4. The only reason why people do not have what they want is because they are thinking more about what they don’t want than what they do want.

5. The law of attraction is the law of creation. Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought!

6. What you are thinking now is creating your future life.

7. Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant.

8. Whether you have been aware of your thoughts in the past or not, now you are becoming aware. Right now, with the knowledge of The Secret, you are waking up from a deep sleep and becoming aware!

9. Decide what you want to be, do, and have, think the thoughts of it, emit the frequency, and your vision will become your life.

10. The law of attraction is a law of nature. It is as impartial and impersonal as the law of gravity is.

11. Your feelings are your greatest tools to help you create your life.

12. Your thoughts determine your frequency, and your feelings tell you immediately what frequency you are on.

13. You can purposefully use your feelings to transmit an even more powerful frequency, by adding feeling to what you are wanting.

14. There is no greater power in the Universe than the power of love.

15. The feeling of love is the highest frequency you can emit.

16. There is a truth deep down inside of you that has been waiting for you to discover it, and that Truth is this: you deserve all good things life has to offer.

17. You get to choose what you want, but you must get clear about what you want.

18. Asking is the first step in the Creative Process, so make it a habit to ask.

19. You must believe that you have received. You must know that what you want is yours the moment you ask.

20. In the moment you ask, and believe and know you already have it in the unseen, the entire Universe shifts to bring it into the seen.

21. Claim the things you want by feeling and believing they are yours.

22. How it will happen, how the Universe will bring it to you, is not your concern or job. Allow the Universe to do it for you.

23. Ask once, believe you have received, and all you have to do to receive is feel good.

24. If you have an intuitive or instinctive feeling, follow it, and you will find that the Universe is magnetically moving you to receive what you asked for.

25. Remember that you are a magnet, attracting everything to you.

26. It is as easy to manifest one dollar as it is to manifest one million dollars.

27. Create your day in advance by thinking the way you want it to go, and you will create your life intentionally.

28. It is impossible to bring more into your life if you are feeling ungrateful about what you have.

29. When you give thanks as though you have already received what you want, you are emitting a powerful signal to the Universe.

30. The reason visualization is so powerful is because as you create pictures in your mind of seeing yourself with what it is you want, you are generating thoughts and feelings of having it now.

31. Everyone has the power to visualize.

32. To use the law of attraction to your advantage, make it a habitual way of being, not just a one-time event.

33. To attract money, you must focus on wealth.

34. The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts.

35. When you need money, it is a powerful feeling within you, and so of course through the law of attraction you will continue to attract needing money.

36. The shortcut to anything you want in your life is to BE and FEEL happy now!

37. Your wealth is waiting for you in the invisible, and to bring it into the visible, think wealth!

38. “I am a money magnet.”

39. “I love money and money loves me.”

40. Giving is a powerful action to bring more money into your life, because when you are giving you are saying, “I have plenty.”

41. Prosperity is your birthright, and you hold the key to more abundance – in every area of your life – than you can possibly imagine.

42. The key is your thoughts and feelings, and you have been holding the key in your hand all of your life.

43. When you do not treat yourself the way you want others to treat you, you can never change the way things are.

44. When you make feeling good a priority, that magnificent frequency will radiate and touch everyone close to you.

45. People are responsible for their own joy.

46. Focus only on things you love, feel love, and you will experience that love and joy coming back to you – multiplied!

47. Treat yourself with love and respect, and you will attract people who show you love and respect.

48. To make a relationship work, focus on what you appreciate about the other person, and not your complaints.

49. Healing through the mind can work harmoniously with medicine.

50. All stress begins with one negative thought.

51. Love and gratitude can part seas, move mountains, and create miracles.

52. Illness cannot exist in a body that has harmonious thoughts.

53. Start thinking happy thoughts and start being happy.

54. Just the simple process of letting go of negative thoughts will allow your natural state of health to emerge within you.

55. Laughter attracts joy, releases negativity, and leads to miraculous cures.

56. You have the ability to give so much to the world by emitting feelings of love and well-being, despite what is happening around you.

57. When you feel good you uplift your life, and you uplift the world.

58. You are the master of your life, and the Universe is answering your every command.

59. Your ability to think is unlimited, and so the things you can think into existence are unlimited.

60. When we open our minds to the unlimited creative power, we will call forth abundance and see and experience a whole new world.

61. There are no limits to what you can create for You, because your ability to think is unlimited!

62. The Universe offers all things to all people through the law of attraction.

63. You have the ability to choose what you want to experience.

64. When you are praising or blessing you are on the highest frequency of love.

65. Instead of focusing on the world’s problems, give your attention and energy to trust, love, abundance, education, and peace.

66. The law of attraction says like attracts like.

67. You are energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy just changes form.

68. As you ask and feel and believe, you will receive.

69. When you emit the perfect frequency of what you want, the perfect people, circumstances, and events will be attracted to you and delivered!

70. When you say “I am,” the words that follow are summoning creation with a mighty force, because you are declaring it to be fact.

71. When you conceive something in your mind, know it is a fact, and that there can be no question about its manifestation.

72. You are a genius beyond description, so start telling yourself that and become aware of who you really are.

73. All your power is in your awareness of that power, and through holding that power in your consciousness.

74. The real secret of power is the consciousness of power.

75. Be aware of everything around you, because you are receiving the answers to your questions in every moment of the day.

76. To not love ourselves can keep what we want from us.

77. To attract the things we love we must transmit love, and those things will appear immediately.

78. We are all connected, and we are all One.

79. The Secret is within you.

80. The more you use the power within you, the more you will draw it to you.

81. The time to embrace your magnificence is now.

82. See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.

83. The law of attraction is always working, whether you believe it or understand it or not.

84. Your thoughts become things.

85. The emotions are an incredible gift that we have to let us know what we’re thinking.

86. Our feelings are a feedback mechanism to us about whether we’re on track or not, whether we’re on course or off course.

87. Life can be absolutely phenomenal, and it should be, and it will be, when you start using The Secret.

88. You will attract everything that you require.

89. You can start with nothing, and out of nothing and out of no way, a way will be made.

90. Asking the universe what you want is your opportunity to get clear about what you want.

91. Receiving involves feeling the way you feel once your desire has manifested.

92. When you want to change your circumstances, you must first change your thinking.

93. Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life.

94. The daily practice of gratitude is one of the conduits by which your wealth will come to you.

95. When you visualize then you materialize.

96. Expectation is a powerful attractive force.

97. Success comes from within, not from without.

98. Your joy lies within you.

99. The Universe is a masterpiece of abundance.

100. You can change your life and you can heal yourself.

Merkaba – Vehicle of Ascension

History has talked about the Mer-Ka-Ba mostly as the vehicle that allows a person to ascend or descend into the higher or lower worlds. But actually the Mer-Ka-Ba is much more than just a vehicle of ascension. It can be, really, anything — since it is the primal pattern that created all things and all universes, both visible and invisible (see The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, volumes I & II).

In the Bible there is reference to Ezekiel and the wheels by which Ezekiel ascended into heaven. This was the Mer-ka-Ba.

In the Torah, there is reference to the Merkavah (as it is spelled in Hebrew) which has two different meanings: One meaning is ”chariot,” which is a vehicle; the other is the ”Throne of God.” When the two definitions are combined, the true meaning comes to life.

In Ancient Egypt, this primal pattern was called the Mer-Ka-Ba. It was actually three words, not one. Mer meant a kind of light that rotated within itself. Ka meant spirit, in this case referring to the human spirit. And Ba meant the human body — though it also could mean the concept of Reality that spirit holds. And so the entire word in ancient Egypt referred to a rotating light that would take the spirit and the body from one world into another.

I once spent a couple of hours with Credo Mutwa, the spiritual leader of the Zulu tribe in Africa. He explained to me that Merkaba (one word) was a Zulu word meaning a space/time/dimension vehicle. He told me that according to Zulu legend his entire tribe had come from another dimension here to Earth using the Merkaba.

In the modern world there are teachers worldwide — and I am one of them — who are helping people remember the Mer-Ka-Ba. Thus begin a process in consciousness that will eventually translate us from the third-dimensional world into the next higher one through what is being called ”ascension.”

Ascension involves a process where the human body is transformed into light and translated by an incredible birth into a new world. It is achieved through a meditation that requires the mind, heart, body, and spirit to completely integrate in one pattern of light and transcend the human limitations of this reality.

This concept of the Mer-Ka-Ba as an ascension vehicle is not new. It is very, very old.

What actually is the Mer-Ka-Ba? Technically, it is an electro-magnetic field sitting at about four degrees Kelvin, found primarily within the microwave range — at least in the third dimension — that is entirely geometric in nature. Specifically, the geometry used is called ”Sacred Geometry,” as this particular geometry is found in the creation patterns of all things in Creation.

The Mer-Ka-Ba field is extremely complex, involving the five Platonic solids and other sacred polyhedrons. It is believed to extend through all possible dimensional and parallel universes, and can possibly change its nature from electro-magnetic to whatever is appropriate.

The blueprint of the Mer-Ka-Ba is found throughout nature, such as in this photo of a galaxy.

One of the functions of the Mer-Ka-Ba, as we said, is to act as the vehicle to take the spirit and the body into the next world. However, this function — and most of the other possibilities — is impossible to obtain until something changes within the person. Sombrero galaxyThe Mer-Ka-Ba is situated around the human body like a three-dimensional geometric web that is dormant and nonfunctional, waiting for the right moment. When the spirit that inhabits the body remembers that it is there and begins to change certain aspects of itself, an incredible transformation begins to grow.

It was believed in ancient times, and even written about by the Hebrews, that the Merkavah could be turned on by certain principles in meditation. This involves breathing changes, and mind, heart, and body changes that alter the way a person perceives the Reality. From my perspective, it is the beginning of ”Enlightenment.”

And yet it is clear that the Mer-Ka-Ba can also be ”activated,” as the New Agers say, by other methods beside the male-style instructions using the breathing changes mentioned above. It can also become functional through methods that are purely female. Through the true living of qualities such as love, faith, trust, truth, and compassion, the Mer-Ka-Ba can spontaneously become alive. In other words, very pure human character can translate into a living Mer-Ka-Ba field around the person, even if that person doesn’t initially know it is there.

And yes, absolutely, the Mer-Ka-Ba is alive. It is a living field, not a purely mechanical field of energy. Because it is a living field, it responds to human thought and feeling, which is the way to connect to the field. So the ”computer” that guides the Mer-Ka-Ba is the human mind and heart. The possibilities are endless.

At a certain and specific moment (not necessarily in this lifetime), a person’s Mer-Ka-Ba field can become alive. When this happens, an electro-magnetic change occurs which results in a disc of energy that comes out from a tiny place near the base of the spine and quickly expands to about 27 to 30 feet in radius around the body. This disc can easily be perceived by scientific means, and if the United States Airforce is correct it can be put up on their computer screens via satellite. In other words, the military can see people who activate their Mer-Ka-Bas, and watch as they move around the surface of the Earth.

Since the number of people who have done this is now in the millions, it is a fairly common sight now. It is the enormous magnetic burst that results from the disc expanding that brings attention to itself. This can easily be made invisible by people who activate their Mer-ka-Bas, if they so desire.

The knowledge of the Mer-Ka-Ba is well known by most of the more powerful governments of the world. I am certain that our government used the Mer-Ka-Ba in the 1943 Philadelphia Experiment and the 1983 Montoc Experiments — in their mind-control experiments and dimensional explorations, and in controlling weather. And I am equally certain that Russia is using the Mer-Ka-Ba in their spy programs and defense systems.

But regardless of government experimentation, Mother Earth, the human race, and we as individuals can profit from this understanding and knowledge. The remembering of the Mer-Ka-Ba is unfolding all over the world. From my point of view, this unfoldment is all part of the evolving cosmic DNA. The Mer-Ka-Ba will be remembered now because this is the time to remember.

Yes, I believe, as did almost all the ancient civilizations, that there are specific moments in the history of mankind where great jumps in human understanding take place, as in the ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, and Indus Valley civilizations.

I truly feel that we have arrived at another one of these grand moments of human history where brilliant light expands around the world, and another huge leap in human consciousness appears. And, my friends, I truly believe, from my own personal experience, that the Mer-Ka-Ba is a doorway or a dimensional window into a higher level of consciousness that could be the catalyst for this great change called ascension.

So, to close, I will say again: Your character is the key to your ascension. Regardless of who you are at this moment, good or bad, you can change your character. Like losing weight, it is completely within your control if you focus.

In changing yourself, your Mer-Ka-Ba can become alive. And once it is alive, everything is possible.

10 Tips to Manifest Your Dreams

1. Feel Good Now (sweet spot)

2. Define your dream / what you want

3. Have a burning desire for it.

4. High belief that you can have it & you deserve it (the how doesn’t matter, the universe will move mountains to bring it to me, beyond my imagination, beyond the radar screen).

5. Focus & believe you’ll receive it (don’t think about how, it has to work because it’s the law of attraction, shifting things, bringing people & situations in my life making it happen)

6. Picture it, feel it, hear it, add myself to the picture, smell it, taste it, emotions being there, imagine I already have it & how good it feels

7. Ask and you shall receive (Ask Believe Receive)

8. Use breathing technique with 3rd eye and send out to the Universe

9. Ritual/song : create a ritual or song to emphasize and energize your desire.

10. Use of Affirmations :

Whatever the mind of man can conceive & believe, it can achieve.

• Who feels it knows it, I am Wealthy beyond my imagination.

I have large amounts of money constantly coming to me.

Money is Energy

I love Money, Money loves me.

I Feel Good Now & it keeps getting better!

50 Notable Quotes from Wallace D. Wattles (from The Science of Getting Rich)

1. Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich.

2. The purpose of Nature is the advancement and unfoldment of life.

3. Success in life is becoming what you want to be.

4. Wherever there is unexpressed possibility, or function not performed, there is unsatisfied desire.

5. Desire is possibility seeking expression, or function seeking performance.

6. No man is kept poor because opportunity has been taken away from him.

7. Nature is an inexhaustible storehouse of riches; the supply will never run short.

8. Nature is formed for the advancement of life; its impelling motive is the increase of life.

9. Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches . . .

10. A man’s way of doing things is the direct result of the way he thinks about things.

11. To think according to appearance is easy; to think truth regardless of appearances is laborious, and requires the expenditure of more power than any other work man is called upon to perform.

12. There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought; it is the hardest work in the world.

13. By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it.

14. The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore it tends to become the best. It takes the form or character of the best, and will receive the best.

15. Many people who order their lives rightly, in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.

16. There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought; it is the hardest work in the world.

17. Desire is the effort of the unexpressed possibility within, seeking expression without through your actions.

18. The desire for riches is simply the capacity for larger life seeking fulfillment; every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action.

19. It is the desire of God that you should get rich.

20. The universe desires you to have everything you want to have.

21. God wants that you should make the most of yourself, for yourself, and for others; and you can help others more by making the most of yourself than in any other way.

22. You must get rid of the thought of competition. You are to create, not to compete for what is already created.

23. You must never think for a moment that the supply is limited.

24. The desire you feel for riches is the Infinite seeking to express Himself in you.

25. The whole process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word, gratitude.

26. Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.

27. It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive.

28. The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive.

29. Gratitude will lead your mind out along the ways by which things come.

30. There is a Law of Gratitude, and it is absolutely necessary that you should observe the law, if you are to get the results you seek.

31. Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are.

32. To permit your mind to dwell upon the inferior is to become inferior and to surround yourself with inferior things.

33. To fix your attention on the best is to surround yourself with the best, and to become the best.

34. The Creative Power within us makes us into the image of that to which we give our attention.

35. The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best; therefore it tends to become the best.

36. The grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith.

37. You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself.

38. You can never get rich, or start the creative power into action, by sending out unformed longings and vague desires.

39. All you need is to know what you want, and to want it badly enough so that it will stay in your thoughts.

40. The more clear and definite you make your picture then, and the more you dwell upon it, bringing out all its delightful details, the stronger your desire will be.

41. The man who can sincerely thank God for the things which as yet he owns only in imagination, has real faith.

42. It is faith and purpose in the use of the imagination which make the difference between the scientist and the dreamer.

43. Hold to the FAITH that the imaginary is being realized, and to the PURPOSE to realize it.

44. Think and speak of all the things you have asked for in terms of actual present ownership.

45. The science of getting rich does not require you to apply power or force to any other person, in any way whatsoever.

46. To get rich, you need only to use your will power upon yourself.

47. It is by your will that you determine upon what things your attention shall be fixed.

48. Get rich; that is the best way you can help the poor.

49. People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition.

50. The purpose of life for man is growth, just as the purpose of life for trees and plants is growth. Trees and plants grow automatically and along fixed lines; man can grow as he will. Trees and plants can only develop certain possibilities and characteristics; man can develop any power which is or has been shown by any person anywhere.

The Mystery Schools

“The criers of the Mysteries speak again, bidding all men welcome to the House of Light. The great institution of materiality has failed. The false civilization built by man has turned, and like the monster of Frankenstein, is destroying its creator. Religion wanders aimlessly in the maze of theological speculation. Science batters itself impotently against the barriers of the unknown. Only transcendental philosophy knows the path. Only the illumined reason can carry the understanding part of man upward to the light. Only philosophy can teach man to be born well, to live well, to die well, and in perfect measure be born again. Into this band of the elect–those who have chosen the life of knowledge, of virtue, and of utility, the philosophers of the ages invite YOU.”

-Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Creating Financial Security Through Affirmations, Beliefs & Actions

Your beliefs create the world you live in and experience. If you wish to make any lasting change to a habit, pattern, repeating experience and so on, you do it at the fundamental level, at the level of belief. Affirmations are a great way, one way, to change beliefs.

“Your beliefs form your reality, your body and its condition, your personal relationships, your environment, and en masse your civilization and your world.”

In the creation of wealth, you require to ensure that you are clear and positive (allowing, not resisting and negating) in four key areas of wealth:

1. Earning (receiving)

2. Spending (giving)

3. Saving

4. Investing

These are the four corners of wealth. The first two function like breathing, like your body’s circulation system, or even like the weather pattern. In other words, money, just like breath and the rest of life, moves in cycles. In and out. Giving/receiving or earning/spending are two sides of the same coin. They both need to be healthy. Without circulation, the system dies.

The remaining two are what allows for growth in wealth. Saving represents many things. For one, it represents the fact that you value your future enough to save for it; you feel you have a future worth saving for. It also represents paying yourself first, valuing yourself. Instead of spending all the money you earn and leaving nothing for yourself, you spend some and keep some for yourself. By the way, you are not saving to buy consumables like a TV or a trip in future. No. You are saving to use that money to invest in yourself, and to have it make money for you. And this is where the final corner, investing, comes in. You invest so that the money you earned, at least part of it, is not forever lost in a spending spree. Instead, it remains with you and works on its own, without your further effort, to make more money for you. In other words, you work for the money (earn) and then stop, after which you allow the money to work for you and give you much more than you produced in the first place. That is the point of investing – having the money work for you and produce more of it than was originally, without you having to spend more effort. Investing is similar to nature’s principle of creating more of itself effortlessly. Without this last step, it is very hard to become wealthy

Remember: Invest wisely

Here are sample affirmations gathered for you from various sources (affirmations partly gathered from You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and Rebirthing in the New Age by Leonard Orr and Sondra Ray). As you do the affirmations, notice how you feel about them. Then follow these feelings freely without resisting or manipulating them and see where they lead you (they will always lead you to the beliefs behind them).

Earning (receiving)

1. My income is constantly increasing

2. I enjoy earning.

3. I deserve to be wealthy.

4. My job/business is one of the pipelines through which I tap the infinite wealth of the universe for my own desires.

5. My personal connection to Infinite Being and Infinite Intelligence is enough to yield a huge personal fortune.

6. People enjoy paying me for what I enjoy doing the most.

7. Life always holds out as much goodness as I am willing to accept.

8. I am enjoying creating value for the people that give me money.

9. I have the right to give myself permission to become wealthy or do anything that I want.

10. Each year, my money increases faster than I spend it.

11. It takes less effort to be wealthy than it does to keep out the universal supply.

12. Life rewards me with abundance.

13. I deserve to be wealthy, rich, prosperous and affluent.

14. I enjoy expressing my abundance.

15. I don’t have to work to get money.

Spending (giving)

1. I spend money wisely.

2. I always have more money than I need.

3. I bless all my bills with love.

4. I pay all my bills on time easily.

5. I enjoy spending.

6. My income now exceeds my expenses.

7. Every dollar I spend comes back multiplied.

8. The more willing I am to enrich others, the more willing others are to enrich me.

9. I now have a positive personal cash flow.

Saving

1. I am worthy of having money in the bank.

2. I am financially independent and solvent.

3. I enjoy saving.

4. A part of all that I earn is mine to keep.

Investing

1. I enjoy investing.

2. I find investing to be relaxing, easy and safe.

3. My income increases every day whether I am working, sleeping or playing.

4. All my investments are profitable.

5. I don’t have to work to get money.

6. Part of all my profits goes into permanent wealth creation, capital and reserves.

You have many beliefs about money. Many of those beliefs are transparent to you (you do not consciously know you have them) and so they work behind the scenes producing results that seem to come from some external source (thus the idea of being a helpless victim of circumstances or chance). But you can bring them out of transparency and even change them. You can also discover your beliefs by asking yourself questions like:

– What did I learn about money as a child?

– What is my biggest fear about money?

– How did my family handle money?

– How do I handle money?

– Do I feel worthy of having and enjoying money?

– What do I criticize and praise myself for regarding money?

By Jahn Hooks aka Illuminati Congo


Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope you got lots of VALUE from this post! Questions or Comments always welcome!! Thank you!

~Sakshi Zion

Ps. Get Access Now to my FREE Ebook! How I use the Law of Attraction to travel the world and live my dreams!!

Jesus teachings on the Law of Attraction : Parable of the Bags of Gold

Today I was doing my daily reading, a commitment I made when I joined the Inner Circle. The idea is to encourage reading daily to learn and be inspired. One of my mentors within the Inner Circle said something which is quite profound.

“Daily Disciplines Create Empires”

Today, I read in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25 which has some deep parables within. Yeshua gives a lesson on the Law of Attraction and reveals a profound Secret in attracting more Abundance into your life. To give and receive in the right state of mind is the key.

Matthew 25:29

“For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Yeshua is explaining that when you are given anything at all in life and you give and share of it, you will continually be given more and you will have abundance, but if you choose to withhold and hide what you have thinking that you don’t have enough to share and give, that you are somehow lacking, you will repel abundance from you and continually create more situations of lack in your life.

Read the Parable of the Bags of Gold to overstand further how this state of mind and being is manifested in relation to money and abundance.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold – Matthew 25:14-28

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

JAH!

Yeshua gives a goldmine of wisdom in this parable! We are given these golden opportunities everyday to choose how we will invest our time, energy, and money. One can take action to transform their life by changing their thoughts and words.

How do you view money? Do you love it or hate it? Do you attract money or repel it?

A mentor of mine shared a priceless gem with me recently, when he said:

“The Life you want also wants you!”

Another powerful parable within Matthew 25 is The Parable of the Sheep and Goats. Here Yeshua teaches that to truly inherit the Kingdom of Heaven one must treat others as they treat themselves, a parable which further expounds upon one of the ten commandments which is:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

Yeshua is saying in the parable, by giving to those in need is giving to Christ directly. And by neglecting to give to those in need, is neglecting to care for Christ. And, if you do nothing else for Christ, at the very least give unto those that are in need.

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

And Keep In Mind, That Giving To Others Only Increases Your Own Abundance!

If you enjoyed this post, Please “Share, Like & Comment” Thank you!

Peace and Blessings.

~Sakshi Zion

Baraka Kirtan – The Art of Spirituality

Baraka Kirtan – The Art of Spirituality (revised)

by Antonya Wallace (Anth-E200) 12/7/2010

Introduction: Baraka: a blessing, the essence of life, soul power. It’s a Thursday night, and while most people are headed out to the bars, I’m making my way across town to Sakshi’s house to sit in during a Baraka Kirtan performance. Kirtan is an ancient Indian tradition based on Bhakti Yoga, which uses music and chanting as an avenue to spiritual enlightenment. As I enter the house the smell of roasting vegetables, marijuana, and halava fills my nose. I later learned that food is almost always present and sanctified so that it can be offered to God. They believe that when one eats sanctified food, that the food purifies the soul. Since Kirtan has roots in India there isn’t any beef (or any meat for that matter) being served, due to their animals sacred role in India. Yet, not all Kirtankars (one who practices/performs Kirtan) are vegetarian. It just happened that everyone in attendance tonight was. Another thing that everyone shares is the use of marijuana, which is smiled upon, as it is believed to promote enlightenment, drive the music, and as an added benefit, make the food taste even more divine. Smoking was also used socially to bring everyone together to prepare for the beginning of the ceremony. I was only there to observe so I did not enhance my chances of enlightenment.

I thought it was important to note that as I entered the room; warm faces, hugs, and a plate of food greeted me. That hospitality was due in part because Sakshi used to be my neighbor and he was the first person I met when I moved to Bloomington. But the royal treatment wasn’t reserved just for ex-neighbors. As I sat watching I noticed that the Kirtan community is open and loving to everyone. As each person entered Sakshi’s house they were greeted by first name, a hug, food, and an offer to play music. I decided that I would not participate in the event so that I could have an etic point of view. I pulled up a chair slightly to the side of the group and began my observations. The heavy smell of incense being burned drowned out the colorful smells of food and ganja.

I really enjoyed the scent of the incense so after the event I asked what it was. To my astonishment it was part of another practice that I was completely oblivious to. “Agnihotra is a Vedic yajna and involves the burning of cow dung and ghee butter in an inverted copper pyramid at dusk and dawn precisely, while chanting Vedic mantras. Properly performed, this ritual according to the Vedic tradition brings about enormous healing and purification of the environment. The Agnihotra is a powerful yajna that in my experience brings about a deep sense of peace. This 5-minute process feels like coming out of an hour of meditation. It’s a grounding practices and assists in uncovering the real Self, hidden underneath all of the mental chatter. The fact that the dung of the cow is such an important part of this process is really significant given the way this culture brutalizes and tortures these sacred creatures” (ecovillage.wordpress.com). It seems that this practice speaks to the Kirtan community’s “love-all” mentality.

I learned that it was a good practice to do the Agnihotra before the real ceremony began, so that everything is cleansed. I learned, “The rites of the Morning-Agnihotra are almost the same as the rites of the Evening-Agnithotra; but, in many instances, the formulas uttered by the Adhvaryu or the Sacrificer are different” (Paul-Emile Dumont). I was only there for the evening Agnihotra so I cannot compare the differences with the morning ritual.

As the musicians began to take their seats, they ditched their shoes and sat in a semi-circle. The audience comprised the other half of the circle, therefore creating an atmosphere for the call and response style of the music. The simple act of sitting on the ground in a circle is an example of universal primitive behavior. Speaking generally, almost all ancient human groups have sat communally in circles during gatherings. Circular shaped atmospheres bring the listeners directly into the experience. They stop being just listeners, and become participants. The circle encourages each person to look into another’s eyes as they are beckoned to respond to the singer’s calls.

Each “Baba” grabbed their respective instrument; Sakshi Gopal Das on the harmonium, Arun Baba on the bansuri (a type of wooden flute), Zen-G on the guitar, and Ras D Hanubaba on percussion instruments, including the tabla, mridanga, djembe, and kartals. Kirtan events can be played in any musical style with any instrumentation. Baraka Kirtan chooses to stick with more traditional instrumentation on most nights. They also perform many different styles on their CD. Some of those styles include non-traditional instruments such as, electric guitars, bass, drums sets, and digital voice alterations. The style that they choose for each performance is generally based off of their mood that day.

The music begins and the first song (always) is Hare Krishna. Hare is the feminine energy of God, and Krishna means “all attractive one”. During the opening song, “a simple melody is repeated many times at continuously faster tempos and greater volumes until a climax is reached, at which point the whole process may begin again with either the same or a new melody…commonly a line of melody was first sung responsorily four times – leader, chorus, leader, chorus – before proceeding to the next line of the melody… [then] the whole procedure would start over…but at an increased tempo” (Slawek 80). Tonight’s leader, Sakshi sang,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The, the audience, some with eyes closed, some staring, some praying, would all participate on during the response. Everyone was completely indulged in their own self-awareness and spiritual being. The sound of all the voices in unison had a surprisingly rich tone. It was nice to be at a ceremony where everyone felt the freedom of creativity and experimented with harmonies, and adding their own flares to each response. The allowance of creativity offers everyone a unique personal experience for his or her spirituality. In some instances if the audience is really enjoying the performance, “The chorus of talkaris (kirtan) often interrupts the kirtankar’s sermon with the singing of a topically relevant abhanga and may take over the performance of a song that a kirtankar has begun. In fact, a warkari kirtankar can easily deliver an entire kirtan and only sing a few solo lines of the song” (Shultz 309). Since Indiana doesn’t have a very large Hare Krishna movement going on underground…Sakshi was more than welcome to solo until the cows (who weren’t eaten J) came home.

Main Argument: While I sat there watching everyone divulge all their energy into devotion through song, I found myself wondering why a genre of music that provides so much peace to people is not more mainstream. In fact, I can’t recall a time that I’ve ever heard Kirtan music on the radio, except when Sakshi would call me and tell me to tune it to Bloomington’s public radio station when Baraka Kirtan was playing.

Sakshi said that Kirtan is actually becoming a new genre in popular music, whereas before it was seated in the world music category. It seems that Kirtan’s growing popularity is due to its message of love, peace, and self-awareness; which can be contrasted by the mind numbingly idiotic music blaring on B97.7 day and day out.

I don’t want to come across as a racist person but I did notice that everyone in attendance (with the exception of me) was Caucasian, and none of us were from India. So my research question would have to be, How did an Indian tradition that’s not very well known, become a subculture in the United States? What makes this music more popular than other forms of world music?

Theory: Those who practice Kirtan disregard arbitrary attributes such as gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. Kirtan is a catalyst to deeper spiritual awakening. People are instantly drawn to the ideology of togetherness that Kirtan offers. While most religions in our society offer a “Get Saved or Burn for Eternity” methodology, Kirtan’s job is to improve each person’s relationship with their own spiritual power.

Unlike most organized religions in the world, which ask you to abandon any other religious beliefs that may conflict with their doctrines, Kirtan lets you keep any, and all your beliefs. The point of Kirtan is to deepen your own spiritual awareness, in order to facilitate a deeper understanding of the spirit, self, and even other religions. It seems that since Kirtan offers such a contrast to more popular well-known religions like Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, etc…that people are also attracted just to get a taste of something new. Kirtan differs from other world religions in that they have never gone on some “convert or die” crusade. Instead of seeking out new members, they let the members seek them out, and then welcome them into their community with open arms. This method of gaining followers actually appears to have gained more devoted participants because each person is expected to find their own path into the Kirtan realm. If you want to become a part of the Kirtan community you have to make an effort to do so, unlike getting saved at a Baptist church which could be likened to going through a “McSalvation” drive through. Literally, anyone could walk into a church at any time and get saved, as many times as they want…without any real impact on their spiritual receptiveness.

Kirtan offers a tailored experience to each person. The natural feel of Kirtan takes away the hierarchal feel of organized religion. For example, the musicians take off their shoes before they play, everyone sits on the floor together, and shares food. It seems that those actions level the playing field between audience and performer, devotee and sit in, old and young, etc. Other factors that attract people to Kirtan are their love of the environment and preservation of ancient practices.

In the days when going to church has become “the thing to do” and if you don’t then you’re damned, people miss out on a real and physical connection with their spirit. From what I’ve seen many people just go to church to maintain their reputation, or they go but don’t practice what is preached. Churches have become kind of like fast food chains, in that they cater to the masses instead of the individual. The strength of major world religions seems to lie solely in the number of followers as opposed to the devotional strength of said followers. To see devoted followers, head over to a Kirtan event. Before going to the event I had no clue why it was growing, but now I understand that the personalized feel and unique musical styles is driving it to become a more prevalent part of our society (and most likely, many others).

Methodology: Being in such a laid back atmosphere, I thought it most appropriate to just jot down a few notes here and there, and casually start conversations. I began by asking Sakshi what Kirtan means to him. I used the genealogical method in a very loose sense so that I could get a grasp on which he learned from, since he was not born into the community. He actually mentioned that he thought it was a bit funny that here are four Caucasian men observing an Indian tradition, and really using it as a way of life. They have at times been misunderstood, but they simply just want to respect and enjoy the aspects of another culture.

I only observed during the event so as to remain neutral to my experience. We also met at Laughing Planet one day so that he could clarify the words of the songs for me. After talking to an insider, I thought I would interview someone who had no previous knowledge of Kirtan. I talked to Samy Estrada, who gave me her brief thoughts on the atmosphere and preaching of Kirtan. Since she was unable to actually attend the event with me, I asked her to watch one of Baraka Kirtan’s online performances. Since she is also a dancer I asked her to describe the music. She said, “the instrumentation was really unique, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought that it might be kind of lame because it was just acoustic instruments; but toward the end when they picked up the tempo it really got funky! They have a really cool message too” (Estrada)!

The rest of my research was done on www.BarakaVision.com, the band’s official website. I used this page to access the band member’s bios, mission statement, and preferred instruments. I also read a few articles on www.jstor.org so that I could read about Kirtan from an Ethnomusicologist’s and Ethnographer’s point of view. These pages gave me insight into more of the cultural implications and history than I could have gained in personal interviews. I couldn’t find much information about Agnihotra so I used www.google.com which led me to a brief review on ecovillage.wordpress.com about the book “How to Save the World”, by Peter Proctor, a biodynamic farmer.

Data Analysis: First, I needed to satisfy my curiosity about how Sakshi even got involved with the Hare Krishna movement. He said, “I was attracted to it years ago due to its instrumentation; especially the sound of the harmonium (which looks like a Dr. Seuss instrument), the message, and the ancient prayers which made me feel in tune with my ancestors” (Sakshi). I accessed his biography on his webpage for more insight on his background. “he lived and studied with many Elders and Mystics (including Ras Pidow, Dr. James E Mumford, Srila Turiya Das Mahasaya and more). Lived and studied at several Ashrams, Temples, and Binghi Camps across North America, Jamaica, Hawaii, and India. In the summers of 2002 and 2003 he traveled across N. America with a traveling cultural festival called “The Festival of India” in which he was a main contributor of set-up and break-down, cultural plays, food distribution, chariot-parading, and sacred chanting. He has been in several musical projects, including: Baraka Kirtan, Santos and the Saints, The Nyahbinghi Livity Choir, Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble, Kuru Dynasty, La Onda, Roots Groundation Family, Parrhesia and more” (BarakaVision.com). I thought that his eclectic musical diversity alone spoke to his openness to new cultures and creativity. If we use Sakshi as an example of the average practitioner of Kirtan, we can see how interesting and appealing the community is. As a side note, he also told me that he does not adhere to any organized religion. But he also does not judge or discriminate anyone based on his or her personal religious choices. His opinion is that people have their own path to embark on to find spiritual peace.

What Sakshi and the Kirtan movement do not do is tell people that they need to submit to their code or way of life. Their message is one of understanding and compassion. In Kirtan, God appears in many forms and usually his/her appearance is different to each person, because God can have an infinite amount of forms. In Kirtan, God can manifest as any deity such as, Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Ganesha, Kali, and many more. These deities share similarities with, and are usually connected to Catholic Saints. To communicate with the deities, they use music, which can be in any genre, just like God can appear in any shape. The musical style creates an openness, connectedness, and receptiveness, among each person’s spirit as they sit in the circle. Just like the participants, each song as a different flavor and mood. To connect with the gods they try to achieve spiritual awakening. Though the Kirtan spiritual awakening may be called different things, spirit of devotion, divine connection, right brained experience, or spiritual openness, these things seem to be held as a common intention to the band members.

Another common intention among the band members is to maintain old practices, like call and response. Samy’s reaction to the call and response aspect of the event was that it was reminiscent of tribal chanting (the band’s desired affect). She also thought the music was calming and soft, until the tempo picked up and it got intense. But this particular event that she saw was calmer than others because it did not use any electric instruments, which are more stimulating to the listener than acoustic ones. She also noticed that each person seemed to be in their own world, yet at the same time connected to everyone in the room. It was almost like Sakshi’s calls put everyone in to a trance, and they could only come out of it by singing the response.

I found that their website was extremely useful for bios and band info. I chose to focus primarily on Sakshi because he is my closest friend out of all the band members. But I did make sure to look at everyone else’s bio and they proved to each have completely different yet extraordinarily interesting backgrounds. It’s compelling to see that people from such different roads can all meet in the middle and work toward a common goal of harmony. Some of the ways that the band members spread peace when they’re not performing is Story Time Yoga, a group started by Sakshi, which incorporates yoga into fairy tales. Ras D likes to change the environment by teaching sustainable farming to Bloomington’s Community. With Kirtan the sky is the limit on creatively spreading the word of peace, harmony, and love.

Conclusion: Unlike other world religions Kirtan offers more than just a guide for living which can be summed up by the golden rule. The Hare Krishna movement brings entire communities of varied people together to function as one spritual entity. Kirtan allows each person to find their own path and use Kirtan as a means to help them spread love and harmony in whatever way they choose. For example, Sakshi’s yoga, and Ras D’s farming; they are each doing what they love to do, while weaving in Kirtan to spread a message.

The beauty of Kirtan is that while it is a deeply personal experience it is also very communal. The participation of the person sitting next to you, chanting, and playing music will directly affect your experience, and vice versa. The “primitiveness” of it makes the participants feel as though they have just relived something that their ancestors probably did long ago. As the tempo speeds up, so does the heart beato f all those involved. The music literally seems to pull your body toward the instruments. Everyone in the room seems to into a spiritual trance, as they slowly forget all the hardships in life outside the Kirtan room. When I was there, I wasn’t even participating but I found that instead of thinking about my bills, homework, exams, or life drama, I was just focused on the rhythm of the drums pulsating through my body. It was as if my brain turned off, and I didn’t have a choice, it was time to meditate.

Kirtan offers an authentic feeling of togethness that people usually do not get from day to day living. After the event eveyone kind of looks around smiling, like “now what?”. In such a short time they ate, smoked, chanted, blessed, meditated, and laughed together. I can truly say that I understand now why Kirtan is becoming so popular. It is a message that can virtually be played with any instruments, in and setting, and any time. Most importantly I found out that it can be played by anyone of any color or creed, etc…as long as they embody the message of love.

Since Kirtan is so musically amorphous it appeals to a broad audience of musical tastes and can easily become a tool for social change. “[It] is an especially effective meduim for the propegation of nationalist ideas because of its devotionalized context and Kirtan music’s potential for group participation, experiences of emboiment, and multiple interpretive possibilites” (Shultz 307).

After doing this Project I think that I have learned that Kirtan has the potential to create strong and loving leaders, who don’t adhere to social convictions of discrimination. In Kirtan you can come from any background because the importance rests in the spiritual world instead of the physical. Hopefully the Hare Kirshna movement will continue to spread, and add much needed harmony to the crazy world we’re all living in.

Works Cited :

Hindu Nationalism, Music, and Embodiment in Marathi Rāshṭrīya Kīrtan

Anna Schultz

Ethnomusicology

Vol. 46, No. 2 (Spring – Summer, 2002), pp. 307-322

Published by: University of Illinois Press on behalf of Society for Ethnomusicology

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/852784

Moi. “Cow Dung and It’s Many Wonderful Properties « EARTHKEEPIN.” EARTHKEEPIN. 27 Sept. 2007. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://ecovillagelife.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/cow-dung-and-its-many-wonderful-properties/>.

The Agnihotra (Or Fire-God Oblation) in the Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa: The First Prapāṭhaka of the Second Kāṇḍa of the Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa with Translation

Paul-Emile Dumont

Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society

Vol. 108, No. 4 (Aug. 27, 1964), pp. 337-353

Published by: American Philosophical Society

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/985912

Popular Kīrtan in Benares: Some ‘Great’ Aspects of a Little Tradition

Stephen M. Slawek

Ethnomusicology

Vol. 32, No. 2 (Spring – Summer, 1988), pp. 77-92

Published by: University of Illinois Press on behalf of Society for Ethnomusicology

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/852037

Wind, Arun B., Sakshi G. Das, Ras D. Hanubaba, and Zen G. “Divine Music”. Baraka Kirtan – Divine Music. DigitalNature, 1 Jan. 2010. Web. 04 Nov. 2010.

Baraka : From the Experiential to the Analytical

Baraka : From the Experiential to the Analytical

by Aaron Pollitt, (IU Folk 450) 4/23/10

It has often been the case that an ethnographer with the intention of developing their analytical and academic understanding will enter and immerse themselves within a culture, in order to gain an experience of it from the inside. In my case this is rather the opposite. I am a member of the band Baraka, and for the past year or so I have been the flamboyant, joyous, flute player and member of this band. I have immersed myself in a melting pot of ecstatic chanting, cultural co-creation, divine connections, and holistic exploration. I have traveled with this group to many interesting places, made many amazing friends, and felt an awesome sense of spiritual development within myself. This has been a profound and wonderful experience in my life, and my desire to enhance my abilities and participation within it has steadily been growing. In the creation of this document, I have set myself to the task of gaining a deeper understanding of this experience of Baraka. I am stepping out of the role of band member and friend, and taking on the role of the researcher and ethnographer. I am looking back at this band with my analytical mind, from a prospective that I had up until now, largely left alone. Through interviews with the band members and its affiliates, and comparisons to other studies of spiritual music and culture, I attempt to develop an understanding of what Baraka is, what effect the music has on its listeners and members, how Baraka fits in to the greater American culture, what Baraka and its members hold as their intention, and why they are using the methods they are. After answering these questions, I hope to step back into the role of band member with a greater ability to both experience this musical cultural process and participate in this co-creation.

The official members of Baraka consist of 4 young white males, native to Indiana. The members have all come from a relatively mainstream American upbringing, which is a stark contrast to the identity and style which they are now embodying. The band comes together to form a kind of spiritual and cultural anomaly, or phenomena within a greater culture. It acts as a bridge between mainstream America and an ancient Vedic tradition reaching back some 3000 years ago in India. “Yes, were all white and American, but we look for our identity outside of our culture. We are privileged, so we have the opportunity to do this. We happen to be white, but we are trying to represent different cultures.” (Ras-D, interview). The band Baraka is a bit hard to classify, as it is rather dynamic in its identity. The main musical style of the band is known as Kirtan. Kirtan is a form of devotional communal chanting sung in Sanskrit to the Hindu gods and goddesses. Along with this however, the band also plays Reggae, Nyabinghi chants, Hip Hop, Rock, New Age spiritual folk songs, improvisational instrumentals, and many fusions of these different styles. With all these different possibilities for style one may think that the band would be very scattered, but interestingly the underlying feeling and direction of their performance seems to be relatively the same. “Baraka is a hard working band that is unified in its intent of artistic effort towards a spiritual end.” (Bamboo Steve, Interview). The performance of this band is held as highly valuable and important to the band members. The development of this performance is given great attention during practices and shows for a few reasons. Certainly it seems to be the selling point of the band, the reason that they are seen as valuable to potential listeners and venues, but the band also takes a great deal of pride in their ability to create a very attractive performance. “This is largely about co-creation of a story, immersing people in another world that they aren’t used to or aware of, it’s the mythic and the mystic, it’s the the foreign, the colorful and the ancient” (Sakshi Interview). This development and structuring of the performance is very specific. It’s not everything all at once but rather carefully selected stories and styles used to create an atmosphere that is most attractive, and immersive to those listening. “It’s like getting into these epic stories of where things all came from. Taking ourselves back to a very simple time. These songs are so simple and often we don’t even understand most of the lyrics. It brings us into a Turning off of our analytical minds.“ (Zen –G, interview). “This is very primordial, many of these elements have been with humanity forever, communal chanting, deities, sacramentals, and ritual are part of our human story, but it’s very new and fresh, to our American culture” (Sakshi, interview). The band gives focus to connecting to that which is part of human history, trying to recreate a feeling of the lifestyle from long ago. This seems to connect with people on what might be considered an instinctual or intrinsic level, building off the universal similarities in primitive human cultures, and in doing so creating a very natural and welcoming feeling to the performance. In a normal performance the band often takes their shoes off and sits on the ground facing one another. The simple act of sitting on the ground in a circle is an example of this universal primitive human behavior. Most all ancient human groups have sat communally in circles on the earth. Creating this a part of the structure of the performance adds to the intended ancient mystic atmosphere, and brings the listeners directly into that experience so they are more than just listeners, they are participants. The instruments themselves are largely all authentic and traditional in style. They act as center pieces to the performance creating what appears to be an alter on the ground in front of the performers, often decorated by the band members with small figures, gems, feathers, and colorful cloth. The instruments, draw a lot of attention, and are marveled at by the participants. “These is a community of humans that exists across time, These instruments have been worked on over generations for thousands of years, and have been handed down through time and culture to us, they carry in them all this artistry and care and intent” (Bamboo Steve, Interview). Because of this the instruments are seen as having something of a mystical power within themselves much like the instruments described by Sue Carole DeVale in her writing, Power and Meaning in Musical Instruments.

Once the stage is set and the instruments are in place the stories and songs can be brought in to the performance “in the energy of the great figures, be it Yahshua, Krishna, Jah, Buddha, Ganesha, or Bob Marley. These are characters and deities are symbols.” (Sakshi-I interview). These are all highly praised mythic characters, that the band is singing to and telling stories of. They are surrounded in symbology and ritual, some of them are deeply meaningful to of the participants on a very spiritual level, as they may likely have had or a profound connection with such a figure in the past, or at least know of someone who has. The characters most commonly brought up by the band are the Hindu deities. This atmosphere of mystery, story, symbolism and ritual, develops a very spiritually conducive mindset in the listeners. “Baraka makes the Kirtan so delicious that people really do stop. And intentionally or unintentionally become more receptive spiritual entities because of it.” (Bamboo steve, interview). The music has a certain quality about it that causes the listeners to go into a kind of trance, to allow their analytical mind to turn off and for them in that moment to sink into the experience and co creative flow of the music. This seems to be where the greatest power for the band is held, and perhaps their greatest intention. “The Sanskrit term rasa… rasa is a religious sense, a feeling of unity with the world beyond oneself, a transcendental experience induced by an artistic event. From the invoking of indigenous.” (Judith Becker, Tantrism, Rasa, and Javanese Gamelan Music) this Sanskrit concept of rasa seems to have carried over through this musical form and still holds true in this new context of modern day America. This trance like, unified, transcendental state seems to be a common side effect of the Baraka performance. “It’s about the spirit of devotion, unity, the love of story, the love of diversity,” (Sakshi, interview). “The divine connection transcending religious boundaries, coming together as one spirit in celebration, with common intention of co-creation through sound. “ (Ras-D, interview). “The underlying mission of our music is to get us into a Right brained experience, losing ourselves in the joy of creation” (Zen-G, interview). “We play to get ourselves and our listeners into a more spiritually open, receptive, connected state of being.” (Arun Baba, interview). Though it may be called different things, spirit of devotion, divine connection, right brained experience, or spiritual openness, these things seem to be held as a common intention to the band members, and understood that they are using music as vehicle to bring them and the participants into this state of being. “Each song has a different flavor, a different mood. The musical style creates this openness, connection, receptiveness, but the content is what is being opened up to, connected with and received. For example we chant a song to this elephant deity Ganesha, this figure represents beginning, good luck and overcoming obstacles, That is the kind of energy that we open up to and really are able to take in. Kind of like summoning the power of this deity to aide us.” (Arun Baba, interview) The band sees these different deities as symbols of different energies, and chanting their song will bring them that type of energy. There seems to be 2 ways that this is seen. One side sees this as an inwardly psychological change brought on by the action of focusing on a type of energy. The other side sees this as a more outwardly calling of energy, that through focusing on a symbol the associated energy will blessed to them from without. Though these 2 different viewpoints on chanting seem to exist within the band and its following, outcome seems to be entirely the same. Both seem to see the creation of this music as forming a personal relationship with the divine, weather the divine exist within them or without them seems unimportant. “Like trying to join the divine in heavenly song, in a mystical sense, trying create a personal relationship with the divine“ (Bamboo Steve interview). This concept of personal relationship and moving towards union with god seems to be a common on, and is very similar to many Sufi practices as described in the writings of Regula Burckhardt Qureshi, in the article, Sufi music of India and Pakistan.

The experience of Baraka seems to be received with such appreciation and relief by so many of its listeners and participants, as though the experience is greatly healing to them. “There is a need for this in our culture, the simplicity and spiritual drone of this music is something which is obviously missing. Our culture is such like a drive up window culture now now now. There is a profound loss of connection in it.” (Bamboo Steve, Interview). The type of mindset that this music brings about seems to be one that is highly uncommon in the society in which this band exists. The exercise of playing this music is such a contrast to the normal American life that those who practice it seem to do it as a way of healing and balancing themselves. “It’s a daily challenge to get into that. We come from a very the left brained society. How do I bring out my heart, my soul, my spirit, this whole other side of me? I think that’s part of our venture as a band; to strike balance between the analytical and the experiential.” (Zen-G, interview). “Even what we are doing right now (in this interview) is intellectualizing about this, and at a certain point you just have to shut all that off and just experience something. That raw experience is totally different from the concept and its way more fulfilling.” (Zen-G, interview). Some of the band members and followers see the society that they live in as being very spiritually immature, as though it has actually been trying to get rid of spirituality within it’s citizens. “this band is my spiritual outlet, to help me with my emotions, with maintaining my peaceful life, as a way for me to release pent up energy, as a way of healing. (Ras –D, interview). Many see this as something that is actually very rare and difficult to find in this society, so the band members are taking it upon themselves to create it. Though this style of music is relatively unique the intention seems to be very much connected to a broader movement. One of spiritual connection, community, and celebration of diversity, “It’s part of the spiritual consciousness movement, we are trying to embody, and set an example of a healthy, holistic, conscious lifestyle.” (Sakshi, interview) different manifestations of this commonly held intention seem to be popping up everywhere and secretly this is one of the fastest growing social movements there is.” (Arun Baba, interview)

Though the band’s intention seems to be pretty clearly that of creating right brained spiritual experience and connection, they seem to have another very important intention in their music. Through observation and much questioning of the members it seems clear that one of the most foundational concepts that this band bases itself on is the celebration of diversity, and love of culture. It seems that a mission of this group is to aid in breaking down the social boundaries and walls. “Baraka is trying to bridge 2 cultures with art. White American young people backgrounds and playing devotional chant form India. The way it’s played is a fusion, not the music itself, but the place they are playing it. It’s like a translation, Translating Kirtan into American, and making the underlying message accessible to American people.” (Bamboo Steve, Interview) The band sees itself as a cultural bridge, as carrying across valuable cultural experiences and presenting them to the people of this culture, in a way that can be easily understood and accepted. “I love to be able to opens people minds, this is a very mind opening band, open to how other people do things. Cross cultural collision; this is a big part of our country. We represent the essence of this collision, we as a band embrace many cultural elements, and are hoping to embrace more.” (Zen-G, interview) “We want to connect with other cultures and learn from them and share with them, we go in humbleness, We see so much beauty in diversity in other cultures, and we’ll share what we have, but we want to represent these wonderful and powerful stories and styles in an honorable way.” (Sakshi interview). Baraka has a commonly held view point that they are embodying a cultural openness, that diversity is beautiful and ought to be celebrated. Though at first glance Baraka may seem to have the identity of a purely Hindu group, they see themselves as being centered in the celebration of diversity, rather than the celebration of one culture. They believe that it is one of their greatest missions to aid the world in opening its heart and mind to the beauty of diversity, not to hide from it, or try to destroy it, but to celebrate it.

“We are about the essence of life within all religions. The spirit that inspires man to create a religion, people get caught up in the secular and dogmatic, but this is transcendental. We may have leanings towards one or another on a personal level, but this is about the mystical energy, whatever it is. Reggae and Kirtan are our means and they work great, they are beautiful forms of music, but it could be any style and I bet that it will be.” (Sakshi interview) “This is a universal thing, of coming together as community and howling at the moon, just coming together and chanting, is like a universal language. It’s not about which story is true; we accept all these different stories, it’s about the experience of sharing these stories through music.” (Zen- G, interview). This concept that no one story is the true story, that the act of experiencing the stories is what is really important, is at the heart of this band and the movement that they see themselves as being part of. These young men have found the vehicle of music to be the best way for them to spread this message, as it is so present, so mold-able and expressive, it can spread their message of celebration of diversity far and wide while at the same time actually manifesting it in what they are doing.

After a my time of immersion in this experience, and having a vague and dreamy concept of what we are doing as this band, it has been refreshing to take a different prospective on it. I myself I feel much more balanced now in my relationship to Baraka, having fulfilled both my right brains need to experience, and now my left brains need to develop an analytical understanding. I think that I can safely say that I have come to a much more clear understanding. Baraka’s intentions seem clear to me now, spiritual connection, and celebration of diversity through music. We use Kirtan and Reggae as our means because that is what we have come to know, and they seem to do the job very well. We are filling a profound and important niche with our culture and within ourselves. I’m sure there is far more for me to learn and reflect on regarding what this band is and my experience of it. Now with the clarity that I have found I hope to return to this multi-cultural musical conversation, with more strength I had before, and I hope that I can embody my own identity with more certainty as I aid the group in this co-creative process.

Resources :

Harvard University, Center for the Study of world Religions, (Enchanting Powers): Judith Becker, (Tantrism, Rasa, and Javanese Gamelan Music)

Marina Roseman, (Healing Sounds From The Malaysnian Rainforest (Temiar Music and Medicine))

Regula Burckhardt Qureshi, (Sufi music of India and Pakistan)

Sue Carole DeVale, (Power and Meaning in Musical Instruments) 95

Aaron Pollitt Field study, Interview with Steve Pollitt(Bamboo Steve), founder of Hymnosophy, 4/18/10

Aaron Pollitt Field Study, Interview with Baraka member, Sakshi Gopal Das 4/20/10

Aaron Pollitt Field Study, Interview with Baraka Member, Gabriel Lantz (Zen-G) 4/21/10

Aaron Pollitt Field Study, Interview with Baraka Member, Danny Atlas (Ras-D) 4/21/10

Aaron Pollitt Field Study, interview with Baraka Member, (Arun Baba) 4/20/10

Living Well – Wellness Goal Reflection

Living Well – Goal Reflection

S. pecific

M. easurable

A. ttainable

R. ealistic

T. imely

My wellness goal has always been at the core of my intentions. I began this class with what I would consider a pretty well-informed and experienced understanding of wellness. That being said, I gained so much from this class because it expanded what I knew of wellness and touched on areas of wellness which I was neglecting to consider or implement, and it also forced me into activities and learning processes which showed me some major weaknesses I had in my personal wellness which needs more attention. This assignment and others helped also by pushing me to construct a practical goal to attain for optimal wellness.

The pedometer project showed me how much I’m active and walking daily. It gave me a way to make a good estimate of how much I’m walking daily without the use of a pedometer too.

At first I was only walking about 5,000 steps per day without pushing myself. Using the pedometer and pushing myself to walk more, I reached an average of about 8,000 steps per day. My goal was 10,000 steps per day and I had to really try to walk extra each day to reach that goal. I enjoyed it but it was definitely an extra 15-30 minutes every day of walking and moving around. I appreciate the difference it made me feel, both physically and mentally.

Ultimately the S.M.A.R.T. Goal assignment gave me an idea of how I would like to implement and maintain a certain way of life scheduled with a regular routine of activities which build and maintain optimal health and wellness.

My goal to reach and maintain is to:

*work out at the gym 2-3 times a week

*a bit of yoga, push-ups, walks and exercise each day

*1 yoga class weekly or biweekly

*Capoeira Angola (martial art/dance) 1-2 a week or biweekly

*1-2 Dance classes or Dance games/videos a week or biweekly

*massage therapy weekly or biweekly

*good food daily (vegetarian/vegan diet)

*good sleep daily

*Study and Reading daily

*Meditation and Prayer daily

*family time

*social outings

*writing, playing, recording music weekly

Now this seems like a lot. But all of them are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, & timely. The idea is that I intend to create a sort of weekly & monthly schedule where I incorporate the type of classes I want to take regularly which contributes to my wellness such as yoga classes, Capoeria classes, work out at the gym, massage therapy, dance classes, playing music with friends and social outings. And the second half of the goal is the maintain a certain active lifestyle daily at home or wherever I choose to be with such activities as yoga, walks, exercise, stretching, good sleep, eating well, family time, meditation and prayer, my music, study and reading.

The challenge is to maintain a schedule which will combine and balance all these activities and not overwhelm myself in conflict with the daily activities or life in general. Really, the goal is to set up life in a more active way, in a sense aligning social activities around active and wellness activities and shared experiences. I believe that the greatest challenge is just allowing the lazy feeling to get out of hand, because while we all need to be lazy and lounge around and relax sometimes, it’s most beneficial when we have been active and accomplishing things in life when that lounging, relaxing and contemplation really is appreciated most.

Having a regular wellness routine will be beneficial for me, I know that I could not fit all of the activities in weekly in my life, but it is a list of my tried and true activities and ways of living which I know I’d like to fill my life with. So as I approach my days ahead in monthly preparation I will try to pull from these attractions to fill and schedule my days. Thus, in the near future I will hopefully have established a routine of activities and wellness-related social outings as well.