When: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Time: 9:15 to 10:15 am PST
So you’ve discovered chanting and are enjoying it. Perhaps you’ve even practiced a mantra or two. But do you really know whom you’re chanting to? Do you know your Gayatri from your Ganesha, or do Krishna and Vishnu still sound like Greek to you? If you’ve ever wondered what energies are invoked with mantra repetition or if you’re the least bit unsure about the proper way to do mantra practice, this workshop is for you!
In this workshop we will unravel the mystery of Sanskrit mantra. You’ll learn some of the benefits of the simple, ancient practice of chanting to the divine, you’ll get clear on various methods of practicing these mystical phrases, and you’ll explore the archetypal energies represented by some of the major Hindu deities.
First we’ll take a look at the “Hindu Who’s Who” of Sanskrit mantra and see how the Hindu trinity relates to the Christian trinity. Then we’ll expand our view to take in a few of the most important members of the pantheon. You might say that we’ll be meeting the Hindu “Divine royal family.”
Each family member possesses specific traits or characteristics. Deepak Chopra calls them archetypes. Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Archarya) talks about the deities as anthropomorphized qualities that we can incorporate into ourselves through mantra chanting. As you become familiar with the major players in the Hindu tradition, you can customize your practice by choosing specific mantras that will invoke the qualities possessed by these individual deities.
We’ll explore more closely three major players that can be very helpful to us in our daily lives. The first is Ganesha, the powerful warrior son of Shiva, whom we’ll ask to clear away all the obstacles for us for 2012. After that we’ll invoke Lakshmi to bestow prosperity upon us in every area of our lives. Finally we’ll address Krishna, practicing one of his most powerful mantras, Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. This particular mantra brings abundance just as Lakshmi does, but it is primarily about gaining an experience of the Divine being you are.
Through the repetition of each of these three mantras, you’ll have an opportunity to taste what the different archetypes or energies feel like in your body. By the end of the session you’ll know how to practice mantra and you’ll have a clearer idea about how to choose a mantra that can enhance your life by bringing in specific qualities you desire.