by Tara Casagrande
Back in Nosara Costa Rica, during our yoga teacher training, Friday nights were reserved for Satsung and Kirtan. We all really looked forward to these evenings. Don Stapleton, our teacher, would lead us through chants with a beautiful, glowing smile on his face. We would be swept away. The energy in the room was magical. Very soon my body began to sway, my eyes closed and I chanted with all my whole heart and voice. It was primal. My soul loved it. We were joined as one.
Satsung is a sanskrit word that means “gathering for the truth, " or more simply," being with the truth." Whenever something increases your experience of being with the truth, it opens your heart and quiets your mind.
Kirtan is known as ecstatic chant and originated in India 500 years ago. In Hinduism, Kirtan tells the stories of the deities. It is devotional music.
Fast forward eight years, we found out that two of our Ease teachers, Bernie and Miriam, owned harmoniums (pump organs) and love to chant. With some gentle persuasion, we encouraged them to share their gift of music with the Ease community. The first Satsang night was glorious as we all joined voices in chant and learned some of the stories of the The Bhavagad Gita, Hindu scripture.
Here’s some of what Bernie, Miriam and Joey say about their experience of Satsang:
Joey Adams, energy healer: "chanting and Sanskrit has the ability to help you find your voice. Once you find your voice, you can unlock your full power and learn new parts of yourself."
Miriam: "chanting grounds me. I chant all the time, like when I'm driving or walking or cooking or washing dishes, I'll find myself singing or humming a chant i heard on the radio or that i learned at a kirtan. My radio has basically three stations - one is kirtan radio on Sirius XM."
Bernie: "I chant Sanskrit mantras and feel a profound sense of belonging, divine connection, and universal love. I am then reminded of why I chose this path of devotion "