Welcome 2008. May this be the year that peace guides the planet. My life has always been a bit weird and wonky, but I have to say that the past five years have been particularly interesting. During one especially trying time when I was just trying to survive the next hour I happened upon a Music CD that helped me to do that. The CD is Jai Uttal's Loveland. Jai's format for this cd is Kirtan. Kirtan is Hindu call and response chanting. I was introduced to this form of Bakti a few years back. I find it to be an intense form of chanting. Practicing Kirtan has brought my heart to a place of devotion and has supported and enhanced my other meditation practices. For Kirtan in the Pioneer Valley I recommend Dave Russell who offers loving Kirtan every Sunday at Yoga Sanctuary in Northampton Massachusetts. The Kirtan starts at 7:30.
Every year for the past 10 or so I pick a theme to guide my actions throughout the year. For 2007 this was Gratitude. I posted notes around my house and on my date book that said - GRATITUDE - remember to say Thank You. I have found that doing this really gets the idea across, and eventually the behaviour becomes a habit. This habit then becomes a trait. And so the alchemy of my personality gets transformed. For 2008 I have decided to place PEACE as my theme. I will mediate on peace, ask how my actions promote the idea of Peace, and walk the path of peace.
The following poem is from the Loveland CD and I am honored to share it with you.
Peace to the inner and outer environments
Peace to the five elements within and without
Peace to this body
Peace to this mind
Peace to this huge ocean of emotion and feelings
By the power of the truth
And for the happiness of all beings
May we have a culture of Peace
A society of Peace
A world of Peace
Where we can have days of Peace
Nights of Peace
Sleep with Peace
Dreams of Peace
By the power of the truth and for the healing of all beings
May we have Peace in all moments and in everything.
Jai Uttal - Loveland