Reflections from Denver Chant Fest – the FLOW
This is Saraswati – she is (in this photo) a murti or an embodiment of this particular expression of God. I like her picture with this flowing background as she was once a river herself. Her sitar-swan, Hamsa represents non-attachment, as she swims though both joy and difficulty, shaking off anything sticking like water off a *swan’s* back. She is wisdom, creativity, dreaming and practicality; with one foot on the ground as if to say “don’t quit your day job” and the other lifted in the practice of transcendence or -sadhana . One of the many gifts of this weekend Denver Chant Fest. (Anyone who knows me can understand how I fell in love with Saraswati – I tend to “dig-in” to my life sometimes like I am digging so many ditches. Oh, to flow like a river)The events took place in the TARDIS-like Sherman Street Event Center – an unassuming brick building on the outside, it reveals its inner-self as gorgeous and startlingly expansive. Yoga classes took place is a beautiful ballroom. Janet Stone’s classes reminded me of what FLOWING with the body really feels like – I had forgotten after about a year of doing yoga asanas if they were chores. BUT with live music from DJ Drez even chores probably wouldn’t feel like chores.
I chanted with Dave Stringer, C.C. White, Jai Uttal and Saul David Raye. One of my favorite moments was singing Jaya Durge with Dave Stringer and a few hundred other yogis. Contemplating, and thanking God for all that is temporary and the mystery of what is permanent with a few hundred Denver Community yogis was powerful indeed. That chant can be found on his new album Ojas which comes out this Tuesday. C.C. White shared her soul with us as well – she bared her own need for love and energy since the very recent death of her father, asking the crowd of singing yogis for their uplifting voices. Jai Uttal’s honesty (why does he sing, why does he chant, he asked himself; because he is begging God for just the smallest taste of devotion) touched my deep loneliness with a feeling of companionship in the seeming separation from all and One.
Manoj and Jyotir shared their knowledge about the many deities they carried in murti form. Manoj shared his story about finding his name and fate within the Akashic records – even the cause and date of his death. I learned Ganesh has a broken tusk because he used it as a writing instrument to record the Mahabharata! Thus, Ganesha would make a good friend to writers.
I put down about 64 oz of Happy Leaf Kombucha which kept me hoppin and hydrated through all the dancing, singing, laughing, crying and wonderment! I received a free Vedic astrological reading which promised great love in my future, and a flame of recognition to descend upon me. I was born on a Thursday, which apparently means I was born to teach. Also, I received advice to talk and express myself – a lot. Saraswati is an embodiment of this free-flowing expression.
The weekend was capped off with David Saul Raye. Jai Uttal had already told the story of how Radha brought Lord Krishna off his lordly throne of high lordiness to bring him manifest into our earthy realm, and suggested that she, Radha, was Lord Krishna’s guru. David Saul Raye sang about the two and urged us to remember and sing to our beloved – the ones who share the difficulties of the everyday mundane with us. God love us all.
I brought the gleaming Saraswati home to my beloved with joy and some trepidation. May my sadhana support not only me, but those around me. Om Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu