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Kirtan
In a world filled with messages about how we’re separate from each other and the divine, chanting mantras can provide an antidote. Chanting mantras is like tapping into an older, deeper, greater being… accessing a space, a presence, a feeling. It connects us with our essence, as unconditioned Love; returns us to our true nature as satcitananda - pure being, pure awareness, pure joy. What is Kirtan? Kirtan is non-denominational, the Universal language of Spirit, the song of the Soul. Originating over 500 years ago in India, kirtan [Sanskrit] means “to praise that which is exalted” (the divine), or “to cut through” (the idea of separation)… connecting us to our hearts and to the moment through sound. Consider the chanting to be a journey, not a performance - a journey into the self; a simple and powerful form of meditation. It is effortless & joyful: the music empties the mind and you just flow with the melody & rhythm. No-one cares what you sound like. All voices merge together to become One Voice. Each chant revolves around a particular mantra - a sacred sound formula that has a specific focus and energy. Man is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind and tra is the root of the word instrument. So mantra is an instrument to train (or to “guide and protect”) the mind - bringing greater presence and awareness to the moment, guiding our attention away from excessive, habituated thoughts, bringing us to a place of quietness and stillness, and helping us fall in love with NOW. Chanting as a group brings people together as a community in a way that no other form of yoga does. It’s common to feel very close to the people you’re chanting with, even if you’ve never met them before. The repetition of mantras empties the mind by giving a singular focus, and raises vibration using sound… opening the heart and liberating the soul, allowing thoughts not to grip you so deeply and emotions not to wipe you out so completely. Musical instruments, vocals and rhythmic drumming inspire participation through chanting, clapping and dancing along. What’s Involved? We start by chanting AUM together. AUM is the sound of creation, the complete embrace of and engagement with life on both the Absolute (infinite) and Relative (finite) levels. Let the sound resonate from the inside out and the outside in. Then we enjoy a series of mantras together (for which the Sanskrit lyrics are displayed), and if you feel to play an instrument you are welcome to bring your own or use one available. The experience of kirtan generally progresses through three stages of consciousness: 1. In the beginning, as you sing a mantra, you probably hear your own voice amidst a sea of voices around you. 2. As you relax into the chant, you may notice your voice in harmony with everyone else’s. 3. Your perspective shifts, and it sounds as if there’s a single voice singing. There is no distinction between your voice or anyone else’s; there may be 50 people in the room, but only one collective voice. At this stage, the sense of “me” can literally dissolve and there is nothing but the river of life. Some people experience this as a feeling of joy and ecstasy, while others describe it as a sense of boundlessness or timelessness… an untethered, unselfconscious space. A sense that no matter what’s going on in your life, at a very fundamental level, everything is going to be alright. And finally, we finish kirtan in silence. Please no conversing until outside the venue. Everyone is in a blissful meditative state and many will wish to stay in this space and carry it home with them. If you wish to catch up socially, arriving 15mins early is encouraged for a chat beforehand instead. What to bring Simply bring yourself and your voice, and any instrument you may wish to play (don’t worry if you don’t have anything, there are instruments available!)… and join in, even if you can’t sing! It’s not about singing ability, it’s about repeating the mantras until the mind is emptied and the spirit is liberated! Whether you feel to sing along, hum, dance, clap, play an instrument, or simply close your eyes and absorb the energy in silence, please join us in liberating the soul through sound, and changing the vibration of ourselves, others and the world around us. “Chant out loud, with your voice wide open. Chant quietly, almost like you can redirect the sound to your own heart and let it flow from there. Chant silently, internally, so quietly that your attention can only remain with the mantra. Practice when you don’t want to, when your voice feels shaky or stuck, when your heart is aching, when the words won’t come, through fear and love and anger and joy.” Janet Stone. To your awakening, Lilaeia.

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Many have taught nonduality throughout history... Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, Papaji, Osho, Adyashanti, Nirmala, Gangaji, Eckhart Tolle, Sailor Bob Adamson and Mooji just to name a few. Advaita, Buddhism, Zen... many traditions and religions are based upon the core reality of the universe as one, unified Being. Everything is of the same essence: sat-cit-ananda... Being-Consciousness-Bliss. We are Life itself; infinite grace (the spontaneous unfolding of life, moment-by-moment)... not who we think we are (the ego, or sense of a separate self - mind, body, emotions - which is a thought construct). Struggle and suffering are products of the mind. Awaken from ego (the "I" concept, created in the mind), and all struggle and suffering disappear. What's left is what has always been here, despite all our searching outside of ourselves for them: peace, happiness (ananda: bliss), and love. Unconditional love, not the kind of love that ego knows. Pure, infinite compassion. When you embark on a journey to really know the True Self, the mind throws all sorts of questions in the way. This is he ego's way of holding on; self-preservation. Sitting silently with What Is (natural noticing, I like to call it) allows the mind to thin, which is where ego resides, and lays the groundwork for awakening to occur. Holding the question, "Who Am I?" until the mind stops trying to answer the question and the empty-handedness that results is a comfortable place to be is the self-enquiry approach that Ramana Maharshi favoured. Aikya Project was founded to serve the awakening of all beings. A not-for-profit organisation, everything is offered by donation and all proceeds go towards spreading the teachings. Aikya [one alone; unity] is focused on the experiential realisation of oneness, rather than conceptual understanding of it. Available through Aikya: * Weekly satsangs: group gatherings to explore the nature of our Being (involves silent meditation, an informal talk, and question time) * Private mentoring: more personalised 1:1 guidance to delve deeply and intimately into your current experience. Being a not-for-profit, donations are suggested only, and no-one is ever turned away for lack of funds. * Satsangs are Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:30pm in Cranbourne West. Pickup from Cranbourne train station is at 7:06pm. Suggested donation is $20-$25. * Private Mentoring is by appointment, via skype, phone or in person if you are in Melbourne. Suggested donation is $75-$125 per hour. So if you are genuinely seeking awakening or enlightenment, feel free to join us Wednesday evenings, in the quest to know thy True Self. Open invitation, held in a private home. To your awakening, Lilaeia Nymphaea Spiritual Teacher | Mentor Aikya Project

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