Listening to the Sun By Mantra Shakti

This poem was written over two years ago. I had always enjoyed working outside in the Ashram grounds but the spring of 2017 was when I first took the drum outdoors and played with the trees and the birds for company. I did have this sense that nature was encouraging me to let the music out. In 2019 I started writing songs and many of these tracks are celebrations of the natural world.

Prose, Prose, Prose

I cannot write that way to describe life here 

in the wet green hills in northern climes of planet earth

The sun is our nearby star and her light touches us 

as we work among brambles, ash and pine.

Our lungs gorge on oxygen, a precious gas 

which the Italians call ossigeno  

and that sounds like a bony genome.

Light is made of photons and photons are found inside our bodies*

science fact, but little reported and every photon tells a tale.

The sun shines white, the plants blaze green, 

 tree roots explore the soil and the mycelium spreads far and wide.

Here at the Ashram if you walk by the big pond when the sun is out,

our nearby star may call to you and she may say

“Darling little one, my love sweeps over the land 

Do you have eyes to see?

Darling little one, come out and drum and sing, 

sit on a rock and let the songbirds hear you play.

If you do I’ll tell you my stories:

I’ll speak of planets, moons and comets, of spiral galaxies and gassy filaments,

but I’ll also speak of the spinning earth 

and all thereon that responds to my radiant presence.

In my rays your hair glistens, you work and sweat and enjoy being flesh and blood

and my love coaxes out that voice of yours

SING SING SING, get out and do it boy 

SING

By Mantra Shakti

*See the work of Fritz-Albert Popp (his discoveries are mentioned at some length in the book ‘The Field’ by Lynne McTaggart)

 

A Tale of Three Mantras By Mantra Shakti

In early December 2020 I was asked to do a voice and mantra session for Ashram team members.  I had not offered such a session for months.  I took the opportunity to use that class to introduce a long mantra addressing Saraswati, to some of the team.  Days later, I was in my room chanting a mantra to Shiva when I became aware of other presences around me and got a clear message in my mind, to start chanting a mantra to Kuan Yin.  The mind being incredibly complex; one can never know for sure what exactly is happening when one individual believes that they are being addressed by an archetypal energy; you could say that this person has simply retuned her receptive abilities and has thus opened herself up at the right time and place.  Doing any mantra can act as a broadening of one’s receptivity, and I was in the middle of chanting 108 rounds of the mrityunjaya mantra when I was stopped suddenly and ‘guided’ to begin a different mantra.  A moment of grace came my way at the end of the 108 rounds of the Kuan Yin mantra, following which I was inspired to write a song.  The track which names both Kuan Yin and the Roman Goddess Abundantia, is very uplifting and easy to sing.  When I come to record it I may well add cello, flute and a little percussion for the chorus, if I can find some kindred musicians.  Other Ashram team members really enjoy singing the song.  

I had not worked seriously with the Kuan Yin mantra before that evening in December last year.  I did not decide to chant the Kuan Yin mantra daily, despite my profound experiences on that fateful evening, yet I have on occasion done a thousand rounds in one go, on other days a few hundred rounds have felt right.  I am convinced that introducing the long Saraswati mantra to team members brought about a deepening of my connection with Kuan Yin, which in turn gave me the song.  When I came to do the first online voice and mantra session I chose the long Saraswati mantra and the short Kuan Yin mantra for the final part of that workshop.  I hope that among the many who attended that first session, some folk may have decided to adopt one or both of those mantras into their practice.  As I said in the session, it is my belief that any creative gifts a person might have will flower with the repetition of what Thomas Ashley-Farrand calls the Maha Vidya (Great Knowledge) mantra.  

Mantra One

EIM HRIM SRIM KLIM SAUH KLIM HRIM EIM

BLUM STRIM NILATARI SARASWATI

DRAM DRIM KLIM BLUM SAH

EIM HRIM SHRIM KLIM SAUH SAUH HRIM SWAHA

Anglicized pronunciation

I’M HREEM SHREEM KLEEM SAW KLEEM HREEM I’M

BLOOM STREEM NEE-LAH-TAH-REE SAH-RAH-SWAH-TEE

DRAHM DREEM KLEEM BLOOM SAW

I’M HREEM SHREEM KLEEM SAW SAW HREEM SWAHA

Mantra Two

 (the well known Mrityunjaya Mantra)

OM TRYAM BAKAM YAJAMAHE

SUGANDHIM PUSHTI VARDHANAM

URVARUKAMIVA BANDHANAN

MRITYOR MUKSHIYA MAMRITAT

Mantra Three

NAMO KUAN SHI YIN PU SA

Anglicized pronunciation

NAH-MOH KWAHN SHEE YIN POO SAH

Kuan Yin is regarded as a female Bodhisattwa in the Buddhist tradition and is popular in China, Japan and Taiwan.

Please help us grow Yoga…..

A post by Narada / Tony Sugden

‘Please help us grow Yoga in this Land of Ours’ – An appeal
from our Zambian Yoga Group.

We have lost the use of our Yoga Hall.
Those of you who read my previous post (Mandala branch in Africa) know that I established a Yoga group in Eastern Province, Zambia. Well the group is thriving; Swamiji refers to them as ‘our African Branch’. But the Lodge where they worked, and where we used to do our Yoga, is in great difficulty because of the lack of visitors due to Covid, so not only have my friends lost their meagre income, but they have lost the use of the hall where we practised.

Life in the Ashram: Raj interviewed.

An interview with Raj Soni, by Narada

The new header picture on the blog (not this post), taken just this morning down the track, shows the Autumnal foggy mornings we get here, up on top of our Welsh hilltop. Quite beautiful, spectrally still with sheep wraiths floating out of the mist; the mist which is really clouds come down around our ears like a damp winter muffler.

Dawn Chorus

This is one for those of you who like a reminder of the Ashram environment. Back in the days when we had people coming on courses (which will happen again), perhaps you remember getting up in the early morning just as dawn is breaking, and hearing the birds greeting the new day. It’s a magical time, and the purity of that sound was recorded back in May, when the birds are most vocal, by Swami SatyaDaya. Please enjoy.

Mandala Yoga Ashram gets a Branch in Africa

I’m Tony, recently given the name Narada by Swami Nishchalananda. The guy at the back in the green t-shirt in the pic above. Before I came to live in the ashram, I’d made contact with the delightful people who work at Tikondane Lodge, near Katete in Eastern Province, and founded a charity to raise funds for special school education for Ketty, a young deaf girl. This is a part of the world where people have very little indeed. But they have big hearts, and it’s a sharing culture. They’re my kind of people.