ARAKARA: ECSTASY OF
THE AWAKE /CD
It is rare to come across a true yogic master deeply connected to the roots of the
tradition who so deftly combines ancient
mantra with modern musical compositions. Nandhi is one of these masters.
In his latest release, Arakara: Ecstasy of
the Awake, Ancient Siddhar Resonance,
Nandhi shares the ancient wisdom of the
Siddhar Yoga tradition through hypnotic
mantras and modern beats. As with all
spiritual paths, one finds the teachings
within the journey itself. Collaborating
with musicians including Ena Vie and
Howard Lipps, Nandhi has woven together a rich sonic landscape, a path laid
out for any seeker to find the connection
between finite self and Infinite Self.
Govinda is a personal favorite, a beautiful driving progressive beat that lifts the
spirit up into the space of meditation.
Dance your consciousness awake with
the groovy Siva Siva Arakara and Vel Vel
Muruga or the energizing dance tracks of
Arakara Sankara and Shaalom. Experience a more traditional mantra sound-scape with Maha Panachakshara Siddhi
and Aum Namah Sivaya, both chants
honoring and invoking Siva (also written as Shiva). In each chant, one is drawn
into the Naad, or sacred current that is
created through breath and sound.
Join in with Nandhi, or simply listen and
sense the timeless wisdom and awakening
inherent in the mantras. Take your time
with it. The experience of the listener
deepens with each session.
Reviewed by Kia Miller, who has traveled the world
from her original home of the Falkland Islands to her
current home of LA where she teaches Kundalini and
Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Kiamiller.com
THE GURU PAPERS /BOOK
BY JOEL KRAMER & DIANA ALSTAD
North Atlantic Books
First published twenty years ago, The Guru
Papers is a prescient exegesis of hierarchical guru/student relationships that have
emerged in the absence of a commonly
agreed-upon sacred order. Its republication
is extremely timely in light of technological
advances such as Google, Facebook, online
media, the tailspin of our consumer-based
economy, as well as various recent abuses
of authority in the yoga community.
In The Guru Papers, Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad unveil the authoritarian power
and belief systems employed to construct
and maintain social order. Our traditional
Judeo-Christian sacred order established a
view of reality and mandated a moral code
of prescribed behavior, i.e. social order.
Kramer and Alstad explore the ways that
cultural paradigms “breed self-mistrust”
and engender people to be manipulated
by the promise of an assured view of reality. However, because the guru/student
relationship is hierarchical and power corrupts, Kramer and Alstad cite many cases
where students have been exploited, as in
the Jonestown Massacre.
We live in a period of cultural upheaval.
Sundry worldviews have arisen and many
people have followed them to their detriment. Although Eastern religions contain
similar pitfalls as our traditions, Kramer
and Alstad believe that a hierarchy without manipulative and oppressive authoritarianism is possible. But for that we need
to learn to challenge authority, rebuild self-trust, and know in our hearts that the truth
will win out.
Reviewed by Ira Israel, a licensed psychotherapist and
workshop leader. Optimumintegralwellness.com