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Nada Samudra: The Ocean of Devotional Sound
||With Shantala (Benjy & Heather Wertheimer)|
A 3-hour workshop exploring the ancient sacred
arts of singing, devotional chant, and rhythm. As a participant,
you will open your voice more fully as a sacred instrument, deepen
your experience of chanting and devotion (bhakti yoga), playfully
explore the body as a vehicle for rhythm, create a joyful experience
of music and spirit in community with others.
|Photo by Doug Byers|
In this workshop, we immerse ourselves in the luminous ocean of sacred
sound through voice, mantra, devotion, movement, and meditation.
We begin by creating a sacred space together for safe and playful
exploration as a group. Then we journey together through several practices
to a place of clearer and deeper connect with the divine Presence.
To open the voice, we'll voyage through vocal practices from both Eastern
and Western musical traditions. In many Eastern cultures, music is approached
as a spiritual practice--as the yoga of sound--and that is how it will be
presented in this workshop. We'll explore rhythm through heart-opening
rhythmic body movements, allowing ourselves to experience the body as instrument.
From this foundation, the chanting of sacred names and mantras will flow
with new depth and new freedom. There will be time in this workshop to be
silent in meditation, to share personal experiences from bhakti practice,
and to build our sense of spiritual community through the combined fruits
of all of these practices.
This workshop is offered with the intention of cultivating more beauty
and more love inside ourselves, in our communities, and throughout our
world. It is our prayer that the practices and experiences offered here
will help each one of us to give ourselves more fully to realizing this
vision. May all beings live in peace, joy, and freedom!
Benjy and Heather Wertheimer lead kirtan (sacred chanting) worldwide as
the duo Shantala, with soul-stirring vocals, sacred lyrics and exotic
instrumentation. Kirtan is a celebration of spirit through the chanting
of sacred names, carrying the audience into a state of heightened awareness,
bliss, and devotion. The audience is invited to participate fully through
call-and-response chanting, dance, and meditation. The weaving of Benjy's
Indian classical singing and instrumentation with Heather's soaring vocals
is freshly original and profoundly moving. Together they create music with
beauty, passion, and reverence. Shantala has performed and recorded
internationally with such sacred music luminaries as Krishna Das,
Deva Premal & Miten, and Jai Uttal.
Taking the Stage: Walking with Love Through the Fear of Performance
compassion, and allow ourselves to be challenged
in new ways.
|With Heather Wertheimer, M.A.
"Taking the Stage" is designed to support
those who have a dream of sharing themselves more deeply with others
through creative modalities such as singing, public speaking, teaching,
or acting, but who feel inhibited by fear of performance.
This workshop is for you if performing in front of others is part of your
life dream but you feel held back by fear. "Taking the Stage" explores
ways of walking compassionately with this fear and, in the process, moves
toward enabling you to express yourself in front of other people, whether
through singing, speaking, acting, or any type of performance. Together,
we strive to accept the current state of our own growth,to embrace our experience fully and with
| Photo by Doug Byers|
As a participant, you will be guided through a series of experiences
based in mindfulness including opportunities to practice performing in
front of others, identifying fears and goals, studying the role of the
mind in creating fear, and making a plan for manifesting performance in
your life. You will have the option to take part in additional sessions
of meditation, yoga, and singing to supplement workshop activities
This workshop draws on the work of Steven Hayes and others who have
developed a therapy method called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
It is also rooted in the mindfulness of meditation, as taught in Eastern
religions for centuries and by Western teachers such as Jon Kabat-Zinn.
"Taking the Stage" is based on a belief in the divinity in all of us, as
seen in our everyday lives as well as in our calling to self-expression
on a creative path.
Topics to be addressed:
· the role of the mind in creating fear
· living with fear in the body
· what to do when you feel afraid before and during a performance
· creating support through inner and outer resources
· developing a vision of what is really important to you and learning
to focus on that vision as a source of inspiration
Heather Wertheimer comes to this workshop
with 20 years of experience as a therapist specializing in the areas of substance addiction,
trauma recovery, and body-centered therapy. She taught yoga for 10 years
and has a master's degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University.
Heather has been a full-time musician since 2002 and has been involved
with music much of her life. Her desire to help others realize their
dreams comes from being an anxious performer and from experiencing a
prolonged stage of severe panic related to performance.