New from Shantala!

LIVE in love
A powerful experience of live kirtan in a 2-CD set, recorded in concert in Oregon. LIVE in love offers the live energy of chant, flowing from the sublime to the ecstatic. Shantala is joined by special guests Manose, Jami Sieber, Gina Sala, Joe Jencks, and Talia Toni Marcus.


Within
A lush and deep musical journey where the poignant voice of the East Indian esraj intertwines with the majestic Celtic harp in a celestial soundspace - perfect music for meditation, yoga, bodywork, healing or simply being.



 

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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

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


compassion, and allow ourselves to be challenged in new ways.

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.


 

 
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