Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg Kirtan and Meditation Workshop

I spent a Saturday afternoon in the Spring of 2010 attending a meditation and chanting workshop with the Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg. Krishna Das sings traditional Indian chants and Sharon conducts guided meditations. There were a couple of themes that I took away:

  1. Stop Being So Hard On Yourself: We all have this voice in our heads that says we should be doing this or doing that and the saddest part is that we take this as our reality. We wake up in the morning and start writing the movie of “me.” We write the movie; we direct the movie; and, we write reviews on the movie…and then we get depressed about it.
  2. No One Can Concentrate: Most people can’t concentrate past one breath. Or, as a Buddhist Lama said, “Don’t worry that you can’t concentrate, no one can concentrate.”
  3. What is motivating you?: When you make a choice, what is the underlying motivation? Is it fear? Is it guilt? Is an authentic desire based on simply what you choose?
  4. Love everybody ~ MLK: Sometimes being open and loving doesn’t mean a situation will work out how you want it to, but that is okay.
  5. Meditations: It is not after 8K breaths before your mind wanders, but after 1 breath. The beautiful thing about meditation is that we keep going to breath over and over again. It’s not easy to let go and just start again. It takes developing love and compassion towards oneself to keep trying.
  6. Metta = Friendship; Friendship towards others and ourselves. We have to work on allowing ourselves to feel better. It’s hard to be good and kind to ourselves. These meditations are about rewiring ourselves to be kinder to ourselves — allowing ourselves to feel better.
  7. Chanting: We chant to be happy and open. Gradually but inevitably the feeling of being here increases
  8. Love: Affection is used to control a child. A parent will give or withhold affection to get a child to do something. Kids learn that they are doing business at a very young age. In the deep Indian villages, love is never on the line. Who can you yell at someone in America without hurting the friendship.
  9. Focus: Don’t worry that you can’t concentrate — no one can concentrate ~ Buddhist Lama
  10. Rewiring: We are rewiring ourselves to allow us to exist in a positive way
  11. Giving Love: I have never met anyone I feel is a stranger. ~ Dalai Lama. Never kick anyone out of your heart
  12. Purpose: Krishna Das asked Maharaji when he was leaving India and would not see his guru again, “What should I do?” Maharaji said, “Do what you want!”
  13. Selfless Service:  The main reason of the practice is to keep letting go of it. Only God can do selfless service –> We humans have motives (good and bad!). We have to have compassion for others and ourselves. Being selfless does not mean being self-negating.
  14. Motivation
    1. What is motivating us to say yes?
    2. What is motivating us to do something?
    3. Is it fear? Is it generosity?
    4. All beings want to be happy
  • Death: A woman went to a Lama because she was dying. The Lama simply said, “You have done this a billion times…don’t worry”
  • On Happiness
    • We all have borderline personality disorder; we are scared to say we are happy…
    • The less time we spend time mopping around, the more we know we are progressing
    • The less you care about being happy, the happier you are
    • Swaha = Offering = Whatever –> Continue to let go and remind yourself that you don’t need to keep ruminating on being unhappy
    • We wake up in the morning and start writing the movie of me
      • We write the movie…
      • We direct the movie…
      • We write reviews on the movie…and get depressed about it.
    • Feeling of well being is the path
    • Nothing wrong with feeling good
    • Start moving away from “why” questions to “what” questions
Gates of Sweet Nectar
Everywhere through endless time
You who wander, you who thirst
I offer you this bodhi mind.
Calling out to hungry spirits
Everywhere through endless time
Calling out to hungry hearts
All the lost and left behind
Gather round and share this meal
Your joy and your sorrow
I make mine.