What is Kirtan Music?

KIRTAN MUSIC is form of chanting. Group chanting is a platform for a profound sharing of energy, heart, and soul. Chanting is in call and response format in many spiritual traditions. In the west, kirtan is call and response or sing-along style. Do I have to be musical? How well you sing is not a pertinent issue. You do not need prior musical experience. Kirtan is ideal if you are self-conscious about singing. Your voice blends with everyone around you. Science shows that group singing changes the chemistry of the brain. These changes happen regardless of skill level. Everyone reaps … Continue reading

Reforge Your Heart!

Everyone experiences heartbreak of some kind. We’ve all got our life credentials! I suppose we are each affected to different degrees by different types of experiences. The depth of the heartache seems to be related to the significance of the event in your life and the things that matter to you the most. I know what it’s like to have pain in your heart that keeps you awake at night. That kind of pain is shockingly physical–the kind that makes hard to breathe or move or think. You don’t know how or when the pain will cease and whether hope … Continue reading

Stratified Dimensions

My painting Stratified Dimensions is a play on the idea of parallel universes, multiple dimensions, and the warping of time and space. I don’t know much about the actual scientific theories on these topics, but I was an avid science fiction fan for some of my childhood and most of my teenage years. I was never much of a TV watcher but there was one significant exception: Star Trek! As an adult I’ve focused more on the inner world of psychology and consciousness. I guess I’ve come to feel that the external cosmos reflects to some degree our own inner worlds. It … Continue reading

The Benefit of Stray Thoughts

Meditation is often touted as a way to focus the mind and get rid of mental restlessness and stray thoughts. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a stray thought. The first time I really tried to mediate several years ago, I lay down on the floor and tried to clear my mind. Laying on the floor is not a proper position for meditation, I know, but it was the one where I could be the most comfortable and not be distracted by physical pain on top of everything else. A scene from a movie came to mind … Continue reading

Peeking with Fingers Allowed

Dermo-Optical Perception

Magic, miracle, science or myth? The purported ability of blind and sighted individuals to “see” with their fingers, known as dermo-optical perception, has gotten some good and bad press. Most stories about those who can read and sense colors with their fingertips come from research in Russia, Taiwan and China. Some question the scientific standards utilized in these experiments. It’s the stuff of legends and begins with a story of a Russian woman who could embroider by feeling the colored threads with her fingers. This was Nina Kulingina, a sighted person with other unusual abilities such as psychokinesis. Her ability … Continue reading

Auroratone Therapeutic Films

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In the 1940s, a British filmmaker named Cecil Stokes created a series of therapeutic films that were used in psychiatric hospitals. At the time, there was an influx of soldiers from WWII who were suffering from a variety of mental disorders. Some had PTSD, others were suicidal, and others were unable to adjust to life with the disabilities they suffered from as a result of the war. Motion film itself was relatively new and had a big impact on the viewer. Apparently there was originally a set of at least four Auroratone Films. These particular films consisted of shifting, abstract … Continue reading