” MUSIC is the most ancient of arts.
MUSIC is the medium for expressing emotion.
MUSIC kindles love and infuses hope.
It has countless voices and instruments.
MUSIC is in the hearts of all men and women.
MUSIC is one their tounges” ~ Swami Sivanada
I attended and taught at the event of the year: The UK’s first Bhakti Music Festival! organised by my beautiful friend Naomi HariPyari. Sanscrit translations are elastic, Bhakti is translated as Devotion. What an INCREDIBLE gathering that created this portal of Devotion, celebration and supreme Love! INSPIRING!
Instead of your normal festival wrist band we were graced with pearly mala beads! I was meeted and greeted with smiley faces and open arms!! Awww
The tents all lived up to their names: Bhakti Barn that felt like the main stage with all of the musical devoted acts. I was honoured to present these acts in the cosey barn that was filled with candles, scented smells, tibetan flags and splashes of colour in adornment. Devotion in Motion!
The Mukti (liberation) tent which took to all the creative arts and dances was an expansive space where I taught Shakti Dance. It was one of the most powerful classes I have taught in a while. I took risks to push it over the edge and since everyone was in an open heart-full space, I was given the green light to take it to that next level. It was a beat bouncing, shakti-bhaktifying Celebration! We were super blessed to have the Sun on our side too, with the occasional rain ofcourse!
Lila (divine play) tent where the kids hung out and they really were the sparkles at the fest. To think they will be the ones who will be organising festivals like this soon! Nourishing us was one little van providing delicious food and the Chai Wallah tent, with 2 types of chai and raw chocolate!!! Shanti (peace) tent which was a place for some quiet time and peace with various meditations, sacred sound and mantra meditation.
The wake up to Yoga was a kick-ass way to start your day! While in class, head down leg up and a few downward facing dogs, a large group of us were held by the sacred chants outside of the burning fire ceremonies. This was special as it was a super uplifting experience through the practice.
During the evening the sky would sparkle with the shiniest stars ever seen (if your not in London) the camp fire and sing songs was like a passage from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.
I didn’t get to experience all that was at the festival, so here are my Festival Highlights:
Goma’s Tribute Kirtan by devotees of Babaji- very special
Mantra Yoga- Vrindavan Bliss sounds led by my friends Vraj Devi & Dev Das
Naomi HariPyari and friends closing
Antarma- bringing the freshest sounds of spoken word and devotion
Mantra Music- Sounds of ISKON Hare Krishna
Shakti Dance- led by me
Narayani and guests
As well as the laughing, connecting, dancing etc!
It was a great opportunity to connect and collaborate. All the people that sometimes see like a flash was there and allowed us all to get to know one an other… opening doors!
One thing I didn’t get to try was the THERAPIES!!! I was floating around recording performances, hosting the Bhakti Barn. I heard it was a success! The Flying thai massage was something I wanted to get but hey, next time!
The chanting sounds that were expressed throughout was like a power house generating from one festival that vibrated through the fields. As I was returning back to good ol’ London town, I was still in that bliss carrying those sound currents, buzzing it took me a while to settle and sleep!
The gathered artists who shared their music, knowledge and light brought all sorts of flavours. From different linages, cultures and traditions arising from their devotional experiential state of being. Chanting in union lifted us into one heart beat! It was an elevating profound experience. Naomi’s closing words that: ’It does not stop here, we have to take this into our daily lives and celebrate this with others’, I salute that! Lets keep ON and CHANT FOR CHANGE!