Sunday, September 30, 2018

WAHEGURU: Mantra for Transformation

Greetings,

photo by Jake J. Thomas
In this video I explain the Kundalini Yoga and Sikh mantra "Waheguru."

This mantra is an expression appreciation and awe of the TRANSFORMATION that occurs when we step from our questions into our solutions.

I break the word down into four parts - WA, HE, GU, and RU, since each of these sounds has its own very rich meaning.

WA - an expression of wonderment
HE - in this moment
GU - darkness
RU - light

Put them together and you get a most powerful all-purpose mantra.



Joyfully,
Sirgun Kaur

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What is a Mantra? || Finding Harmonic Resonance with Your SELF

Sat Naam,

In my newest video I give my personal take on what a mantra is and what a mantra does.

People sometimes ask me what the difference is between a mantra and an affirmation. To me, a mantra can be in any language. The distinction between mantra and affirmation is the thought process behind it.

--Take the meaning of mantra: to entrain/tune the mind.

--Take the meaning of affirmation - the action of affirming something.

Our Universe is not taking order through our words. Our Universe speaks the language of FEELING. When our mind is "in tune" with the greater part of our self (=yoga), we feel REALLY GOOD. The Universe responds in a way that will also feel good.

Many people use affirmations as a mantra... a combination of good-feeling words repeated over and over again until the mind is taken away from petty circumstances, and in-tune with greater purpose.

So if you are repeating "Ong So Hung" again and again and it sends you into bliss, that is what I would call effective use of a mantra.

If you are repeating "I am love" over and over again, and it sends you into bliss, that is also an effective use of mantra.

On the other hand, if you are staring at a disappointing bank statement, affirming angrily to yourself "I am rich. I am rich." That is not effective use of a mantra. You cannot mask your feelings with empty words.

The Universe FEELS you.

You feel me?

So say things that are easy to BELIEVE. 

That is one of the reasons it is easier for most people to use a mantra in another language.

Watch the video for more mantra talk:



Joyfully,
Sirgun

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Most Magical of Mantras || Live @ Bhakti Fest's 10th Anniversary

Greetings and Happy Sunday to you,

I have more live footage to show you from Bhakti Fest (thanks Masood Ali Khan!).

I want to share with you a most magical mantra... it's called... wait for it... THE MAGIC MANTRA.

Yep. For real.

I first learned this mantra in Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in 2010. Yogi Bhajan said that if you repeat this mantra five times it stops the momentum of negative thought in its tracks and reverses it.

This mantra was again brought to my attention when my dear friend and teacher (here in Phoenix AZ) suggested I use it.

She never told me this exactly, but looking back, I can tell that she saw how destructive many of my thought patterns were at that time. It has taken me a lot of deliberate re-focusing to stay on productive (aka positive) thought tracks.

So here I give you a yogi hack: The Magic Mantra.


~It goes like this~

Ik Ong Kaar Sat Gur Prasaad
Sat Gur Prasaad Ik Ong Kaar


(Many will pronounce it EK, but I have yet to hear the sound "eh" in the Gurmukhi alphabet, so please do tell me if YOU have!)

So here it is... LIVE at Bhakti Fest's 10th Anniversary! (Did you know I got to see Deepak Chopra in person?!)


After you chant this mantra be very conscious of your next thoughts. DO NOT COMPLAIN. Seriously, Yogi Bhajan said so!

Joyfully,
Sirgun Kaur

Friday, September 21, 2018

Playing Total Surrender for Bhakti Fest's 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Sat Nam Friend,

I am back from a week in the California desert, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Bhakti Fest. This is one of the pieces I played for my sacred chant concert on Friday, Sept. 14.

I was joined by Greg Barnett on bass, Clayton Campbell on percussion, Chad Wilkins on guitar, Candace Park on viola, Radharani on vocals, and Dharma Fears on vocals.

I was not expecting to get footage from this concert, so seeing this in my inbox upon my return was a very nice surprise indeed!

The mantras in this song are:

  1. So paatisah(u) sahaa paatisahib Naanak rahan rajaaee
  2. Ik ong kaar sat naam siree waaheguroo
  3. Waaheguroo, waaheguroo, waaheguroo, waahe jio
They are not generally used together. They came to me in a dream when I was writing the music for -8. I loved the way they sounded together, especially the overlapping "waheguru" part. 


And thank you to Jake J. Thomas and Masood Ali Khan for your footage!


Joyfully,
Sirgun

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Live at Joyful Yoga ~ Monica's "Om Dum Durgaye Namaha"

After an entire week in Joshua Tree, CA, it is nice to get back and be at home.

I always seem to have an ample amount of live footage because I film nearly EVERYTHING I do. It's a habit I've had since I was a singer-songwriter, and it has remained a habit to this day. I mean, I can always delete it, right? (And I do. A lot of it.)

This video of "Om Dum Durgaye Namaha" I wanted to share though. Monica Page Subia has been supporting my music for years now, and this concert at Joyful Yoga marked the first time that I supported her. It was such a pleasure to share her music. She has such a deep love of devotional chanting (as you'll hear), and she is a wonderful teacher here in the "valley."

Thank you to Joyful Yoga in Tempe, AZ for hosting us.

And many thanks to Monica for sharing her beautiful music.



Joyfully,
Sirgun Kaur

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Live Music for Kia Miller's Yoga Class @ Bhakti Fest

Sat Naaaaaam!

I was so blessed to be part of this class at Bhakti Fest. Kia Miller is an amazing hatha and kundalini yoga teacher. I love playing music for her classes. And at Bhakti Fest! People are so engaged and appreciative to move their bodies to live mantra music/kirtan.

Thank you to Monica Page Subia, Chad Wilkins, Chad Wilkins and Oshri Hakak for joining me in making a joyous noise!



Love,
Sirgun Kaur

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

-8 FULL ALBUM Video

Sat Nam Fierce Friend,

After the nice comments I got about my full album video of The Cosmic Gift, I was inspired to make one for my latest release: -8.

This album means a lot to me because it marks my return to the world of producing.

For those of you who do not know what that entails, producers make music sound like more than just a live recording. They make the artists you know and love sound like "them."

Chad Wilkins was my co-producer on this album, and he added so many great elements, like a reggae vibe on "Ra Ma Da Sa", and all the ukulele harmonies that sound like harp to my ears sometimes. Without his contributions, this album would sound very different.

And given that I LOVE the way this album turned out, I'm glad it doesn't.

Chad also played most of the instruments on this album including ukulele, acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, and even a little bit of organ (for "Ra Ma Da Sa").

In fact, I appreciated the elements he added so much I decided to release a spin-off album called Minus Vox. It's everything except the voices.

The other contributors to this album added equally uplifting additions: Jai Jot Singh on percussion, Ram Dass Khalsa on clarinet, and Caleb Michel on drum kit for "Kabir's Realization."

I had so much fun making this album. And I felt so grateful to have been able to devote as much time as I did to it, thanks to my sister-in-law watching my children 4 days a week.

This was my first endeavor since having children that made me realize I could mother AND chant, and have enough time for both.



Enjoy!

Joyfully,
Sirgun Kaur

Monday, September 10, 2018

Joyful Yoga Kirtan - Bhalay Amar Das & Ong Namo

Sat Nam,

Happy first day of the week!

On Friday night I did a kirtan with my longtime musical partner, Monica Page Subia. In all the years we have played live shows together, I had NEVER seen her lead chant herself. This is humorous not only because she does it way more often that I do, but also because she is AMAZING at it.

I will post one of the songs that she led very soon. For now, I did the opening invocation - "Bhalay Amar Das" (from -8) and an unrecorded version of "Ong Namo."

Monica wanted me to explain what "Bhalay Amar Das" meant in the beginning of the kirtan, and, honestly, I was a little stumped. Besides knowing that it is a song written in praise on Guru Amar Das by Bal the Poet, all I could do was say how it FELT to me.

That seems to be a lot more in the forefront of my chanting these days. I pick chants based on how I FEEL about them... how I FEEL when I chant them... how I FEEL when others chant them with me.

I have a bit of a different perspective when it comes to writing songs in English, where meaning is very important to me. I suppose that is because I am WRITING the words, rather than interpreting them with new melodies.

I really liked the way these songs turned out. Our band was great. The people who showed up were ready to use their "outside" voices. And how could you not love the name of the studio we played at: Joyful Yoga!?



If you enjoy the opening song, this is a video of the recorded version.


Joyfully,
Sirgun Kaur

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Do You Want to Play YOGA?

Sat Nam,

I recorded our home yoga practice from a couple of days ago to make this video. In it, I explain how we go about practicing as a family, what yoga play activities we did on this particular day... and you'll hear my son and I sing "The Longtime Sun" (with both of us on piano!)

I hope this gives you some good ideas for your own home practice with your children.

I've noticed that my 5-year old will sing the songs all day. And even though he gripes about having to do this every morning, he always has a fun time anyway. It's become NORMAL, so it becomes less difficult to motivate them each day we do it.

As with anything kids-related, I find that variety is important. Don't do the same thing each day!

And also, don't expect them to participate like compliant adults. Encourage, but don't MAKE them, or it stops being fun. If something isn't working, CHANGE it up.

Happy yoga-ing!

From my little yogis to yours!

Joyfully,
Sirgun Kaur


Monday, September 3, 2018

60,000 Blessings!

Last week something unfathomable happened to me on Spotify...

I reached over 60,000 monthly plays!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. 

As a thank you, I will be doing a giveaway with Longtime Sun Apparel. They sell some of my favorite Kundalini Yoga attire, not to mention they named a pair of pants after me! 

So stay tuned for that!

This video is a THANK YOU and a story of my journey from doing music "just for fun", to doing it as a super fun career. 

May all your dreams come true. May you never doubt your vision. 


Joyfully,
Sirgun

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