From the perspective of Eastern philosophy, the bliss we are seeking is already inside of us. From the perspective of modern brain science, this is also a true statement. To the scientist, bliss is a chemical state that the body itself produces, and it is a state that we are apparently hard-wired to seek. Chanting Sanskrit mantras is one of the world’s oldest means of finding it.
Chanting affects the areas of the brain that create our sense of where our body ends and the world begins. It also slows and steadies breathing, producing hormone and neurological changes in the body that feel simultaneously calming and thrilling.
Moving from the individual level to the collective level, the effect is magnified. Through chanting, one’s sense of separation diminishes, and one’s feeling of connection increases. You feel somehow intimate with all the strangers surrounding you, and intensely, vividly, alive.
This workshop explores the neurochemistry of ecstasy through extensive practice of the call and response form of chanting known as Kirtan. Augmenting direct experience, the workshop also features presentations and discussions on the emerging brain science of how music influences and alters our perceptions, mind and spirit.