Funky Datta Weekend with Mike Cohen ~ Playing with Energy through Music.

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Kirtan ~ the practice of call and response chanting.

Beginning slowly, like a luxurious sweet awakening from a dream, the sounds touch me like a sweet caress, a gentle loving embrace, and the art of making Love with music begins. Slowly, oh so slowly, the energy builds, my attention draws inward. Along the journey, the music touches every part of me…cares and worries drop away. I have arrived into myself.

I am keenly aware of every sound, every wave of vibration, I am in my centre, looking inward, flowing outward, giving and receiving. As the tempo and the urgency of the chanting increases I can feel the energy shift in the room, there is a subtle exhale, a ‘yeeeah’, at the relief at being back in this delicious spiritual practice. All of our subtle bodies melt into One.

The sensations and experience of being here take me through different emotions, joy, excitement, delight, sorrow. They flow like liquid honey through me. Rhythm, harmony, melody are creating a synergy that is transporting me to a Divine place. At some point, a peak, a crescendo is reached and suddenly in the centre of all the movement and sound, and chaos of life, there I am, in a point of total stillness, the sweetest quietest place imaginable. I have arrived at my Centre. I rest here for a while, keenly aware of all the outside sound and activity, but needing to do nothing about it. Relishing it, soaking it up, no need to sing, or move or react to anything. Nothing to do, just a Divine place to just Be.

My Funky Datta weekend like all journeys had a beginning, middle and an end. It began on Friday with a rocking road trip to Shakti Yoga in Buffalo to meet Mike, and his musicians, Allie Stringer & Tripp Dudley. It was delightful to watch him add a touch of Canadian to his band, in the form of our Brenda McMorrow on vocals! Afterwards, my friends and I headed back to Toronto to prepare for the band’s arrival in Toronto. We laid on the brightest sunniest most crystal clear summer day to welcome our American visitors! Kirtan at Downward Dog that evening took our practice of kirtan to another level. We changed the world a little bit that night… did anyone notice as the last Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih was being sang, the siren of an emergency vehicle screamed outside the window down below us on Queen St, and as it passed by us, it’s sound became the same as ours?

I felt blessed by all my friends’ help and support, and delighted in watching their blissful faces during their first experience of Mike’s kirtan. I had discovered his gift back in February in Michigan! This was my dream of the last 4 mths manifesting before my eyes!

I had the privilege of taking care of the band after the kirtan on Saturday night, and was Blessed by their Humour, and generosity of Love and Spirit. Sunday’s workshop was a final sweet wrap up, where we listened to Mike talk about the Deities we chant to, and explain the Dattatreya Approach to Kirtan. There were a lot of smiles, hugs and a few tears as we chanted some more, and bathed in our final sweet moments together. It had been a weekend of transformation for many of us.

I have overwhelming gratitude to Everyone who made this weekend possible. Everyone who created, planned, and worked so hard to make it happen, to Everyone who said ‘yes’, to all of you who supported it by showing up, and especially to the man who opens my Heart with his chanting… Mike Cohen.
Love and Thanks to ALL of YOU!!