Heart as Wide as the World: Heart practices of the Buddhist and Bhakti Paths with Krishna Das, Sharon Salzberg, Lily Cushman & Nina Rao
Both the Bhakti and Buddhist paths tell us that we all have the same capacity for compassion and for peace. A life of connection and authenticity can come completely alive for us, even now when the world is in greater turmoil than ever before. We can discover that our hearts are indeed, wide enough to embrace the whole world of experience. This discovery offers us extraordinary freedom and happiness. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke beautifully describes this way of living as:
I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the ocean
I may not ever complete the last one
But I give myself to it.
As we give ourselves to the practices of chanting, mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation, our habitual patterns of attachment and separation are seen for what they are: painful and unnecessary. Through these practices we can begin to live in a way that is commensurate with our extraordinary potential– the potential of being truly awake. We ourselves can live with the unbounded heart of the Buddha.
In this weekend retreat, dive into the practices and teachings of the unbounded heart, led by lifelong teachers and friends, Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg in Phoenicia, NY at the Menla Mountain Retreat Center.. Sharon and KD draw from their respective traditions of Bhakti Yoga and Buddhism for a complementary exploration of the heart as wide as the world. This immersive retreat includes periods of teaching, discussion, guided meditation, call and response chanting practice, as well as time for question and answers. The weekend also includes group chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa led by Nina Rao, and daily yoga classes led by Lily Cushman. Suitable for new or experienced practitioners.
Krishna Das is a Grammy-nominated chant artist and has sung with people all around the world for over 35 years. His music offers the practice of chanting mantras– mostly in the Indian tradition, with some Buddhist and Gospel infusions. By sharing his life experiences on the path in his book Chants of a Lifetime, and workshops with people around the world, participants have found a way to integrate spiritual practices in their lives in a better way with some peace of mind. In 2018, Krishna Das released his 16th album “Peace of my Heart.”
Sharon Salzberg is a pioneer in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and NY Times bestselling author. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. Sharon is the co-founder of the first western meditation center in the US: The Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, MA. She has authored ten books, including the New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness, her seminal work, Lovingkindness and her 2017 release, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Acclaimed for her down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast, The Metta Hour, with 90+ episodes.
Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das' business manager and assistant, often touring with him playing cymbals and singing. In 2007, she recorded the track 'Nina Chalisa' on Krishna Das' CD "Flow of Grace " and in January 2013, she released her debut album, "Antarayaami - Knower of All Hearts" and her 2018 release, “Anubhav.” Nina regularly leads kirtan, chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, and sings for yoga classes in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY and beyond.
Lily Cushman is a teacher, musician, author, and the co-founder of Brooklyn Yoga School, a donation-based yoga center voted "Best of New York" by NY Magazine. Lily has been teaching yoga and offering chanting events in the greater NY area for over a decade, and currently serves as Director of Operations for world-renowned meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg. Lily offers retreats and workshops around the country, and her first book, “A Little Bit of Mantra: An Introduction to Sacred Sounds” is now available from Sterling Publishing.