Category: Uncategorized

Love Comes More Naturally to the Human Heart

We are in such a time of confusion, with fear and hatred rising to the surface and being demonstrated in such shocking and sad ways. And it can be easy to just shake our heads and perhaps shut down and pretend that it’s not happening or just move on to the next sensational, distracting thing that might appear on our Facebook or Twitter feed.

I’m Canadian and throughout my life I have witnessed us being able to fall into complacency quite easily, thinking “everything’s ok here, we’ve got it figured out”. But let us remember that a young, Trump-supporting Canadian man killed six people who were in prayer at a mosque in Quebec City (directly after the election- somehow the timing matched up too eerily to ignore), and that bigoted, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, mysoginist attitudes are alive and kicking here, whether we want to admit it or not.

For those of us who deeply know that the uncovering of love and kindness and compassion in our own beings is what will truly bring peace to this world, the time has surely come to step into this truth and to live from this place more boldly than ever before.

A present day Gandhi or Martin Luther King hasn’t seemed to emerge yet, so it is each one of us that is being called to embody what these peaceful leaders knew to be true: that it is peace in our own hearts that brings change and that standing by silently while others suffer at the hands of those who live with fear and hate as the motivating factors for their actions and words, we are also condoning and promoting these very things.

We might not know exactly what it is that we can do. Maybe everything feels overwhelming right now. But…perhaps we can begin by BEING the very thing that we know creates change: a loving, compassionate person who shares this world with so many other beings who ultimately, despite hugely disparate ways of searching for it, all want the same thing: happiness. Let’s start by listening to our hearts, living from the love that lives there and sharing it with other beings. And listening for the answers as they arise from the truth within about what actions to take.

And, perhaps this is a time to really notice the places in ourselves where fear still rules our lives, our choices and our actions. We are ALL in this together and we are reflections for each other. Let’s continue delving even more deeply into our hearts to really see what is true.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela

Kripalu Retreat, April 23-28 “Self Inquiry Through Mantra and Movement”

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” – Ramana Maharshi

Dear Friends,

I would love to personally invite you to join me and my dear friend and truly inspiring teacher and writer, Erica Taxin Bleznak, as we go on a 5 day journey of discovery during our Self Inquiry Through Mantra and Movement Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Western Massachusetts, April 23-28.

If something tells you that there is much more to your Being than your thoughts, identities, feelings, beliefs etc., you will be in good company here.

These 5 days will be spent exploring those corners of ourselves that are ready to be brought into the light so that our true nature can shine. We will do this through exquisitely guided yoga asana that is tailored to your level of experience; the joy and depth of mantra singing and recitation; supported self-inquiry exercises done in groups and dyads; meditation practices that encourage us to rest back in the conscious awareness that holds us always; fun and connection with like-hearted fellow participants and facilitators. This is all set at the gorgeous Kripalu Retreat Center where incredible views, lovely accommodations, delicious organic food, workshops, body work and therapies and more help to nurture you on this journey.

Have you spent enough of your life trying to “fit in”, to do the “right thing”? Have you come to a point where you are ready to “return home” to who you really are?

Sometimes coming together with others who are on the same path is exactly what we need to gather the courage and inspiration to keep expanding and deepening.

Join us. We would love to have you.

Love,
Brenda

April 23-28, 2017
Self Inquiry Through Mantra and Movement

We hope you can join us for this deeply transformative and heart opening experience!

Join us for a program that includes mantra, kirtan, asana, vinyasa flow, pranayama, and meditation. Create space for the Truth to arise as you develop
Self-inquiry and reflection skills
A personal mantra practice
Insight into blockages and holding patterns in the body
Self-awareness and connection with others, to support your ongoing practice of internal reflection and self-discovery.
Erica Taxin Bleznak and Brenda McMorrow utilize journaling as well as dyads and experiential exercises in this potent self-inquiry retreat.

“If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed.”
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Interview with Brenda on Canada’s CTV News Channel

Individual Mentoring Sessions with Brenda

Mentoring Sessions with Brenda

Brenda is very pleased to offer individual sessions. Receive support and guidance around what is relevant in your life right now, eg. kirtan leading, your own personal mantra practice, creative expression, songwriting and guidance for your own spiritual journey.

Brenda can meet with you by telephone or by Skype

• Investment: $150 USD

Please send an email to info@brendamcmorrow.com to arrange your meeting with Brenda!

 

photo by Jeremiah Hill

photo by Jeremiah Hill

Video of Kirtan in Barcelona with Brenda, Tina Malia, David Sitges Sarda, Xavi Grau and Farran Sylvan James

30 Days of Mantra Moments!

In the month leading up to one of my favourite events of the year -Bhakti Heart Fire – Kirtan Academy – I posted a video of one of the mantras, chants, devotional songs contained in our Heart Fire Manual!
If you would like to join us for this transformative 5 1/2 day immersion into everything Bhakti and Kirtan, please go to: http://devatree.com/calendar/event/317/

Bhajamana Ma Ma Ma
Ananda Mayi Ma Ma,Ananda Rupa Ma Ma

Oh Mind, chant devotion to the Mother.
Divine Mother full of bliss.
Divine Mother, whose form is bliss.

Sri Ma
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Shakti Rupena Samstitha Namastasyei Namastasyei Namastasyei Namoh Namah

Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Shanti Rupena Samstitha Namastasyei Namastasyei Namastasyei Namoh Namah Namastasyei Namastasyei Namoh Namah

Om Mata Saraswatiyei Om Mata Jagatambe

Sri Ma Jai Ma Jai Jai Ma Sri Ma Jai Ma Jai Jai Ma

“To that Goddess who is established in all beings in the form of the mother, in the form of power (Shakti), in the form of peace (Shanti), salutations to Her again and again”
(From the Devi Mahatmyam)

A song of reverence to the Great Mother, naming Saraswati (Goddess of arts, music, knowledge and wisdom) and Jagatambe (Mother of the Universe, another name for Durga)

“Om Dum Durgayei Namaha”
“Om and Salutations to that feminine energy which protects from all manner of negative influences.”

Durga Mantra explanation on syllables:
* Om – The sound of the universe; The essence of everything; The root of Hinduism itself; Usually begins and ends all Hindu prayers.
* Dum – The seed mantra (sound) of Mata Ji Durga.
* Durgayei – The complete, formal Sanskrit pronunciation of Maa Durga’s name.
* Namaha – In Your essence, we bow to You; In Your presence, only You are recognized.
Chanting Om Dum Durgayei Namaha benefits:
The Goddess is said to have the combined powers of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali. This mantra is often used for protection against internal or external negative forces. Also, chanting Durga mantra removes the effect of all types of black magic, unfavorable effect of negative planets, bad luck or health problems.

Kali Durge Namo Namah
Jai Jai Jai Mata Kali
Jai Jai Jai Mata Durgayae
Om Dum Durgayae Namaha
Om Dum Durgayae Namaha

A chant to Kali and Duga, both representations of the Divine Mother.
“To She who liberates the mind from all illusion”
“Victory to Mother Kali! Victory to Mother Durga!”
Om Dum Durgayae Namaha (Mantra of Protection) Another one of the transliterations is: “Salutations to She who is beautiful to the seekers of Truth and terrible in appearance to those who would injure devotees of Truth”

GAYATRI MANTRA

Om Bhur Bhuvaha Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dimahi Diyo Yonah Prachodayat

The Mother of the Vedas

“Salutations to that sacred sound present in the earth, the heavens, and that which is beyond. May the glorious splendor of that Divine life illuminate our meditation”

In his book Sadhana, Sri Swami Shivananda wrote:

“Of all the mantras, the supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gayatri Mantra. It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power and glory, be he of any caste, creed, clime or sect. It is only one’s faith and purity of heart that really count. Indeed, Gayatri is an impregnable spiritual armor, a veritable fortress, that guards and protects its votary, that transforms him into the divine, and blesses him with the brilliant light of the highest spiritual illumination.
… It is universally applicable, for it is nothing but an earnest prayer for Light, addressed to the Supreme Almighty Spirit.
… This single mantra, repeated sincerely and with clear conscience, brings the supreme good.”

ANANDAMAYI (mantra by Sri Aurobindo, adapted by B. McMorrow)

Om Anandamayi Chaitanyamayi Satyamayi Parameshwari

“OM, O supreme Goddess who art all bliss, consciousness and truth of being” Ananda: Bliss. Chaitanya: Consciousness. Satya: Truth

LOKA SAMASTA SUKINO BHAWANTU

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

From Sharon Gannon:

Lokah: location, realm, all universes existing now

Samasta: all beings sharing that same location
Sukhino: centered in happiness and joy, free from suffering

Bhav: the divine mood or state of unified existence

antu: may it be so, it must be so (antu used as an ending here transforms this mantra into a powerful pledge)

OM GAM GANAPATAYE NAMAHA
“I offer my love and devotion to Sri Ganesha; please grant me success in my noble endeavor”

Asato Ma Sat Gamaya
Tomaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityurmamritam Gamaya
“Lead me from ignorance to understanding as from obscurity to light. Lead me from the non-being to true being, from darkness to light, from death to immortality. Om Peace, Peace, Peace”

Om Krim Kali Kayei Namaha
“Om and Salutations to the Primordial feminine energy”

Om Eim Saraswatiyei Namaha
Om and Salutations to the feminine Saraswati Principle. (Mantra for success in Education, Music and Artistic endeavors)

Maha Mrityunjaya
OM. Tryambakam yajamahe
Sugandhim pushti-vardhanam
Urvarukamiva bandhanan
Mrityor mukshiya mamritat
“The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra restores health and happiness and brings calmness in the face of death. When courage or determination are blocked, it rises up to overcome obstacles. It awakens a healing force that reaches deep into the body and mind.
Just as a plant patiently gathers nutrients from the soil, so healing and nourishing forces enter the human body through foods, medicines, supportive emotions, and encouraging thoughts. The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra attracts these forces and creates an inner environment to enhance their effectiveness. Thus the mantra can be used whenever any restorative process is undertaken.” From Yoga International

OM TARE TUTARE TURE SWAHA

An invocation to Tara, the female counterpart of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. The Tara is pictured many – armed, symbolizing the powers and attributes she has cultivated to save all sentient beings.

OM SHRIM MAHA LAKSHMIYEI SWAHA
JAI JAI MA JAI MA JAI MA JAI MA JAI MA

“OM AND SALUTATIONS TO SHE WHO MANIFESTS EVERY KIND OF ABUNDANCE – PRAISES TO THE DIVINE FEMININE. VICTORY TO THE DIVINE FEMININE!”

SRI RAM JAI RAM JAI JAI RAMA
SITA RAM SITA RAM JAI JAI SITA RAM
RAMA RAMA SITA RAMA RAMA RAMA SITA RAMA

“Glory to Sita and Ram” A song to Lord Rama and his beloved Sita
Jai or Jay = Glory to, Victory to
Sri = a term of reverence at the beginning of a name
“May the Divine as Light and virtue that dwells in my heart be victorious over all (internal and external) obstacles and difficulty”

OM Shri Hanumate Namaha:

I bow to Hanuman for protection from dark forces & for healing energy. Hanuman is the symbol of devotion & selfless action.
“I bow to the son of the wind-god, the beloved devotee of Sri Rama, the chief of the monkeys, the repository of all virtues, the foremost among the wise, a fire to consume the forest of the demon race, possessing a body shining as a mountain of gold and a home of immeasurable strength.” ~ Ramayana (Tulsi Das)

AHAM PREMA
“I am Divine Love”

Durga Mantra:
OM Eim Hrim Klim Chamundayei Vicche Namaha

“OM and Salutations to She who is Radiant with power and wisdom”

MAHA MANTRA
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

The GREAT manta
“A spiritual call to the Divine”
“‘Hare’ is the power or energy of Krishna (Radha/Shakti)”

GANESHAYA NAMOH NAMAH
JAYA JAYA VINAYAKA
SRI SRI JAI SRI
JAI SRI GANAPATI

OM GUNG GANAPATAYEI NAMAHA

“Salutations to the remover of obstacles. This sound formula assists us in the removal of obstacles. In order for that to happen there is no need to know the exact nature of the hindrances. Just the awareness and recognition that there are obstacles and then chanting this mantra with the intention for resolve is enough. This mantra unifies us within.
When there is oneness there are no obstacles. This mantra is also used for the beginning of any endeavor. Whenever we start anything and we can bless the project with the energy of Ganesh through this mantra”

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshwara, Guru sakshat, param Brahma, tasmai shri guravay namah
“Our creation is that guru (Brahma-the force of creation); the duration of our lives is that guru (Vishnu-the force of preservation); our trials, tribulations, illnesses, calamities and the death of the body is that guru (devo Maheshwara-the force of destruction or transformation). There is a guru nearby (Guru Sakshat) and a guru that is beyond the beyond (param Brahma). I make my offering (tasmai) to the beautiful (shri) remover of my darkness, my ignorance; (Guru) it is to you I bow and lay down my life (namah).” Thank you Jivamukti Yoga for this explanation.

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
“Salutations to the Indweller who is omnipresent, omnipotent, immortal and divine.
This mantra is called the Great Liberation Twelve-Syllable Mantra.
It frees our minds and spirits from negative patterns in this life.
Vasudeva is the individual aspect of God that dwells inside of us.”

OM MANI PADME HUM (Buddhist Mantra)

“The jewel is in the lotus” or “Praise to the jewel in the lotus”

“The six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha.”

OM SHANTI
Om Peace


SHANTI MANTRA

OM Sahana Vavatu
Sahanau Bhunaktu
Saha Viryam Karavavahai
Tejasvi Navaditamastu
Ma Vidvishavahai
OM Shanti Shanti Shantihi

OM, may we all be protected. May we all be nourished. May we work together with great energy. May our studies be enlightening. Let us not give rise to enmity. OM, peace (within), peace (with each other), peace (universal).

Aum gum shreem maha lakshmi yei namaha
“Aum means pure force. Gum means removal of obstacles. Shreem is the sound of abundance. Maha symbolizes the increase of energy. Lakshmi yei represents purpose. And Namaha represents completion.”

Om Namah Shivaya Om Namah Shivaya Om Namah Shivaya Shivaya Namah Om
“I bow to Shiva.” Shiva is the supreme reality, the inner Self. It is the name given to consciousness that dwells in all. Shiva is the name of your true identity- your self.”


OM SHRI GANESHAYA NAMAHA
A chant to Ganesh, the remover of obstacles!

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave

Saccidananda Murtaye

Nisprapancaya Shantaya

Niralambaya Tejase

“I offer myself to the Light, who is the True Teacher

within and without (the teacher of all teachers),

Who assumes the forms of

Reality, Consciousness and Bliss,

Who is never absent and is full of peace,

Independent in its existence,

It is the vital essence of illumination.”

Bhakti Heart Fire: Kirtan Academy

November 2-7

London, Ontario, Canada

presented by DevaTree School of Yoga

“If you want to expand your heart and your voice, take this course!!!! The music, the instruments, the lessons, the people and the Angelic voice Brenda McMorrow…I am a novice singer and there was no judgement, only support. That was a big hurdle for me. It’s a safe space to explore.” – Elaine (2014 Grad)

photo by Marc Fortin

photo by Marc Fortin

Devotional Chant artist and teacher, Brenda McMorrow invites you to join her in taking a deep dive into everything Kirtan (a practice of Bhakti Yoga). Whether you have a desire to lead Kirtan, incorporate chant into your yoga practice or teachings, or simply receive its benefits in your own life, this immersion will guide you toward these goals.

50-hr Cross-Disciplinary Chanting Immersion With Brenda McMorrow, B.Ed, RYT

No Musical Experience Required

At its most basic and universal level, Bhakti can be defined as an expression of love or devotion. Anyone who has experienced the spontaneous heart-expandingeffects of chant understands that the Bhakti Bhav (mood) is a sweet, pure and expansive feeling not easily described in words. Like our physical yoga practice, devotional chanting has the power to create healing shiftsin the body, mind and Spirit. Acting like a tuning fork for the entire system, chanting can help us clear blocked energy and open us up to the Universal frequency of compassion, expansion, trust, and love.

Experience the benefits of mantra repetition as applied to chanting and meditation, and learn common Sanskrit & yogic chants and their meanings. Participants will gain insight into traditional deities, stories, myths and practices, and their application to our modern lives.

Learn about the typical instruments used for Kirtan, and explore creative chant composition and kirtan leading in ensembles at your own comfort level.

No musical ability and/or training is required for this program, as all students will have opportunities to nurture their own unique chanting voice in a supportive atmosphere of like-hearted others.

Brenda’s personal stories, humor and revelations from her own path and worldwide travels light up these six days of brilliant Bhakti bliss!

More words from Past Grads:

“This is the best ever!! If you are thinking to attend…just DO it!!!! You will be SO happy that you did!!” – Louise

“It changed my relationship with my voice. Do it!” – Julie

“Absolutely!! This week was life changing for me. Not only did I find my voice I made lifelong friendships.” – Jefferson

“Life changing event” – Betty and Bill

“It’s one of my favourite retreats! Wonderful soul rejuvenation!” – Kath

“JAI! JAI! This was such an amazing experience of open heart connections. Sing Laugh Love. I’m coming back for more!” – Lisa

“Each vibration creates a sound, and we are vibration and therefore sound. It’s an amazing and transformative experience. Brenda McMorrow shares the joy of Bhakti and music, and makes it accessible for all. Music is meditative to me and fills my soul.” – Gayatri

“This experience touched my soul 🙂 I am so ready to do it again and again and again. Love you, Brenda.” – Amita

“Great-o-goddesslike, ’tis! Your heart and throat chakras will never be the same!” Kristi

For more information and to read the syllabus:

http://devatree.com/calendar/event/317/

Your Investment: $925 CAD + tax

(does not include food/accommodation)

(For U.S. participants, your strong American dollar will provide you with a significant discount!)

Limited number of scholarships available

To register and for more information please email

lindsay@devatree.com

Bhakti Fest West, 2016! Join us! Discounted Tickets available through Brenda!

Hi Friends!

I sure hope you can join us for the epic, awesome weekend of Bhakti Bliss in the Joshua Tree Desert that happens each year: Bhakti Fest West!

I have 4 weekend passes available and would love it if you got in touch to buy yours from me!

Only $250 USD, a significant discount from the current price!

 

Please email me at info@brendamcmorrow.com

and to find out more about the fest, go to: http://bhaktifest.com/

 

Love and thanks, Brenda

MANTRA YOGA + HEALTH MAGAZINE: BRENDA MCMORROW – HER SONGS ARE A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE WORLDLY AND THE INFINITE

MANTRA YOGA + HEALTH MAGAZINE: Click here to read the Interview: BRENDA MCMORROW – HER SONGS ARE A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE WORLDLY AND THE INFINITEMantra13_Covers-3

KRIPALU RETREAT, Apr. 10-15 ’16 “Self Inquiry Through Mantra and Movement” with Brenda and Erica Taxin Bleznak

Our own self-realization RM

https://kripalu.org/presenters-programs/self-inquiry-through-mantra-and-movement

Registration is by phone: 866.200.5203

Dear Friends!

I hope you are all staying warm and well wherever in the world this may find you!

I have been enjoying some quiet rest time in Toronto, Ontario after many months of touring and am so grateful for it! New creations are being inspired and I’m excited to be sharing them with you soon!

I wanted to invite you specifically to a very special retreat that I am co-facilitating this April with my dear friend, Erica Taxin Bleznak at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Western MA, USA. Erica is one of the most gifted yoga teachers I have ever encountered and she is an inspiring writer and a guide to many as they travel the spiritual path. It is a deep honour to be presenting this retreat with her.

Self Inquiry has been the central practice in my life since 2003 and it has changed my life in ways that words could never describe.  I have assisted and facilitated self-inquiry retreats and workshops in Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland and it is with great pleasure that I now have such a beautiful opportunity to bring my two loves together: Devotional song and Self Inquiry!

 Please consider joining us for this transformative retreat, where you will have the opportunity to connect deeply with yourself and others, take part in deeply healing and transformative yoga, sing and enjoy the powerful vibrations of mantra and, most importantly…immerse yourself into a space that nurtures you in uncovering the Truth of Who You Are!

Love, Brenda