Technologies of the Self : Krishna Kirtan

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 - 1:00 until 3:00

Our last session in the series!

“Unwind, unpeel, unmask yourself for a bit. Enjoy some time with your self. Immerse deep within your heart and sing and dance from there. Meet loving souls and inquire about the essence.

Kirtan is an age old tradition of joyfully connecting with the spirit by diving in the sweet sound of a mantra. Within minutes, it detangles you out of external identities and allows you to just be. The joy experienced is immense and very unworldly. It does not need any faith or knowledge, just presence. It does not impart any faith or any knowledge, just presence.” -Satish More

Kirtan is music but is not entertainment. Rather, it is a form of participatory meditation. The Krishna Mahamantra (hare krishna, hare krishna, krishna krishna, hare hare; hare rama, hare rama, rama rama, hare hare) is considered a sacred and primordial sound and its recitation the most effective practice in this Kali Yuga, the final age of this world cycle. It was popularized by Bengali saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in the 15th century, and is an example of the Bhakti (devotional) Yoga tradition of India. This session will emphasize the joy and ecstasy of singing and cultivating love for the divine.

Satish More will be leading the Kirtan on the harmonium and will be accompanied on the mrdanga (South Indian drum). Participants are welcome to bring their own kartals (small cymbals) if they have them. Be prepared to sing, clap, dance, cry, hug, or simply observe. All ages welcome!

Satish More is a filmmaker and photographer based in Athens, Ohio: <>. Event photo by Satish.

***Facilitators are not expecting payment and all sessions are by donation. Please contribute to the cost of their visit, and the rent and maintenance of the studio space, with a small contribution.

Larissa Mellor - and/und/şi

Friday, February 10, 6-9pm
@ It Looks Like It's Open Studio
13 E Tulane Ave.

Romanian, German and English are entwined in my head and my history.  The words in the works are taken form these three languages.  All of the words present are connectors, usually used to link words or phrases.  While the languages themselves are links to larger cultures, the cursive script signifies the personal.  The works evoke the contortions, fusions and confusions of experience.  Within the works there is no hierarchy.  Sometimes they are legible and sometimes hardly discernible.  Letters and words emerge and disappear.

Larissa Mellor holds a BFA from Maine College of Art and an MFA from The Ohio State University.  Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including the Moscow Biennial of Young Art in Russia, the Universität der Künste Berlin, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Ohio Art League.  Mellor recently spent a year abroad in Berlin, Germany at the Universität der Künste Berlin as a Fulbright Fellow.  She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio, where she is a Lecturer in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University.

Art of the Spirits

Tomorrow (Sunday at 1:00) is the first of our five "Technologies of the Self" events, the ecstatic trance session with Susan Josephson. We have a bunch of chairs and are ready for the big group it seems will be attending! What knowledge will emerge in this "operation" on the self?

According to Felicitas Goodman, this technique is intended to connect the ordinary reality with that of the Spirits, "Ritual is the rainbow bridge over which we can call on the Spirits and the Spirits cross over from their world into ours. ...the ordinary and the other reality belong together. They are two halves of one whole. Only their joining will make a complete world, a world worth living in. The existence of humans is empty without the Spirits, but theirs is equally incomplete without involving us, and the world about us. Although they are so much more powerful than we are, in this sense they need us." (1990, p.55)

Is this cultural appropriation of indigenous spirituality or the recovery of something lost in our 'modern' society? I would love to hear reflections, critiques, suggestions after the event. A discussion could develop here on this blog or elsewhere.
I also thought folks would be interested to see a few drawings Susan made as depictions of visionary experience. To the left are photos of two pen and ink works which incorporate illustrations of ritual body posture.

Reminder: for the best experience, don't eat at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the session. If possible, fast for the whole morning.   -Seth