By Jessica Soligon, interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney
I’m constantly trying to improve my home practice. Always tweaking something or adding a different reading, I’m looking for improvements. While buying the Experience Shavasana album on my phone, I saw Meditation: Deep & Easy. It looked like a great one to add to my home practice. The best thing is, I bought it on my phone so it’s everywhere I am.
Even though I’ve been meditating for about a year, it has made a big improvement to my meditation. I used to set a timer on my phone to say mantra for five minutes before meditating. Then I would reset the timer for 15 minutes or however long I wanted to meditate. That worked, but this album works better.
I begin morning meditation with Gurudevi Nirmalananda chanting our mantra to a beautiful melody. As I ready my space and get seated, her chanting settles me outside and inside. On the second track, Gurudevi leads a round of japa (mantra repetition without melody).
I wear my earbuds, so I won’t hear the coffee pot or anyone else getting up. As soon as I start to meditate, it’s like a magical clock going off for my five-year-old. Nine times out of ten, he gets up. Wearing earbuds helps me get into the zone and focus more.
Now I’m ready for the third track, “Meditate!” I especially love the sound of the tamboura. I relax more easily. My mind settles down and gets quiet. That’s lovely because my mind is usually very busy. Meditating this way takes me deeper than when I meditate on my own.
And I’ve found another wonderful use for this album. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. I put in one earbud and listen to Gurudevi chanting. I’m usually ready to sleep again by the time the japa track begins.
You can easily find this album on iTunes and download it. Just search for Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati. You can also order the Meditation: Deep & Easy CD from the Ashram’s online shop. Meditation: Deep & Easy is great for newcomers who want an easy way to dip a toe into meditation. Gurudevi’s step-by-step guidance for taking you in is greatly appreciated by experienced meditators as well.