There is magic in the air in Ram Das Puri. The warm peaks of the brown hills studded with emerald bushes high in New Mexico contain a mystic light built up over centuries of prayer. It is a holy land and it always has been. The Hopis prayed and gathered leaders of tribes there for days of peaceful prayer. Then Kundalini Yogis showed up as a warriors in white, and the land was passed into our possession to preserve with prayer and energy.
Mirabai Ceiba, in their latest CD release for Meditation, “Night in Ram Das Puri” brings the magic and the mystery of this land into your heart with two 31 minute meditations. They bring the energy and power of the two thousand people that gather there every year to sing these sacred chants to you as well. Markus and Angelika participate in Summer Solstice at Ram Das Puri. They are there with their daughters; they walk the holy land and sing to the rising sun along with the rest of us. Angelika’s voice, like dripping honey, sinks down into the valley, while her harp strings vibrate up the mountain peaks. Markus’s buoyant energy and bright voice gives us all the strength to stay awake in the cold morning hours, and his smile is as wide as the plain stretched out before our eyes. They are a part of the magic at Ram Das Puri, for while the land has its own power, it is a power magnified and in part created by the beautiful souls that congregate there. On “Night in Ram Das Puri”, Mirabai Ceiba is transfusing some of that holy energy into you through the sound current.
The first track “Guru Guru Waheguru Guru Ram Das Guru” is one of the most beloved chants in the Kundalini yoga tradition. It can be translated many ways. Guru is a teacher or an energy that lifts you into enlightenment. Waheguru is a name for God, meaning how magnificent is this thing called God. Guru Ram Das was the fourth guru of the Sikhs, and is considered to be the Lord of Miracles with a very kind, loving, and giving energy. Guru Ram Das Guru can also be translated as “the wisdom that comes to the servant of the Infinite Divine”. Although it is a simple mantra, it is like an exquisitely perfect poem, one that can be translated a million ways and shines a different light depending on how you hold it. It is full of healing, relaxation and emotional release. It is a mantra of self-purification.
Mirabai Ceiba has done a lyrical, beautiful and intensely intimate version of this chant. They sing as if they are singing in the privacy of their own home and this song is their personal prayer. They are your gentle guides through a melody for union with the Divine. It is a perfect version to sing along with for your meditations, to use in a yoga class, to use in your massage practice, or to play during times that you want your soul to feel full of Divine Love. This mantra is wonderful to use when you need support and guidance, when your heart is broken and you need a friend. The energy of Guru Ram Das will come sit beside you and help put you back together again. The sweet love in their voices will soothe you and uplift you whether your soul is tired or blissful. That is the magic of Ram Das Puri and of Mirabai Ceiba: whatever your soul needs, you can find on the land and in this music.
The second meditation track is the mantra “Ajai Alai.” This mantra is one of creation and overcoming obstacles. It was written by the 10th guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, as a part of a holy prayer called Jaap Sahib, which rouses the soul into action. It is a repetition of the aspects of the Divine One, calling him Invincible, Indestructible, Fearless, and Everywhere among other things. It allows you to connect with those God qualities inside of you that raise a great sense of power and victory within.
Mirabai Ceiba leads the charge to awaken you to your own soul’s greatest good and to spur you into action. Recalling the fire on the cover, they lead you through purification with the first track and now with the second, they are calling you to raise the fire element within you, to light your life on fire with passion and to accomplish your dreams. Their sweet voices act as gentle guides to this process, never pushing you too hard, instead stoking a fire within you that they trust will grow until your whole spirit bursts into flames.
“Night in Ram Das Puri” by Mirabai Ceiba is one of those indispensable albums for meditation that you can use again and again to support your practice and your heart. Like the land that so many in this tradition return to every year for growth and strength, it becomes a familiar place of refuge, a musical accompaniment to the peaks and valleys of our lives.