Airdate: June 9, 2016
Tune in to this fun podcast and listen as Ramdesh and her husband Harnam Singh explore spirituality and creativity. Harnam’s new album is called Awakening Your Creative Fire. A talented visual artist as well as a sacred chant musician, Harnam offers a wealth of ideas for keeping your creative fires burning. Plus, it’s cool to sit down with this dynamic, loving duo in their very own living room! The meditations on Harnam’s new CD are specifically designed to help you “unleash your inner creative artist!’
Harnam explains that the title for his CD came out of the experience of being an artist and finding that at certain times in his career and his life he felt blocked or stuck in some way. When he discovered Kundalini yoga the practice became instrumental in helping him get through the blocks and open doors to creativity.
As a visual artist and native Californian, Harnam was always been greatly inspired by nature. He began with painting, and later discovered Kundalini yoga, finding that the practice merged with his creative process. “Being creative and making art,” he realized, “was actually a form of spiritual practice but it took me a long time to really understand what that meant.”
Why do so many people feel that they’re not creative or artistic? Harnam believes that society and culture are threatened by creativity and imagination (art and music is always the first to go in school budget cuts, for example). The societal pressure is to conform, and artistic expression may not always be encouraged or supported. But Harnam found “true joy” in the creativity that was naturally flowing through him, which is in essence the Divine. “When you’re allowing the Divine to flow through you in a creative manner that brings great satisfaction and great happiness in the same way as yoga and meditation; they’re just different sides of a coin,” he says.
As an artist, does Harnam have some creativity tips he can share? Of course! Harnam, who recently led the Awakening Your Creative Fire Spirit Voyage Global Sadhana, has several suggestions. Yogi Bhajan said, “A relaxed mind is a creative mind.” So finding a way to relax and give yourself the opportunity to create is essential. Take a walk, travel, listen to music, dance, or go out into the woods and sing! Much of making art and the creative process is cathartic, Harnam points out. We often hold things in; art gives us a way to relax and express.
Ramdesh admits that she’s a bit of an over-achiever, and she’s grateful that Harnam has brought a sense of playfulness to her creative life. She shares that it’s hard to silence the inner critic that sometimes holds us back from taking creative risks. To experience creativity, one needs to be willing to fail, Harnam observes.
You’ll hear the mantra “Har Haray Haree” first, which is about the big picture; the creative aspect of Infinity (the seed), followed by growth (Haray), and then Haree, the blossoming or fruition of any creative endeavor. This track was used for the Spirit Voyage Global Sadhana so if you participated you know it well! If not, Ramdesh explains how to do the meditation so you can chant along with “The Meditation for Creativity and Guidance.” (A digital booklet also comes with this CD!)
Next, the “Ra Ra Ma Ma” track supports the balancing aspect of creativity. The mantra itself deals with the male, active, or sun energy (Ra) and Ma represents female or moon energy, Harnam explains. The mantra then incorporates Sa Ta Na Ma, representing the cycle of life (birth, life, death, rebirth). This powerful mantra is “super juicy!” says Ramdesh. She also explains some of the Hindu mythology behind these sacred sounds. Listen to the “Meditation for Creativity and Balance” from Awakening Your Creative Fire.
As a writer, Ramdesh has often faced writer’s block (fyi, her new book will be out this summer!) How does Harnam seem to get around blocks? His daily spiritual practice, or sadhana, is very helpful, he points out. As a visual artist and musician, he is in touch with the Infinite on a daily basis, and the spiritual practice of meditation and yoga helps him stay in the creative flow.
Ramdesh says that strengthening the navel is also a great way to increase our creative abilities. Any kriya or mantra that strengthens the navel will help with willpower. “All yoga begins and ends at the navel,” Harnam quotes well-known Kundalini yoga teacher Anne Novak. To hold the arms up in the next meditation, it’s really important to keep the navel center strong: It’s similar to “the foundation of the house,” adds Harnam. “Sat Nam Waheguru” has a powerful rhythm; join in and “fall into the power of this simple and beautiful mantra.” The chant is six Sat Nams followed by Waheguru: the meditation is called Tapa Yog Karam Kriya (you can also find it in the book by Yogi Bhajan, The Mind.” The track is “Meditation for Creativity and Willpower.”
Find out more about Harnam at HarnamSingh.com and join this creative couple as they help you to awaken and nourish your own creative fire!