Russill Paul is a renowned Master of Mantra and an excellent musician. After two fabulous retreats last year, he will return to Holland this summer. We invite him for his ability to teach us the power and depth of the ancient sacred Hindu rituals and mantras.
In ‘The Yoga of Sound’ we dive into the four main traditional streams of mantra and chant, looked from the perspective Sri Vidya, one of the two most important traditions within Tantra. The other one is the Kaula tradition.
Sri Vidya Tantra
The central deity in Sri Vidya is the Goddess as Shakti; the power of the vital energy that manifests everything including us human beings. We distinguish three manifestations of Shakti:
- Iccha Shakti: the power of will and intention.
- Jnana Shakti: the power of thought, knowledge and intuition.
- Krya Shakti: the power of manifestation, creativity and action.
Sri Vidya is a complex path, combining both dualism and non-dualism, union and differentiation. The universe unifies itself with the individual when we practice concentration, contemplation, meditation, rituals, puja’s and mantras. Sri Vidya is seen as a science of the Universe’s sacred design and through which Self Knowledge is the process by which the Divine knows herself as us. In other words:
God’s Glory makes a home in the practitioners of Sri Vidya.
This tradition uses mantra’s, dedicated to forms of Shakti, that are also forms of knowledge (vidya). In our retreat we will invoke the Goddesses Saraswati, Laksmi and Durga (Parvati) as essential manifestations of the Shakti that are very close to our everyday life.
To engage these Shaktis, we use practices that involve ‘Bija Mantras’ that are key to the Tantric approach to mantra. The mantras themselves are used within the sacred container of powerful rituals that are at the base of this tradition of Tantra. The combination of mantras with practices and rituals are used to transform obstructions, to rise the level of life energy, to heal the physical body, to cleanse the chakras and restore the Divine Qualities that live inside all of us. This tradition holds many secret rituals that are forms and expressions of ‘sacred knowledge’, knowledge that is auspicious: 'Sri Vidya'.
Sri Vidya and Kaula
We - the Centrum voor Tantra - are mainly inspired by the Kaula tradition and Russill is initiated in Sri Vidya. There is kinship between our traditions, but there are also differences. In this cooperation we mutually deepen our knowledge of Tantra and broaden the possibilities for daily application and practice.
What can you expect?
In this retreat you will learn how to use sound and mantra to restore the delicate intimacy with yourself and with the ‘invisible’ Divine realm of reality. Practicing mantra is a solid path of in-depth personal transformation for all meditation practitioners, for yoga teachers and -practitioners, for therapists, healers, artists and musicians - not only for tantrika’s.
Four streams of Mantra
This retreat we will also learn about the other three important streams of Mantra and their relationship to Sri Vidya:
- The Vedic Tradition that uses words and phrases to wake up the spiritual and intuitive knowledge that lies dormant in our soul. She works through the human intellect, as well as the wide variety of our emotional and essential landscape. The Vedic Tradition has crafted this art into mastery. Here mantra is a very specific 'holy language'.
- In the Bhakti Tradition the central aspect is devotional love. The melodious sounds of the mantra's are an expression of the deep desire for unification with the Divine. Poetic songs express the praise and love for the Divine and the pain of being separated from it. Full of joy, singers suddenly cry out in exclamation of the names of the Gods and Goddesses. This form of devotional mantra can bring an ecstatic meeting with the Divine. Kirtan, mantra sung through call and response, comes from the Bhakti's.
- The Nada-Yoga combines elements from the other traditions, and traditional Indian music. They acknowledge the full flow of sound, constantly present in the human body (microcosmos) and the whole universe (macrocosmos). The Nada Yogi's use all the existing frequencies to intensify their meditation, so they can actually experience the flow of sounds within. For centuries these Yogi's have been studying the primal sound 'Ohm' as part of their practice.
About Russill Paul
Russill Paul was born in India and has made a long and intensive journey through the mystical, healing and musical power of mantra. He moved to the US to contribute to the needed mutual enrichment of Eastern and Western traditions. He wrote the bestseller 'The Yoga of Sound, Tapping the Hidden Power of Music and Chant'. Russill is also a gifted performing musician. He released many beautiful albums, sharing mantras from all the four Hindu traditions: ‘Shabda Yoga’ (Vedic mantra), ‘Shakti Yoga’ (Tantric mantra), ‘Bhava Yoga’ (Bhakti mantra) and ‘Nada Yoga’.
Russill and the Centrum voor Tantra
In our retreats we use his beautiful music already for many years. The love for his music made Carla and Remmelt join Russill in his yearly pilgrimage to South India. There the wish emerged to co-organize retreats in The Netherlands. With Russill coming to Holland in 2017, a long cherished desire became true.
This 5 day retreat (19 - 24 June) is open for anyone with an interest in mantra, yoga or Tantra. Russill Paul will lead it in close cooperation with Remmelt van Kleef and Carla Verberk, senior teachers at the ‘Centrum voor Tantra’. The emphasis will be on your personal experience. Teaching will be in English.
The total price of this retreat is €1.135,-. In this price three healthy and tasty vegetarian meals each day are included. You'll stay in a 2 or 3 person bedroom at group accommodation 'Meeuwenveen', in the beautiful nature of Drenthe.
To sign up for this retreat, please send an email to email@example.com with your contact details and date of birth.
PS: If you're interested in working all year round with the power of Mantra, you might consider attending our ongoing group Mastery in Mantra. You will be working mainly in Dutch, but also in English, because Russill will supply a lot of material and teachings. Want to know more about the Centrum voor Tantra? Click here.
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