New Growth – Ep. 10 – Krishna Das on Chanting, Divine Love and Neem Karoli Baba




Krishna Das joins Nikki to share how developing the ability to let go through spiritual practices, like chanting mantra, can angle us back towards love and the vast silence of being.

Nikki Walton welcomes kirtan wallah and host of the Pilgrim Heart Podcast, Krishna Das, to New Growth. Expressing that Krishna Das’ music and chanting have been the soundtrack and steady baseline rhythm to her year in 2020, Nikki lays out the blueprint for the conversation as one focused on sharing the practice of chanting–the methodology, the benefits, and the reasoning–with people who may be unfamiliar. Of course, there is something for every level of inquiry, as Krishna Das and Nikki dive into topics of spiritual practice, the silence of being, suffering, letting go, finding your true self, mantra, the Names of God, India, and Neem Karoli Baba, Maharajji.

Angling Back Towards Love
Inquiring about Krishna Das’ moment to moment experience of the ever-present present, Nikki invites him to speak to his life on the spiritual path, highlighting the reasoning behind consistent, daily practice. Sharing that so much of spiritual practice is an angling back towards love, Krishna Das and an inspired Nikki direct the conversation to focus on this turn towards silence, centeredness, and love.

“For me, when I’m angling back toward love, it’s like I’m listening for silence, which is why chanting is great for me because it gives me great contrast. I’m chanting, then I can hear the silence–it’s very obvious–and when I listen for the silence, there’s love – that is the present moment to me.” – Nikki Walton

The Silence of Being (12:00)
Reading from St. John of the Cross, Krishna Das permeates the scene with the deep recognition of the reality of the silence that is cradling all form, all existence. This silence is not simply an absence of noise or an absence of thought; it’s the vast, all-encompassing presence in which we live. Through this lens, Nikki and Krishna Das explore the process of cultivating inner-silence through chanting practice to become more fully in tune with the heart, and the infinite, boundless present moment.

“When you sit and repeat the mantra, you don’t have to be thinking about whether it’s working or not. You don’t have to be thinking about anything. You just have to be with the mantra. You don’t try to manipulate, judge, or evaluate. You simply do the practice. Whether you think it worked or not, that’s not your problem. You planted the seeds by trying to pay some attention to it.” – Krishna Das

For more Nikki shining through the silence of the boundless present moment, check out her interview, on Ep. 345 of Mindrolling

Chanting & Letting Go (29:08)
Touching on a theme from Krishna Das’ book, Chants of a Lifetime, Nikki shares the wisdom that when we are repeating or singing mantras, that we are chanting from the space of love, to the space of love. Warning not to get too caught in revelation or understanding, Krishna Das further boils down mantra practice to it’s base, which is simply; chanting and letting go. Developing this ability to let go helps diminish fear, building strength, confidence, and connection.

“You keep chanting and you keep letting go until there’s only chanting going on, and there’s nobody doing it. It’s just happening, and any thinking about it or quick little understandings–those are good, they come–but you keep letting go because eventually there’ll be nothing to let go of anymore, and you’ll be at ease resting in that flow of love.” – Krishna Das

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