Tel Aviv, Israel
My main host in Israel is a bright 25 year old Russian-born Bala Krishna. As we made the drive to Tel Aviv for a walk, a swim and Kirtan with others he showed me a hard copy of an interesting graph. It was an EEG, electroencephalogram, of two people, quite avid practitioners of bhakti yoga and how the brain waves showed a beautiful solid reading of an exceptionally controlled mind when they chanted gayatri mantras.
It was an experiment conducted as part of academic research showing unseen ability to control brain-wave patterns. The whole world is becoming intrigued with the practice if meditation and how it brings about a positive sense of focus in people's lives. If science gets behind this ancient technique for making life tolerable then it will be rendering a great service, don't you think?
Since my last visit to Israel two years ago when I actually completed walking the country I see the efforts to improve the quality of life at least by the beachfront, the Mediterranean shoreline. A bicycle path, with north and south lanes, has been introduced with a bike rental system as you see in world-class cities. But what else can provide an enhanced way of being?
The kirtan that was lead by one other Russian devotee on harmonium with speakers and an entourage had many people spontaneously dancing and putting their effort out to take a crack at mantra meditation. The people here have a sense of rhythm and this was clearly demonstrated by passersby, tourists and such, who didn't just end up passing by but who stayed for a stretch to join in the fun. A lot of happy faces erupted as folks entered this domain.
The two young guys in particular remained with our male circle of dancers as they kept a simple but creative step for a good long while. Our female-formed circle also attracted women who stumbled upon a very festive side of a Saturday Night Fever. The more delicately demonstrated impressive hand moves.
I'm not sure what a graph would look like if all kirtan participants, including dancers and onlookers, were hooked up to a brain-wave machine. Judging by the joy on the faces I think that alone to be a good gauge. From what I gather the city of Tel Aviv is gracious to allow for this outdoor kirtan to go on for many years. This party of mantra chanters puts a nice touch to the the social landscape of the Mediterranean Sea side.
May the Source be with you!