This is the movie that the kirtan and sacred communities have been waiting to see. The title of this feature-length documentary is both evocative and accurate. It describes the relationship between sacred sound and song and what it actually cultivates in our lives—the all-encompassing state of silence and eternal bliss.
Filmmaker Georgia Wyss traveled the world to capture the heart, soul, and science of the modern kirtan movement. Kirtan is the call-and-response chanting, often in Sanskrit, that is a practice-based repetition of the names and sounds of divine consciousness. In Mantra, Wyss has captured the ways in which this kirtan has become a worldwide phenomenon. She addresses why, through thoughtful interviews with scientists, students, and singers.
One of the things that makes this film such a triumph is Wyss’ evident dedication to and love of the practice. It’s evident in her footage of festivals and of sacred music moments. As the viewer, you feel as though you are drawn into this world. It’s is a world of devotion of surrender; not of giving up, but in finding resilience through the repetition of sound.
Finding Meaning and Strength in Mantra
Unsurprisingly, Wyss features a who’s who of the kirtan community, with artists from different lineages and traditions making appearances both engaged in the art as well as talking about the path and its benefits. Along with artists, we hear from people like you and me. People who have found meaning, purpose, solace, and even strength through mantra. It reminds us why we practice and fittingly tells why we long for this connection in our complicated world today.
Mantra is both an affirmation of why we love to chant and an inviting introduction to the practice for the uninitiated.
Watch it and look for your favorite festival or artist. Bring a screening to your area. Learn more about the film at: mantramovie.com
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.