Another Wednesday, another concert, and the place to be – Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Mount Vernon’s Church of the Arts. This midweek noontime concert series is a special treat, an offering to the community celebrating love, people and unity.
These concerts are specially designed for individuals who only have an hour for lunch. However, 40 minutes will do if you live/work in the neighborhood. They are approximately 30 minutes long. Food is provided, and ready and waiting for you at the venue. It’s all free, but they do encourage a nominal donation to support local charities.
Wednesday’s performance by Bhakti Tree was beyond inspirational – ethereal Kirtan music speaking to the hearts of many, and I know this by the expressions on several faces. Eyes were closed and I could see people connecting – meditating, or perhaps even praying. As I like to say, whatever it takes to find your center, but that’s the place to be if you want to find peace, living a life of happiness.
Bhakti Tree offers their music with humble hearts in the service of love. They spin together traditional mantras, and sacred chants and songs from around the world, and their own original music, bringing diverse people together. (For those who don’t know, Kirtan is the meditative chanting of ancient songs enabling individuals to connect to the divine within.)
As I sat listening to these beautiful chants, I contemplated religious dogma. Many have manipulated ancient text to control the masses. We propagate fear out of selfish necessity. Politicians often use it as a tool of oppression. This must end.
We must stop judging each other, because in performing the latter, what we are really doing is judging ourselves, and with that we prove our ignorance to the world.
No matter what you believe, religion must be all-inclusive. We must look for the positive, and relent on the hate-mongering rhetoric. We all matter, and deserve the love of each other, and of a God that may or may not exist, depending on your beliefs.
I was led to believe toxic fundamentalist perspectives at a very young age. I never understood the concentration on negativity, and I’m still clueless. I abandoned religion in my young adult life, becoming an atheist, and now – an agnostic.
What I practice is the religion of unconditional love, and I encourage you to do the same. I believe in a universal life force that resides in each of us, which links us all, thus all paths leading to God, which is nothing more than enlightenment.
May we all learn to be a bit more understanding. Love more. Hate less. Find peace. Cheers! – paerki
(The photos in this post are from a Wednesday afternoon hike on the footpaths of Roland Park. Additional Photos: Autumn: Roland Park Footpaths Related Posts: Joy and Inspiration, Inspired By Strauss, Walking With God Two of my favorite quotes: “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” – Susan B. Anthony and “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.” – Frank Lloyd Wright)