Mantra: Sounds Into Silence Movie @ The Rubin!

I had the pleasure of leading kirtan at one of the first New York screenings of this film on Sunday March 18
Happy to share a few photos from the evening and a short video of some “Devi Pranamah” at screening of Mantra - Sounds into Silence at the Rubin Museum of Art Noah Hoffeld on cello, Tom Cucinotta on mridanga, and Keli Lalita Yoga and Kirtan in kartals and responses.

If you would like to find out more about the film and upcoming screenings across the US, click here.

Mantra — Sounds into Silence is a feature-length documentary, that, through the eyes and ears of its’ protagonists, explores the new music and social phenomenon of chanting. It showcases both intimate Kirtan gatherings and large concert performances by artists like Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, Krishna Das, and Snatam Kaur, to name just a few. We also learn about the artists paths to chanting and we hear in depth stories from some of the many people who have benefited from Kirtan. It’s a film about spirituality not religion, it’s about people reconnecting with their true selves and finding ways to navigate through life more peacefully. 

If you are interested in bringing Mantra movie to your city, community, and friends please click here for instructions on how you can do that!

SHAKTI HOUR Podcast: Nina Rao on Spiritual Practice - Ep. 14

Hi Y'all, Sharing with you here some ramblings from me with Melanie Moser on the Shakti Hour from Be Here Now Network of podcasts. Feel and share with your friends. Jai Ma |


 Nina Rao with Sri Siddhi Ma

Nina Rao with Sri Siddhi Ma

Show Notes: 

Stepping into Sādhanā
 (Opening) – Nina talks about coming into her spiritual life and shares her life-changing introduction to Krishna Das and Neem Karoli Baba. She and Melanie discuss the pull of spiritual practice and the importance of finding Satsang.

 “I think on some level, maybe I had a hunger for spiritual practice. When I did eventually meet people along the way, even before meeting Krishna Das, I realized I was being pulled very quickly into the essential feeling of sacredness around practice, whether it was meditation or yoga.” – Nina Rao

The Man in the Blanket (32:55) – We learn about Nina’s relationship with Neem Karoli Baba and how that connection has informed her life. She talks about the lessons she learned around listening to and trusting in her heart.

“As I started to read those books, Maharaj-ji’s miracles were not so much what pulled me. It was that the connection that people felt with him when he was in the body felt like the same connection I had with this being I didn’t know, it didn’t feel any different.” – Nina Rao

Listen to Krishna Das tell the story of his first experiences with Maharaj-ji on Ep. 1 of the Pilgrim Heart Podcast.

The Guru Will Find You (40:05) – Nina talks about her first encounters with Siddhi Ma and how that changed her perception of the Guru/student relationship.  She shares the relationship that blossomed between them and what Siddhi Ma’s passing was like for her.

“When I met Siddhi Ma, my memory was not really of seeing her, but I felt the same feeling that I had when I chanted with Krishna Das and when I was reading the books about Maharaj-ji. It felt as if we were all sitting in this vast presence that we called Maharaj-ji. Including her, I didn’t see Siddhi Ma as a separate entity, she was all part of that presence.” – Nina Rao   

Wisdom for the Path (1:08:08) – Nina shares a few pieces of wisdom for young women to take with them along their spiritual paths.

“Just go for it! Pursue your path, find your practice, own that practice and do it.”  –  Nina Rao

Sounds of Liberation Benefit Concerts Boston Jan 12 & NYC Jan 13, 2018

Such an honor and delight to listen and Chant with this wonderful woman Ani Choying Drolma. I was enchanted by her voice on a CD playing in Tibetan restaurant downtown years ago, and to meet her magnetic personality and hear of the great work she’s done for girls, is such a blessing. She led the chanting along with Krishna Das, and Lama Tenzin in benefit for Shedrub Development Fund here in NYC and Boston. Tashi Delek!

Here are some photos from two lovely evenings ... Boston Jan 12 & NYC Jan 13, 2018.
Krishna Das, Ani Choying Drolma, Manose Newa and Lama Tenzin Sangpo, together with musicians Noah Hoffeld on cello, Mark Egan on bass, Arjun Bruggeman on tabla, me on kartal, and music director John McDowell.

CHITHEADS Podcast: Nina Rao on Kirtan, Hanuman and Devotion

I had a nice chat with Jacob Kyle of Chitheads about things I love. Here's a post from him: 

"This week's episode with Nina Rao Chant is out today. For anyone with an interest in Kirtan, the subject of devotion, and Hanuman, this one's for you.
Thank you, Nina, for your heart-centered approach to it all. I need conversations like this to pull me down from the cold rafters of my mind and to remind me that it's all about love..."

listen here

Summer Retreat With Nina! June 23-25 Kripalu, MA

June 23-25, 2017: Immerse in the Ocean of Chant, Mantra, and Song. You can reserve you spot to chant all weekend long at the wonderful Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health website Please write to me if you have any questions about the retreat. Here is some information and registration link. I do hope you will join me. Ram Ram.

This retreat is for everyone; no chanting experience required.

Immerse yourself in the sacred practice of chant from the spiritual traditions of India to quiet your mind and open your heart. Whether you are an experienced chanter or a beginner, come explore practices that transform you from the inside out, including

*Group japa (mantra repetition)
*Asana practice led by Amanda Harding that connects body and mind with breath and movement, *accompanied by live chanting and music by Nina Rao and friends
*Group chanting of prayers and kirtan (call-and-response chanting)
*Simple mantra repetition
*Recitation of specific prayers such as the Hanuman Chalisa, Lalita Saharasranam, and Mahishasura Mardini Stotram
*Puja (devotional offerings)

Take time out to retreat into the heart space and create a sustainable personal practice that fits into your daily routine at home. Word sheets will be provided, as well as reading and audio lists for support after the retreat. By spending time with like-minded seekers and practicing together, you strengthen your own practice and find that inner place of refuge to which you can always return.


Mahalo Maui

Mahalo Aloha. A big thank you to all who shared in Spring on Maui. Here I am with Baba Ram Dass. 

Photo by John Phaneuf for me to remember by.

Enjoy this YouTube playlist of some of the chants that we did together in Maui including the new Tashi Lama Chenno...
These are the wonderful musicians I had a chance to chant with: Benjy Wertheimer, Mark Gorman, Genevieve Walker, Heather Wertheimer, Trevor Hall, and Daniel Johnson.