The jokes was on us


By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

“When your arms got tired, you brough them down and just clapped or just clasped the hands together. Or the arms were left dangling on the sides as you kept on singing and
dancing. “

In our village there was a small religious group. They sang, danced and clapped when they worshipped. As kids, we made fun of them.

During my first time to join the group meditation of the Ananda Marga yoga group in UP at Los Banos, I was informed we would be singing and dancing before the actual meditation. What!?*#? Are these people crazy?
I muttered, oh, this might be the payback of our making fun of that small religious group long ago. But I went along. Anyway, it was Friday night and we were on a small part of the vast soccer ground. With just a flickering candle for a light, we practically could not be distinguished. The ground including the abutting one might be wider than the grounds of Burnham Park even if the Athletic Bowl was included.
Various groups and lovers would mushroom on those grounds on Friday nights, respectively doing their own thing. Some would be drinking. The university police patrol car would once in a while pass by with its spotlight pointed here and there. They were never suspicious though unless there was an ongoing fraternity rumble.
As I was informed, prior to meditation we would be singing the Sanskrit mantra BABANAM KEVALAM, meaning, “love is all there is.” Or “God, the Supreme Father is all there is.” Or “The universal force is all there is.” Makes sense, I thought, after all there is only one God. And He is the force or spirit permeating everything, everyone, everywhere.
Since we were just a group of 5 or 6 in the darkness, nobody minded us even if we were singing out loud with discordant voices. I swallowed my shyness and after a few minutes, I was enjoying myself singing like a drunk with no inhibitions.
How was the dancing? The left foot would step on the side of the other foot’s heel with the toes hitting the ground, at the same time the knees would bend a little. Then stand up. And vice versa, the right foot stepping by the left foot’s heel with the toes hitting the ground as the knees would slightly bend. So forth and so on. The process went with the rhythm of the song which could be any tune repeated over and over again.
All the while, the hands were raised in v-chape up in the air in a state of surrender to the Lord. It is what others say as opening your heart to the Lord.
When your arms got tired, you brough them down and just clapped or just clasped the hands together. Or the arms were left dangling on the sides as you kept on singing and dancing.
I have seen so many collapsing in blissful ecstasy after a prolonged period of that singing, clapping and dancing.
The experience was like the one you might get in a church or a cathedral where the acoustics are good and the singing of hymns is so good you feel your spirit soaring into pleasantness. Your individuality is dissolved and you are one with everything, the whole creation.
Easier said than done though. It took me months and months of being in such sessions before I was able to get that experience.
That dancing, and singing the Lord’s name or praising Him is called kirtan in Sanskrit being practiced in India for about 7,000 years already. After about 15 to 30 minutes of it, you are more relaxed and could sit and concentrate better in meditation whose benefits would be another long story.
If you didn’t get the natural high in the process, or the feeling of being dissolved in the whole of creation, at least you would be feeling good. Why?
The scientific reasons are many but here are some of them. The stepping with your toes hitting the ground, promotes your physical well-being as the many acupressure or reflexology pressure points on the toes and soles are stimulated.
For instance, the pressure on the big toe stimulates the pituitary gland to function better. It is also called the “master gland” as it controls several other glands in the endocrine system.
Also stimulated is the pineal gland which secretes melatonin, the “feel good” hormone. Same result from LOL (lots of laughter), the best medicine.
The clapping is also a very healthy practice. There are numerous reflexology pressure points on your palms and fingers that get stimulated. By the way, did you know there is now a clapping therapy? The process, like the dancing, tones various important glands to make them function better.
You would later feel like you were turbo-charged, feeling great and ready to take on the world or any challenges out there.
So, wanna feel good, healthier and ready to take on the world? Now you know the secret.
Our laughing at that small religious group long ago? Now I realized that, ignorant that we were, the joke was on us.**


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