Here are four videos from a recent kirtan I led in Maui. They are the “closest thing to professional” videos that I own so I thought it would be good to share them with my friends.
All four chants are from the kirtan that was part of the Ram Dass public satsang on Maui.
Recorded live at the Makawao Union Church on August 25, 2013
Zach Leary – vocals and harmonium
Dana Huffman – guitar
Kit Thomas – bass
Vidu – percussion
Even more interesting than the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 7, is how we as a collective are responding to it. In the past the common lens in which we viewed change in our society came in the form of fashion, music, politics, tolerance and industrial advancement. This is still true to some extent but what we’ve now done is added a new layer to how we are experiencing change – cyberspace.
Every time there is a new “major” update to the digital eco systems we spend most of our time in there is always an endless stream of of both public and professional pundit outrage over the changes. Anyone who has been on Facebook for more than three years can certainly attest to it. Go ahead and think about the last time Facebook made a major update to it’s product; chances are you can’t even remember what they were and all that you recall is that you were pretty upset about it. All of the Facebook posts about missing the old Facebook and that Facebook isn’t listening to it’s users were common and nearly everyone came across them in their newsfeed. Fast forward three years and Facebook’s stock is at an all time high, it’s user base is massive and once again no one can recall what those changes were.
Enter iOS 7. Apple, more than any other company, has the feverish rabid zeal of a dedicated user base that’s akin to a blood thirsty dog getting a bone. Every single move the company makes is up for tremendous scrutiny while products continue to fly off the shelf. It’s as if the dog loves to bark at the person feeding him.
If I was CEO of Apple I for one would constantly be laughing while resting assured on Steve’s philosophical blueprint he laid out for the company. I’d also go back time and again to the answer Henry Ford gave when asked about why he never asked his customers what they wanted; “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
In the world of technology of course it’s important to pay attention to what people do and don’t like about certain trends but it’s also paramount to remember we are at the dawn of the movement and no one knows what’s around the corner. Things mutate almost organically and without logic.
The most fascinating aspect of peoples reaction to iOS 7 is not the dismissal of the new color scheme, or the “swhooshes” and “blips”, it is the admission that such protest of these changes completely changes their day to day world. We live in the operating systems of today. iOS 7, OS X, Windows, Android, Facebook, etc have all become inextricably linked with our practical behavior. It’s not the sending of the email that’s important anymore, it’s the how we send the email that is important. Finally after nearly two decades of mass adoption how the interface for cyberspace looks has become just as important as the function itself.
Steve Jobs knew this long before most. He preached that design, both hard and soft, WAS the product and that they could not be separated. Apple always had in it’s DNA a belief that what you’re experiencing while you are “doing” is just as important as the “doing” itself.
Arguably, the traces of this product philosophy can go back to the counter culture movement of the 1960’s. Anyone who has taken any psychedelic or practiced any type of meditation knows that how the human mind interfaces with consciousness is at the core of happiness. Are we approaching life through a hyper kinetic disorganized system that is laden with fear and distrust? Or are we floating through life with peace, compassion and focus of mind and body?
The same can be said to our digital lives – are we spending time debugging our broken computer and navigating through endless windows of dialog boxes? Or are we accomplishing our digital tasks with grace and ease?
This, without really saying it, is why people get so worked up about the changes in their favorite operating systems? It’s so vital that they are easy to use and require a hassle free relationship. Whether or not you believe this to be true, one thing is for certain – you won’t even remember what iOS 6 looked like a month from now.
What do me and Ritchie Havens have in common?
Well, nothing really. He was a large African American 60s revolutionary folk singer and I’m an anglo fledgling bhakti musician. With that said, we both share passion for love and music.
And more importantly, he opened Woodstock ’69 and I am opening Bhakti Fest ’13.
It will be early and empty, but if you are there and want to start Bhakti Fest off with me and my friends, be there at 9 am on Thursday. We’ll do our best to start things off right.
With inspiration coming from this great Ritchie video when he opened up that other festival.
If you find yourself on or near Maui on August 25th come to the Ram Dass public satsang at the Makawao Union Church. I’m so honored to be leading the kirtan for this event. It will be a joy to share this practice with you and for our beloved Ram Dass.
The Meta Institute’s founder Frank Ostaseski will be joining Ram Dass as they will co lead an afternoon of dharma talks, meditation and reflections.
All of the details are below on the flyer.
Jai Sri Ram!