Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as Mooji, was born on 29 January 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In 1969, he moved to the UK and he is presently living in Brixton, London. Anthony worked in London’s ‘West end’ as a street portrait artist for many years, then as a painter and a stained glass artist, and later as a teacher at Brixton College. For a long time, he was well known as Tony Moo, but is now affectionately known as Mooji* by the many seekers and friends who visit him.
Mooji is a direct disciple of Sri Harilal Poonja, the renowned advaita master, or Papaji, as his followers call him. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he stopped teaching, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.
For the following six years, Mooji drifted in a state of spontaneous meditation oblivious to the outer world he formally knew. During these years, he lived almost penniless but was constantly absorbed in inner joy, contentment and natural meditation. Grace came in the form of his sister Julianne, who welcomed Mooji into her home with loving kindness, and afforded him the time and space he much needed to flower spiritually, without the usual pressures and demands of external life. Mooji refers to this period of his life as his “wilderness years” and speaks touchingly of a deep feeling of being “seated on the Lap of God”. In many respects, these were far from easy times for Mooji, yet there is no trace of regret or remorse in his tone as he recounts these years. On the contrary, he speaks of this phase of his life as being richly blessed and abundant in grace, trust and loving devotion.
In late 1993, Mooji travelled to India. He had a desire to visit Dakshineswar in Calcutta where Sri Ramakrishna, the great Bengali Saint, had lived and taught. The words and life of Ramakrishna were a source of inspiration and encouragement to Mooji in the early years of his spiritual development. He loved the Saint deeply but as fate would determine, he would not go to Calcutta. While in Rishikesh, a holy place at the foothills of the Himalayas, he was to have another propitious encounter; this time with three devotees of the great advaita Master Sri Harilal Poonja, known to his many devotees as Papaji. Their persistent invitation to Mooji to travel with them to meet the Master made a deep impression on him. Still he delayed the prospect of meeting Papaji for two whole weeks, choosing first to visit Varanasi, the holy city.
In late November 1993, Mooji travelled to Indira Nagar in Lucknow to meet Papaji. It was to be an auspicious and profoundly significant experience on his spiritual journey. He felt it to be his good fortune; he had met a living Buddha, a fully enlightened master. He gradually came to recognise that Papaji was his Guru. Mooji stayed with Papaji for several months. During one particular satsang meeting, Papaji told him: “If you desire to be one with truth, ‘you’ must completely disappear.” On hearing this, great anger arose within his mind, full of judgement and resistance towards Papaji. He decided to leave the master’s presence for good, but later that day a huge dark cloud of anger and rebelliousness suddenly lifted, leaving his mind in a state of such peace, emptiness and a love towards the master, so intense, that he knew he could not leave. Through ‘Papaji’s’ grace, his mind was pushed back into the emptiness of source.
In 1994, with his Master’s blessings he travelled down to Sri Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai. This is the ashram at the foot of Arunachala, the ‘Hill of Fire’, where Sri Ramana Maharshi*, the Sage of Arunachala and Papaji’s Guru, had lived and taught. Mooji felt very happy and at home in Tiruvannamalai. He stayed there for almost three months before returning to sit at Papaji’s feet once again.
A week after returning to Lucknow, Mooji received news from London that his eldest son had died suddenly of pneumonia. He returned to England. The bliss of earlier years gave way to a profound emptiness and inner silence, imparted by the Grace and Presence of Papaji.
Mooji visited Papaji again in 1997. It was to be his last meeting with his Beloved Master, who had by now become ill and frail in his movements, but whose inner light and presence remained undiminished. A month after returning to London, Mooji received news that the Master had passed away. Of this Mooji declares: “That Principle that manifests as the Master is ever HERE NOW. The True Master never dies, it is the mister that dies. The true Master, that Sat Guru* within, alone is the Real”.
Since 1999, Mooji has been sharing satsang in the form of spontaneous encounters, retreats, satsang intensives and one-to-one meetings with the many seekers who visit him, from all parts of the world, in search of the direct experience of truth. Few amongst the modern teachers of the advaita tradition expound the ‘knowledge of Self’, and the method of self-enquiry, with such dazzling clarity, love and authority. There is an energy that radiates from Mooji’s presence, a kind of impersonal intimacy, full of love, joy and a curious mix of playfulness and authority. His style is direct, clear, compassionate and often humorous. Once caught in the grip of his questions, there seems to be no place to hide. So unsparing is his scrutiny and uncompromising stance, that the ‘I’ concept is inescapably exposed as a mental construction, when viewed from the formless awareness we are.
Over the last 8 years Mooji has been travelling to Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, North America, Argentina, Brasil, India, where he conducts Satsang meetings, Intensives and Retreats. He is ever open to meeting sincere seekers of truth, whatever their background.
A mix of Apache, Puerto Rican, and Filipino, Nahko is himself a fusion of cultures that is revealed through his music. At age six his fascination with music began and armed with this new found voice, the cultural gap was bridged… producing a musical journal that translates his journey towards healing through music.
With his dynamic group of musical troubadours known as “Medicine for the People”, Nahko delivers a soulful dose of music and vibration that will make you dance, laugh and cry. In the true spirit of redemption music, his humor will charm you and the stories of his songs open you to receive what he calls ‘real talk music’, revealing an honesty and depth so raw it inspires an internal revival that echos out into the world. He makes the movement move… one hug at a time.
The life of a Gyuto Monk is a life of practice – of loving kindness and compassion for the benefit of all. The monks do this by the practice of the Tantric arts, including harmonic chanting, butter sculpture and the creation of sandmandalas.
One of the two great monasteries of the Gelug-pa lineage in Tibetan tantric Buddhism, Gyuto Tantric University was established by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup in 1475 and flourished in Lhasa, Tibet, until 1959 when their famous Ramoche temple was desecrated and the population of 900 monks decimated. About 60 monks escaped to India with the Dalai Lama and throughout the past 30 years, enduring serious privation as refugees, they have nurtured and preserved the ancient rituals and traditions and carefully rebuilt the monastic community to today’s population of over 500.
The unique sound of their chanting occasioned an invitation to the monks to visit the West for the first time in 1967, and since then they have regularly conducted tantric arts programs around the world, showing the colour, beauty, complexity and magic of this ancient endangered culture. Such visits have been integral to the financial survival and regeneration of monastery life, as the old monks pass on 500 years of wisdom to the young refugee monks still pouring into the monastery from Tibet – as well as from the Tibetan diaspora – all of whom need food, accommodation and care.
Dave Stringer has been widely profiled in publications all over the world as one of the most innovative artists of the new Kirtan movement. Kirtan is an ecstasy-inducing, call-and-response form of mantra chanting that is currently undergoing a worldwide renaissance.
Stringer’s sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sensibility of American gospel. His work translates the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga into inspiring and thoroughly modern participatory theatre, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all. Dave and his band tour tirelessly throughout North America, Australia, Europe and Asia.
Deva Premal & Miten began their journey into love and music in 1990 when they met at the ashram of controversial Indian mystic, Osho. Their worldwide concerts and best-selling albums have since introduced millions of Westerners to the joy and deep relaxation found in spiritually based songs and chanting mantras from the Eastern meditation traditions.
Deva’s debut album The Essence, which rocketed to the top of New Age charts around the world when it was released in 1998, introduced a unique musical genre, offering the ancient mantras of India and Tibet in contemporary musical settings.
Since then Deva & Miten have released a string of acclaimed CDs with sales exceeding one million, and their concerts have moved from yoga studios to audiences of thousands in concert halls, cathedrals and music festivals around the planet.
Their music transcends all the usual boundaries, receiving accolades from such luminaries as Eckhart Tolle, who calls their music “pure magic.” Hollywood movie icon Cher cites Deva’s The Essence as “My favorite CD to do yoga to.” Motivation guru, Anthony Robbins, describes Miten’s Songs for the Inner Lover album as “Passionate and powerful.” Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama is reported to enjoy their music during his private time and, when hearing Deva & Miten chant his favorite mantra at a private audience, exclaimed, “Beautiful music, beautiful…!”
In recent years, the practice of chanting Sanskrit mantras, once virtually unknown in the West, has followed yoga into the Western mainstream, with huge audiences at concerts and yoga festivals embracing chant as an effortless path to ease the heart and quiet the mind. As Deva points out, “When you sing mantras, you enter a state of peaceful, vibrant and replenishing silence. Basically, that’s why all religions and traditions have made so much of chanting in their rituals.” She also notes that chanting mantras can be healing on many levels: “The Sanskrit language is energy based – it is sound medicine. It has a harmonizing and balancing effect on the energy centers in the body, both physically, and metaphysically.”
They are joined on tour by Nepalese bansuri flute maestro Manose. Born in Kathmandu, Manose began his musical journey with a rigorous training in classical Indian raga. Later he brought the sound of the bansuri to many musical genres, from jazz to Celtic to a hugely popular rock band in Kathmandu. Since meeting Deva Premal and Miten in San Francisco, on a recording session for their 2002 Embrace album, Manose has performed extensively with them in concerts throughout the world, and is featured on many of their albums, including the most recent, Password.
Kevin’s music is a world fusion of chanting.
Weaving ancient Mantra’s from various traditions with his own prayers and hearts song, Kevin James’ anthemic songs are an effective platform to dissolve the ego, reconnect to the heart and co-create a positive vibration for the world.
Kevin draws upon influences from traditional Indian Kirtan, Bhajans, Celtic and Sufi chants mixed with western folk sounds and world instruments.
Leading singing circles in and around Byron Bay NSW Australia for the last 7 years, Kevin and Mel’s regular events are well known as an integral part of the vibrant alternative culture that so many people travel there to experience.
He and his partner Mel Dobra, now travel the world sharing the experience of these heart opening circles…
Most of his songs are in English or the ancient language of Sanskrit with interpretations woven in. They are simple, yet have a fathomless depth with universal truths and a heartfelt devotion. The intention and philosophy expressed in his songs reflects what he calls, “The evolution of an emerging culture of awareness.”
“There is a renaissance of people who are more interested in celebrating what we all have in common rather than focus on our differences.”
Regardless of your religious or philosophical beliefs, you can find a commonality or kinship with the music of Kevin James and a respect for all paths to God or self-awareness.
“I believe we are taking a huge leap in consciousness, things are changing so fast for everyone and now is the time when it can be beneficial for us to look back, in order to move forward. Devotional singing has been a part of almost every culture and religion of the world throughout recorded history. It reconnects us to our centre, brings balance and peace to the mind and a break from the ego. By devoting our attention to a greater power than the conceptual self, we can expand our awareness beyond the ego, to enter the bliss of the heart.”
Kevin plays guitar and sings and Mel plays the Harmonium to accompany his guitar and flute. Mel’s sweet harmonies add an extra dimension as she guides the group in overlapping choruses.
Kevin believes it’s all about holding space and being an empty vessel for every one to unite or unify.
“Within every song there is room for freedom. Where the different choruses can overlap and it’s my intention to lead the group to a point where there is no leader anymore. A space where everyone is guided by their own heart, where we are all singing as one voice. This leaves the participants feeling empowered and part of a unified whole.”