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: Disc 1 : 1 Ananda Nidra 1 : Mark A. Michaels : 44:00 : MP3 Excerpt 1 : MP3 Excerpt 2 : (with the music of Black Tape For A Blue Girl) 2 The Passage : Black Tape For A Blue Girl : 16:00 : MP3 Excerpt :
: Disc 2 : 1 Ananda Nidra 2 : Patricia Johnson : 44:00 : MP3 Excerpt 1 : MP3 Excerpt 2 : (with the music of Steve Roach) 2 First Light (Excerpt) : Steve Roach : 16:00 : MP3 Excerpt :
Michaels, Mark A. & Patricia Johnson
Ananda Nidra: Beyond the Power Nap (15 minute meditation: Mark)
Michaels, Mark A. & Patricia Johnson
Ananda Nidra: Beyond the Power Nap (15 minute meditation: Patricia)
Structures From Silence (2001 Remastered Ed.)
immersion : three (retail edition)
Practicing Ananda Nidra™ involves following the speaker's voice while lying in a comfortable position. If the mind wanders or the listener drifts off to sleep momentarily, the attention is brought back to the instructions. Ananda Nidra begins with a rotation of consciousness through the body. Moving the awareness in this way produces a deep meditative state. Repeating the instructions mentally will take one even deeper. After the rotation is complete, the listener is taken through a series of sense memories and is then guided to experience a direct connection with internal sources of bliss and the beauty of existence.
It is said that 45 minutes of this guided meditation is equivalent to more than three hours of sleep. After practicing Ananda Nidra, the listener will emerge with renewed calm, focused awareness, and a sense of increased energy. Unlike other guided meditations, Ananda Nidra is specifically intended to awaken delightful and erotic sensations and to give the listener a greater capacity to experience joy in everyday life.
"Mark and Patricia have made Tantra accessible to the everyday person. Their work is simultaneously traditional and completely new and radical." - Tristan Taormino - writer, director, and sex educator. Author of The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and former Village Voice columnist. "Ananda Nidra effortlessly and consistently transports me into a state of tingling tranquility. It's delicious!" - Barbara Carrellas - writer, sex educator and sex/life coach. Author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century; Ecstasy is Necessary due in 2012 from Hay House Publishing."Trust me! If you are thinking you are just way too busy to listen to a relaxation CD, then Ananda Nidra is exactly what you need. It helped me to slow down, get the deep rest I so needed, and in an aha moment I realized that the bliss the CD offered was exactly what I thought I was moving so fast to attain. Just stop, listen and feel the bliss." - Annie Sprinkle, PhD. Sexologist, Artist, Ecosex Activist
"Ananda Nidra effortlessly and consistently transports me into a state of tingling tranquility. It's delicious!" - Barbara Carrellas - writer, sex educator and sex/life coach. Author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century; Ecstasy is Necessary due in 2012 from Hay House Publishing.
"Trust me! If you are thinking you are just way too busy to listen to a relaxation CD, then Ananda Nidra is exactly what you need. It helped me to slow down, get the deep rest I so needed, and in an aha moment I realized that the bliss the CD offered was exactly what I thought I was moving so fast to attain. Just stop, listen and feel the bliss." - Annie Sprinkle, PhD. Sexologist, Artist, Ecosex Activist
In Ananda Nidra, the listener is invited to set an intention at the beginning of the meditation and then to visualize it. The intention should be framed in positive terms: for example, to reinforce a desired behavior, to deepen one's connection with a partner, to develop even more focus, or to maximize self-confidence. This is a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation because the suggestible state that Ananda Nidra produces will implant the intention deep within the unconscious.
According to the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, a classic seventh- or eighth-centuryTantric text, the state that lies on the border between sleep and wakefulness is a profoundly mystical one. Ananda Nidra will guide one into this blissful state, while focusing the mind on pleasure. Just lie back and let Ananda Nidra awaken the joy that dwells within.
Mark A. Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand) have been teaching Tantra together since 1999. They are the authors of The Essence of Tantric Sexuality (Llewellyn, 2006, winner of the USA Book News National Best Books 2007 Award in Health: Sexuality) and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life (Llewellyn 2008, winner of the USA Book News Award, also in Health: Sexuality, Indie Excellence Awards finalist in New Age Non-Fiction, and ForeWord Magazine Books of the Year Award finalist in the Body, Mind and Spirit category.) Michaels and Johnson wrote and appeared in two instructional DVDs produced by the Alexander Institute: Tantric Sexual Massage for Lovers and Advanced Tantric Sex Secrets. They are senior students of Tantric pioneer Dr. Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati) who has named them his lineage holders for the Americas and Europe. In addition, the two are co-founders of the Pleasure Salon, a monthly gathering in New York City that brings together sex-positive people and pleasure activists from a variety of communities.
Steve Roach has created landmark music in the electronic, ambient, and new age genres since the early 80s. His classic albums Quiet Music and Structures from Silence are as relevant now as when Yoga Journal wrote they "transcend typical musical standards and set their own requirements for deep listening." Roach has consistantly topped polls, including #2 on Echoes Radio's 20th anniversary listener poll. A track was featured on Eckhart Tolle's Music to Quiet The Mind CD. "The First Light" is taken from the 3-CD set Immersion : Three.
Black Tape For A Blue Girl celebrates their 25th anniversary in 2011; they are one of America's darkwave / gothic / ethereal pioneers. The track behind Mark's meditation is a complete reworking of "The Passage," a floating comtemplative piece created in the late '90s by Blacktape's leader/synthesist Sam Rosenthal, with an appearance by violinist Vicki Richards (known for her healing releases including Cleansing Waters: Pura Vida). Included as the 2nd track on Disc 1 is the original recording of "The Passage," From As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire.
When this first arrived I was pleasantly surprised, it is very neatly packaged, and contains two CD's comprising four tracks.
The first CD is narrated by Mark Michaels (Swami Umeshanand), who guides us into our inner realms. For those who have experience of Yoga Nidra, Ananda Nidra is quite similar, but has obvious tantric as well as esoteric influences. I found myself becoming instantly relaxed to a calming and atmospheric soundtrack, and was then taken on a voyage of my body and my senses. Indeed, I felt my entire mind/body complex was being awakened into sleep (now there's a comedy contradiction). The sensations I felt were both deeply relaxing as well as mentally calming and uplifting. Getting into the body is a key process in many esoteric, spiritual traditions, and this CD allowed me to become very body-centred, then my Chakras were opened, and this was followed by a huge expansion of consciousness.
The second CD is narrated by Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand) and follows the essence of the first CD, but has a different flavour. The soundtrack is calming and atmospheric while being ever so subtly haunting (in a really good way). The direction of the process is also different, but the sensations experienced were very similar, and I felt equally relaxed, integrated, and enlightened as I had done with the first CD.
What makes this product interesting is the tantric twist they have given to Yoga Nidra. This seems to encapsulate every aspect, both from the instructions (narration) and the essence of having a male and female version. I couldn't help noticing that Mark's music which ran through the Ananda Nidra meditation itself, and included as a stand alone track afterwards, was by a very female sounding artist who happens to be Mark, and Patricia's music which mirrored this in structure was by Steve Roach. While this may seem a trivial fact, it illustrates an anima/animus collective of Tantra which runs throughout this exceptionally high quality production. To be honest I feel it is one of those perfect pieces of work seldom found in popular culture. The quality of the production is exceptional, every thing is crystal clear and is delivered uncompromisingly.
Their teacher happens to be Dr Mumford (Swami Anandakapila) who I have studied with, and is quite possibly the only Westerner to hold the full 'secrets' of higher level Yoga Nidra, and mark and Patricia being the top dogs have been given these esoteric practices. Ananda Nidra is their individual, and stylised version of ancient Indian, esoteric formulas, and delivered these they have.
I would highly recommend this to seasoned Yoga and Tantra folks, but also equally to those new to meditation and yoga, it might just become your very first meditation experience.
The two CDs are very similar–each 44-minute meditation starts with an extended period of relaxation, moving the focus through each body part, and then moves into sense-focused cues intended to evoke a feeling of pleasure throughout the body. The meditations are followed by a 16-minute music track. One CD features Michaels’ voice, and the other features Johnson’s, so the listener can select a meditation based on a preference for a male or female voice, or for one of the featured artists used for a backing track.
Compared to other audio meditations I’ve used, I found Anandra Nidra to be very effective. Though, like most meditations, I had difficulty staying awake through the long relaxation portion, afterwards I felt rested and slightly heavy in my limbs, a feeling I’ve sought from my early yoga practice without success. I would use these CDs to meditate for that effect alone, aside from any sensual desires. I was pleasantly surprised that my first experience with yoga nidra was in fact more effective than a “regular” meditation. My only complaint on this point is that the instructions at the end of the CD guide the listener through waking and movement, which makes it harder to maintain the meditative state through the additional music track.
As a sensual practice, I have more mixed feelings. I like the idea of focusing on different sorts of pleasurable sensations, but the cues are specific enough to alienate some listeners. For example, a reference to penetration may pull some out of the meditation. The meditation also assumes that the listener has, or has had, a sexual partner, and has had specific sexual experiences with that person. I did appreciate that the culmination of the practice does not put pressure on the listener to have an particular experience, but I didn’t feel that the meditation gave me any special sort of sensual or sexual experience, either. I am curious about whether over time, this might be a way of becoming more in tune with one’s sexuality or sensual experience, but it’s probably a good idea not to have your tantric expectations set too high as a beginner. -Avory