Madison Margolin and Govind Das talk about blending practice and psychedelics in this episode of Set and Setting.
Govind Das is a California-based kirtan singer, yoga teacher and as his spiritual name suggests – “servant of the divine”. He is the co-director/owner of Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica CA. Govind Das’s commitment to Bhakti yoga and the ideals of love, service, and devotion is the essence that is reflected and transmitted through his music and teachings. His intention is to share yoga in the spirit of celebrating life and developing a personal and intimate connection with Source. He leads evenings of kirtan, bhakti yoga workshops, presents at festivals, and leads transformative retreats throughout the world. Govind Das and his wife Radha live in the hills of Pacific Palisades, CA overlooking the Great Pacific Ocean with their son Malakai and daughter Ruby Jaya. Keep up with Govind Das on Instagram
The Doorway of Psychedelics
Govind Das explains his spiritual path to self-embodiment. For him, it all started via the use of psychedelics in college. Govind Das feels that psychedelics opened a doorway to something much bigger, more sacred, and more creative. He was introduced to meditation and yoga after college and this revived his memory of being on psychedelics and connecting to something large. This then led him to listen to Ram Dass on a cassette tape while driving from Florida to New York. Ram Dass’ teachings really resonated with Govind Das. This is how he found out about Satsang and kirtan.
“Psychedelic journeys, for me, revealed (for the first time) oneness. The interconnectedness of the whole. And that my life, my actions, my thoughts and my words are a part, like a thread of the fabric in the whole.” – Govind Das
Spiritual Opening (19:15)
There are many young people today using ayahuasca. Govind Das does not explicitly frown upon this, but he says that having a spiritual context to understand a trip can be really beneficial. Ayahuasca is a powerful and ancient plant medicine. Govind Das says that he is very glad that during his first ayahuasca trip, he already had knowledge of yoga, meditation, etc. This helped him to integrate his psychedelic experience into his life. He could not imagine having such a vast spiritual opening and lacking the knowledge to understand it or give it direction.
“It’s a scary prospect to have an experience that could blow you wide open and then you have no concept of how to make sense of it.” – Madison Margolin
To listen to more on psychedelic plants, tune into Ep. 242 of Mindrolling: Sacred Medicines with Nick Polizzi
The Legacy of Be Here Now (35:19)
Madison asks Govind Das how he applies Ram Das’ legacy of ‘being here now’ to his life. He says that the practice of being here now allows us to operate from a different place. Rather than being above reality and thinking with our judging, dualistic mind, being here now gives us the gift of presence. When we are in the moment, we are accepting everything just as it is. We are loving everything without boundaries.
“From here, we are not in duality. The soul loves.” – Govind Das