On this page you’ll find everything you need to know to prepare for the course itself; prerequisite information and musical equipment/app preparation including optional instrument ordering.
In order to use our precious time together for the direct experience, immersion and synthesis that can only take place in person, please complete the prerequisites prior to attending the course. They need not be completed prior to your application. In some Module 1 programs (such as Rishikesh, India), you’re eligible to receive a $108 homework rebate if the reports are completed 30 or more days prior to your start date!
Detailed instructions and all of the report forms are also available here. Shortly registration fees are paid, you’ll receive a reminder email from us about the prerequistes, which will also include a link for you to submit your completed assignments. Enjoy your learning!
FAQ about the prerequisites are also available if you scroll down!
Prerequisites if you’re applying for Module 1:
- Read Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound, by Dr. David Frawley
- Read Ayurveda and the Mind, by Dr. David Frawley
- Read Non-Violent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg
- Read the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, sweet and simple translation by Chip Hartranft, available for free as a PDF at http://www.arlingtoncenter.org/Sanskrit-English.pdf
- Read Anandra’s e-book “Mantra Yoga” (available free from this website).
- Watch “Sanskrit: The Least you Need to Know” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgvN7e6cT_E
For your convenience, the prerequisite items for purchase are in an Amazon wishlist here: http://amzn.com/w/3SLKZQ22I9ZI7. (The 3 books are also available in electronic versions on GooglePlay.)
Homework due 30 days before Module 1:
- Reading Report: Ayurveda and the Mind, Ch. 2
- Reading Report: Ayurveda and the Mind, Ch. 3
- Reading Report: Nonviolent Communication
- Book Report: Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound
When you become a paid registrant for the course, you will receive a link to a Dropbox folder with the reading report forms you need to fill out in order to be eligible for certification.
Recommended (Not Required before Module 1)
- Attend a 40-day Online Mantra Group with Anandra and successfully complete 40 days of mantra practice (included in your Module 1 fee – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the next start dates.) – OR – Receive a private session with Anandra and do a custom 40-day personal mantra practice.
- Submit a completed Sadhana Observation Report (using the 40-day Online Mantra Group described above).
- If you’re coming to the training in Rishikesh, you might like a copy of Jennifer Mazzucco’s Hanuman Calīsa book. At the ashram, they sing it nightly in a beautiful style! We give you the properly transliterated words, but her book is a useful tool for learning the stories with each verse and memorizing it. http://jennifermazzucco.com/books/
Join the 108-day free e-course on Mantras for Peace. You can resubscribe and restart it again anytime.
Read The Mysticism of Sound and Music, Hazrat Inayat Khan
Read Vijñānabhairava Tantra by Jaidev Singh, or Radiance Sutras by Lorrin Roche
If you want to learn harmonium and are a complete beginner, you may want to take the basic lessons from Kirtan Central: http://www.bhaktibreakfastclub.com/harmonium101
- Watch Raga Unveiled (DVD) Gita Desai (with attention to the philosophical aspects and general introduction in the first section). Note that watching this DVD is important especially for those students wishing to incorporate the musical/nāda yoga elements of the course directly into their teaching work. For those students wishing to focus on transformation through mantra practice, it is not essential. (It IS inspiring, however!) A copy will be available for you to watch at Rishikesh if you would like to borrow it during the course.
- Read blog posts at: http://truefreedomcoaching.com/category/mantra/
Homework due 30 days before Module 1:
1. Complete all of the prerequisites for Module 1.
2. Fill out a “Sadhana Observation Report” while attending a 40-day Online Mantra Group with Anandra and/the Heart of Sound teaching team. See Schedule
Homework due 1 day before Module 2 (to be completed during the week off):
1. Report: NVC buddy session
2. Certain Enrichment Activities which will be assigned during Module 1.
1) If the schedule is not convenient for you to participate in the group, you may have a private session with Anandra or Stephanie and do a 40-day sadhana on your own. (The $108 online group fee included in your registration will be applied to the private session fees.)
2) If you are registering less than 40 days before the course starts, you may emphasize your previous personal practice disciplines (mantra, meditation, or otherwise) to be considered in lieu of a 40-day mantra practice. In this case, you’ll be required to complete a 40-day mantra meditation practice after the course in order to get a signed 200-hour RYT certification.
If you’d like to attend Module 2 several months after Module 1:
- You may complete the 40-day mantra practice and “Sadhana Observation Report” in the interim.
- You may complete the NVC buddy session report in the interim.
FAQ about Prerequisites
Q. Can I do my 40-day sādhanā report with the “Mantras for Peace” free e-course? What about the Sanskrit pronunciation course?
A. No. The “Mantras for Peace” course will not fulfill the 40-day guided practice requirement, because this offering doesn’t have live guidance from Stephanie/Anandra. The Sanskrit pronunciation course will not fulfill this requirement either, as the focus is not on mantra meditation. To complete the 40-day mantra practice requirement, you may choose from any of the online groups that are specifically 40-day mantra practice groups. These include “Mantra for the Modern Yogī,” “Removing Unseen Obstacles,” “Abundance in ALL Forms” and “The Fire of Transformation.”
Q. I’ve read a similar book. Does that count?
A. No, having everyone enter Module 1 with the same foundation enables us to launch the training from a much higher level and really fly together! We refer specifically to terminologies and methodologies presented in these particular books throughout the training.
Q. I’ve already done a lot of mantra studies and prior practice. Do I still have to do these reports?
A. Yes. Since this is a teacher training, repeating some elements of your study and/or practice from the lens of a teacher vs. a practitioner is extraordinarily beneficial. Further, we as a teaching cohort use these reports to establish a shared language and knowledge foundation, so that we’re all using the same terms and models.
Q. What are the specific requirements I need to meet in order to receive my $108 homework rebate?
A. Please see the READ ME documents in the Dropbox folder, here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/njhvlsnz4v6a7vo/AAAft9Cdn7wgnOdFOnxg0S8Oa?dl=0.
Q. If approved, when may I expect to receive my $108 rebate?
A. Within 1–2 days after the start of the course.
Q. Do I get feedback on my completed homework?
A. Unless your answers are incomplete or otherwise in need of revision, you will not receive detailed feedback on your work. Instead, expect to use your foundation of knowledge from the assignments to deepen our in-class discussions, group projects and case studies. Teachers refer to the topics covered in your reports throughout the course. Any themes which we read in your reports, whether they’re your brilliant synthesis or possible misunderstandings, will be addressed in our group discussions.
Q. I want to join a 40-day online group that’s included in my tuition but there isn’t one that’s starting soon.
A. If you’d like to join us for a live group, you’ll have to wait until the next one is scheduled. However, if you’d like to listen in to the recorded video calls and do your own self-paced 40-day mantra meditation, without any chance to interact with the teacher, you can do that. You can still fill out the Sadhana Observation Report forms that are part of the teacher training course requirement. Contact us to request this option.
Q. Which NVC book should I buy? I see several available.
The required book on NVC is titled “Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg. There are several editions of the same book which have different covers. It doesn’t matter which cover you have, as long as the title is the same. The book is widely available in hardcopy via book stores, ebook versions via Kindle and Apple iBooks, as well as audio book via Audible and others.
Optional Instrument Purchase
It’s highly recommended that you have musical support for your chanting practice during the training, and in the interim between modules. We recommend the following:
- An iPhone app called iTablaPro (instructions are provided in your training manual, and we use it extensively during the course.) It’s about $30 USD and is indespensible! Everyone should download it before the course. iShala is an Android app that compares, but it sorely lacks the quality and versatility of iTablaPro.
- A shruti box is an inexpensive, small, portable drone instrument with simple reeds (it’s like a harmonium, but with no keys). It’s a useful background sound, but a harmonium is much more versatile.
- A harmonium is extremely useful for leading chanting experiences, whether you’re planning to simply lead Vedic style mantras (with 3 pitches), or whether you want to learn rāgas and lead the rāga-based kīrtan style we focus on in the Heart of Sound, and/or lead Western style kīrtan chants with chords. You can get small ones built for travel; models like those built by Heart of Sound alumnus David Estes http://ragamalapeti.com/ are more expensive, but usually well worth it. You can also get larger, stay-at-home models (which tend to be cheaper, and more prone to strange mechanical tics, buzzing keys, going out of tune, and breakage.
- A tanpura is a large stringed instrument that you’ll fall in love with! It’s not practical for travel, and can be difficult to tune, but if you’re you’re musically inclined and wishing to maintain a deep nāda yoga practice, it’ll be a precious investment you will be happy with every day. The electronic ones just aren’t the same!
For Rishikesh trainings, our contributing teacher Sudhanshu arranges purchases in advance to be shipped to Rishikesh prior to Module 1 start date and personally checks their quality. Read the ordering information carefully and submit your order below!
For trainings in other locations, you’ll have to arrange your own instrument purchase separately. For tanpuras and larger harmoniums, you can browse the brochure in the order form below and contact the manufacturer to find out how much shipping is to your country.
For the highest quality portable harmoniums, we recommend http://ragamalapeti.com/.