The dictionary defines New Age as:
“a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism”.
New Age encompasses a wide range of Eastern-influenced thought systems and practices. Under it’s umbrella lie spiritualism, holistic approaches to healing – like healing employing crystals, acupuncture, alternative medicine like acupuncture, acupressure and ayurveda. And chiropractors, natural food diets, belief in angels, masters and channeling, astrology, tarot, individual development, and environmentalism. The New Age movement that started in the 1970’s promotes global unity via concepts of religious tolerance, moral diversity and the collective rising of human consciousness.
I first heard the phrase in the context of music. A dear friend introduced me to the soothing, ambient music of Liquid Mind. It used to reside in my Ipod playlist titled ‘@New Age’, so it appeared at the top of the list of my playlists. Chakra cleansing by Doreen Virtue used to be my ‘Go To’ to feel better and it never failed. I regularly played Steven Halpern, Tibetan Chimes, Nadama & Shastro, Enya and Reiki music during yoga, massage, reiki, energy healing, meditation, painting and other forms of stress management techniques. Listening to this genre at the end of my day became a ritual of sorts. I found it to quiet my mind and hence relax my body which used to vibrate with a frenetic frequency as a young mother and ambitious professional.
In the 1990’s, I came across a Time magazine with the article on Deepak Chopra, ‘Spirituality for Sale’. Today, the New Age movement has become mainstream. It is generally accepted that these eclectic practices elevate one’s well being and speak to those who had been unable to find help through existing traditional medicine and psychological therapies.