Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A 9 cycle is a time to tie up lose ends. It's not a good idea to begin new projects in a 9 cycle... they rarely come to fruition. If we think of our lives are having many seasons, the 9 cycle is like right before the last frost of winter. It's not a good time to plant seeds.
The 9 cycle is also a time for extreme gratitude. Like, TRUE gratitude. Not oh-wow-thank-you-for-this-million-dollars gratitude. More like, oh-wow-I-just-totaled-my-car gratitude. Or oh-wow-my-neighbor-just-threw-a-pot-of-hot-rice-into-my-window gratitude.
The 9 cycle is about mastery. Masters know that "all things come from God." The totaled car and the broken window are no different. The 9-cycler would be wise to scream "Wahe Guru" (yay God!) as calamity is afoot, because life will keep giving us the same lesson so long as we keep rejecting the blossoming of our consciousness. When we can feel gratitude for EVERYTHING (not just the easy stuff), we will begin to let go of the past, and let God create our future. That is the journey of a 9 cycle.
Do I sound excited? Truth be told, the 9 cycle freaks me out a little. There I said it.
I mean, I was born in September (9 month), so I life with this energy as part of my daily existence. Let me tell you: it's not for wimps. I am so GRATEFUL to have so many uplifting tools in my tool-belt, that have successfully pulled me out of the haze time and time again.
9 is about mystery (i.e. confusion, doubt, scattered energy) over mastery (i.e. gratitude, completion, focus).
P.S. Oh - I'll be in a 9 cycle because my birthday (month + day) + the year = 9
August 11 birthday = 8 +12 = 2
2+0+1+4 = 7
2+7 = 9!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
1. First off, I see more evidence that little boys are pigeon-holed into "what boys should do/be" than girls these days. Isn't is still weirder to most people for a boy to play with a doll or take ballet classes, than for a girl to be part of a soccer team or play with cars? I support the idea that kids should be able to follow their own inner-guidance and do the things that make them happy, regardless of whether society deems them "male" or "female" activities.
2. Where is the evidence that girls who play with dolls, or boys who play with dolls, are automatically going to be bad at science? Or not grow up to be engineers?
3. Why is it important that girls grow up to be engineers? Implicit in this idea that being an engineer is a superior calling to being a mother. I think this sense of resentment of our "traditional roles" is a remnant of the days where women were considered the inferior sex because all they did was take care of the home. Um, can we just lose this idea? There is nothing inferior about the 24 hour job that is raising a family, preparing nutritious meals and keeping a cozy home. Whether a woman or a man is doing it, this is serious work. The quality of care a child receives impacts our society as a whole in a very real way... for generations! The job of "mother" or "father" should be valued in our society. So-called "stay-at-home" mother and fathers are absolute heroes and should be treated as such. The "bread-winning" partner is also a necessary component... and if they are both doing both, power to them!
4. Progress, as I see it, is not where every member of our society is free to take on more of the traditionally male societal roles. Instead, I believe progress is where each member of our society is valued for their intrinsic worth as a human being, regardless of their sex, skin color, job title, salary, height, weight, etc...
Societies go through waves of valuing that which is inherently "male" or inherently "female". Right now we are obviously at a place in time where MALE values—i.e. reason over intuition, ownership over sharing, interests of the individual over interests of the collective—are extolled, and men and women alike are encouraged to develop their male qualities over their female qualities. Everyone has both. Balance is key.
I support a society where everyone's light is able to shine. I support a society where we are able to pursue our joy, regardless of our gender. I support a society where the loving parent is just as valued as the ingenious biologist. We all have something to contribute, and something to learn here on Earth.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the name so we could open a bank account and start the process.
Very exciting. I love feeling like I'm helping.
And then there is another aspect to it, where I feel like it only puts a small bandaid on a very large problem. It feels like sticking my thumb in a leak in a dam.
That's always the way I feel about community service. I must remember that doing something is generally better than doing nothing though.
And I hope that the family we "adopted" over Thanksgiving (before our program officially starts) enjoys all the yummies we collected for them.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
This is a live version of a song called "Amen." I wrote the lyrics based on a version of the Lord's Prayer translated directly from the Aramaic. I was really inspired to write my own prayer...
Here it is...
Sunday, October 20, 2013
The opening verse is a poem about the powerlessness of our ego. "God and me, me and God are ONE" is a Kundalini Yoga mantra.
The song is from my new album THE COSMIC GIFT.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I am slightly embarrassed to say that my first few months as a mother were not all awe, bliss and pixie-filled. It was hard rearranging my life to include a baby. And it was hard to figure out that it wasn't a new version of my old life I needed to design... I had to embrace a whole NEW life.
I'm nearly 8 months in and I can honestly say that I no longer morn my lost free time, my unbroken sleep, or any of the privileges I thought I enjoyed about my life as a childless woman. I love my life now. I realize how much having my son has opened my heart and taught me how to truly love giving.
Sirgun & Amrit-Anter
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
where my soul longs to dance
There is no place to sit or sleep
No sugary words,
no thoughtless glance
There is a love like marble
A weathered-smooth substantial stone
Where we build our journey
Where my heart calls home
It's not a place of empty promises,
no cooing voices,
or inconsequential choices
Where the heart meets its mate
Where the purpose and plan equate
This space exists beyond comfort
I am invited every day
Thursday, August 8, 2013
When I took the class, I was already practicing Sikhism. I took it not because there was something lacking in Sikhism, but because I didn't grow up with religion. I was curious about the prayer technique (called "affirmative prayer") that they used at Agape. I use the system when performing an Ardas actually (the Sikh prayer).
The class affirmed to me that other "religions," or systems of worship, do not threaten my faith. They enrich it. I truly believe that every "religion" is fundamentally the same when we don't see everything so literally. If we can expand our interpretation of what we think, we can reach common ground with pretty much anyone. God is far too vast to understand or win an argument about.
When it comes to God, I believe we should practice what we... well, just practice. Don't preach!
Sunday, July 14, 2013
:: BEFORE PURIFICATION, THE MESS ::
The mind is a messy place. There is so much there. So much that we are aware of, but so much more that we bury, or that we didn't even notice we kept there in the first place. The Grand Subconscious. The Even Grander Unconscious.
The thing about Western psychology is that it is the study of how interesting this mess is. I recently read an article in Scientific American that had evidence that talking about our problems actually makes them bigger. Because the more we discuss the past the more it plays through our mind and gets reinvented. Our memories are actually not that good. We re-invent the past each time to talk about it. In other words, talk therapy can make our issues worse.
I grew up on a lot of talk.
On the one hand, it made me incredibly adept at identifying my feelings. I think it's important to be able to articulate what is bothering us. On the other hand, it made me create stories about why I am the way I am and who to blame for it.
So: not healthy.
Now that I am raising a son, I see things in myself that I don't like. And the blame rises.
:: HUGGING LITTLE ME ::
There are reasons behind the way I am. That is my journey. I'm realizing that everyone in my life is and has been a fallible human being—just like me.
Being a mom is helping me forgive my mother. And watching my husband be a new dad is helping me forgive my father.
And watching my son—this HUGE soul in this TINY body—trying to navigate this crazy world, is teaching me about my own journey through life.
:: KARMA ::
Because without forgiveness, we just collect more and more baggage. More and more subconscious junk, which colors everything we do without us realizing it. And then we create more junk.
In yogic terms, KARMA.
The first step is forgiving myself.
This journey of being a mother is like the fast track to clearing or accumulating more karma. There is another soul on the line. And I have to be very mindful.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
My new album, The Cosmic Gift, is now available to purchase and download!
It feels so good to release it into the world... what a labor of love.
It is 8 tracks long, mantra-rich, replete with beautiful melodies and harmonies, adorned with sweet string parts, caressed by woodwinds, upheld by drums and hand percussion, and all put together by the talented Ram Dass Khalsa... by the grace of Guru Ram Dass and everyone who helped make it a reality by pre-purchasing and donating to it!
I feel so blessed to have been able to do this.
I hope you enjoy it!
P.S. Here is a list of all the wonderful people who helped make this happen. There was not a moment of making this that I was not grateful to YOU for your support... For, without it, it would not have been possible.
Abhai Raj Singh & Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa, Bryan Baughman, Julio Andujar, Devi Bhaktananda, Nicole Coyle, Crown of Eternity—Harnek Singh & Kaur, Lisa Freund, Geri Garrett, Christina Glavas, Mary Green, Humble Monkey Yoga, Gagandeep Kaur, Harsukh Kaur, Jaslaen Kaur, Joti Kaur, Harpal Kaur Khalsa, Sat Darshan Singh Khalsa, SatKirin Kaur Khalsa, Tapasyogi Nandhi, Debbie Oliver, Isabelle Pierre-Emile, McKenzie Reed Van Meel, Dr. Karen Rowe, Tiera Rozman—Yoga on Central, Scott & Amber Samplin, Jerry & Pamela Singer, Hari Sangat Singh, Peter Sklivas—Yoga Passion, Donna Swan, Dave & Kathee Walters, Cathy Anderson, John Apt, Allison Austin, Wendy M. Barton, Valerie Bechteler, Paula Becker, Sherry Berger, Catherine Boyer, Sandra Brazeau, Sumr Soudi Breeze, Sheela Bringi, Crystelle Brown, Lisa Bucciarelli, Christiane Bulley, Sangeet Kaur Chana, Denise Cobo (Harchand Kaur), Nancy Cole, Connie Corley, Chris Courtney, Bob Dahlstrom, Cheryl Davis, Pamela Davis, Leita DeRouen, Jo Downer, Cypress Dubin-Snyder, Chrissy Fenzau, Anne Finnan, Anne Fresia, Sarah Garney, Anthea Gaupner, Debra Gehrke, J A Gelabert Sampol, Alana Gentry, Nora Gluck, Rochelle Goehring, Susan Gold, Andrea Meisner Gottleib, Tara Grady, Audrey Hannah, Byron Hamby, Harnam, Tua Hua, Jennie Hyland, Marc Kaplan, Tosh Kara, Esther Katzman, Amar Atma Kaur, Arjun Deva Kaur, Jai Kirti Kaur, Jot Prakash Kaur, Karampal Kaur, Kehar Kaur, Kewal Kaur (Cat), LivNam Kaur, Mandeep Kaur, Nihal Kaur, Paramliv Kaur, Pearljeet Kaur, Ram Das Kaur (Julie), Ram Rung Kaur, Sampuran Kaur, Satgurprasad Kaur, Sirgun Kaur (Powers), Siri Baldeep Kaur, Sirikar Kaur, Carrie Kepler, Adarsh Kaur Khalsa, Ajeet Kaur Khalsa, Amar Khalsa, Daljit Singh Khalsa, Dev Suroop Singh Khalsa, Dhyan Kaur Khalsa, Fatehpal Kaur Khalsa, Ghansham Singh Khalsa, GuruMeher Singh Khalsa, Guru Prem Singh Khalsa, Guru Singh Khalsa, Hari-Mander Singh Khalsa, Himmat Singh Khalsa, Kartar Kaur Khalsa, Kewal Kaur Khalsa, Meher Kaur Khalsa, Namjeev Kaur Khalsa, Sahib-Amar Khalsa, Sant Kaur Khalsa, Sant Singh Khalsa, Sarv Karta Khalsa, Sat Darshan Khalsa, Sat Kartar Khalsa, Sat Kaur Khalsa, Sat Nam Kaur Khalsa, Simran Kaur Khalsa, Simrit Kaur Khalsa, Siri Chand Kaur Khalsa, Dr. Sham Rung Khalsa, Sharon Korchowsky, Veronica Krestow, Laura Langlois-Myers, Paula Leeper, Michelle Lombardo, Courtney Long, Windy Lyle, Lenore Lyons, Liz Marx, Josie Mason, Grace Mauzy, Constance Mayer, Liz McCollum, Julie McDonald, Brenda McMorrow, Joan McSweeney, Helena Nash, Ana Netanel, Francesco Niccoli, Hillary Palestrant, Gita Perkins, Carrie Peters, Julie Phillips, Deborah Pierson, Prairie in Bloom, Stephen Price, Ryan O'Flaherty, Meena Ollek, Yvette Om, Philippe Quesnel, Janelle Reichman, Stella Roest, Guy Robinson, David Rosenthal, Bettina Jaideep Schlüter, Julie Sector, Joan Shangold, Michael Shillingforth, Kate Shipp, Allen Shubert, Ricky Singer, Guruka Singh, Kartar Singh, Paramdhan Singh, Nam Hari Singh, Benida Solow, Regina Spamer (Gurupal Kaur, Leigh Stovestull, Studio Santosha Yoga, Heather Sweeney, Milan Symon, Jamila Tazewell, Alicia Valentyn, Zita Vasilisinova, June Paramdeep Veltman, Nacho Verdugo, Jeanne Verger, Christina Weddle, Rowen White, Lindsey Wicks, Christin Wingo, LynnDee Witteveen, Ananda Yogiji, Stephen Zipperer
Friday, June 7, 2013
Since September, my new album has been in the making.
Well, before that actually...
I began thinking about a new album at the beginning of 2012...
Or maybe it was in 2011 when I released my last album...
ANYWAY, it's been a while. :-)
Creation is a lengthy process.
:: COME AND BE HUMBLED ::
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how humbling a process it is to make an album. I don't think many people listen to music with the awareness of how much time, energy, love, sweat, and doubt, awaken through it.
As with any creative project, too, it's never really done. I mean, there is a time when you have to say "enough editing!" But really, there's always something you can keep fixing. There's always something you can go back and forth about—change it, change it back. There's always a wish that this one little tiny thing (that probably no one else will hear) could have been bigger, or smaller, or higher, or lower.
In these times, I have to remember something my mother told me: the imperfections are important because they let God in. I like that.
:: ACCEPTING THE BEAUTY ::
Once I can let go and know that its not ever going to be "perfect," I realize that it already is. This album is exactly what it is supposed to be. My producer did a fabulous job. The musicians gave incredible performances. The songs are lovely. (If I do say so myself)
And the big picture is: I am really happy with it!
This morning the final mix of each track was sent to get mastered. That is the moment of letting go. It's like what I must imagine parents feel about sending their child to college.
We did our best... May you be successful!And so I bid farewell to "The Cosmic Gift" (my new album), for it is no longer my little project. It will belong to everyone who holds it, sings along, and sees it.
Music is magic like that!
Monday, June 3, 2013
It's an incredible experience listening to mixes as my producer sends them. They are delivered to me in stages, each time a little more complete–adding drums, shakers, harmony vocals, viola, cello, violin–preparing to be heard by more people.
I am listening to the latest "mix." I am riveted. I have never made music like this. My heart swells with gratitude for not only the amazing skill of the musicians, producer, etc., but also for all the people who believed in this music enough to patronize it.
Without that funding, this simply wouldn't have happened. This album was your gift to me. Now it is becoming my gift to you...
I decided to call it THE COSMIC GIFT. The title reflects this gratitude, and also nods at the arrival of the greatest cosmic gift I have ever received... my baby boy.
Wow. It's been quite a year so far!
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Spiritually, I totally get how ridiculous it is to even go there in my mind.
First of all, one never knows what is really going on for someone. So, when I compare, I'm comparing what I know about myself to what I ASSUME about someone else. So silly.
As I get this album ready, the comparing is getting the best of me at times. Will it sound as good as ______? Will it be ready at the same time as ______?
I have to take a deep breath and be humbled by the fact that it is what it is. I have a newborn baby, and getting this album together have been pretty challenging in that respect. My situation is different from other artists right now. My situation is always different I guess... It's always mine.
Anyway, I did manage to finish the cover art. Photo was taken by my friend Amar Atma Singh. I am so thrilled with the photo shoot! I get really shy being photographed.
Despite the worries, I am so excited about this album. I think it is definitely the best thing I have ever created musically. I'm really looking forward to finishing it... whenever that is!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Now that there is a little one in the house, I get little bits of "me time."
I realized today that having a baby has expanded me in ways I wasn't expecting. And in ways I've been fighting a little.
I have been stretched, poked, and provoked.
:: I have been called to be MORE ::
:: I have also been called to be LESS ::
All this expansion makes me feel like a new, more selfless person.
I never realized how much goes into caring for a tiny human being.
You can't know until you do it, I suppose.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Everything that occurs in an ecosystem supports balance. It is easy for us to see this when we look at physical cycles. It is more difficult to see this when we talk about invisible cycle... spiritual cycles.
When things seem to be falling apart in our life, we can always ask: "what is this making room for?"
Hmmm... Do we even know what sort of external factors could contribute to our total and completely sustained happiness?
I believe every thing happens to support our spiritual growth. We can choose to ignore it, hate it, and bemoan it. It will come again—to give us another opportunity for learning. Or we can choose to be grateful. Lesson learned. NEXT!
I now think of life as a sort of game. We get to play as many times as it takes to get in right. Like "Groundhog Day." Try and try again.
In this game of life, there is an underlying spiritual reality that we often forget.
In other words, the new car might not help us get to our spiritual destination any faster. However, we might need a new car in order to get to our physical destinations. As long as we don't confuse the two, we remain on (spiritual) course.
(In reality, things are not that one-dimensional of course!)
God is the DRIVING FORCE of generation, organization and destruction (GOD). That force drives life itself. Not just for the "good" people or the "bad" people.
We have free will in that we can choose to be in alignment with it, or not.
But even not being in the flow of God is another part of God really...
It's complicated, you know?
Friday, April 12, 2013
I've done quite a bit of recording in my life and I was worried about having a newborn baby with this process.
I mean, it's strenuous enough having a baby who needs my full care and attention...
... but then add hours and hours of my "best" singing to the mix?
I am really fortunate to have a husband who was able to telecommute so he could be with our son. And our producer's wife did some babysitting as well. It was a real team effort.
All I can say is: WE DID IT.
Vocals are done and now we just have some strings and some mixing to do.
I am really excited about this album!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Almost two months ago now, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I love my son and if I had to, I would give birth to him several more times again.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
On February 11, I delivered a baby boy into this world!
Beyond the amazing amount of work that no one could have ever successfully prepared me for, a baby is certainly a MIRACLE of Nature.
For reasons much more obvious to me now, Nature is usually referred to as a woman: MOTHER NATURE.
Before I went through this incredible process, I had some conceptual understanding of how wonderous the female body is, but now I am in total awe.
I mean, my body knew to make 10 fingers, 10 toes, a perfect little nose... ears... not to mention all the other features of his body I can't even see, which seem to be functioning perfectly.
When I think about the 9 months of mysterious growth happening inside my uterus, I am humbled by Nature's intelligence.
What amazing things we are capable of as women. Wah!
Friday, February 8, 2013
It is a live version of a song that will be on my new album: "Rakhe Rakhanhaar"
He told me not to take it personally. He said he knew the person and they probably didn't realize I would take offense to their sarcasm.
He said not everyone uses graceful language.
This really struck me.
I thought about all the people I had in my life who do use graceful language.
I thought about how thankful I was for the people who choose their words thoughtfully. I thought about all the people I knew whose words never haunted me after we spoke. I thought about all the people whose careful choice of words ten to echo lovingly in my head even after our conversation is over.
Then I thought... am I one of those people?
I realized that while I admire and seek after people who used their words elegantly, I might not always do the same.
I don't think I'm ever purposefully rude or mean. But I could definitely improve in my verbal skills.
I'm really thankful for this person whose words upset me today.
It's amazing how we can hold up mirrors for each other.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
I know not when the water will come
The more I think of the water
the further away it has run
The more I think of the future
the less it seems I can will it
I am a cup on the table
waiting for liquid to fill it
I may end up losing my patience
But I will not forget why I'm here
What I require is water
I will not be filled with fear
Some substitute fillers may offer
but nothing else will I approve
I am a cup on the table
waiting patiently for you
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
~Martin Luther King Jr.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day yesterday, I wanted to write something on one of the Doctor's amazing quotes. I chose this one out of many because it was short enough to expand on, and pithy enough to really get into.
:: WHAT ARE DISAPPOINTMENTS? ::
I see a disappointment as an inner-conflict between what is and what we would prefer to be.
For example, two children playing at the park might have very different experiences based on their preferences. If child 1 really wants to be at the park and child 2 would have preferred to be watching television, child 2 is probably going to be disappointed, whereas child 1 will probably be content to play in the sand.
As our expectations and our vision expand, our disappointments will likely grow along with them.
:: DISAPPOINTMENT IS ESSENTIAL ::
Some might say disappointment is a good thing to avoid. When we can see the world how it is, not the way we would like it be, we can insure our own happiness and contentment. And for mundane things like playing in sand vs. watching television, I'd say that is a good practice. Why waste energy on what could be? Just enjoy the sand!
However, there are good reasons to be disappointed.
Finite disappointment was a necessary component to Dr. King's infinite hope. Without the nightmare of race relations in the United States that he faced, there could have been NO DREAM. Without this disappointing situation, there could have been no Martin Luther King. There could have been no inspiring leadership. There could have been no example of saintly behavior. There could have been no role model for future generations.
From a finite disappointment came a greater finite reality: equal rights for black people in the United States.
(I am not deluded enough to think that there is complete equality even today, but compared to MLK's time, I dare say we have come a long way.)
:: TRANSMUTING EMOTIONS ::
Ultimately, it's how we answer this question:
Do I sit and wallow in my disappointment, or do I use it as fuel?
Emotions like anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, and disappointment are only "bad" when we let them eat us up. If we can transmute them into something useful, they did their job: they got us started.
Martin Luther King Jr., it seems to me, was not afraid of his emotions. He knew the pain of racism. He used it. Moreover, he transmuted it. He did not throw his pain right back onto his oppressors. He transmuted his pain into the energy of his peaceful campaign to do what he knew was right.
To come back to the initial quote, he transmuted his finite disappointment into infinite hope. And when we are able to transmute something petty and finite into something universal and infinite, we can only expect to succeed... for the expansion we must experience within our own self to make that happen is a win in itself.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Pregnancy for me has meant nausea, uncontrollable fits of laughter, joy, music, insecurity, sadness, acid reflux, anticipation, anxiety, and so many other not as easily expressible phenomena.
Beyond the "symptoms" of housing life in my womb, pregnancy has also brought me tremendous growth, a sense of peace with who I am, and a unique connection to the Great Spirit that brought me safely into this world.
While certainly not an easy task, I feel truly blessed to be a vehicle for new life.
KAR refers to creating, TA is the sound of life giving birth, and PURKH is the primal being-ness of the Universe.
At first, I mistook this to be post-festival-work fatigue. I had just pulled several all-nighters at the festival I work for, and I usually had catching up to do when I returned home.
Was I really capable of growing a child?
Did my body really know something I didn't?
How is that possible?
I was unable to tap into a secure sense of "knowing" that I could do this.
I was willing to play along though.
I sat back and enjoyed the ride. It quickly became easy to see that something was happening beyond me.
:: THE MIRACLE ::
I watched in awe as things slowly started to grow. When I felt the first miniature kicks, I couldn't believe it. There was really something growing in there! And I did nothing to make that happen.
Sure, you might say, I did do some things to improve my chances of conceiving and growing a child. I did have sex. I did eat. I did breathe. I did keep positive thoughts and sing to my womb.
But when I say "I did nothing", I mean I didn't instruct my uterus, or mentally form the umbilical cord, or go through a long process of filling the bag of waters with fluid. No, all that was completely beyond my control. Pre-programmed by a perfect sense of Divine Order that didn't need my help, only my participation...
:: HERE WE GO ::
I will try to allow the process to just unfold... not just the birth, but the parenting part too.
In fact, I've mostly been thinking about the actual parenting these past few weeks. It's no small thing to take responsibility for a human soul.
I do take some comfort in knowing that this soul chose his incarnation for the lessons he needed to learn in this lifetime. While I will strive to do my best, we will all inevitably be learning and growing... and that's OK.
I also know that this child isn't really "mine", or my husband's. He belongs to the same fabric of existence that all of us belong to. Our success as parents, I think, will be in how successfully we are able to support his relationship with his own soul and help him complete his mission on this planet.
Ah, here we go...
Friday, January 11, 2013
Take this song, for example.
I began singing this shabad as part of the Aquarian Sadhana with two friends a few years ago. We called ourselves "Treysha."
We decided to put this version on my new album (coming summer 2013), but my producer and I felt it needed something... a bridge.
Mantra music can get a little repetitive, and that's OK. Most of the time, that's the point. But sometimes it's nice to break things up with some English lyrics... something to give a song a little more musical appeal.
Anyway, here's what I came up with:
Ram Dass (my producer) doesn't like the word "orchestra." I'm trying to think of something a little less cerebral to substitute it with... or leave it be.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I find myself using the word "Universe" a lot when I'm talking about God. I suppose I am sensitive to the fact that some people feel uncomfortable with the word "God," and others might assume I am talking about "my" God and not theirs.
The God I'd like to talk about is not a personal or religious one, however. The God I speak of cannot exist for some and not others. If this were the case, it would not be God.
And here I go making you uncomfortable...
:: OH MY GOD ::
For so many years, it seems, people have felt that God belonged to those who appeared religious or pious.
In order to speak with authority on your creator, you had to dress a certain way, pray a certain way, eat a certain way...
And even then, you had to go through an intermediary person to communicate with the One Power that so intimately made YOU.
:: TAKING THE LORD'S NAME IN VAIN ::
This is a really interesting concept though, isn't it?
What would be a vain reason to call on God?
It seems to me that humans might be poor judges of what would be a good conversation starter with the fabric of existence. Who can say God is more interested in a prayer for your grandmother than a stubbed toe?
Probably people who want to make you feel guilty for doing spirituality the wrong way.
Truthfully, no one can qualify your relationship with God but you. And if you believed that, God might not be such a sore topic.
And when I say "you", I mean "me" just a few short years ago...
:: BUILDING RELATIONSHIP ::
My spiritual path of choice is very careful about not trying to describe God so much as forging a relationship to that entity.
After all, wouldn't we all be better people if we spent less time trying to convince other people of what God is and wants, and more time establishing a relationship to God?
Religions seem to serve a very important purpose in that they can give us a framework for how we might relate to God—through various disciplines like prayer, reading scriptures, meditation, etc...
Other ways to related to God that do not involve an organized discipline exist too though. Gardening, golf, swimming, cartwheels on the beach, and knitting could be some pretty awesome and expansive activities if done with an awareness of what makes them all possible.
:: WHY? ::
Well, have you tried going through life thinking that there is absolutely nothing going beyond what you can see/taste/touch and smell? That's a pretty sure path to depression. Even scientists wonder at the mystery of the space between matter, and so many more of the various unknown components of our Universe.
A teacher once told our yoga class: "If you believe in an unknown, that's your God."
I find it hard to believe when people say "I don't believe in God." Basically, because I used to be one of them. And when I found out that there were other ways to picture God besides man-who-sits-on-throne-in-outer-space-and-grants-wishes-to-lucky-few, I realized I actually did believe in an integral lifeforce that ran through all creation.
It follows that the reason you'd want a relationship with God is actually pretty simple—you're living in it! If you were living in New York City without knowing it, knowing how to get around, or knowing anyone else who lived there, you'd feel pretty disoriented, right?
And that's why it doesn't matter what you call "God." We need to connect to that which makes us US. If we don't we will inevitably feel alienated and alone.
:: HOW TO DO IT ::
Things that have worked for me include: meditation, kundalini yoga, affirmative prayer, Sikh Gurdwara services, walking along the beach, talking to the growing child in my womb, chanting, singing, writing music, making music...
Things that have not worked for include: complaining, drinking, hanging out with mean people, living for other people's approval, eating cake, moving houses, getting angry with people who push my buttons...
I leave it to you to make your own list.
:: UNIVERSAL ::
God exists beyond religion.
God is Universal.
I think that last statement is redundant. Hopefully the idea that God is bigger than any religion, thought, or dictate, will become glaringly obvious to all who walk this planet very soon.
While God is Universal, your relationship with God is personal.
And I think it goes without saying (but I will anyway), that just because you think you've found God, doesn't mean someone else wants to hear about it.
If you are reading this blog though, I will consider that you asked, and, therefore, I have full license to tell you all my thoughts on the topic.
Ok. That's all for now.
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