Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

Last weekend, creators of the music circle around me attended Seattle’s Dhrupad Days workshops with the Gundecha Brothers, organized by the Dhrupad Institute of America (DMIA) and held at Cornish College of the Arts. The realization everyone experienced, of their true voices and subtle bodies, is a milestone in alignment with Self, that each of us finds difficult to articulate via words. As one of us exclaimed, “This is Vipassana in sound!”

Earlier in April, my music saathi and I had immersed ourselves more fully in a 7-day Dhrupad residential retreat with the Gundecha Brothers in a small town in Northern Germany, by the Baltic Sea. Sixteen of us did music with the gurus from 5:30am to 8:30pm every day, and couldn’t have meals or even sleep without the vibrations continuing to course through our beings. We began with kharaj practice before sunrise (sometimes by the sea!), and had both group and individual instruction with all three brothers, including in taal from Akhileshji. As Ramakantji often put it, “We don’t teach music, we convey vibrations.” And Umakantiji generously modeled it with the lower notes he assisted us in touching before the sun arose every morning.Kharaj1_Vikas

And just like that, like the morning sun over the horizon, it dawned on me — Dhrupad (dhruva pada) is not remotely about fixed verse or regimented singing. It is about knowing the unbroken, eternal frequency of one’s existence, through sound and body. (more…)

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The existence of a villain is predicated on the existence of a hero, and of a victim. If we truly (truly!) wished to see the villain disappear, we’d have to give up our attachment / addiction to being (or having) the hero (to a victim). We’d have to give up, gasp, our story of good versus evil!

I know, I know, we firmly believe that the villain strikes first, the victim is an incidental creation as the target of the villain’s whims, and the hero is created consequently, as an obvious need. It feels impossible to fathom that these energies, which then become roles and eventually entrenched identities, come into being not in sequence but all at once, as a simultaneous creation, due to our wish to experience contrast and separate identity, due to our fragmented and divided consciousness and ways of being. (more…)

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Honesty/Transparency is when one is in honest, moment-to-moment self-observation, and is able to make the observation of arising/passing thoughts, feelings and emotions, transparent.

Verbal diarrhea is when one is outright voicing one’s arising/passing thoughts, feelings and emotions while the witness within is excused or happily asleep.


The sole quality of an awakened / enlightened existence is presence – presence of a witness. (I like to see it as the priest in the temple, without whom the temple becomes dark and dusty, filled with cobwebs and creepy-crawly creatures. We’re unconscious and in ego in every moment the witness falls asleep and the temple of our consciousness lies neglected. Most of our priests have narcolepsy! :-)) Witnessing is not about controlling, managing, repressing, filtering, shaping or transforming what arises and passes; it is simply about neutral observation. The observation alone allows for transformation / metamorphosis / creation!

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As I bake in the cold
And Seattle skies explode
Each gigantic flower of fire
Creates bursts of insight

On freedom day comes clarity:
It’s neither Donald nor Hillary
For even in Sophie’s choice
I have a choice! I remain free!   (more…)

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One is never “teaching” anyone anything. (Neither is one “learning” anything!)

In one’s illumined presence (and sharing), what is already known (in oneself and another) is awakened… and then embodied.

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Relationship is two joining as one; Union is One expressed as two.

I like to demonstrate this with my hands.

If you interlace the fingers of the two hands, this is a good representation of relationship. The interlaced fingers fit well, supplementing and complementing the “gaps” in the two hands, and feeling secure, comforting and supportive… perhaps for a long while. (A lifetime, even?) Yet ultimately, this arrangement will meet a ceiling as there’s limited room for (soul-level) expansion and realization.

If you now disentangle the hands and then bring them together in a Namaste, this is a good representation of Union. There is connection at all points, levels and dimensions of existence, an allowing for parallel expansion, and a pointing together in shared (Creative) direction. Union is devoid of entanglement, because there’s no “two” to begin with, only two aspects of One! Two outwardly facing aspects/expressions of the greater One, each face/aspect/expression simultaneously being inherently whole and sovereign. (more…)

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She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go. 
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.  
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Poem “She Let Go” attributed to Rev. Safire Rose, and sometimes to Jennifer Eckert Bernau, and sometimes also to Ernest Holmes. Graphic “One Day She Just Let Go” by Hugh Macleod (gapingvoid blog), author of Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity.

I’ve long loved both the poem and the graphic, and only now thought to put them together!

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