Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Everything in the universe happens by the law of attraction. Every thought that we have attracts everything that happens to us. Our thoughts send out energy waves to the universe, and the universe responds in kind. With our thouhgts we are putting our order in with the universe. If you order up chaos through worrisom thoughts then that is what you are going to get. If you order up happiness and love, then that is what you are going to get.
So keep those thoughts positive folks.
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Over and Out
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The Celebrate Peace Band being peaceful...kind of... with Shiva Singh and Shabad Kaur of Spirit Rising Yoga of Chicago. Hey, that's my violin!!!
We are very grateful to the love and energy that Shiva Singh and Shabad Kaur and all of the folks at Spirit Rising Yoga put into our beautiful weekend together... November 10,11, and 12. We had a great children's program, taught two workshops on the technology of Kundalini Yoga and inner peace as taught by Yogi Bhajan, had some wonderful dining experiences, and were treated with love and care.
Check out their website at: www.spiritrisingyoga.com
A friend recently asked me how I keep the music alive if I’m doing it day in and day out. I thought to write about it in this blog.
When we set up for our concerts we have the same back drop, the same stage equipment, the same instruments, the same everything. When I’m on tour I bring a set of outfits for the whole week… so as you can imagine after four weeks of being on the road there are some repeats. Same, same, same.
Yet with the tour we have a vast amount of variation. Sometimes we are in large expansive cathedrals, at other times in small yoga centers. Sometimes the audiences are large crowds who are singing along with great enthusiasm. Sometimes people have never heard our music and we are met with quiet stares for a good portion of the concert until what feels like a miracle happens and people open up and sing with us. Sometimes the crowds are small. And sometimes there are no crowds at all… when I’m home… and the music continues. My husband and I enjoy playing together especially at the end of the day.
The combination of the “sameness” of the tour, and the vast amount of variation that we experience could actually drive someone insane! Because of my commitment to peace on the planet… starting with peace in my own heart I have stayed the course. The process has lead me right to what I feel is the most important place of growth, and that is within. I learned a long time ago from my teacher Yogi Bhajan to sing from the seat of my soul to God and Guru and nothing else. Through these concerts I have been given the same lesson again.
So in answer to my friend’s question of how to keep the music alive, I do it by connecting with my soul and singing to the God within from my soul’s voice. I find that the more I can do that, the more people seem to hear what I’m singing. Somehow, I am singing to the God within them as well. I don’t know how it happens, and I don’t expect to ever know. I just know that there is a vast universe of learning right within each of us, and the deeper we make the connection with the Divine inside, the deeper we will be able to connect with everyone and everything in our lives.
I once played with a tabla player named Sat Nam Singh Ramgotra who said about himself, “If I’m not enjoying playing the tabla and the sound of the music, what is the use?” So, I often ask that question of myself. Am I enjoying this? Is it connecting with me, my own heart, and my own soul? If the soul’s enjoyment is not there… then it is time to shift something. It can be a little shift in a note, or a combination of notes. It can be a shift in my thoughts or emotions in relation to the music. It can be a shift in my breathing to be more in tune with the music. It can be a large shift like taking music lessons and expanding my knowledge base. All of these shifts that I have mentioned are from self experience and are a part of my growth as a musician.
As a good friend of mine Guru Kirn Kaur said to me the other day, “If you find out what your soul wants, and set the intention to fulfill the soul’s longing, there will be signs from the universe and a pathway to fulfillment will manifest.”
Let’s leave it at that beautiful quote. Until next week.
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Over and Out.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
On our travels we meet a number of people who are working for peace that I will be featuring periodically. This week I'm featuring Gurujodha Singh Khalsa. To begin with let's see some photos taken in his back yard.
In September I stayed with Gurujodha Singh and his wife Siri Ved Kaur and was reminded again of the fact that he is offering a powerful style of martial arts for today's modern peace maker. The few lessons that I took from him in my early twenties stayed with me for a lifetime... namely the concepts of self esteem, self awareness, and plain toughness! Gurujodha Singh is a fourth degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, has studied personally with Yogi Bhajan and served as Yogi Bhajan's body gaurd for many years. He offers classes in Kenpo Karate, Gatkenjitsu (a form of martial arts that he developed), Tai Chi, self defense for women, and classes for children. If you are interested in finding out more about Gurujodha Singh and the many classes and workshops that he offers please visit: www.gatkenjitsu.org.
For those of you following the Celebrate Peace Tour travels we are on break now. I am enjoying being home in New Mexico. The greatest thing is that the solar heating system in our house works! For those of you who don't know, my husband and I just moved to New Mexico into a solar heated house. Before going on this last tour we tried turning on the heat when it got a little cold, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I had to leave for the tour, so we didn't really spend much time on it. While on tour my husband reported to me that the heat was working! I was a little skeptical, but let me tell you it is working. Holy cow, you'd think it was summer in here! But, truthfully I'm enjoying it especially after traveling all over the east coast where it was really cold.
Next week I hope to have some good pictures from our time in Chicago and Ann Arbor. Stay tuned!
May Peace Prevail on Earth.
Over and Out.
Monday, November 06, 2006
I'd have to say the theme of this last weekend was finding the love of God and Guru in everything we do. Anyway, here are some fun pictures from last weekend. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? I hope you enjoy.
GuruGanesha in one of the beautiful music moments, when the spirit flows and there's nothing else to do but follow it.
Here I am with Brenda MacIntyre and her daughter. Brenda is a Juno Award winning singer (Canadian Grammies), and First Nations Medicine Song Woman. She started off our Peace Concert at Toronto University. She sang with just one drum, but her presence and her voice filled the hall. She also spoke so beautifully about the earth, and about the Spirit. Her daughter sat on the side of the stage as she sang and I loved how close they seemed to be. It was really a blessing for us, as I felt that we were brought into a very sacred space before going on stage. During the concert we shared such a magical energy with everyone. I felt such a sense of prayer, courage and strength from the audience, and really felt that Peace is here, Peace is real. We shared one of our pieces called "To Heaven and Beyond" which is actually one of our albums. It is one musical piece (or peace!) that weaves in sacred chants from the Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Budhist faiths. In the end we sing "God in every heart". To me the end always feels like trumpets announcing to the universe the reality!!! God is in every heart.
I want to give a big thank you to Guru Fateh Singh. He is actually in the picture too as seen above. He organized the whole concert and is a key organizer in the whole Peace Week. He's been working on Peace for many years and really brought together so many of the essential elements for a beautiful evening. It felt like one of those things that only happens after years and years of dedication. Thank you Guru Fateh Singh!!!!
Here we are with one of the most beautiful families on the planet. They have been hosting the entire band this whole weekend, and they have been doing it with so much love. They came to every single event, helped us load and unload, the kids helped us sell cds, we had the best food you could ever imagine. I am so grateful. From left to right is Gurpreet Kaur (mataji), Gurusahiba Kaur and Gururattanpreet Kaur (the two sisters in blue), Gurumontek Singh (the boy standing next to me), GuruGanesha and Navrattan Singh. We are standing outside of the Dixie Road Gurdwara in Toronto. Apparantly this is the largest Gurdwara in North America. On Saturday night we played for the Guru and the Sangat, and also on Sunday we played for the birthday of Guru Nanak. I can't tell you how grateful I am for the experience. It was incredibly uplifting.
Here we are after our concert in London Ontario. As seen in the photo Seva Fisher (the lady in black third from the left) worked with a bunch of students from Coss (Canandian Organization of Sikh Students) to put the concert together. They did an amazing job, as well over 300 people showed up for our first visit to London.
Getting into the spirit of things we are all flashing a "W" sign. You might wonder what its for.... take your pick out of these three or maybe choose them all: 1. Wow!, 2. Waheguru, 3. University of Western Ontario where a number of the students go to school.
Someday soon I hope to get a recording on my blog of Ram Dass Singh. He actually has three (with probably more to come) characters that he can do. Just when things get a little tough in the van, he comes out with these incredibly funny voices and there's nothing we can do but just laugh. To give you a little preview he can do Kermit the Frog, a "Borat" like character (but nice) called Uri, and munchkin character called "Not Steve". So far my favorite voice is "Not Steve". We sometimes have very extended conversations about pretty much nothing. Its alot of fun. Aside from being so funny Ram Dass has been helping us so much with tons of heavy lifting for the set up and break down of our concerts. Not to mention the fact that he is incredibly talented. Yay Ram Dass.