Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sat Nam! Here I am in a small town outside of Barcelona. We have just finished our European tour with Thomas (keyboards and vocals), Ramesh (percussion and vocals), Scott (sound), Sopurkh (my husband and tour manager), and Jap Preet (my daughter who is in charge of keeping it real.) We had an amazing journey. Some of it challenging. I am really grateful to the whole team. It felt like every concert was a complete blessing from God.
We savored our day off. And today... we are traveling to India!
On this Gratitude Monday I have really been touched by the power of loving the ones you are with... the ones who are closest to you. Often we forget to do this and take for granted the most important relationships in our life. On our day off I got a chance to be with my husband and daughter and really enjoyed sharing with them in a loving day. We were tired from the very long journey of our tour. So.... honestly it took a little effort to set things aside and just be with each other. The results have given me positive energy and nourishment beyond anything I could have imagined.
My love goes out to everyone practicing the 40 day sadhana leading up to 11.11.11. May your journey in this meditation give you all that you seek.
We just got confirmation that Jai and Parmatma from Leverett Mass. will be joining us for the “Song of the Self” Retreat in Costa Rica to do the children’s program. They are so incredible with children. I can’t believe how lucky we are to have them. So not only can the adults get some spiritual nourishment from all of the yoga and meditation, but the children will also be in an amazing program designed to bring children in touch with their heart, soul, and inner light.
Blessings to you for a beautiful week!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Out of the darkness.
She finds her way through
The cracks of the floor
We stand on.
When no one is listening,
When you cannot find a hand to hold,
That is the moment just before she arrives.
Take a breath
She is with you.
Holding your hand,
Lighting the way with the simplicity of heart.
So fear not the darkness.
And fear not the cracking open of your heart.
This is how beauty comes.
Love and Blessings,
PS - Join us in Costa Rica, for our Song of the Self retreat, March 10-17, 2012.
Monday, October 17, 2011
In the past few concerts we brought forward the chant "Chattr Chakkra Vaartee". This chant is by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. I told this story last night in Frankfurt and wanted to share it with you today on this Gratitude Monday.
Guru Gobind Singh lived in a time of great turmoil and tyranny from the ruling empire of India during the 17th Century. There was incredible religious and cultural persecution. Guru Gobind Singh stood up to the empire and actually fought back, something that many of the hill Rajas of the Northern lands of India, did not have the courage to do. Because of this courage, many of the peasants and farmers of the area came to join his army. They had had enough of the persecution and the fact that someone was standing up to it was inspiring enough that they were willing to give their lives up to join the cause.
As the story goes, Guru Gobind Singh and his Sikhs were settled in a small village, preparing for a battle soon to come. One of Guru Gobind Singh's disciples gifted him with a few thousand professionally trained soldiers to aid him in the battle. These soldiers, although they were not Sikhs, were welcomed in to the daily life of the village. It is said that many of them would frequent the local candy shop, run by a jovial man who was said to have a big belly.
It is said that the army of the empire found out about these soldiers and in secret offered them much more pay then what they were receiving. Since these soldiers had no real allegiance to the Guru or the cause of the Guru, they stole away one night and essentially switched sides.
The next day when the people of the village found out about what had happened many were filled with fear. When they approached the Guru about it, he had no fear. Their mission was simple, and pure. God would cover. When word of the Guru's message spread through the village many of the villagers were emboldened to take action and join the Guru's army, including the reputed candy shop owner with the big belly.
In joining the Guru's army, the villagers embarked on quite a journey. Daily training was very intense physically, mentally, and spiritually as they learned the Sikh martial art called "Gatka." In Gatka one learns to use swords and other weapons in a sacred way. One becomes a spiritual warrior. The spirit is called forth with the use of the "Shabad Guru" or the sound current of the Guru. As the training took place with Guru Gobind Singh his soldiers would learn the sacred chants given by him to fill their hearts with courage and give them unity of purpose on the battle field. One such chant was "Chattr Chakra Vaartee." They would often chant even while in battle. The energy of these chants, and the presence of Guru Gobind Singh would fill them with such courage that within a matter of weeks peasants and villagers would be turned into fierce warriors.
On the day of the battle the two sides stood on either side of the battle field. The small army of the Guru and his Sikhs was on one side and the huge army of the empire stood at the other side. It is said that the professional soldiers who had left the Guru's army looked out across the battle field and could clearly make out the big belly of the candy shop owner. Ripples of laughter spread throughout the army as they realized that the poor fellow was on the battle field. They hollered that the battle would be over in no time as it was clear that the Guru's army was made up of a rag tag group of villagers.
The battle drums began and the two sides moved towards each other. The candy shop owner went forward with an amazing courage. It is said that as he entered into the battle field his sword swung through the air with such intensity and accuracy that the soldiers of the empire completely freaked out after seeing him. They thought for sure that with such a transformation that for sure the Guru's army would beat them in no time. There must be some sort of magic. One by one, until it was by the hundreds the empires soldiers fled. The battle was victorious for the Guru and his Sikhs.
I love this story, because I truly believe that we can all transform powerfully in our lives. I have experienced incredible energy and courage in the chants of Guru Gobind Singh. And especially in the chant that we shared with audiences in Paderborn and Frankfurt, "Chattr Chakra Vaartee." Ramesh plays the tabla with an incredible force that sounds like galloping horses. Thomas does a really fun groove with the piano. I really feel the presence and energy of Guru Gobind Singh and his warriors with me when I am chanting this.
So, this Monday I am grateful for the power of these sacred chants which brings forth so much healing, and transformation.
Blessings to you from the Road! Signing off.
PS - Please join us in Costa Rica, for our Song of the Self Retreat, March 10-17, 2012.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Here is a video of us celebrating the birthday of Guru Ram Das with the Sangat there.
The night before the concert I visited the little Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in the ashram. Stepping into this place I felt so grateful to feel the spirit of my Guru. In our tradition the Guru exists within the sacred words of the Sikhs which reside in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This is a collection of writings from the Sikh Gurus and other Sufi, Muslim and Hindu Masters. It sits in the focal point of any Gurdwara. The people who take care of the Gurdwara at the Triguna Center use it often, so there is this strength and nectar (ras) that just floats in the air. The moment I stepped into it, I just dropped down and bowed my head to the Guru and cried. It was a moment of complete gratitude to feel this vibration. After my tears subsided I took a Hukham, or sacred command, from the Guru. You essentially bow your head and open the Siri Guru Granth Sahib to whatever page you are guided to.
I was feeling nervous about the concert....a feeling that I've been working with lately. We were preparing many new pieces from our new album Ras, and they were a bit challenging musically. For me, this was fun to open up new doors within myself in this way, but also a little scary. I explain all of this inner process to you because the Hukham just blew my mind. It totally spoke to me and gave me the answer to my innermost question of how I could approach the concert, and of how I could be of service. It basically said, "It does not matter how well you play the music, how well you play your musical instrument, how much yoga you practice, how much meditation you practice, how much you recite God's Name... etc. etc...... the only thing that matters is if you have the love in your heart and you truly experience devotion from this place of love."
The energy of the Hukham carried forward for me in a powerful way. I still felt nerves and all of that. There was just this energy that moved all of us that I cannot put into words. We did many new pieces and really experienced such a powerful energy in them. I loved the experience. I loved hearing people sing. I loved chanting these beautiful words from my Guru. I loved playing with Ramesh and Thomas. I loved the phone call I got from Sopurkh (my husband) and daughter Jap Preet who stayed back at the house just before the concert. Most importantly I loved. That was a gift from the Guru. I remembered that the most important thing I could do was to do what I was doing with love, in every moment. Thank you God, Thank you Guru.
We continue our journey now with a concert tonight in Hannover and continue on our way throughout Europe and then India.
I am excited to say that we just got a confirmation from Ramesh that he will be joining us for our retreat in Costa Rica. For those of you who have not experienced his spirited percussion playing, it is a real treat. We will be doing plenty of powerful yoga, uplifting chanting, and even some dancing to his great rhythms. Please join us.
God Bless you.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Sat Nam everyone. I am in Frankfurt Germany. Sopurkh, Jap Preet and I came early to Germany to adjust for jet lag before our European tour. I am happy to say that we slept straight through the night for two nights in a row! We are being hosted by really really incredible friends who have taken us to many places in nature. The sun is shining and it is gorgeous here.
I feel very blessed to be coming into our European tour time. We are playing in seven cities in Germany, Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Antwerp Belgium, Zurich Switzerland, and London. I am joined by Thomas Barquee on keyboard and vocals and Ramesh Kannan on percussion and vocals. It is very blissful to play with these two. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity. If you are anywhere near where we will be, please check out our tour schedule on our website, or here.
Today is the first day of our Spirit Voyage 40 Day Global Sadhana, "Be in Flow with your Highest Wisdom." I had the absolute honor of working with Gurmukh Kaur in developing this sadhana. It feels totally perfect and beautiful to be sharing it with so many souls all across the planet. Join us for day 1! Or if you miss on day 1, you can still join us! All of the information can be found here.
I found myself this morning as I practiced the meditation connecting with everyone who is signed up to do it and praying praying praying so deeply for everyone. I feel so blessed, so grateful to be connected in this way with everyone. Meditation is so incredible. We have the opportunity tap into our inner power and are given the blessing of understanding how to be in balance, how to be light, and how to be bright with that inner power. I encourage you to take part in this practice with us, to experience it for yourself. Doing a meditation for 40 days gives you the opportunity to really make major shifts in your life. I have experienced this with absolutely every 40 day meditation that I've done. It works!
We will be doing this meditation all throughout our European tour. I hope to give you some video footage of some of the concerts where we will practice it together. For the last day of the meditation we will be in Rishi Kesh, at a special meditation course that is being offered. You can find out about that, and perhaps join us by going here.
There is also a meditation that KRI (Kundalini Research Institute) is doing. It will be a blessing to join this sadhana as well. In fact many people have been practicing this one for many months in order to have done it for 1000 days leading up to 11.11.11. You can find out about that practice here.
I believe that God is totally weaving together a beautiful tapestry of our lives, our practices, our songs, and our work, to create a collective prayer for deep transformation on this planet. I pray for all practices that people are doing, all yoga, all meditation, and all efforts to be with God, to be in flow with our higher wisdom.
God Bless you.
Song of the Self, Join us in Costa Rica, March 10-17, 2012