The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Meet Me At Your Heart

                                                                        

Meet Me At Your Heart

Sitting in my car en route to the gym last night, I was carried, not just by a Jeep, to my destination, but on waves of sound offered from the heart, soul and voice of Steven Groff.  His newly released CD is called Meet Me At Your Heart and it is a simple and profound offering to the Divine in the form of sacred Sanskrit call and response chanting known as kirtan.  I have been enraptured for years, listening to Steven live and in person at Philly area events called Chant, Chai and Charity.  His vocal abilities have the same flavor as the real Indian chai that is served there…a bit of sweetness with a tad of spice that warms the listener from the inside out.

This release is a true family affair that includes the talents of  his wife Rhoni Groff, daughter Jade Groff, daughter Mira Newman and son in-law David Newman who themselves are internationally known kirtan artists.  Add to the mix Rama Bala, Sarah Carlisle, Phillippo Franchini, Alfred Goodrich, Renata Gregori, Sarah Halley, Anna Krain, Corey Sokoloff, Jenny Stout, Marianne and Randy Sutin and Hoagy Wing and you have a large, extended family of choice. I think of the backup singers as ‘anahata angels’ (anahata is the Sanskrit term for the heart chakra) whose sonic support might very well have wings.

The seven pieces on the CD honor various aspects of deity.  The first selection is Calling Ganesh, paying tribute to the Elephant head God who is known as the remover of obstacles. Jai Ma is a devotional to the Divine Feminine in her many permutations such as Lakshmi, Durga and Kali. The original title piece Meet Me At Your Heart  beckons the listener to join the community of kindred spirits. Hare Ram is an offering to ‘the shining one’…Lord Vishnu.  Shyam Radhe Shyam is a chant that opens the door to the heart as it speaks of the eternal connection between Radhe and Krishna.  Govinda Gopala refers to the incarnation of Krishna as a youth. The closing piece…a peaceful send off is the traditional chant: Lokah  which translates to:

May all beings, in all worlds be blessed with freedom, health and happiness
Om, we invoke the Divine Primordial Source Energy to infuse us with
Peace in all bodies, Peace in all minds, Peace in all souls.

Meet Me At Your Heart is a CD that should accompany you on your travels both on and off the yoga mat or meditation cushion.

You can listen to a sampling that will have you wanting more…entitled Jai Ma

http://youtu.be/d8wnqB2a1No

Pure Imagination

                                                                     

I love ritual. It grounds me and helps me to feel more connected to the Divine. One unusual ritual in which I engage each Tuesday night is going to my ‘gym ashram’ to ‘sweat my prayers in the key of  Glee’. For those who don’t watch tv or who have been meditating in a cave for the past year, Glee is a weekly show that takes place in a fictional Ohio High School. Populated by a quirky cast of characters that represents the various cliques and archetypes; from the football quarterback to the mohawked troublemaker, from the Barbra Streisand wanna-be raised by two Gay men, to the head of the cheerleading squad who used to be in the abstinence club until she got pregnant by the mohawked troublemaker but had been in relationship with the jock who eventually fell in love with the Barbra wanna-be and then broke up with her to get back with the first girl who prior to their reunion, was with the new kid in school who becomes the new football captain … from the bad girl secretly  in love with the sweet, but ditsy blond, to one who wants to dance, but is unable because he has been in a wheel chair since a childhood accident and who was in relationship with the Asian-American goth girl who broke up with him and is now dating another Asian American who can’t sing, but can dance up a storm, ends up with the sweet but ditsy blond, to the token openly Gay kid who sings like Madonna, Ethel Merman and Julie Andrews who is best friends with the token African American young woman who is a gutsy diva and is now in relationship with a male student from another school to which he had transferred to get away from a bullying football player who is in the closet himself and then the mohawked troublemaker who has mellowed is now in relationship with tougher than he is female wrestler (you need a score card to keep up with all of the dynamics:) they all have one thing in common…they have talent in the vocal realm.  For various reasons, each has decided to join the Glee club called The New Directions. Lest you think that it is all glamour and glory, know that they are considered mistfits by most of the other students, as evidenced by the number of times they have gotten Slushies in various shades and hues tossed on them in the hallways.  Add to it, the coach of the cheerleading squad called The Cheerios who detests the head of the Glee club and does everything she can to sabotage their success , an OCD beleagured guidance counselor who has  mutual but unfulfilled love and lust for the head of the Glee club and you have a worldwide hit on your hands.  

Growing up loving music and musical theater performance, it is like watching an hour long musical that keeps me on the elliptical for that length of time.

The character development has gotten richer week by week and topics such as bigtory, homophobia, prayer, death, sex, teen alcohol abuse and pregnancy, forgiveness, parental job loss and homelessness are touched on poignantly.  This week was  no exception.  Sue, the Grinch-like character who we come to find out got the way she did, because her Nazi-hunting mother left her and her sister Jean who had Down Syndrome in the care of others to travel world wide. Sue developed a bitterness about life as a result of that and the way people treated her sister.  In the most recent episode,  Jean dies from pneumonia and two of the Glee club kids (both who have lost parents and whose surviving parents end up marrying each other, making them step-brothers) help her clean out  the nursing home room that had been hers for more than 30 years. They also plan Jean’s funeral. When they discover that Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory was Jean’s favorite movie that, according to Sue, “She would watch at least three times a week.”, they plan a service around that theme. When Sue walks into the funeral chapel, she is astounded by how many people showed up in tribute to her adored sister. At the front of the chapel were props that looked like they came straight from the movie.   No oompa loompas in sight though.  The New Directions choir then sings the song Pure Imagination as a video of Sue and Jean plays. A sense of redemption, softening and forgiveness occurs. A Course in Miracles says”  “The holiest place on Earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.” Clearly, the melting of Sue’s frozen heart is the beginning of that love. 

What was especially cool for me, was that this is the song that is my cell phone ring tone. When I think about the genius and the literal pure imagination that goes into creating such a quality show, I am astounded. It has something for everyone and the ways in which it celebrates diversity and isn’t shy about confronting the controversial topics is to be admired. 

So sit back and have a listen and allow your own pure imagination to flow forth~

Pure Imagination

Lyrics & Music by: Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley Written for the Film: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka:
[Spoken]
Hold your breath
Make a wish
Count to three

[Sung]
Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world of
Pure imagination
Take a look
And you’ll see
Into your imagination

We’ll begin
With a spin
Traveling in
The world of my creation
What we’ll see
Will defy
Explanation

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There’s nothing
To it

There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You’ll be free
If you truly wish to be

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There’s nothing
To it

There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You’ll be free
If you truly
Wish to be

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq09ITXV3xo

Complimentary Love

 

                                                                            

Even though I am chronological adult; at age 52, one of my favorite radio programs is called Kids Corner played on WXPN 88.5 , broadcast out of the University of Pennsylvania.  The ‘big kid’ host is the ever so enthusiastic Kathy O’Connell who is like the cool big sister/aunt that many would like to have. The show which airs from 7-8 pm est each weeknight, has a plethora of components that encourage listeners to love learning in the form of games, music, interesting guests and a ‘ radio stage’ on which kids can share their talents.  

A few nights ago, Kathy’s musical guests were The Verve Pipe whose songs entertain adults and children. I found myself singing along to the lyrics of a song called Complimentary Love from A Family Album.  “What if” I mused, “there really was enough love for everyone without the need to either hoard or withold? How would life be if we KNEW that to be the truth? What if love multiplied by sharing it, rather than dividing it? ”

I know that when I live from that sense of ‘enough-ness’, I have room to welcome in people each day.  I feel sad when I think that there are some I encounter who believe that those they know now are the only ones they will ever know. There are actually people waiting for you to come into their lives and make a difference.  I am one of the richest women I know, since my friends are my treasures and there was a time when I didn’t even know they existed, not even on my radar screen and then ta-da…one day we showed up at the same time and the same place. How cool is that?   Are you willing to enrich yourself by opening your heart to complimentary love?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWi9L12Djvw

www.xpn.org

A Higher Possibility

                                                                           

Mali Apple and Joe Dunn are another of what I consider a ‘spiritual power couple’ whose coming together not only benefits themselves, but touches lives on a planetary level. I am convinced that when we love, full out, like they do, we created a ripple effect and can become a greater force for good in the world. Together they have birthed a book entitled The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide To Creating Extraordinary Relationships.  They do their best to view everything from a higher possibility…another way of seeing the world as an array of choices that extend beyond our wildest dreams. Their invitation to you is to see life through the eyes of love as well.

How do you live your bliss, both as individuals and as a couple?

By making a conscious decision to enjoy and have fun with everything that shows up, to play with life, and to appreciate it all—including the most challenging circumstances. By always doing our best to totally embrace every experience life offers us. In essence, we always endeavor to get the most life out of life.

What would be your definition of a soulmate? Do we have more than one in a lifetime?

A soulmate is someone with whom we experience a profound connection on every level: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.

Do we have more than one? Yes—potentially, six billion! If we were all fully enlightened, we would recognize and live our soul connection with everyone on the planet. We would recognize that everyone is our soulmate.

So the real question becomes: How aware are we of that potential soul connection with every person we meet?

Of course, most of us don’t experience such a profound connection with everyone, though we likely experience it to differing degrees with close friends, family members, and sometimes even strangers. And we’re often more open to experiencing it at the beginning of an intimate relationship than we are after fears, expectations, resentments and the like have gotten in the way.

How did the two of you meet and grow your relationship?

Interesting that you’ve asked these two questions together, because our answer to both is one and the same: We met online through a conversation about relationships—a conversation that has continued for eight years. And through that process, we’ve realized that a profound way to keep a relationship fully alive is to continually explore how to keep it alive! In other words, by approaching relationships as an exploration into LIFE.

Did it feel as if it was meant to be?

The universe was not going to let us miss that we were “meant” to be together! As is always the case when we’re truly in tune with our soul’s path, the serendipitous events and moments were off the charts.

What ingredients go into creating a conscious, loving, healthy relationship?

Way up there are taking full responsibility for your own experience; cultivating a willingness to explore, to be vulnerable, to communicate your full truth, and to find a way to have everything contribute something of value to your relationship; and continually increasing your awareness of what you’re doing, who you’re being, and what you’re bringing to your relationship.

What does intimacy mean to you?

Real intimacy is a willingness to be vulnerable, to expose ourselves, to bring our deepest thoughts, feelings, and desires out into the open, into the light. It’s a willingness to be fully naked. Of course, to be this vulnerable, it helps tremendously to know how to create a safe environment for intimacy, in which everything is okay to share, and to have the tools in place to be able to heal anything that arises. Those two things—creating a truly safe space for full intimacy, and developing tools for healing anything that comes up in that space—are important aspects of our book.

What would you like to see your book do out in the world?

Our greatest desire is to help people have better relationships, not only others, but also with themselves. We believe our book has the potential to help every person who reads it continually create an experience of more and more love in their lives.

www.thesoulmateexperience.blogspot.com

Previous Posts

Rocks Crumble
Had an insight today that had me laughing at the perfect absurdity while speaking with my friend Gail Lynne Goodwin from Inspire Me Today.  She had called to offer loving support with the roller coaster ride that has been my life of late,  and we were musing about being adult orphans since both se

posted 7:06:56am Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Living in the Questions
  Since I don't have a television, the only times I watch are at the gym, at other people's homes or (as I am doing right now), in the hospital. Propped up in bed with yet another health challenge. A little more than a month ago, it was a heart attack. Back in November, it was shingles and i

posted 2:27:43pm Jul. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Power to the Peaceful
      I was a child during the Viet Nam War. Images of destruction, napalm, death, protests, tears, verbal and sometimes heated physical altercations between those in favor of the conflict and those opposed to it, streamed across our television screen daily. War never

posted 8:52:13am Jul. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Heart Song
  Lately, I have been more acutely aware of the connection between the cardiac muscle that keeps blood pumping through my body and sustains this corporeal existence and the emotional center that has made my thus far, more than 55 years on the planet worthwhile. Going on month two of my new l

posted 6:07:50am Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »

To Live Significantly
      Many years ago, one of my college friends named Gina Foster had relayed a bit of wisdom that I treasure. She said that she endeavored to "live significantly," and that she does.  I knew instantly what she meant and agreed that it was my mission too. It isn't about

posted 9:52:42pm Jul. 16, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.