You know that when a CD is dedicated to the child of the artists, then it is a double blessing, a true ‘labor of love’. Stars is an offering to the world as well as to the angelic Tulsi Magdalena, daughter of sacred chant artists David and Mira Newman. David (Durga Das) has himself been a star in the celestial kirtan community for many years, originating in my home town of Philadelphia which is how I became acquainted with his music.
Stars is a compilation of songs that are a blending of familiar Samskrit mantras with David’s invocations/invitation to dance with the magic and mystery of life. The opening song, Dreaming is a swaying back and forth melody with lovely lyrics that acknowledge “seeing is believing that dreams do come true….come back to the arms of your Beloveds in dreams.” It creates a seamless flow into Durga Maharani (an ode to the Hindu Goddess) with the sweet voiced Mira entering into call and response which is in keeping with the musical form of kirtan. The bluesy Love Belongs To Everyone/Gayatri is a reminder of what is so and begins with the lyrics to one of most ancient chants: The Gayatri Mantra.
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swah Tat Savirthur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
We meditate on the glory of the Creator; Who has created the Universe
Who is worthy of Worship; Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light
Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; May He enlighten our Intellect
As Ancient Spirals was playing, I could imagine closing my eyes and spinning in ever growing circles…”Om Namah Shivaya” which honors the Divinity within is woven throughout. Thinking of You/Krishna offers “Open your heart, let the light of the world shine through you. Be bold, be free, be beautiful….remember there’s someone who’s thinking of you.”, are the skippity, bopping along lyrics. We Are What We Are/Sri Ram…. includes the “I am you are we are what we are beyond compare…boundless, limitless, fearless, free..” gently rap-voiced by David. A lullabye for their darling daughter with whom I’ve had the joy to dance and play at a kirtan they offered a few months ago, called Tulsi’s Bliss (Maha Mantra), tickles the heart as it opens with her delightful giggles. The title song Stars gives gratitude for the love that these beautiful bhaktis share. “I felt your eyes upon me and a stirring in my soul..the river finds its ocean, the light brings darkness to its knees. ….We are like stars, stars in the sky. The darker this night, the brighter we will shine.”One of my most cherished Hindu deities is honored in the final cut: Ganesh Under Moonlight with the tradional chant Jai Ganesha, Sri Ganesha, Ganapataye” being supported by gently jangling bells and the lilting chirps of crickets calling out to the night sky.
Other Philly local friends Ron Kravitz, Randy Sutin, Corey J. Sokoloff, Sam Rossitto, Rhoni Groff , Steven G. Chants (Steven Groff) and Jade Groff offer their talents as well. What a love fest that recording session must have been!
Stars would be the perfect accompaniment for a yoga practice, improv dance class, long drive or simply as a pleasant companion while you sip a cup of your favorite soothing beverage and sigh in surrender..ahhhh~
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQXFBcSO5M Thinking of You
A portion of the proceeds from the CD will be donated to Witness which is a human rights organization. www.witness.org
Heard this version of Louis Armstrong’s classic of Wonderful World tonight. There is a spoken piece in which ‘Satchmo’ is sharing his wisdom as an elder about what really matters. His words “Love, baby, love…that’s the secret.”, gave me truth-barometer goosebumps. What if it really was as simple as all that and that everything we worry about, fight about, kill each other over, is a matter of sharing that un-secret with everyone we know in each encounter? It’s so easy to allow petty annoyances to boil over into raging torrents of anger. I’ve been there and it ain’t fun. Better instead to turn down the heat by thinking about ways to feed the love, rather than the fire.
I was speaking with clients yesterday about having a list of things to do instead of indulging in their addictions, at the ready, so that when the urge to turn to their drug of choice arises, they will be prepared. How about a ‘love, baby, love list’? These are things I appreciate and set my heart glowing brightly.
Mine would look like this:
My dear family and friends…some close by and others scattered around the planet.
The newly renovated bathroom that is a pleasure in which to relax and pamper myself.
Increasing numbers of opportunities to write and speak worldwide.
Music that nourishes my heart and soul.
Going nose to nose and heart to heart with my friend Ruth
A house concert with my friend Heidi Cooper and her daughter Deanna on Friday night from which my home is still resonating with music and laughter.
A gorgeous butterfly affirmational image painted by my friend Rod.
Drumming and dancing, as I did last night with my friends Peggy and Ron.
Anticipating beach time this weekend.
Floating in my friend Verna’s pool as I did last weekend.
Happy, well maintained Jeep that gets me where I need to go.
Getting a butterfly painted on my face that has me flapping my wings with delight
A strong, flexible, healthy body.
My gym playouts at Planet Fitness when I ‘sweat my prayers’.
Lunch at Whole Foods with my friend and editor, Pam.
Ongoing relationship with my parents on the Other Side.
Deep and abiding spiritual connection.
Developing and honing of intuitive abilities.
Cosmic coincidences during which events and people come together in remarkable ways.
An ever open door to new adventures.
Chocolate (’nuff said:)
Getting to know and love the woman in the mirror in ways I never did before.
My Bliss Mistress book’s gallivanting journey throughout the world.
The wildflowers on my dining room table, given to me by my friend Cindy.
…and love, baby, love in abundance that never ends, never gets stale, and never runs out, no matter what….
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nGKqH26xlg Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbL8H5tantE Love/What’s Going On? by Rickie Byars Beckwith
A few days ago, I experienced what author and speaker SQuire Rushnell refers to as a God Wink (a confirmation from the Divine that we are on the right track) as I was driving on the very same road (Route 309 in Montgomeryville, PA) on which this event took place in 2008. Four years ago, I heard the heart-breaking-open news that I needed to head to Florida to be with my father on the last day of his life. He had been in the final stages of Parkinsons that had robbed this formerly vigorous, athletic man of his life force energy. I was crying and through my tears, saw a car in front of me with the license plate that read, LVMYDTR. I translated it to Love-My-Daughter and my tears turned to laughter and I knew that my Daddy was speaking to me, his final farewell. Fast forward and two and a half years later, my beautiful mother joined him the day after Thanksgiving of 2010. I miss them both and yet, KNOW that they are well and together and receive messages from them almost daily. Once again, on 309 at nearly the exact same spot, a burgundy colored sedan pulled into the lane in front of me with….you guessed it…the same license plate, just as I was sending a cosmic greeting to my parents. Whenever I am tempted to have spiritual amnesia and forget that it is all in perfect order, I need only to recall incidents like this one.
On Sunday, after this occurred, I was speaking with friends, all of whom have either lost their folks or have elderly parents and through our tears as we were sharing about this topic, I assured them that this cosmic communication was as real as if they were sitting with me. The only missing component is the physical contact which I do miss, since both my parents were affectionate people and hugs and kisses were plentiful in our home. The subject also came up yesterday as I was conversing with my friend and editor Pam about pyschic/intuitive abilities. I explained to her that I am mostly clairaudient; hearing messages, clairsentient; picking up on feelings of others and claircognizent; getting a sense of knowingness with the accompanying goosebumps as my ‘truth barometer’ and only rarely clairvoyant. I haven’t yet learned to see auras and my parents seem visible ot me only in my dream state. Workin’ on that one.
What I do know is that this is a gift for which I am deeply grateful; that the curtain between the realms is diaphenous and those we miss can reach through with love.
http://youtu.be/0J9YAFf-xqs The Great Beyond by R.E.M.
My friend Elizabeth Pfeiffer made an observation today that had me giving a knowing nod.
“This is what your subconscious looks like when it’s running your “I’m not good enough” programs… What do you think? Can you take back your power and put this little guy to sleep?”
A cyber conversation ensued:
Edie Weinstein If only it looked this friendly and goofy(: Mine looks a bit more menacing and obnoxious. Maybe that IS really what is underneath the mask after all. ?