The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

A Blessing For Your Home

The roof that is suspended over our heads, the walls that


surround us and the floor that supports us, provide a


sense of security. None of that compares to the serenity of


knowing that the Master Builder has helped us


to create the home within us that we carry along on our travels.

May all who enter this home feel welcome.


May God’s Love be in the structure and foundation of this




May God’s comfort be within the paint that coats these walls.


May the ceiling be of God’s sheltering Power.


May God’s Light shine through the windows onto the world.




And for your listening pleasure… a lively song on a similar




That’s All The Lumber  by Ceili Rain

God’s Promise

What do you imagine is promised by God?  One of my favorite responses to that question is a beautiful blending of the lyrics of heritage artist Woody Guthrie and the music of contemporary singer songwriter Ellis Paul.



God’s Promise

I didn’t promise you skies painted blue
Not all colored flowers all your days through
I didn’t promise you, sun with no rain
Joys without sorrows, peace without pain.

All that I promise is strength for this day,
Rest for my worker, and light on your way.
I give you truth when you need it, my help from above,
Undying friendship, my unfailing love.

I never did promise you crowns without trials,
Food with no hard sweat, your tears without smiles,
Hot sunny days without cold wintry snows,
No vict’ry without fightin’, no laughs without woes.

All that I promise is strength for this day,
Rest for my, worker, my light on your way,
I give you truth when you need it, my help from above,
Undying friendship, my unfailing love.

I sure didn’t say I’d give you heaven on earth,
A life with no labor no struggles no deaths,
No earthquakes no dryspells, no fire flames no droughts,
No slaving no hungers, no blizzards no blights.

All that I promise is strength for this day,
Rest for my worker, my light on your way,
I give you truth when you need it, my help from above,
Undying friendship, my unfailing love.

I promise you power, this minute this hour,
The power you need when you fall down to bleed,
I give you my peace, and my strength to pull home
My love for all races all creeds and all kinds.

My flavors my saviors my creeds of all kinds,
My love for my saviors, all colors all kinds,
My love for my races all creeders all kinds,
My saviors my flavors my dancers all kinds,
My dancers my prancers my singers all kinds,
My flavors my saviors my dancers all kinds.



You Are Not Alone

There are times when our problems feel unique and we imagine that no one will ever understand the depth of our pain.This human incarnation brings with it both challenges and opportunities and as Buddhism offers, the concept of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Some are beyond our control and others of our own making. Some are part of the natural flow of life, such as the death of loved ones, others are as a result of ingrained patterns of behavior. Regardless of the nature of our challenges, there is an inner knowing that we can reach beyond our fears and limitations.

This song, written and performed by ‘heritage artist’ Mavis Staples of the Staple Singers and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco reminds me clearly that even in the midst of feeling isolated, I am never alone.   Instead, together with the One who created us and those in our lives, we are All-One. How can you reach out to others, as well as the “God of your understanding” so that you are certain of the same thing?

One Love

One Love Devotional Chant, One Love Devotional Chant


People come into our lives at the perfect time, so says my experience. In 1999, I walked into a store called Eleventh Step Books in Westmont, NJ and almost immediately my eyes were drawn to a counter on which was perched a CD called “Leap of Faith”.  It resonated so clearly with me, since I had been recently widowed at age 40 and I was indeed taking huge leaps in my life, trusting that the net would be there to catch me if I fell.  The singer-songwriter who created the CD was Jody Kessler.  I listened to it on the way home and was instantly smitten by Jody and her music.  Shortly after that I contacted her to let her know how much I enjoyed her music.  We became friends and I am delighted when she comes into the area to perform.  Her music has taken a beautifully evolutionary turn as you will read in the interview.



How do you live your bliss?

Through singing, praying, being in beautiful places in nature, writing songs, practicing yoga, eating coconut ice cream.


What was the turning point that had the school teacher that you were morph into a musician?
I was on the treadmill at the gym. It was 1995. I heard a voice (my own) say, “Jody, when you are on your death bed, do you want to look back at your life and ask yourself ‘why didn’t I do what I REALLY wanted to do?’ ”

How would you describe your music?  I know it has evolved over the years.
Well, I’m living in two musical worlds these days. I have my singer-songwriter music (original songs that are on my four solo CDs) which is the music that I’ve performed in folk venues, festivals, and various concert series that feature performing songwriters. I also include my original music in worship services and workshops at the many spiritual communities I serve though my interfaith ministry work. My songs touch upon themes related to connection with Spirit, mindful living, compassion, recovery, peace & justice, and personal growth.  Through song, I share, stories about remarkable people and events that have touched, moved, and inspired me. I love being a songwriter and connecting with others through the uplifting power of song. That music can be heard at

The other musical love that I have is chant. The practice of devotional chanting, for me, is transformational, heart-opening, and often ecstatic. When chanting, the thinking mind melts into the boundless heart, and I feel fully and vibrantly alive. Because I have a very eclectic, interspiritual focus in my life, I’m naturally drawn to chanting from many different faiths, traditions and cultures. 
What led you to chanting and to the creation of One Love? 
 I have always loved chanting, whether it was part of a Pagan festival, a Sufi zikr, or singing at the Dances of Universal Peace. Then, several years ago, my husband, Doug, and I attended the ecstatic chant weekend at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. That was my first  in-depth experience with kirtan (call and response chanting from the Hindu tradition), and we were both completely blown away beyond words.  A few years later, I attended Jai Uttal’s summer kirtan camp in Northern California, where I learned more about the art of leading kirtan and the practice of Bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion).
About three years ago, Doug and I formed the band ONE LOVE with a few other very talented musicians. We also have an extended family of musicians that join us at different venues, so often our events are a joyful, collaborative celebration.
We released our first CD, called One Love Devotional Chant, a year ago. Audio clips can be heard at .
What chant artists inspire you?
Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Donna DeLory, Tina Malia and Shimshai, HARC, Deva Premal and Miten, Snatam Kaur, Yofiyah, just to name a few.
How does your music bridge spiritual divides?
ONE LOVE is unique because, in addition to the increasingly popular practice of Hindu kirtan, we draw upon the sacred music from many different spiritual traditions. We recognize that the juiciness and heart-opening qualities of kirtan can be found in other kinds of chanting as well. So we dive deep into the many wells to drink from the One Source.

What is the synergy that allows for unique musicians to blend so beautifully?

I think it’s very much the same chemistry that brings lovers together. It’s a kind of falling in love, when the right combination of musical passions, skill and creativity comes together in a mysterious and blessed union.


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posted 10:50:24am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

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