So Many Sounds, So Little Time!

Listening to some amazing bansuri flute player with Zakir Hussain- YouTube videos rolling one into the next on my tv, hooked up to my stereo system. I guess I'll just have to provide the video here! It's so beautiful.

A few years ago I moved into the house I am currently living in. I had been back in RI for a couple of years but still had all my stuff in storage in FL. It all came up on a truck, some personal belongings but mostly furnishings and sound healing equipment from my sound healing center  in FL. Included in that were a vibroacoustic body mat, vibroacoustic massage table and a vibroacoustic recliner- meaning that they have speakers built into them. When a person sits or lies on  vibroacoustic equipment and music is played, the sound is broadcast throughout the entire body. The only other equipment need is a CD player and an amp.

As it happened one of my CD players for the massage table wasn't working so I went on Craig's List to see what I could find. Someone was selling some components separately. All I needed was the CD player. I went to his house just a few miles away to pick it up. Cheap, I think it was $35, a simple Sony CD player. He also had a Yamaha amp and a pair of Polk Audio speakers. I think he was selling the amp for $35 and the pair of speakers for $75 or everything for $125. I didn't need the other stuff. I had several amps and no need for the speakers. I had a Bose Wave Radio/CD player that I was very happy with. He said, "Well let me just show you the rest of the components and you can hear how it sounds." He put on Dire Straits, "Walk of Life" and turned it way up. Who could resist that? Sold! My son hooked it up to my TV and that is what I am listening to the Zakir Hussein concert on. It's perfect.

But just in case you're in the mood for something completely different... here you go!
 

Love, Loss and Impermanence

Benjy Wertheimer shared this earlier this morning on Facebook. Powerful, poignant and deeply resonant- good words to wake up to. He had a powerful reference point for it in his own story of love, loss, grief and more love. I know we will each have our own context.

For me, in this moment, it is much about my last few months as I wrote about in my previous post- feeling as though my heart had been pulverized as I watched my 38-year-old son Ben become less and less responsive after an eye surgery where they had to go in through his cranial bones. Eventually he turned around but there were a few days that were without question the longest days of my life as i wondered if he was slipping away for good, as I saw the nurses have to restrain him when he didn't know what was happening and was trying to pull out his feeding tube and many leads to the EEG glued to his head, when he didn't know where he was or why he was there, when I saw nothing but fear and confusion coursing through his being . I am still processing it with an awareness of impermanence and the strangeness of the illusory passage of time and the wrenching of the heart. And the softness and love that permeates through it all.

“You will lose everything.
Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memory.
Your looks will go.
Loved ones will die.
Your own body will eventually fall apart.
Everything that seems permanent is absolutely impermanent and will be smashed.
Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away.
Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
Right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground.
For that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realising this is the key to unspeakable joy.
Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you.
This may sound obvious but really knowing it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence.
Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude.

Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar."

~ Jeff Foster ~

The Power of Music

It has been a long journey! I am in North Carolina finally wending my way home. My son Ben was in Neuro Critical Care Unit for over a week and in Inpatient Rehab for another 8 days. I have so much to share, to write about, to process... I will slowly add bits and pieces as the next few weeks go by.

I had an idea of what I was going to write about today- but that has all changed... because I just watched THIS!

Zigs and Zags and Patti Smith

~Wrote this two days ago while flying out to SLC but didn't get a chance to post until now. Benjamin is having surgery this afternoon. Feeling more nervous about his recovery than the actual procedure. Fortunately he and I both have great support as he goes through this next challenge. He has an excellent team of doctors and his roommates are two very close friends who have reassured me that they will be at the ready and available to help him out with whatever he needs when he gets home. I am staying about ten minutes away with my best friend, Mimi Charles, from when I was a teenager and we seem to be more connected than ever after having lost touch for more than 30 years! We reconnected about 7 years ago when Ben moved out to Utah but had only seen each other once for an hour or two when I was out here 3 years. Life is strange and sweet amidst the challenges.~

Sitting on an airplane headed to SLC. My son Ben is having a surgical procedure the day after tomorrow on his eye- actually the optic nerve. It could be a fairly simple procedure- optic nerve decompression due to a rare bone condition that he has had since childhood- and I am more concerned about the recovery but it could also be a bit more extensive than what they are anticipating.

Flight zigs and zags- a 12-hour travel day. Providence to Baltimore, Baltimore to Detroit, Detroit to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to SLC. I hate writing on my iPhone but figure I may as well do something constructive!

Finished reading Patti Smith’s amazing book “Just Kids” en route. Didn’t plan so well- I didn’t want it to end, especially when I still have hours to go before arriving in Salt Lake. Somehow I didn’t take into account all the time changes and didn’t realize it was a four and a half hour flight from Detroit to Las Vegas! The upside of being stuck on a plane for many hours is being held hostage by creative artistic literary rock n’ roll inspiration.

What is it that gets me about Patti Smith? I had no idea how steeped in art her life has been. How did I not know so much more about her in years gone by? I knew she was a rock icon and a legend- every time I heard her music I loved it but I never chased her down- until last year when I read “M Train” and had my mind blown. Now I want to hear every song, read every poem, every book and see every drawing she ever did.

Part of what is so captivating is her humility and her unabashed honesty. It’s as though she looked life straight in the eye and fell into it. The lack of ego is one of the most refreshing things in her writing. It was quite a contrast to Graham Nash’s autobiography which I recently finished and grew very tired of about 2/3 of the way through because I felt it was so full of ego. Somehow there was always the feeling to me that he was name-dropping and talking a lot about how fabulous he was, whereas with Patti Smith, even while she writes about meeting Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and other legends, it feels very innocent and natural. There is sense of detachment around it- like she’s just writing about her life as it unfolded in a very organic way. There is always a sense of wonder, simplicity and connection.

When I saw her in New Bedford in January I had the same sense- an invitation to be fully human with no shame, no hiding. It is a powerful and inspiring invitation, to be the fullness of who I am and to me the greatest gift of true spiritual teachers. The ones I have been most affected by are the ones who I feel are fully manifesting in every moment. So I guess I am adding Patti Smith to my list of great gurus. Thank you Patti.Sitting on an airplane headed to SLC. My son Ben is having a surgical procedure the day after tomorrow on his eye- actually the optic nerve. It could be a fairly simple procedure- optic nerve decompression due to a rare bone condition that he was born with- and I am more concerned about the recovery but it could also be a bit more extensive than what they are anticipating.

Flight zigs and zags- a 12-hour travel day. Providence to Baltimore, Baltimore to Detroit, Detroit to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to SLC. I hate writing on my iPhone but figure I may as well do something constructive!

Finished reading Patti Smith’s amazing book “Just Kids” en route. Didn’t plan so well- I didn’t want it to end, especially when I still have hours to go before arriving in Salt Lake. Somehow I didn’t take into account all the time changes and didn’t realize it was a four and a half hour flight from Detroit to Las Vegas! The upside of being stuck on a plane for many hours is being held hostage by creative artistic literary rock n’ roll inspiration.

What is it that gets me about Patti Smith? I had no idea how steeped in art her life has been. How did I not know so much more about her in years gone by? I knew she was a rock icon and a legend- every time I heard her music I loved it but I never chased her down- until last year when I read “M Train” and had my mind blown. Now I want to hear every song, read every poem, every book and see every drawing she ever did.

Part of what is so captivating is her humility and her unabashed honesty. It’s as though she looked life straight in the eye and fell into it. The lack of ego is one of the most refreshing things in her writing. It was quite a contrast to Graham Nash’s autobiography which I recently finished and grew very tired of about 2/3 of the way through because I felt it was so full of ego. Somehow there was always the feeling to me that he was name-dropping and talking a lot about how fabulous he was, whereas with Patti Smith, even while she writes about meeting Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and other legends, it feels very innocent and natural. There is sense of detachment around it- like she’s just writing about her life as it unfolded in a very organic way. There is always a sense of wonder, simplicity and connection.

When I saw her in New Bedford in January I had the same sense- an invitation to be fully human with no shame, no hiding. It is a powerful and inspiring invitation, to be the fullness of who I am and to me the greatest gift of true spiritual teachers. The ones I have been most affected by are the ones who I feel are fully manifesting in every moment. So I guess I am adding Patti Smith to my list of great gurus. Thank you Patti.

 Credit Sebastien Bozon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Credit Sebastien Bozon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Sarasvati, Mike Oldfield, Creativity and Healing

Sarasvati, "She Who Flows", is the goddess of creativity, wisdom, intellectual pursuits, the arts and sciences, music and language. She is the one we can invoke before we begin any creative project.

This is a great little clip of Mike Oldfield, maestro extraordinaire, discussing his creative process. I love the how he talks about the germination of an idea.

And just for the fun of it I am posting another great song of his (what has he done that isn't great?) that isn't always associated with him- but in fact he wrote it (NOT Hall & Oates as some folks believe). This is the original version on his album "Five Miles Out" (Maggie Reilly on vocals). If your only association with Mike Oldfield is as the composer of "Tubular Bells" this one may come as a surprise- but really, he is a musical genius and full of surprises.

And now, if I have your full attention, turn up your speakers, lay back and listen to the full recording of "Ommadawn"- total gorgeousness and brilliance! Talk about sound healing! I used to listen to this endlessly. It's over 40 years old now and has lost nothing over the years- still just brilliant and beautiful. I know every note by heart. It was music to disappear into when life got to be too much... This is one of those albums that could always bring joy to my heart and peace to my mind.

Celebrating Righteousness (Thank You Oprah)

Okay, I intended to write something completely different tonight but then I saw Oprah's speech from last night's Golden Globes and was dissolved in tears. You've probably already seen it. Sound healing is a wonderful thing- but when someone has the boldness, clarity and integrity to speak from their heart, to stand up for truth and righteousness, then everything else kind of pales. So, in case you haven't seen here it is- and if you have, this is going to be one of those speeches that will be worth watching and listening to over and over for years to come.

This was the end to an awesome day. I woke up this morning on my birthday- 1.8.18- to a sense of profound joy that has stayed with me throughout the day. This absolutely topped it off for me like nothing else could have. Thank you Oprah, and to all the women and men who stand strong in the truth of their being.

Mongolian Jingle Bells ROCKS!

Okay- that's it! I am head over heels and unabashedly in LOVE. So much so that I am back on my blog to tell the world (or the scant few who might actually read this). (I must admit that I was a bit shocked to see that I haven't posted since Nov. 9.)

Here is the source of my joy. I know I'm a few days late but my Christmas tree is still up, it's 14 degrees out, I have a wood fire burning and the only thing I feel I am missing is one of these wonderful coats so that I could sit outside on the frozen ground and feel as happy and comfortable and warm as these lovely Mongolian singers seem to be.

If it gives you even half as much pleasure as it did me then it will be a very good day for you. Please do turn up your speakers!

The Space of a Soul

I decided finally after so many days of wanting to write and so many days (okay, weeks) of not getting to it, that a short post is better than no post at all.

Yesterday afternoon/evening a group of us had a sweet gathering and send-off for our dear friend Shin Ae Tassia who departed this world on April 22, 2017. Her work as a "connector" continues as she brought more of us together still on this occasion, so many of us whom had not met before.

So much sweetness, so much heart. Worlds bumping up against each other, rubbing elbows. Artists, musicians, mechanics, social activists, healers and others- all extraordinary in their own unique ways. I am always astounded when a dear one passes how many lives they have in touched in so many different ways. And how we continue to get to know them long after they're gone.

A body doesn't take up that much physical space in the world but a soul? That's another matter. This thought is leading me down a windy river. A soul is like a miracle- and a soul is a miracle. I want to substitute the word "soul" right now in this sentence: A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware. (A Course in Miracles- Text, 45th Principle of Miracles)

And the curious question that is sometimes asked about people "What are they worth?" Wow! Obviously meant on the most material mundane level... but what an odd question. How do you determine the value of a human, the value of a life, the value of a soul? Soul currency... There's something to think about.

The night before last I did a Sound Journey for some of Shin Ae's closest friends, highlighting her favorite instruments, the gongs and Himalayan bowls. Last night I put it on when I got in bed. It must have been dreamy because I fell asleep within about 5 minutes. I slept deeply, woke up 5 hours later fully refreshed and restored, unfortunately forgetting my dreams within minutes of waking; nonetheless with a heart full of gratitude for the sweetness of this life and the continuity of it all.

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