Life Changes

Well, again... a pause between my writings. Every day I think of it and wonder when I will find the time! Today I decided to simply hibernate and work on my writing- which included a bunch of handwritten cards while I had my coffee this morning. I moved up to Middletown, RI a few weeks ago- just outside of Newport a half mile walk from the beach. Living in a tiny little cabin in a thicket of honeysuckle and wild roses for the summer. It's so beautiful.  In the winter I'll move in to the big house on the same property. All I hear is the wind blowing through the shrubs and trees, birds of all kinds, squirrels jumping from branch to branch, the occasional insect and a few cars or motorcycles way off in the distance very occasionally.  Sometimes there is a chorus of neighborhood dogs or music off in the distance.  Right now a plane going overhead. Earlier today I heard a bird that kept sounding like it was saying "You 'n me, you 'n me..." over and over. A butterfly flew in and visited me in my kitchen this morning and then flew out. A couple of days ago I had to help one out.

It is so wonderful being here.  Work is flowing much more easily for me which is wonderful and I have had so many amazing sound experiences already this year.  I have been able to attend 3 workshops already which had been few and far between for me since I opened the center. The first was the weekend with Shyamji in the Netherlands which I want to write about today. Next was the Temple of Sound weekend with Bhagavan Das and Yogi Amrit Desai in Salt Springs, FL and then last weekend a phenomenal workshop on working with tuning forks with John Beaulieu. And I still have kirtan camp to look forward to!

So... Shyamji... oh, my life changes every time I see him, hear him, experience his beautiful sweet voice and sacred songs and mantras. The first time I experienced Shyamji (Sri Shyam Bhatnagar) was back in 1990. My stepmother Lore, a yoga teacher, took me to a deep meditation workshop with him in New York City. I was a year in recovery for substance abuse, rebuilding my spiritual foundation. We went to New York for the day. It was a Sunday. It was a beautiful day and the sounds he created were new to me. He played his tamboura and chanted seed sounds and mantras and we would repeat after him the sounds he made. We got home that evening and the next morning when I was driving my boys to school I realized I was in a totally altered state. I could function perfectly well but it was as if there were no resistance to the world around me. I was moving through it with ease- almost as if I were in still point and the world was just moving around me. I told Lore when I saw her that morning for yoga class that I felt as if I were an "open window".

On the drive to NY we had talked about A Course in Miracles which my sponsor in NA/AA had told me about.  I was really interested in it and had been wanting copy for a couple of months but didn't have the money to purchase a copy. Lore told me she thought she had a copy but she had so many boxes of books she didn't know where it was.  After yoga class that morning I mentioned the book again.  I had never seen it and didn't know what it looked like- had only heard about it through my sponsor. There were about 4 boxes of books in the room right near us. I looked down and saw a book with the binding facing away from me. I reached in and pulled it out and it was A Course in Miracles! I pulled out one volume after another- all 3 without seeing the cover or the title on any of them.  Lore said laughed and said, "Well, I guess you are supposed to have them." Apparently I was.  It changed my life- and I did have the awareness that for whatever reason I needed to see Shyamji first before I actually got the books. It also turned out to be the beginning of my journey on the path to working with sound as a healing modality- little did I know.

I have had the opportunity to be with Shyamji several times since then- all of them when I was in the process of transformation and healing on very deep levels. This last time in the Netherlands was certainly no different. The trip to the Netherlands in itself was huge for me.  I was going to a country I had wanted to go to all my life and I had actually never been overseas.  The trip had already been so powerful for me. I was finding parts of myself that had been buried so deep- reconnecting with wonder and fascination from my childhood- really happy and joyful parts of my childhood that I didn't even know existed. The workshop with Shyamji was my last weekend in the Netherlands- I was leaving the following Thursday.

Looking down the path at the Spiritual Center, Schoorl, Nederlands
I took a train to Alkmaar and met a woman there who I had met years earlier in Arizona who had been living in the Netherlands for years. She lived in Alkmaar and was a Watsu practitioner and acupuncturist. There was to be a concert Friday night followed by a two-day workshop at a spiritual center in Schoorl. Basia, my friend, and I went to the concert together and he told us that evening that the purpose of his concert and the entire weekend would be to remember what it was like to be one with our mother when we were in the womb, before most likely before the third trimester and any trauma or separation occurred. The next day, seemingly out of the blue, I had an experience of remembering what it was like to be totally and unconditionally loved and loving- not with my mother but with a man I had had relationship with many years earlier. It was not the form that was important though- it was the content- the remembrance of love.

Two days later when I was back at my friends Paul and Jane's in Soesterberg I told Jane how I wanted to rent something in Rhode Island for the summer but hadn't been able to find anything affordable. And hour later I got an email about a place for rent.  I hadn't really told anyone yet that I was seriously looking.  Here I am. This is the place.  This is me.