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Archive for October, 2007

The native people of Australia tell a creation story of ancestral spirits who emerged from the dream that preceded this reality, and walked through this world singing everything into being. Each of our lives, to the core of our physical being, softly echoes the verses of our unique naming-song, the span of our days counted in the measures of heartbeat and breathing, the melody of voice and laughter harmonized with yawn and sigh and growl, the syncopation of our steps bridging the movements of our existence.

Music is inseparable from life. In its earliest forms, dating back before recorded history, music may have been humanity’s stylized imitations of birdsong and animal call, wind and storm. Anthropologists and ethnologists are hard pressed to think of any documented example of a human culture that does not include some form of music. It seems to be as integral to our ability to communicate and form societies as language.

Music is inseparable from spirit. Myths from all over the world describe music as a gift of the gods, or a secret stolen from them; even the word “music” has divine origins in the Greek Muses. Religious traditions have their sacred music, often carefully bound by rules to keep it pure and sublime, given in ceremony as offering and praise to deity. Composers throughout time have drawn inspiration from the world of spirit, expressing through music those thingsĀ of the soul that are beyond all words. (more…)

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I write this Love Bhakti as a gift to, and in honor of, two people whom I love dearly and who are family of my heart if not of my blood.

These two were married this weekend, on a perfect clear day in the company of their loved ones. I was given the great privilege of being one of the two people to perform this wedding, and it’s an honor that will never fail to amaze me and fill me with joy. The ceremony came, as so many do, as a reward and something of a relief after a long process of work and planning and stress, excitement and disappointment and anticipation and hope. (more…)

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In this day and age, we tend not to have a healthy relationship with the concept of secrecy; its connotations are almost entirely dour or negative. And yet, for all that it has a bad rap, there’s a beauty to secrecy, a wild and shadowed footpath barely discernible through the deep forest of our innermost lives, leading to places unreachable by more conventional means.

One of our universal traits as human beings is that we are each the tabernacle of the secrets we carry. No one, no matter how frank and open they consider themselves to be, is ever completely revealed to the world. (more…)

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In my last Bhakti, I touched on the need we each have to satisfy our survival-level needs for sustenance, safety, love, and esteem before we’re able to function at our highest potential. Love is necessary to each of us if we’re to fully bloom into the people we are meant to be.

If this is true for each of us, it is equally true for everyone else in the world as well.

There are many crises in the world today, many terrible and desperate and frightening situations. Most of us are emotionally affected by these and feel a longing to do something about it; and much of the time these responses are accompanied by a sense of overwhelming helplessness– “I am one person, with more demands on my time and more responsibilities than I can manage. What can I do that will even matter?” (more…)

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