Thresholds and Twilight Zones


Now, I am spinning with joy.


I have just joined the San Diego Threshold Choir.


This is a volunteer organization that offers the service of singing to people who are on their deathbed.


It is an honor to use my voice and my heart in this way.


I love to sing.


I am not a professional.  Few people have ever told me I have a beautiful voice.  In fact, though I have longed for it, no one has ever requested me to sing to them.  But nor has anyone ever told me that I should not sing to them.


Whenever I sing, there is almost always a voice in my head that says, “What are you doing?  You are no Tori Amos or Snatam Kaur.  Why are you singing so loudly and with so much love and confidence?  Maybe you should shut your mouth and keep quiet.”


This voice in my head is not me.


Now, I could waste a little time wondering, where ever did that inner message come from?  After all these years that I have been singing in a variety of situations from college choir to morning Sadhana with Kundalini Yogis to Music Together circles with Mamas and Babes, why would such a critic still exists inside of me?  Hasn’t this voice gotten the message that no matter what it says, I will sing?


Or, I could just keep singing.


As for now, I am bowing my head to those few people who have ever told me that I have a lovely singing voice.  Their kind remark has given me the energy and nerve to step up to use this voice to serve.


I am eager to begin my adventure with the San Diego Threshold Choir.  It may seem that the people who are visiting the dying are paying a service to those who are dying.  That may be true.  But I also recognize that being invited to pay a dying person a visit to sing to them is one of the highest blessings that a dying person could give to his or her visitors.


It is actually a high honor to be in the presence of anyone who is on the threshold to pass from one lifetime to the Beloved Beyond.  The dying being is in a twilight zone; this means he or she is not fully alive anymore, but nor fully dead yet.  These twilight zones are where the Amrit, the nectar, flows most freely.  And wherever the nectar flows freely, I grow soft, open, receptive, willing, and joyful.


May we understand threshold spaces as spaces of infinite possibility and enchantment.  May we realize this possibility and enchantment to grow in love and ecstasy.  May we continue to request those near and dear to us to sing to us and to sing with us.  May the next words I say to the next person I see be, “Please, sing!”


Sat Naam!





Mother’s Prayer for Safe Schools

Violence is a fixture that churns deep in the American psyche.

Violence pervades our most seemingly innocent experiences, from going to the mall to walking through the park.  No  matter what it is a typical American does on a typical day, violent images, memories, song lyrics, movie scenes, words, ideas, stories, and language accompany every move we make.

To appreciate the depth to which we are steeped in violence, we need to appreciate the workings of the subconscious mind and the subtle realm.  We need to become more deeply conscious.  We need to be deeply aware of the ways that glorification of violence influences the subconscious mind.

In America today, most people do not want to admit it or do not choose to notice, but violence exists as a prominent leader in the American Subtle Consciousness.  Most people are not paying attention to the subtle realm.  Why should they?  After all, the subtle realm is subtle.  And if you do not practice any form of yoga, meditation, or mindfulness, chances are you have no idea that the subtle realm even exists.

The first gross solution is to get rid of guns.

The solution for the mind is to clean the subconscious of its garbage.  The way to do that is meditation.

Pushing measures through the government and legal system are useless.

Instead, change the brain!

Here is a sure fie way to protect children through violence:

Chant the Mother’s Prayer for Her Child eleven times as your child falls asleep at night.  Even if your child is grown and moved away, chant this prayer for your child every day, eleven times a day.  Do this every day without fail.  While chanting, expand your awareness to swaddle every child — even your inner child — in this blessing.  Sat Nam!



Meditate for Brain Health

There are different modes of thinking about ourselves.  One is narrative.

My name is Rebecca.  I grew up in the Midwest… 

Another is experiential.

Knees throb and heart rate increases while climbing these stairs.

When we relate to ourselves through our stories, through narrative, this way of thinking activates the medial prefrontal cortex region of the brain.

When we relate to ourselves through our moment-to-moment experience, this way of thinking activates the somatosensory cortex and right insula regions of the brain.

Scientific studies reveal a difference in the wiring of these regions of the brains of people who meditate versus those who do not meditate.  Those who do not meditate have strong neural pathways that connect the medial prefrontal cortex to the somatosensory cortex and right insula.  This means that if a person does not meditate, they are prone to narrating an experience.  They are prone to telling a story about an experience.  On the other hand, people who meditate have medial prefrontal cortex that is not so strongly wired to the somatosensory cortex and right insula.  And the somatosensory cotex and right insula have more rigorous activity.  This means people who meditate are more likely to experience an experience free of the habit of delving into a story about that experience.

Medial prefrontal cortex activity is linked to self-evaluation and analysis.  The somatosensory cotex and right insula convey information about present moment awareness.  One benefit of practicing mindfulness and meditation is that it preserves space between these two regions of the brain so that a person who is having an experience can have an authentic experience rather than filtering, embellishing, or getting caught up in that experience through a story.  Meditation changes brain patterns so that moment-to-moment sensory awareness and activation of the right insula increases.

Think of all the stories in the universe!

Spiritual awakening gives us stories.

Religion gives us stories.

The development of saints, sages, and elevated beings are stories.

All our psychoses and neuroses are stories, stories, stories.

Stories have been both nourishing and misguiding us for ages!

The medial prefrontal cortex of the human brain is highly developed and sophisticated.  That’s something to celebrate, for sure.  But what are the drawbacks?  One that I can think of is that when we experience other people, we are prone to telling ourselves stories about them when the interaction would probably benefit more from fully experiencing another being in the moment.

Sure we can listen to and embrace stories.  I love stories.  But then perhaps let’s not be so consumed by stories but pay closer attention to experience to allow that part of our brain to thrive, too.  Allow experience to be experiences.  Allow a story to be only that–a story.  Let’s develop a right insula that is as sophisticated and utilized as our medial prefrontal cortex.  Then let’s see where we will be as a human species.

Every living human being embodies moment-to-moment experience that is one expression of the universe that is a universe unto itself.  Considering things in this way fills me with awe.  Just think, one simple interaction with another being can be like making a profound discovery, visiting a distant planet, or locating a hidden treasure.  Interacting with another is that profound.  Interacting with another is that precious.

What unknown regions of the brain might we be able to access if we are to interact with one another free of stories about one another and instead experience one another in each moment full of innocent curiosity and naked wonder?

Mind Metaphor