The poet Frank Watson has given humanity a gift, a collection of poems entitled In the Dark, Soft Earth: Poetry of Love, Nature, Spirituality, and Dreams.
Book One is called “Within the Weeping Woods.” Each poem, very short, conjures the spirit of the nature haiku. Here, we are offered a chance to forest bathe the mind. Reading these poems is a wilderness adventure that tangles up desire, and I feel myself hearing my heart beat inside the forest and beneath its soil. This inner forest is dense with secret glades in which a reader can hide within forest Silence. There is intimacy but also distance that soothes. Though many scenes revealed here are absolutely terrifying, the language is so stunning that terror is totally erased by beauty. We become like the fool who, “entranced / by the beauty of a rose / he falls off a cliff…
Jens Jarvie is a master musician who is also a sage.
As blessings would have it, I have enjoyed listening to his album Path of Prayers over and over since the start of 2019.
My connection with this album, produced by Ben Leinbach, has been like getting to know a new friend with whom I am freshly enamored. This music has been the perfect companion for my journey as I turn inward every day to explore the wonderland of my consciousness.
Here I am going to attempt to write consciousness absorbed in this music. I write slowly and to a beat, lovingly placing word-after-word, letter-next-to-letter, writing the way a tantrika walks — now this step, now this step, aware of totality, playfully welcoming Infinity. As these fingers press down on this keyboard to type, my breath is coming and going; the sentences rise and fall. My body’s biorhythms engage in a dance of pulsing, beating, flowing, hormones releasing, digestive enzymes stirring. There is life arising and dissolving in the microscopic realms of cells and DNA. All opposing forces, seen and unseen, merge into blissful union. And the Path of Prayers album repeats the mantra Aad Guray Nameh.
Before I go more deeply into the internal reality, I enter this journey at a foundation from which I will launch.
That foundation is a traditional music review.
Suppose this is a traditional music review: I might say that Jens Jarvie entrances listeners with his rhythm and blues, folk guitar and djembe. I could say that his guitar riffs remind me of Eric Clapton. His vocals remind me of Eddie Vedar. His spirit reminds me of Jimi Hendrix. And his message reminds me of Bob Marley. Then I could also use some juicy adjectives to describe his music as innocent, poignant, penetrating, nuanced, and tender. Listeners can enjoy the way the recording deftly traverses musical styles: folk and blues, classic rock, jazz, reggae, modern kirtan, Indian classical, and gospel. All of this is true about Jens Jarvie and the Heart Wide Open music. Of course the whole album, like any Girish or Jai Utal album, inspires listeners to chant, dance, and be happy.
Now, this more typical music review is here to serve as an informative offering, to give a reader a compass; there are comparisons and categories to guide the listener in what to expect from this conscious kirtan rock band. From the music review a reader can decide whether or not this music is her jam.
But now let’s continue the journey within and awaken a creative inner expression.
Welcome, yogi. Welcome, tantrika. Time to intuitively engage with the elevated Self as this music echoes deep within the caves, tunnels, blacks holes, solar storms and galaxies within the body. Yes, let the 72,000-Nadi slam dance begin now!
Abandon categories and comparisons. Yogi, Tantrika, Reader, Word-lover and Music-lover, on this path of prayers, we play in the land of peace and plenty.
So, what happens on the inside while listening to Path Of Prayers?
From the interior of the infinity of the soul to the solid root of existence, these songs connect to every dimension. Listen closely, and hear a calling to the inner realms of subjectivity and silence; let all that is subjective and all that is silent reign and receive our undivided attention. Let us weave the sacred into this breath of life now. Suspire in sync with the Himalayan winds that move the monk’s prayer flags. Ah, the sacred cadence! Sync breath with riff, heart with drum.
How is this music impacting the electromagnetic frequency of my soul? There is a sense of coming home to peace, to learning, to being guided by teachers and saints. The electromagnetic field of my soul aligns in soothing harmony with mystery. Facing the Great Mystery bring tears to these eyes. Brother Sun warms these cold tears. It’s been decades since my spiritual master left this Earth plane. Finally, music that can ease my grief.
What does listening to this music feel like in my Shashara, or Crown Chakra, or what Yogi Bhajan referred to as the command center? The 1,000-petal lotus opens and each petal vibrates Om Mani Padme Hum. My arms stretch up to the heavens in a gesture of offering this Crown Lotus to the Beloved One.
Does this music connect me to the radiance of my pineal gland? The divine flame, eternal flame, continues its dance and organizes itself from chaotic spasms into a rhythmic spiral. This rhythmic spiral connects me to cosmic consciousness. Music of the spheres, beyond time and space.
What about the pituitary gland? How can I tell? If I feel strong; if the music gives me strength. Listen closely and deeply enough and hear the pituitary gland’s unique rush, a Shri release of hormonal cocktail that brings revitalization to my entire being.
Yogi Bhajan taught that “your expansion and contraction is based in your throat chakra.” When I sing along with Jens, my throat chakra opens and yes here is a feeling of expansion such as a bird must feel when she spreads and beats her wings in flight. When the movement of life is in perfect synchronicity with the divine rise and fall of the Pavan Guru. When I next speak, may I speak only words of love.
Great happiness and warmth fill the heart. The deep silence of the heart remains silent, and with Jarvie’s Om Namah Shivaya in the distance, the heart’s silence grows into radiant silence.
Beloved World, feel my heart embrace All of You!
Grit and endurance are in the navel point, and I would say there are drum beats and powerful base rhythms that one can feel in the gut. Move the hips to Govinda Jaya Jaya, and let unity consciousness arise from the secret depths.
The master said that productivity and creativity, and all-prevailing nature is in the creative organ. Well, that is where I feel an impulse to write this blog post, the music ignites my creative expression. Dear One, I wonder what listening to this music will inspire you to create.
On this high note, this solitary yogi and tantrika relaxes deeply and spends hours contemplating the ways this album serves to help her find God within her own body. Does Jens Jarvie’s Path of Prayers help me to realize God within my body?
May all beings benefit from listening to this album over and over again while paying attention to and playing with the symphony that is within. Let the music vibrate your inner universe with the ecstasy of pure being. May you experience the God that is always within you. And may you simply say a big YES to this experience.
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.”
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!”
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!