sinking into deep practice and musical offerings this summer… as the flowers bloom all around in this lush green that is portland early june. and realizing each day as i let go into love that this is what is reflected all around and back to me.
an incredible opportunity to accompany my friend michael steen singing for ammachi in seattle. with the incredible dave hoover playing harp and boaz drum on tabla to accompany we practiced and arrived and practiced some more. and then at the last minute the schedule changed. there was room for another offering and i was offered the chance to sing something for her. and at this point i know the answer is ‘yes’ - whenever the universe asks you to do what you love, to share what you do and are … we say yes!
by saying yes we step into our becoming. we unfold and flower and falter and grow and shine. all of it is possible when we step in. and there is no guide book that says it will be easy, there are no guarantees that the path is without rough patches. and we know that for the sunny shiny places to exist, so too these shadows we will walk through.
the point is, we walk through them by stepping in. we welcome the fear itself to be transformed into experience, and what is behind the fear to dissolve. we learn who we are and how to love ourselves in the process of becoming and this love reflects all around us.
after an early morning drive and an entire day surrounded by the sangha at the hyatt in seattle, listening to the bhajans, sharing sattvic simple food in the dining hall with so many others, receiving darshan from beloved ammachi herself and listening to her stories while sitting with these beautiful friends and musicians, our time to present music finally was upon us. it was nearly 2:30 in the morning and ammachi was still going strong embracing those who approached her on the stage from the darshan line.
we settled ourselves in front of her on the floor by the microphones and began. i witnessed my friend michael, sitting beside me begin his offering straight and clear and strong. i could see him stepping into his dream and his fear at once. as the long spiraling melodic lines unfurled, over and over, his beautifully performed 'tantroktam devisuktam' began to entrance us all.
sitting and singing next to him, i watched him transform. from quietly nervous at first as he sang, he began to shine brighter and brighter. lifting his face and smiling, he sat up taller and lifted his chin, reaching out energetically and owning this offering to the guru before him. i watched as love surrounded and enveloped him and he allowed the embrace.
i followed with a short chant to the lotus feet of the guru… 'charana kamala meje jyoti!' my voice finding it’s way through the microphone’s reverb to it’s true essence and filling the grand ballroom. allowing my own nerves and voice to find their landing in the music and in the practice i let go and sang.
our intention and attention is everything. only love. become that love for yourself and watch it flower around you! gina sala closed our little set with an incredibly beatuiful ‘jai ma saraswati devi’ grounding us all with her experience and gorgeous command of voice.
the darshan for the day was over and the closing goodbyes to ammachi for the evening were said. we parted and going back to our hotel room with my friend i commented on how beautiful the day was, though somehow not overpowering. without realizing the true effect of being bathed in ammachi’s unconditional love all day, i set up to go to sleep and instead ended up with my friend… unpacking our hearts and lives in conversations until dawn. thank you dear ammachi for your glorious example and your tireless service.
step into fear. allow the feelings & experience. love yourself and one another. step again. repeat.