On July 4th I led an all-star group of colleagues and former students in a concert celebrating Ananda’s 50th anniversary in California.
As we played Life Is the Quest for Joy by Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) in the newly dedicated Temple of Light, I felt a powerful, blissful, loving presence saturate me to my core. I was committed to staying as open as possible for the entire celebration week, and this was by far the biggest test. By opening my heart, I ran the risk of being completely overwhelmed (which would ruin the performance) but by some kind of grace I was able to ride the wave, allowing myself to openly resonate as much as possible with this presence without breaking down into tears. I successfully held it together for the entire 8-minute piece, made it off the stage, found a hidden spot behind a pillar, and sobbed.
22 years ago the music of this same composer set me on a path to learn how music affects consciousness. And now here I was, experiencing a gift so profound that even writing about it brings me close to tears. The truth of it is, I had shut myself down. I chose not to resonate as completely as I could. Safety. Security. Fear. All these things played into my choice to avoid finding out who I truly am. I also shut myself off from how much I can truly be loved. Unworthy, not deserving, unbelieving – but now I’ve been given a gift, and I can’t afford to let it go, no matter how vulnerable it asks me to be.
This gift is to realize that my capacity for love is 100 times more than I ever thought possible. This gift shows me I need to share it with others through music, speaking, writing, teaching. And that’s a little scary.
On the morning before the concert I was honored to speak as part of a panel. I spoke on the power of sympathetic resonance, how a string will start to vibrate on its own accord when its pitch is produced nearby. Now I feel like I’m a string on my cello resonating to an eternally omnipresent pitch source. This gift is one of vibration.
Returning home, all my old patterns invite me to close up and sink back into a comfortable, predictable confining box. It’s not easy to change, and I’m having varying degrees of success.
Superhero movies wake us up to higher potential—we can be so much more than we realize—and I sympathize completely with every superhero fumbling with their newly found powers. This gift is showing me a way of being that I’ve never been privy to before, and I admit to stumbling.
I step into yet another unknown by trusting in this gift. I know that I am not alone as I write these words. The truth is, I need to surround myself with people who will bring this out in me so that I can help bring it out in them. I deeply value all of you who take the time to read this and who realize that we are ALL being asked to step up in these turbulent times.
I’ve given up predicting where this is going. All I can do is ask this gift how to bring this presence into every part of my day, and follow where it leads.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. I’m honored to be a part of yours. If you’re interested in hearing our performance of Life Is the Quest for Joy please follow this link: ananda.org/video/life-is-the-quest-for-joy