This past weekend we had a wonderful performance of Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio Christ Lives at the Church of the Recessional in the Forset Lawn Mortuary, just up the hill from where Yogananda’s body is kept. We had over 50 singers from many different colonies who all came together just that day to sing, and it is truly amazing how our common attunement gives us the ability to blend our voices and energies without a tremendous amount of rehearsal.
What a blessing it was to sing Swami’s masterpiece with him in the audience – his presence works as a catalyst to fire our inspiration, expanding our awareness and joy to ever greater heights. We focused especially on conveying, from the depths of our own experience, the inner meaning of each of the songs. Many singers recite the words very well, but we are blessed with a whole choir who has experienced and not only believes but lives the truths expressed all throughout the Oratorio.
When Swamiji sang Thy Will Be Done, you could tangibly feel that “all that I’ve done is Thine” echoed his service and devotion to Yogananda perfectly.
As we began singing Thy Light Within Us Shining, Swamiji stood up, and the choir’s energy skyrocketed. This piece is particularly challenging, for the organ stops halfway through and we must keep our pitch without going flat while singing a capella. When the organ rejoined, we were spot on in pitch, which reverberated all throughout the church for a thrilling conclusion.
He took my arm and we made our way through the church to the car. Here I was with my beloved friend and teacher, sharing a few moments before the car arrived. He was very moved, especially by Thy Light Within Us Shining, but didn’t say much, as he was absorbed in bliss. I was deeply fortunate to have shared those few moments with him, and for many years tried to imagine what it would be like to be to share such an experience.
Was it earth shattering? Was it life changing? For me, the greatest blessing comes in opening myself to attune myself with his consciousness. I try to imagine myself like a cello, with nothing dampening my strings, sympathetically resonating to his vibration and presence. The stiller I can be, the more I can feel Yogananda’s presence through him, and as I practice, the more deeply I can experience what it means to attune myself to Yogananda as Swami Kriyananda has done for these past 62 years. It is hard to separate the vibrations of that experience from the vibrations of the concert. Each of them brings me to a deep stillness where I can feel ever more strongly the presence of Christ.
My heartfelt thanks to Barbara Bingham, whose pictures grace this page. More pictures and events from the weekend can be found on her post.
May God bless you deeply this Holy Season!