Monday, July 20, 2009

The Song that Helped me Conquer Mountains

How are the Valleys Higher than the Mountaintops?

Years ago when my finances had catapulted into the "valley of the shadow of death" and my life seemed so disconnected from everything, my Teacher was explaining about conquering mountaintops and knowingly entering the mysterious valley. What I came to realize on that day was that if I was aiming for a mountain higher than the one I was standing on, then the valley I would go through would be greater than the distance I just scaled to get where I am standing now. It was like a lightbulb that went off over my head. On that day I didn't worry about the pain of the impending decline, only that I would some day feel a sense of purpose and momentum again. Now many years later, I feel like another mountain has been conquered and I have my heart set on a higher peak again. Like my Teacher assured us all those years ago, a great boon will be granted as we approach our desired destination. That is how I feel about the many songs that have come to help me reach my mountain top.

One of my greatest sources of strength was found writing the song "Higher Still". Whenever things feel really hard and horrible, I play this song on Narayan's old guitar and remember that control is really an illusion. It is a shadow that we rely upon to give us a sense of security. When we can rely on something that we cannot see or feel or taste or touch or smell...something that is beyond our intellect...then we begin to recognize our true source of strength cannot be measured or quantified. Where does that leave the tools of science? What is this Infinite in whose image we are made? Many cultures and traditions use the word God, or the Creator, Lord or Mother Nature or Consciousness. We each have a personal connection with that source of power and name it accordingly. In a world where everythig around us is changing so fast, we are bombarded with information-overload. Yet can this flashflood of images and words tell us who we are or where we are going from here? At times we need to be ok with not knowing the answers and trust that we are guided from within. These words always heighten my courage to look deeper into the heart of life:

"I stand on a mountain
And see a higher one still
I must go through a valley
To conquer that hill
You’re the guide of my journey
I live in your Name
You move me forward
Till nothing’s the same
You lift my eyes upward
To that next highest peak
While the battle is raging
In that valley so deep

O Lord how you lift me
Every time I let go
I feel you inside me
As I tremble so

The dark has subsided
The sun shines anew
That mountain is waiting
I know what I must do… "

Ganga Fondan, 2005

Stepping into the unknown valley can be overwhelming. Even terrifying. But until we take that chance towards inner experience we cannot phathom that the very power that took care of us in our mother's womb is still with us. We won't be able to grasp the sense of awe and wonder that a child has seeing a butterfly for the first time. We need to reconnect with our inner knowing again. That is why I chose this song to be on my upcoming album. It has served me so well and may do wonders for you too. Here's to your own journey of conqering mountains.


PS "Remember to let your valleys be higher than your mountaintops." - Tulshi Sen

1 comment:

Cyndee Greene said...

I love this visual Ganga!
It is such a beautiful way of helping others to understand why the valley. My Guides have shown me this, but this example is SO much clearer. Thank you! Again.....