Friday, August 14, 2009
Welcome to the Home of My Songworld
"She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
as we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made."
-Wallace Stevens, "The idea of Order at Key West"
I found this quote in my shirt pocket today. It is a piece from a longer poem which hints at the idea that we create our world through the "sea" or Consciousness. At the same time I'm reading chapter six of "Ancient Secrets of Success for Today's World" written by Tulshi Sen. The chapter is entitled "The Everyday Magic of Creating from No-Thing."
One of the most difficult challenges of my life was coming to terms with possibly losing Narayan. Before I came across the "Ancient Secrets of Success" teachings, I could not foresee any joy in life if he left this world. Loving him filled my existence with a feeling of connection and romance. I felt afraid that my life would return to running away and suffocating pain, a pattern which had helped me survive earlier loss. I did not realize then that his leaving would teach me one of the greatest lessons the human heart can reach for: self-love.
It was my Teacher who assured me that I would feel great joy again. Earlier, he taught both Narayan and me how to let go of attachment in love and reach for a greater experience. Through meditations and visioning, Narayan and I began to let go and the intensity of our love expanded. He honored me in every way imaginable and I was able to let him have the space he needed to prepare for his journey. We began to trust that love itself would never lead us astray. Outside in the physical world the medical storms continued, but we remained poised and fearless. There were still moments of panic and anger, but these too did not rattle us. We relied only on the deep feelings that we had for one another and trusted that the source of these would guide us safely to a higher purpose. Even in the last sacred seconds of life in Narayan's physical body, surrounded by family and friends, this love embraced us all and permeated the room itself with joy and elation. I was ready to trust with my whole heart that Narayan's journey was a call to a higher mission.
Then came the years of singing and writing alone. Filled with the romantic songs of past visionaries and poets, dancers and sages, my heart poured out feelings in melodies of transformation and wonder. Around me the mundane world was preoccupied with the day to day trivialities while my heart soared into worlds that had no suffering and no greed. There was only beauty and joy ringing in the Universe. Singing became my refuge and place of healing and listening inside. Songwriting became a way to reach for a new state of mind and endless possibilities. Of course my life still threw giant curveballs into my days and my mind often resisted with thoughts of worry and doubt. But the songs made me stronger inside. The meditations I learned from my Teacher brought stillness and the undeniable urge to create and express everything my heart aspired to. Suddenly singing brought painting and drawing and digital artwork.
The truly amazing fact is that my training has never been in the arts. I was a frontline customer service and sales veteran with longterm stints knocking door to door, bartending and being an airline hostess. The urge to create was so intense but I had no outlet and no self-confidence. Meditation with mantras began to change these self-imposed limitations. Visioning techniques filled me with a courage and desire to let all my feelings out. All of these transformations came from No-Thing. My reliance was on my love for Narayan and my faith in 2500 year old principles. When the student was ready, the Master came.
"The biggest stumbling block for a successful life is dependency on conditions. That is dependency on your circumstances. You say, "If I had these conditions of wealth and connections I would be able to achieve this goal." In this scenario you are making the accomplishment of your goal dependent on certain specific conditions. Or you don't have at this time all the knowledge that you need to accomplish what you want. You have become dependent not only to the substance that you want but also to your past experience."
Although Narayan was a powerful catalyst for me to embrace great love, it was Consciousness itself showing me how much love is possible. When he left, I asked the Universe to show me the higher love beyond what I had with Narayan. And so out of Nothing came self-forgiveness and letting go. Came artistic expression of joy and self-discovery. Came all those who have gathered strength from this journey of healing and song. Out of No-Thing.
Little by little, the teachings of the Ancient Masters are becoming more natural to me. It is a challenging quest to want to know yourself. There are tears and laughter at every corner. There is a song that my Teacher used to sing to us that always made me want to get up and brush myself off and try again. It is the song "Dream the Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha, the musical. The last verse always makes me shiver with awe inside:
"And I know if I only be true,
To this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm,
When I’m laid to my rest,
And the world will be better for this,
That one man scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage,
to reach the unreachable star."
There is not a single song written in my life that does not contain some significant seed from those words. It is the quest that drives us onward. The quest that is the question that leads home: The Place of my Songworld.