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In Divine Conversation

The purpose of Divine Communication is cultivating healthy relationships and uncovering samskara (latent impressions of past or negative emotions). Through Divine Speech loving relationships can literally heal the world around us.

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In a Divine Conversation there is no need for persuasion just an ability to use one’s power to agree.  The “power to agree” is not blind faith.  The power to agree can be viewed as seeing truth that is relative to one’s understanding, letting it wash over and diving deep into Its True Essence.  The more this is cultivated the faster and more clearly deep understanding takes place in one who is the witness.

The more we speak the more our words can become arbitrary.  The more silence and love we cultivate the more we are using the language of the Divine.  If there is love and purity in our speech our vitality increases and a radiant–lighted energy moves through and around the body, and the more one finds one needs less words to express this Divine Feeling.  This energy is felt by all that come into contact with it, and too adds to the vitality of those receptive to it.  Also felt by all that come into contact with it is hateful speech, and in both parties there is a fast depletion of energy, they grow tiresome and week.  This depletion of energy causes vulnerability to illness, death and a quick tendency for general negative acts.  Divine Speech is nourishing, Divine Silence is Divine Sustenance.

Divine Speech is not only orated.  One who is absorbed in Divine Silence is saying just as much if not more than those with kind and loving speech.  The energy is much more subtle and can travel a greater distance.  When the silence finally breaks in one who is watching their breath and radiating Divine Light of Silence, their words are mindful and powerful.

Sage Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi spent 53 years mostly absorbed in silence. Some of his devotees never heard his voice and still so many teachings and Divine Love was transmitted in Divine Silence. Even though he has left the body a Deep Radiance is still left in his Samadhi and Ashram grounds in and around the sacred mountain Arunachala in Tiruvanamalai, Tamilnadu India

The healing and truth that comes from observing  the purity of silence ironically cannot be summed in words.  To me this is the highest form of communication.  The Language of God cannot possibly be restricted into words.  Yet, human beings continue to place names and definitions on the forms of the Divine.

Some souls have been granted the gift of a singing voice and musical ability.  Deep emotions can be felt even in melody without words if the intentions are pure.  Some instruments are designed to replicate the intonations of the human voice, such as the veena or the violin.  From what we know about the sound vibrations of certain words and the powerful connection of certain seed letters in mantra, the words we use can be and are very powerful.  Therefore as artists and especially singers it is very important the words you use and what you choose to express to others.  The listener is experiencing your story within the fabric of their being.  If you project hate and depravity others will feel that from you and within themselves.  Likewise love, understanding and heartfelt–sincere emotions can move the listener into a state of catharsis and healing.  Some negative–lower level emotions can be expressed and help an individual to realize they are not alone in pain and confusion, yet even still the song must have some sort of an uplifting solution, otherwise the two (listener and artist) are stuck in a cycle of negativity.

Maha Saraswati Devi, Divine Mother aspect of Knowledge, Arts, Music, Dance and Creativity. When we offer our highest form of Celestial Music we are paying homage to the highest aspect of Divine Mother.

The purpose of Divine Communication is cultivating healthy relationships and uncovering samskara (latent impressions of past or negative emotions).  Through Divine Speech loving relationships can literally heal the world around us.  Divine Celestial Music plays a universal role in the advancement toward a liberated society.  The artist, like an Angel, communicates a great deal of inexplicable emotions thus gives a huge contribution to the whole of the human heart.

If you should wish to have an orated Conversation with the Divine, Mantra is a high Path.  Through the Sanskrit Prayana (Oration of Sanskrit Mantra) we pull on the sacred thread of the Divine.  The Divine Source is awakened within us, and through this link of mantra It comes alive.  The energy field created by correct mantra oration is likewise energizing, replenishing, stimulating and fueled by the Divine Language of God.  Correct pronunciation of Sanskrit Mantra is key because the structure of vibrational quality is very specific in bringing about the fructification and benefits of the Divine Oration.  For this it is important to have close contact with an authentic source of instruction found within an authentic Guru.  Peoples all over the world pray to the Divine Source using our many varieties of human language and if spoken with purity our voice is heard and reflected back at us.  Thus, a Divine Relationship is born.  If we Divinize our conversations in daily situations just as we hold so dearly the purity in our prayers then our entire life is a waking relationship “In Divine Conversation.”  Mantra is not only in the form of Sanskrit.  Daily affirmations in any language supports one’s focus and one’s pure desire for a more positive and uplifting life.  The Divine is not an external source It’s found within, and when we give ourselves clear affirmations we are guiding ourselves with a map toward the Divine within as in the Sankalpa (instructions of how benefits and blessings are dispersed during a puja or prayer ceremony).  Whether with words, Mantra, or in Divine Silence, our conversations grant tangible feelings of grace known as bhava.  Imagine a world of Divine Conversation and the sustainability and sustenance it would create.  Nay, do not just imagine it, practice it.  In reality it is easier said than done.  Divine Conversation takes a steadiness and control of breath (pranayama), will power, and a cultivation of good health and wealth (artha).  All these practices are the essence of cultivation of bhava or Divine Feelings.

Finally, nature (Divine Mother Earth) is in communication at all times.  The plants, trees, animals, birds, even the mountains and sky are all offering their communication and energy transmission.  The trees and plants communicate with you and release their love and understanding in the form of breathable air, clean ecosystem, foods and nourishment, and even more subtle forms.  When one beholds a beautiful river or mountainous place there is a deep healing and peace that overwhelms one’s heart.  The memories become encapsulated in the heart for the rest of our lives, and some may even draw upon these memories in times of stress in order to bring themselves back to that state of being.  As human beings, our responsibility of the communication with Divine Mother Earth is honor, understanding and respect.

Sitting inside a waterfall in remote mountains of Andhra Pradesh, a sacred pond called "Vishnu Kund" Ancient Rishis were said to have meditated here and one can hear their mantras bouncing off the mountain as the water trickles down.

Mother Earth is so graciously giving over everything we need in order to survive and if we are destroy Her or desecrate Her, then we are not honoring that Divine Relationship.  Indigenous Peoples of the Earth that are in tune with Her cycles and patterns have a great deal to teach the modern human, to help the modern human come back home to the Divine Relationship and oneness with the Earth.

On the Sacred Mountain Arunachala in Tirvanamalai Tamilnadu India

In a desperate world full of suffering and chaos, it is our duty to develop these higher understandings and this level of mindfulness.  Sometimes efforts toward peace or a healed–regenerative world can feel quite hopeless.  It is in these moments when our Divine Love and Divine Communication needs to be even more steadfast, for what else have we to offer?  What will our human legacy leave behind?  What will save humanity from destroying each other and the world?  It starts with our communication, our understanding, our mindfulness.  To Divinize one’s communication is a massive first step toward these higher goals.  I pray with all of my being we reach this destination as a global force of Loving Kindness in Divine Conversation with one another…

Divine Communication in Silence with Grandpa Don

Is Freedom Possible The Human Condition

When our souls our one Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

If you need guns and weapons to defend your so called freedom then you are still in a cage. This is a human condition that has carried on from the beginning of so called civilization. Will we ever really be free? Once we realize our soul is imperishable then you realize there is nothing left to defend. Thereafter comes the understanding that all souls are filled with that same light, and thereafter resonates the feelings of Divine Love and Compassion. When our souls are one, Divine Love is all the protection we will need. When will we ever reach that level, the human condition that plagues us is crushing our society, when will love be enough???

I spend a good majority of my time in the mornings getting tuned in with what is going on in the world, this usually means my morning breakfast spent while watching Democracy Now.  (It’s very forward thinking news broadcast if you don’t watch it, tune in and open your mind.  Also, be prepared I wouldn’t recommend having breakfast and starting your day off with D-now, because it’s a very hard hitting reality check every morning.)  For me it is all about perspective, and because we work in the inner and outer social activism it’s important to know where and what are the needs of the human race.  The needs are many, and so surmounting that it sometimes leaves me  overwhelmed and hopeless as to the possibility of our race surviving at this catastrophic pace.

First, I’ll tell you what this piece is not.  What I want to present with this writing is not political activism, it is not specific to any piece of news or any one single event.  It is taking into account the entire spectrum and history of the human condition to see, is Freedom really possible?  Is love really possible?  Also taking into consideration if a foreign entity is invading your land and destroying and decimating your land, people and culture what to do then?  How and should one defend themselves?  Asking these questions usually starts with more questions, “well, what are we fighting about anyway?  And, what is the root cause of the inner dilemma that drives one to killing and destroying each other?

There are many philosophers and thinkers that put these concepts to thought and articulate them far better than I, and can be used as an immense reference for this particular writing.  The renown thinker, Krishna Murthi, so beautifully analyzes the root cause of most human suffering in this beautiful talk on Fear.  As always the mindfulness of Krishna Murthi is so in tune that if you watch this video there is really no reason to continue reading.  You yourself will come to many conclusions about your individual experience with fear and how it has lead the evolution of the “Human Condition.”  Krishna Murthi points out, there are many different types of fear.  In my view one that is most important is the hereditary fear of survival.

Jiddu Krishnamurthi thinker, philosopher, somewhat of the anti-guru working toward getting human beings to understand they have the power to grant their own self realization. To me let's face it, that's what a Guru does. Helping to transform from darkness to light.

From the early ages of the human being, before so called, “civilization” (that is not at all civilized, still very primitive), human beings were born into fear as a mode of survival.  If one leaves the safe confines of one’s cave there is a risk to be eaten by wild animals or destroyed by the natural chaos and power of nature.  So, very easily we cut to the chase here… How can we evolve out of fear (which leads to suffering) if it is engrained in our DNA from the start of the evolution of our species?  Is fear useful?  My very first instinct reaction to these questions is, no.  From the time of Buddha we have been hearing about peace… Do we have it?  Have we ever fully understood fear?  The best approach is to dive deeper and deeper until we fully understand the roots of issues that drive us away from peace, not to run away from them into a fantasy of, “I must have peace… I am peaceful… I will make myself peaceful…”  Until we have faced the root causes of fear, struggle, loneliness, loss, death and many other manifestations of fear in the human psyche it is my understanding that we will never truly “rest in peace.”  Another eloquent philosopher based in mindfulness is, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Master of the Art of Mindfulness.

His approach to mindfulness is not to run away from our fears and negative attributes, yet to face them lovingly and mindfully to give as much respect and understanding to the negative as we yearn for the positive.  An example would be:  We look at a beautiful flower, we know that one day the flower will wither and die.  What is left of the dead flower?  Do we disregarded it?  If you have mindfulness and understanding you can see very clearly that the trash is just as important as the beauty.  The dead flower will decompose and become enriched organic soil.  The beauty of the flower still remains and it will give itself willing back to the Mother Earth in order to be sustenance for the new flowers to return again.

Hold your negative emotions lovingly like a Divine Flower to have deeper understanding of our self-imposed destruction.

In other words we have so much to learn from negative human conditions.  Yet, we spend much of our time running from them… suppressing them… filling the empty void with materialism… creating organizations that perpetuate separatism… all designed to keep us under control and unwilling to face the reality that Fear is within us.  The United States runs around promoting fear mongering, invading sovereign countries, imposing our will on foreign entities, and claiming democracy.  If the leaders of a nation have mindfulness and cultivate an understanding of meditation and breathing, there is no doubt in my mind they will be forced to look at their own fears.  Hence my comment “if you need a weapon to protect your so called freedom, you are still in a cage.”  (It is a reference to the aggressor, not the one being attacked.)  Nothing is truly Free that needs protection.  Of course, the argument can be made, “what if there is an indigenous village being pillaged by an aggressor, should they defend themselves with weapons and violence?”  Again, we are taking steps even further back to say, “Why is the aggressor even acting that way at all?”  ”What stirs in the human condition for greed and aggression and violence?”  What is deeply embedded in the human conscious that we need to “take, conquer and divide?”  What is the root of this selfishness?  And furthermore, what is to be done about it?  Will we ever have peace?  My outlook on this topic is very bleak.  The entire evolution of our species until now, so called “modern civilization,” is built around suffering, separatism, materialism, and the military industrial complex.  So, in reality our species is still very primitive.  Fighting and killing each other has never stopped since the beginning of time.  One of the most epic and deeply enriching philosophical texts of Sanaatan Dharma is based around a massive war in which brothers are fighting and killing each other.  (Sanaatan Dharma or just Dharma sometimes referred to as, Hindu Philosophy.  I don’t use the word Hindu because it does not exist in the Sanksrit Language and does not relate at all to the true teachings of the Vedas or individual Saadhana [everyday spiritual discipline], but that is an entirely different subject).  Yes, we look deeper to see the metaphorical teachings that it is a war over our negative attributes, from darkness to light, from suffering to salvation, but seriously, it’s war.  It is killing other human beings… It only perpetuates suffering and separatism.

The end of the Maha Bharat war, one brother has killed another brother.

I, for one, cannot relate.  Of course, I have never been put in a dyer straight situation of having defend my family from an intrusion of an aggressive force, so who am I to talk?  And again, I will stress my focus is actually on that of the aggressor… what is causing them to engage in that aggression?  What is the cause for the undying human condition of greed and rage?  I have no answer, because from the process of our evolution we have never really seen any.  We still have war, we still have poverty, we still have suffering, we still have rapists, we still have killers and murders, even those in so called, “positions of power,” if we really analyze them mindfully, they are murders.  And until we deeply understand our own individual suffering and fear, then as a human race, we have no chance for peace.  How can we expect peace in the world when there is so much unrest and self imposed suffering in our own daily lives?  When will we ever learn?  Will loving ourselves and our neighbors ever really be enough?  How can we not only understand our suffering, but uproot our suffering systemically?  Where to start?  How to begin?

In the end the only thing we have any control of is our emotions and our actions.  Breathing, Meditation and mindfulness are tools (or keys) to bring us closer to those states of peace, compassion and understanding that have the power to uproot our negative tendencies and self destructive behavior.  What else do we have?  Meditation really is the only answer…  How do we get the aggressor to meditate?  That is a completely different talk, and again completely out of our control.  The only thing we control is our emotions and our own actions.  My hope and wish is that the more we dive deeper into our own consciousness with mindfulness and meditation we will more deeply understand these roots of suffering.

Meditation cultivates a deep sense of self awareness and mindfulness.

With loving emotions cultivated through meditation and a pious daily life we can hold our suffering like a baby, or like a delicate flower until suffering is either uprooted or transformed again into the beautiful flower.  And what if it should return?  The entire process is repeated until higher and higher states of understanding are produced.  It has only taken thousands of years for the human being to ruminate on these topics.  The best we can hope for is that every individual on Earth dives deep into meditation.  The only hope is that our individual actions of love and understanding creates an unstoppable ripple effect in the immediate world around us, and again ripples out into the rest of society… the ripple would be so powerful that the positive vibrations of love and meditation would reach even the aggressor, and in turn through our right actions even the aggressor would understand the root of their suffering which is driving them to such desperate and heinous actions.  A mindful meditator would simply never kill or hurt anybody, because they would have no choice but to see that we are all family… we are all connected… we really are all ONE in the beautiful web of life.  With united heartbeats of mindfulness peace and love would be possible.  We have not seen that massive shift yet.  Maybe in this lifetime?  As one watches the chaos of this Kali Yuga (dark age) one sees very clearly we have a long way to go.  From thousands of years ago until now, the shift of consciousness has been happening.  Start with your own personal dedication to your suffering.  Start with your own affirmations of love, peace and meditation, and impart those emotions unto your friends and family.  Keep the spiral of love alive and swirling around your daily life.  After that, be an observer to how your meditative energy transforms your life.  See its highest potential and your highest potential.  As if it were the deep cry of our beloved Mother, have an ernest yearning for the purity of true peace and love.  This really is the only thing left to do…  What other choice do we have… Continue to divide and kill each other?

Meditating in a Redwood forest grove at Mount Madonna Center in California.

The choice is truly yours, and I do hope that with our combined efforts and understanding we take a few more steps in the direction of love and peace.

Om Bhadrum No Apivaathaya Manah:  Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi

With all my love,

Tyagaraja

PS, if you have been inspired to take on the practice of daily meditation and would like to learn, we will share it with you and are qualified teachers of this ancient art form.  Kindly contact us for more information.

j.tyagaraja@gmail.com

Philosophical Implication and Thoughts post FPSF 2013

Is this good for the community? Or is art and music continuing to become devalued?

Memories of the lost ages me in bottom left holding up some hater cars by a strang...

I performed at the 1st Block Party by Free Press with my band back in the day called Million Year Dance.  There was about 40-50 people watching our set.  I performed for the paper’s 3 year anniversary party in the back of Brasil with about 50 people there.  I wouldn’t say I’m best friends with the crew, and in fact in recent years I see them less and less, and still I do feel a kinship and community with them.  I’m glad to have known them and have been a part of a swelling storm of Houston music scene.  They have come a long way from those days and I’m supremely happy for them and their success.

Me and Doyle Odom III and my tree branch crown, trying out my theatrics on new audiences in 2007

My band performed at the FPSF for the past 3 years.  I released by album “Open Book” at 2010 FPSF.  I lost my journals and was completely devastated for a whole year at the 2011 FPSF.  I was shocked and surprised by Free Press that they found my journals and they returned them to me the day before we performed at the 2012 FPSF, which made this a very special performance.  Needless to say that I have had many emotional and insane experiences at FPSF.  This year was totally different as I was finally just an audience member.  And still, with the history and all the emotions; I felt that maybe I was also a member of this growing Houston music scene.  After all I started playing music in Houston when Michael Haaga, Tom Bunch and John Lomax were all ranting about how there was good music in Houston and no scene to support it.  So do we have that now?  Does Houston have a music scene, what is that scene, and is there a since of community in it?  All this was brewing in my brain while wandering the grounds.  I also wanted to be truly open and release all those previous feelings to have a fresh start and truly enjoy the festival as someone that wants to like music, as someone that wants to feel happy about the music scene in Houston.  I did not want to go into it with complaints and criticism, just let it flow naturally… (this portion is only to set up the fact that I have been along for the whole journey this somehow gives me more of and educated approach to this blog, I’ve been there done that sort of thing.)

My journals so dear to me were lost for an entire year, from Summer Fest to Summer Fest. I'm so fortunate and happy to have them back

As I cruised through the festival grounds I over heard several conversations and even engaged in a few with friends and fellow Houston artists.  It was mixed opinions.  Some said, “This is just amazing, I’m so happy they have done this for Houston and the Houston music scene.”  Here! Here!  Others complained, “This is ridiculous, these people don’t know how to run a festival, what sell outs, where’s the local artist this year?”  Hmmm, completely different opinions, you can never really please everyone.  I just wanted to remain neutral and a mindful listener.  Both sides had merit in my opinion of opinions.  Also there is a much deeper process that should be understood, what are we really all here for?

I performed at Bonnaroo and at FPSF several times.  I’ve performed and attended all the famous Austin festivals.  I know what I’m getting into when I step foot inside the festival grounds.  I know that human beings go there with the intent to take as many drugs as possible and become completely obliterated to forget their worldly troubles and maybe even their own identity.  And as the day grew on and the madness began to swell I realized I was an outsider in what I thought was my own community.  I began to feel that I couldn’t relate to this mentality of festival goers whatsoever.

I had earplugs in the entire time, and that experience just mutes the entire volume of Elenor Tinsley Park by a few decibels.  I was sent into an acid flashback in-between bands while I waited for Alabama Shakes.  I could hear the entire hillside in one breath, like one chaotic voice.  It reminded me of walking in the cafeteria at Hutto Highschool while tripping on acid and you can hear everyone’s conversation and the banging and clanging of dishes and silverware like the endless dribble of a chaotic human river gushing by at full speeds.  The sound of this mindless chatter made me think, “what are they all talking about.  Am I self-righteous enough to say that all these conversations bouncing off each other have no weight and no real sense of humanity in it at all, just mindless chatter moving its way up into the Houston atmosphere so that there is a little bubble of chaos floating over the bayou city.

Trying my best to insert some positivity into the youth at the FPSF 2011. Also we are supporting and promoting a fine art and science of Yoga and Meditation. This is how to improve community and mend broken hearted artists and drug addicts.

Alabama Shakes began.  I felt relieved, some real music and real artists, not faking a thing, just being real and sharing with us their deepest emotions and experiences.  As I was enjoying the music I looked down at a fellow human sitting on the ground searching for something.  He looked in his pockets and patted his clothing.  He took out his wallet and opened it.  Sheets of acid and other pills spilled out of his wallet.  I could tell now that he had lost his money.  He reached in his pocket and pulled out what looked like a zippo lighter, when he opened it more bags of drugs spilled out of it.  All those drugs and no money.  He was laughing and seemed disoriented, obviously he was high on his own supply.  Again I was sent into deep thought.  I know this exists, it’s nothing new, it happens and will continue to happen.  But I went back to the original questions, is this good for the community?  And what kind of community does it support?  Or is this festival a dream of music lovers that look to capitalize in a market doing something they love to do?  All these questions are of great importance because all to often our modern day dreams and visions are pursued without any mindfulness at all, so these questions really need to be thought about and answered by everyone, from the concert promoters to the humans attending the festival.  How can you even enjoy yourself and the music if you are that intoxicated?  Further more, is the festival itself programming and promoting that being a mindless drug and sex fiend is the greatest thing in life?

I looked around at my fellow human beings and could see in their faces that they live for this experience, this is quite possibly the most enjoyment they have in their modern lives.  It’s their way to escape for a while.  Maybe they don’t live their daily lives like this, and ok anything in moderation.  But to what end and what effect does this culture have on music, art and further more fine art?

I only heard positive messages in the music from two bands from the whole time I was down there.  I didn’t see everything so if you did and want me to know about it please speak up.  Vintage Trouble and Alabama Shakes were the only two acts that used their music to say and promote something very positive and inspiring, something that binds hearts and community.  I was wandering past the 2nd main stage to the neptune stage.  The Mavericks were on stage–multiple players all playing real instruments.  (Now some opinions)  I didn’t really care for that style of music, but I was thrilled to see real players and real song writing.  Only where were the people, there was hardly anyone watching them.  A few steps later I arrived at the Neptune stage where all I could hear were the most absurd techno farting sounds I’ve ever heard from DJ Borgore.  On the screen was just an ass in slow motion booty poppin’, and friends let me tell you that his crowd was packed with kids all jumping and bending to the will of the DJ.  A friend of mine later referred to Borgore style of music as “Butt Wave,” I laughed out loud.  So this is the experience that young ones want?  I never felt like more of an outsider in my own music scene as I did at that moment.  It made me want to leave, and immediately go write a song and write this blog, simply to counter the carnal energy that was now unavoidably washed all over my being.  Maybe I’m too sensitive, maybe I’m old fashioned, maybe I’m too principled?  But to me this festival does not at all improve community, in fact to me it perpetuates corporate influence in art and not to mention the extreme waste of resources and land it creates.

Two promotions at once. Gunjen Mittal is showing the audience classical Indian Dance an ancient fine art form, and I am singing a song about meditation and understanding that we are all experiencing each others suffering as a unified spirit.

I was glad to see some recycling bins this year, that was a first, if they were there previous festivals there were not enough because I looked for them and could never find one.  It still didn’t really matter, I watch hipsters, frat boys and progressives guzzle beer and drinks and throw their trash on the ground DIRECTLY NEXT TO THE FUCKING RECYCLING BINS.  The clean up crew will not sort out the recycling from the trash once it hits the ground its all going in the trash.  Not to mention how much of it will actually enter the bayou, one of downtown’s only natural water resources.  What a waste, something I can’t support and will no longer be a part of.  Even if it means buying a ticket to go in with trash bags and clean up after all my little piggy fellow human beings.  To me the lack of mindfulness and actual care and concern for the community showed its ugly face.  If you do care for the community your efforts are misguided and actually damaging the community in many respects.

Sure, many local businesses made more money because of the festival, the city and all the affiliates of festival raked in the cash, and some would argue that this capital gain is good for the community, and will over all give the mentality to the Houston audience that Houston does indeed have a music scene.  And after careful and mindful analysis that is the only good that I can honestly recognize.

For a local band to play the festival it is damn near a waste of time and energy.  Yes you receive clout and some level of hype.  However, you don’t get paid, and in fact you work and suffer so hard just to play the festival that it drains you emotionally, physically and you spend hundreds of your own hard earned dollars just to get it together to play the festival.  Every year I played FPSF I came out in negative.  So I can’t honestly say that this has been a good thing for local artists whatsoever accept for the trickling of hype I mentioned above.

The corporate grip on art and music is strangling it to death.  I’m confident that the artist is so creative and adaptive that they will always find ways to break through the corruption and end up on the other side performing great acts and inspiring others.  Artists are nothing but vessels of expression, and there really is no value that can be placed on ability that you are born with to allow others without this ability to feel emotions, listen to great stories and inspiring melodies.  Corporations and these festivals are only perpetuating the destruction of fine art, and furthermore promoting a lifestyle of lost souls.  The focus is completely misguided.  Maybe people want that experience?  Maybe people don’t want to look deep within themselves and be mindful and change their lives to move in positive, regenerative and sustainable directions.  Fine arts and real song writing and artistry is continually being shoved into the back of our minds by corporate entities, thus becoming devalued.  Everything is being produced fast, and the content can only be something that people being programmed by these commercial entities can relate to, thus the creation of the worst sounds in the world “Butt Wave.”

We applied to Free Press for art installations at the festival and were NOT approved. It cost no money, I would do it myself, and rubbing turmeric paste on the trees not only gives nice color and intriguing presence to the tree, it is also very healthy for the tree enriching it's growing ability. It's also an ancient act of giving highest respect to nature that has been done in India since antiquity. I did see some nice gadgets attached to a fire hydrant giving people drinking water, that was leaking and wasting 100's of gallons of water just spilling and pouring out into the gutter, and why we were not allowed to put yellow paste on the trees is beyond me?

I would like to personally encourage an enlivened debate about these topics and at the very least think about all the questions raised.  Because if you want to improve your society, your community and support and uplift art and artists, by all means there are ways to do it.  Thank you to all things sacred for the fine arts, for artist like Pandit Jasraj who revive our love for fine art and Indian raags.  Thank you Pink Floyd for showing audiences that a rock show doesn’t have to be all about depravity, that you can fuse several forms of art to create a masterpiece that has stood the test of generational gaps.  Thank you to Mariza Fado for having the most amazing voice on earth and bringing classical music and opera to a world stage in a very modern and relatable way.  Thank you to Vintage Trouble for saying some caring and positive words during your set to a crowd of crazed, drunken, drug and sex addicts.  They are the ones in most need of this kind of positivity.  Thank you even to the band The Manichean.  Since I was 15 years old I have wanted my show to be more like a play and a theatrical experience, I’ve worked my whole career toward this vision and I have yet to gather all the resources together to make it happen.  So was the Manichean the first to do this, well no, and neither was I, and at least someone is.  At least the Manichean is saying to the audience, “No, you are not limited to relating to “Butt Wave,” you too can experience art, open your mind and heart and understand that there is more to life than drugs and sex and loosing your identity and wasting and trashing the earth.  That’s why I support The Manichean.  If I don’t have the resources yet to pull off my vision I will join theirs because if they succeed it means that my vision will also.  These acts will create a sense in the audience that this kind of art is worth something of value to them.  That is how you build community and support the arts.

And of course thank you to Free Press for trying your damnedest  to do what you love and do it well.  I would like to suggest that now that you are successful with Summer Fest, let’s pull back a little and reanalyze what “supporting the community and local artists” is all about.  Maybe you can start up a “strictly local” festival again, without any corporate influence whatsoever, so that the local communities can thrive without the corporations taking the biggest slices that leave the locals going, “well that was fun, now what.”  Because a real community of support is possible.  I just can’t say I have seen it yet, and I’m happy and open hearted enough to believe that it’s possible.  Or maybe it should be up to us, maybe we should stop waiting around for someone else to take the lead and deliver what we ask for, maybe we should take charge on our own and make our own visions and dreams come true?

Cheers and as Ellen Degeneres says, “Be kind to one another.”

With all my heart and honesty

Tyagaraja

This is the character I'm playing (not far off from my real personality) in the Manichean rock opera "Lovers" on June 28th at the Alley Theater. Promoting the idea that art can encompass multiple themes.

“ThanksTaking” from Genocide to Bad Design, the real Thanksgiving

First we give credit to our ancestors and listen to the Earth. My consciousness has shifted from baring witness to the problems and negativity of the world to actually seeing in full vision what are the “opportunities.” And what is left after that? Nothing but positive growth… This piece is taking a true look at the history of genocide of indigenous people through the lens of design.

I had a long philosophical discussion with my good friend Josh Applebee.  We had some time to kill before I was to go on stage to perform for an amazing event at Eat Gallery in Houston Tx.  What you first have to understand is that my dear friend Joshua is the best example of looking for the positive.  Our conversation somehow lead us to the topic of History, and how important it is for us to know history and not only that but accurate history filled with well rounded facts.  Then I took it a step further to say what is more dangerous than not knowing your history or where you came from is actually believing in a false history or choosing to believe a false history.  For example, the case of our beautiful indigenous “American Indian” tribes, whom were all but wiped off the face of the landscape.  The story that has been perpetuated by materialistic American culture is a complete mockery of what actually marks the date of a massive plague genocide that swept across this Home Land we call US.  My dear friend Joshua, searching for the positive, as the noble man he is, presents this idea:  To me, “sometimes it’s not so important what is the truth, what is more important is what you believe in.” He continues, “Now in this case would it be better to focus on all the horrific facts of Thanksgiving or would it be more beneficial to our culture to focus on the joining and coming together of two people.”

What two Peoples coming together looks like...

I took a deep breath and it hit me instantly.  ”I suppose that would be valid if the indigenous people of this land were completely exterminated, I mean not a single Indian person native to this land still living.  Then we may be able to take the history and distort it to serve a bigger view of thankfulness and well wishing.  However, these peoples still exist and they are one of the most marginalized and oppressed people in our Nation of the so called US.  Therefor, this is not a Historical event, this genocide is still taking place.  These indigenous people have been driven into infertile lands, and they are suffering from: diabetes, drug addictions, depression, marginalization, and no form of big business or government has their best interest in mind.  This modern day genocide is a continuation of the slaughter and colonization of this nation.  These facts have absolute purpose in the design of our mental capacity.  We cannot understand where we have come from or where we are going in this country of the US until this gruesome fact is analyzed.  Further more, even if there were no indigenous peoples left in this land, it’s still of utmost importance that their heritage and legacy live on in the hearts of those who wish to carry it–the burden of the lost souls of our true brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters and sons.  This is our true heritage, and it has been suffocated by colonization and the stamp of the oppressing grid.

Our colonized heritage begins

Now where are we left?  My programing tells me to enjoy Thanksgiving, to gather with my family and cook, tell stories and live in sentimentality.  And my conscience… that part of me that is cracking with awareness begins to question.  What are we celebrating here?  Who was involved?  What was the real story?  and most importantly… What should we do now?  John Trudell said, “Asking American Indians to celebrate Columbus Day is like asking US citizens to celebrate Osama Bin Ladden day.”   That pretty much sums it up!  You see, Columbus really represents a virus… a plague that swept across what is truly a sacred land.  And now what have we done?  We’ve taken that virus and just transformed it, and bred it into a different species.  And the original American People are still under attack.

John Turdell, Shepherd of Indigenous Peoples, Poet, Icon

They are still oppressed and marginalized and made slaves to a political system that doesn’t care about them.  Should I celebrate Thanksgiving?  Should we reflect on the positive of gathering as a people?  Well that just presents more questions to me… How do we celebrate?  And do we even gather?  We celebrate capitalism and materialism.  Let’s just set it straight.  The fact that the day after Thanksgiving is the most chaotic shopping day of the entire American year is a testament to the fact that we have severed ourselves from the duty to our spiritual connection to what Thanksgiving really represents and really stands for… And do we even gather?  Most people I speak to during the holidays tell me, “Oh I can’t wait to get this weekend over with so I can get away from my crazy family.”  Again a further testament to a design that has failed us.  We are raised and bred as slaves of separation.  We don’t want to know our neighbor or involve ourselves in our family life.  What is the so called “American Dream?”  A picket fence and a house of separation… Mine!  Don’t cross this line!  We’ve put barbed wire and barriers all across this sacred landscape claiming and owning the ground that is by design supposed to be the right of the People and all living beings of Earth.  This is our land, which means we have a responsibility to take care of it.  How can we celebrate and give thanks with such desecration of land that is meant to provide our needs?  This destruction is inward also.  We’ve been bred into chaos and confusion, depression and pain.  We are programmed to believe that we always have to seek externally for happiness, when all the while happiness is within grasp.  The design of life is within sight, just go outside and listen to the trees the Earth and the ground, observe how creation interacts with Itself.  Once you do this, your sight improves… your eyes open, your heart tunes with the rhythm of the Creator.  One thing that quickly becomes clear is the overall fragility of life.  The plasticity of the modern system, and the drive toward confusion and consumption.  You can see it, like a world wearing a mask.  What is underneath bares the answer.  You see, you can’t blame the system, it’s a product of years of perpetuation of a very small demographic of people.  We can’t expect that the design of the privileged few would represent the needs of the great oppressed majority.  It’s not their fault it’s just bad design…

A grid design system that is not sustainable and doesn't promote community or creativity.

Now that you’ve made it through all the gritty details of our history, you know why we are spinning in this current state of consumerism and waste.  These root issues are what is driving us further way from our duty as shepherds of the land that is here to provide for us.  This leads you to my third question, what should we do?  How should we act?  What is to be done with all this madness?  The answers are quite simple, and you have to take this journey of understanding for these systems of design to resonate with you.  First you really do have to understand the state of the world and what got us here, and then you have to open your heart and listen to the needs of the Earth and the majority of the peoples walking on Her soil.

Mayan Aquaponics Farming

It’s really interesting that most of the answers to our modern dilemma reside in the teaching of indigenous peoples… not just from the Americas but around the world.  We have severed our connection to true integration in understanding and living with the Earth.  The introduction of the grid style housing, and monoculture agriculture is a huge root in the problems of the modern world.  Now that we’ve seen these systems fail and create more problems of instability the solutions make so much more sense.  Those solutions are found in our ancestors and indigenous peoples of the Earth.  They knew what the Earth wanted, and they also knew how to cultivate the Earth for the benefit of the People, it was a truly harmonious and symbiotic relationship with the Earth.  Now I feel like it’s my duty to become a shepherd of the land, just as they were.  Now we have a great opportunity to merge the principles of indigenous peoples with the positive advancements of modern day science.  This is our future, and for me the only work worth getting involved in.

I won’t outline all the solutions in this breathy blog, and still there is a little opportunity to give some examples here.  We are clear now that when looking for solutions we first have to understand the root of the problem.  One very large root in our modern world is our food system.  Growing monoculture farms, shipping it on trucks, using fuel and energy, buying it in a grocery store that takes fuel and energy and arguably creates more waste than growth.  It’s clear that this is not a sustainable system… again the solution is simple.  Localized farming.  One might argue that if everyone grew their own food then what would be left of the farming industry and all the jobs it may or may not create.  Well, now that we have a new perspective of life we can see that with the shift of consciousness so comes the sift of our ideals and needs.  One also has to take into consideration the quality of life and sustainability a concept like localized farming represents.

Indian Manual Water pump farming no electricity or gas used

The human being is an adaptive species and any limitation is only in the mind.  If we transform the food system to a more sustainable one, it is a guarantee that more and more creative ideas will blossom and the Earth will provide the answers we need to carry on.  How many lot’s do you see abandoned when you are driving through a city?  How many empty spaces of just grass is growing all over medians along highways and roads?  How much space and opportunity do we have even within our own yards?  There is more than enough landscape and more than enough resources to grow food locally.  My parents entire subdivision could be feed from a food forest if done properly in the park connected to their neighborhood.  And the people in the neighborhood would then have a new reason to gather and congregate around a system that is designed to benefit them, not drain them of their energy time and money like so many of our modern recreational activities.  It’s all about the design systems.  We have the power to make the change.  We have the knowledge of our true history to guide us toward our higher purposes.  We just need to change the focus of the design and make for certain that the “designer” has the Earth and the People in their best interest, and from then on the Earth does the talking.  We are not special, everything we need is giving to us by the Creator and it’s time to connect to that idea and start giving back…

Wandering, Observing, Integrating, Learning, Understanding

Since going through the process of writing this blog and putting it together I’ve decided to make a Part 2 that is mostly solution based so that we can take the understanding of the past and apply it to the needs of our People in the modern world so that we get back to integration with the Earth.  And I’ll start with a story about these kinds of experiences:

Ravi from Urban Permaculture Farm, Dharmalaya, in Eugene Oregon, and me having an apple from his tree, nice and warm from the sun, sweet and juicy

Permi Designer in training... until next blog...

Excerpts from the Lost and Found (Part 2)

More random writings from my song books that were lost in the mouth of Free Press Summer Fest for a whole year and were recently returned to me in June… It feels so good to have them back. It was like missing a family member.

These books of mine disappeared for a full year click on the picture to read all about it

It is All there Is

A wish is a question for the heart.  Your dreams dance and play then they fall apart.  Splinters and fragments fall one by one like needles in a pin cushion.  I touch each one with my eyes.  The visual is so striking and so telling.  In this planned chaos I retrieve every last fragment.  I study them individually long enough to witness their death and birth.  Pieces become whole and somewhere you loose sight of whether any of it was different or were they all pieces of the same whole?  I am the anger that is the love that is the impatient that is the trusting that is the laughter that is the endless wondering of the how and when?  Our Creation gives us no boundaries, there is no gage for how big of a breath you can take.  Wondrous, wondrous the glowing of the throbbing dream.  We grow and change with its formless mass.  Constantly swallowing time constantly elapsing into forever.  A small role in the great forever, causing forever to appear everywhere.  And now I know-I don’t have to just believe.  The breath I take, a prayer, ever dawn and dusk, the rise and fall of my belly, every cosmos, the opening and closing of my eye lids.  Every Dream… a lasting one… For It is All there Is

Meditating in the Sacred Vishnu Kund in the Garudadri Hills of Southern India, it was said that the ancient Rishis mediated in the Shakti Pitha (Seat of Energy)

One Aspect of Breathing

We start with an offering one glance to the Light within Lights.  Our souls breathe it in through the power of the Divine.  We speak in a constant prayer of a universal code: So Hum.

We move and play from the birth of a seeded toe and words formed from an ancient mouth give the offerings.  And we breathe life they breathed in… Every God and Goddess every energy formed and unformed and unmoved be the Light of all Lights, and I breathe It in.  How fortunate am I just happy breathing?

So much power can be held in the Light within Lights when I breath It in my body’s form will disappear.  I breath It in, I breath It in, the merging Light of which my soul ascends… Ohm.

We will end with every once of Love within Love.  We all breath It in there is no need to have control, guided by Light, guided by Light, the search for Truth will only lead to the Divine…

Hanumanji Arthi (waving of the flames) in a random side street in the outskirts of Delhi

The Shepherd and the Sheep

The destiny of the shepherd is no far greater than that of the sheep.  Without the two there is not one.  Their feet graze the same path, their hearts beat rhythmic blood.  To lead is to listen.  To lead is to bare witness.  To lead is to feel safe at home.  To lead is not to be above, and to be lead is not bellow.  Especially once the two enter God’s Channel.  Then we are all lead by God only.  Therefor to lead is not to pull or force–but to open and show–and to be lead is not to follow, yet simply to open the eyes and become inspired to walk on one’s own accord.  Can the shepherd ever become a sheep?  The moment the shepherd can witness the inspiration glowing in the face of the lead–the shepherd will have the realization that it is by God’s Grace only this transformation is made possible–that it has been one of an inward movement outward as opposed to outward in.  In this the Shepherd has understood a teaching and now the roles are reversed… the Shepherd learning from the Sheep

Live for the Glory of God.

Make every activity an act of God and we will all become Shepherds.

Meditating on a rock in the middle of the Sacred River Ganga in Rishikesh India