Monday, November 28, 2005

Hodge Podge

Thanksgiving

Back at it with much to share after a break for celebrating Thanksgiving holiday. I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving! Our family enjoyed being surrounded by loved ones and friends. My father along with Cathy’s parents, our nephew Jeb and our friend Sarah were with us on Thanksgiving day.

Om Namah Shivaya

Jon at The Wild Things of God says, “and sometime, do translate that line of Sanskrit for us, please!” The line Jon is referring to is:

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णमह् षिवय

Om Namah Shivaya is an initiation mantra in Hinduism and means "I bow to Shiva," the supreme reality, the inner Self or Consciousness that dwells within all of us. This mantra or chant is sung (alone or in chorus) to remind ones self there is Unity or oneness where we may see duality and pluralism.

The sage Upamanyu says: "What severe austerities does one need to practice, what holy centres does one need to visit, what difficult spiritual practices does one need to do, when in his heart "Om Namah Shivaya" vibrates constantly?"

Upamanya goes on to say, "Om Namah Shivaya is nothing but a concrete embodiment of the Guru and Shiva. One should be constantly aware that one's own Self, the Guru and Shiva are absolutely one. There is not the least difference between these three."

When I find myself less than centered (which is most times!) I try and keep this beautiful mantra in my heart as a reminder of Oneness and Unity. I try and remember that where there is a song- there is remembrance and peace.

“…When we gather together to sing like this we are helping each other find our own paths. We all must travel this path by ourselves because each of us is our own path. All these paths wander on in their own way, but in truth we are all traveling together and until the last of us arrives we will all keep traveling. So let's sing!”
- Krishna Das

Akilesh

Akilesh, Meredith’s benevolent teacher has written a beautiful piece at Graceful Presence in response to my request that he share of himself more of his story. Akilesh composes and teaches through his sharing a grace and knowledge of life’s mysteries which I find quite fascinating. In his writing on embracing the shadow self to wholly embrace the One self (that which is beyond naming) I recognize parts of myself that are wounded and hid away from fear of the light, from fear of other’s knowing me and from the fear of my full recollection of all that I truly am. Akilesh reminds me that I am not only Light, but also darkness and shadow- and that this is in perfect and divine order, for as Jung said “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” In our many names (and corners where we hide from the light) we become confused. Realizing we are truly nameless and none other than that which is beyond all attempts at naming- we can then safely assume this limited identity in body and take every occasion to Re-Member who we are.

Thank you Akilesh for sharing with me and with us all.

Trevor & Amy Harden

Again, my wife and I were blessed to spend time with Trevor and Amy Harden over the holiday. Trevor and Amy, along with baby Kalli (who is simply the cutest little girl in the world!) were down with their family over the holidays and we were able to catch up, and get to know each other a little more. Trev and I had coffee one afternoon and talked over music, Ken Wilber, Paramahansa Yogananda, Joseph Campbell, religion and spirituality and all matter of subjects in between. I really had a great time talking at length with Trevor. Saturday night Cathy and me and Trevor and Amy, along with two other couples went to Savannah and took in some music and sights about the town.

Trev surprised me with an unmastered copy of his EP disc that he has been working on over the past few months. The "sneak preview" four- song disc (song five is still in the works) is everything I believed it would be and more. I want to take the time and give it the accolades it deserves but will wait until I hear the last song before sharing all of my two cents worth…but for now, here’s a penny of thought on Trev Diesel’s music.

From listening to his music I can tell Trev writes, records, and performs with a big smile on his face. His music appears to be the climax of fun for him- something instilled inside, not laboriously nurtured over the years and coaxed into being. Like trying to describe in writing a vast Pollock mural on display in some museum I cannot fully convey the dynamics of his music and words- you simply must hear his songs to understand the large picture. I can say that the intricate and instantly memorable melodies, intelligent lyrics, and emotional presentation coupled with the dynamic musicianship on behalf of his players and the sleek, warm capture of sound by the production team make this EP a refreshing diversion from the norm. Simply put, it’s music at its best performed by those who know where their bliss resides and aren’t afraid to call this magical place home.

2 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

“Realizing we are truly nameless and none other than that which is beyond all attempts at naming” doesn’t mean we destroy anything or give up anything. It actually infuses our “personal” life with a sweetness, warmth and intuition beyond our imagination. And as you say “we can then safely assume this limited identity in body...” And I might add, with a tremendous joy that others can feel.

Of course this “limited identity” is extremely useful in negotiating our way through the complexities of daily life in the world. It is functional, utilitarian. We just have it in the position of sovereign and its accurate place is as a servant.

Tommy, thanks again for your courage and willingness to share your heart so freely and generously.

5:48 PM  
Blogger "James" said...

So much beauty, love and truth in this post. Thank-you for it. Truth is so simple and we often make it more complex then it needs to be. Reminds me of the Taoist yin-yang symbol with each section containing a small amount of the other section. Balance of all things.

3:16 PM  

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