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Sonic bathing and devotional chanting

// September 20th, 2017 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, Uncategorized, video

With Michael and Gloria Schultz, me, Julie, KD, Joanne Karl (co-owner of the Integratron), and Nina Rao.

It was a great weekend with friends old and new in Joshua Tree, CA.  We met at the Integratron for a ‘sound bath’, which must be experienced to be appreciated.  We were thrilled to be joined by Krishna Das along with his manager and band member Nina Rao.  I could tell he was a real holy man when he swapped Cherrios recipes with film and TV director Michael Schultz.  We had a great time getting to know each other a bit before immersing ourselves in the upper chamber of the Integratron where Joanne Karl expertly performed on the array of crystal bowls.  It was hypnotic, healing, and moving.

The next day we went to a concert at the Bhaktifest, a yearly festival of Yoga, music, and many things ‘New Age’.  We were there to hear Krishna Das, who is as many of you know perhaps the preeminent devotional chant master now performing.  Here is a taste of his life’s work:

KD in action – click for video

We wrapped up our desert trip with an excursion through the Joshua Tree Nat. Monument.  Joining us were Vipal, Sajel, and Ishan Shaw, new friends that feel like family.   Regarding the park – it is other worldly – an amazing place full of rock formations, open desert with the famous Joshua trees, and wild life including desert tortoise.  This one was crossing the road right in front of our car.

Ishan with a new friend.

Lama Jigme leads Buddhist prayer at a Los Angeles Temple.

// February 9th, 2013 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, News, Personal Stories, Photos, Uncategorized

Buddhist prayers at the beautiful and deeply spiritualized Temple of the Venerable Wangchen Rinpoche in Los Angeles, Ca.  Lama Jigme Tenzing, Lama Kelsang, Lama Chokyi, and others spent the day, 2/9/13, chanting and praying for peace and attunement.  It was an honor to join them in meditation.  This Temple belongs to the lineage of His Holiness Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche.  This particular ceremony was very small, intimate, and peacefully intense for those of us present.

The air was cool, but the atmosphere quite warm and alive as the repetitive chanting built a momentum that brought me within.  I’m not a great one for sitting on the floor, but today I was happy to forget the body, at least a little bit, in order to immerse myself in the sacred vibrational texts and sounds.  My wife Julie shot video for awhile and I did some recording on my wonderful little Sony PCM-D50 field recorder.  During a break in the chanting, we shared a delightful time of tea, light snacks, and joyful conversation with the Lamas and the local tribe of practitioners.  My own lineage, led by Paramahansa Yogananda, has been called the “Church of All Religions.”  It is always heartening to share in the ceremonies of others who truly have the vision of an inclusive world in mind.

Lama Jigme and I are nearing completion of our first CD together.  “Dragon Voice” will be a collection of 7 chants and Buddhist prayers mixing traditional and improvised interpretations with contemporary musical support.  “Blessings Like Rain” is the first chant which is accompanied by this video.  “Swift Achiever” is another chant that will soon have it’s own video.   More of my music can be heard here.

Jigme chant:drum

ASCAP Expo Rocks

// May 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, Personal Stories, Uncategorized

Four days of full immersion into the world of music, from concert music and jazz, to hip hop and country.  There was a tremendous tribal feeling among all participants, and the chance to hear from legends like Quincy Jones and Bill Withers was an honor and a treat.

I came away fulling buzzed and inspired.  I promptly wrote two songs and ordered a traveling guitar.  It literally folds in half, and when full erect (sorry) it sounds pretty amazing.