here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.
The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.
This is so sweet.
For Goldie’s share day at pre school she brought in things from her trip to India. This is her putting a dot of kum kum on the third eye of each of her classmates.
I recently interviewed Yurie Ann Cho, Producer of Day of Inner Peace, an event I am performing at on October 27 in LA. Got some interesting answers regarding the role of inner peace in the global scheme of things and what it means to be an “internal warrior”
1. HOW DID THE DAY OF INNER PEACE BEGIN? WHAT WAS THE INITIAL INSPIRATION?
Day of Inner Peace has been celebrated globally every year on October 27 by Inkarri Multicultural Association for 30 years. It is a day that is marked in order to recognize the virtue of peace as an inherent quality of our true nature. Major spiritual traditions around the world acknowledge that each one of us contains the seed of the Cosmic Divine within our hearts, known as Atman, the Inner Christ, Buddha Nature, and the Inner Being. Day of Inner Peace celebrates our Inner Being, and its natural state of inner peace.
2. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THIS YEAR?
We have a full day of activities and a joyful evening celebration planned this year for Day of Inner Peace in Los Angeles. The day will open with a Prayer Circle of Love, and then attendees will have the opportunity to experience Pneuma Breathwork, an active form of meditation utilizing the sacred breath of life. There will be an Inner Peace Panel Discussion featuring speakers Juan Ruiz Naupari, Ciela Wynter, Khen Rinpoche Jangchup Choeden (Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery), Geshe Dorjee Gyaltsen (Coordinator for World Peace Tour of Gaden Shartse Monastery), Josh Radnor, David Newman, and Rory Freedman. A session of Pneuma Yoga will finish the program for the day, and then the event will culminate into a beautiful celebration of sacred art, music, and dance. Performers joining us for the evening will include David Newman & Mira, Ben Lee, Avasa & Matty Love, and many others. The day will be hosted by actor/filmmaker Josh Radnor, and the evening celebration will be hosted by Ryland Engelhart, Chief Inspirational Officer of Cafe Gratitude.
3. THERE ARE SO MANY PEACE MARCHES AND EVENTS, WHAT MAKES THIS ONE DIFFERENT/SPECIAL?
Day of Inner Peace is a celebration of the peace within our hearts, which is a quality inherent in the true nature of our Inner Being. Despite all the chaos in our world and our personal circumstances, when each individual is making a determined effort towards living in a permanent state of peace, this naturally leads to peace on our planet. Day of Inner Peace provides practices, teachings, and tools for us to apply in our daily lives so that we can actively live in a state of inner peace, and thus create a peaceful world together.
When we observe the state of our psyche, we can see within this landscape there are often internal conflicts. Our minds have many beliefs and opinions, emotions pull us into different directions, and impulsive reactions take us into opposition. The conflicts in the world are a reflection of the conflicts within the consciousness of the human psyche. By examining our internal psychological landscape, we can see where we are not in a state of peace, and this is where we can make a concentrated effort towards change. Day of Inner Peace celebrates the inner activist and the internal warrior, who fights against the currents of the egoic mind and walks towards fusion with the Inner Being, so that we may breathe, move and live in our hearts, and therefore be in a true state of peace at all times.
4. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT WHERE THE PROCEEDS ARE GOING?
Proceeds from Day of Inner Peace will go to Gaden Shartse Monastery, the Q’ero Community of Peru, and Inkarri Multicultural Association (Inkarri US). Currently, Inkarri US is under fiscal sponsorship with the Irwin Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Therefore, we can receive tax-deductible contributions on behalf of the charities we support and for the continuation of our efforts.
Gaden Shartse Monastery is a historical, major Tibetan monastic institute in India under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Originally founded in Tibet in 1409, Gaden Shartse Monastery was re-established in India in 1970 after the Chinese invasion. Inkarri Multicultural Association has a long history of collaboration with this lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, actively participating in the dissemination of the religious culture and preservation of the spiritual heritage of the Tibetan people. Inkarri provides ongoing support to monasteries, lamas, and sponsors young Tibetan monks. In 2011, Inkarri Multicultural Association was the principal sponsor and organizer for the Buddha Maitreya Initiation offered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Gaden Shartse Monastery.
The Q’ero people are a community of around 600 farmers, weavers, and medicine people. Around 500 years ago, the Q’ero were driven to a remote area high up in the Andean mountains by the Spanish conquistadors, and they live in these villages to this day. Their living conditions are primitive and very challenging, as they face material poverty. The Q’ero are the last living descendants of the ancient Incas, and carry the spiritual traditions and healing knowledge of this culture. Inkarri Multicultural Association supports the conservation and preservation of the Q’ero people and their spiritual traditions. Inkarri helps fund basic needs of the children and also of the school in Charcapata, Peru.
Founded by Juan Ruiz Naupari over 30 years ago, the aim of Inkarri Multicultural Association is to create a harmonious society by promoting the process of profound personal transformation within the human being. Inkarri Multicultural Association is an international organization with associations all over the world, and offers a holistic education program through the Pneuma System. Inkarri US has plans to become a non-profit organization and we are raising funds to pay for start-up costs.
5. WHAT IS THE PNEUMA SYSTEM? WHAT IS PNEUMA BREATHWORK? PNEUMA YOGA?
The Pneuma System is an education program created by Juan Ruiz Naupari and presented by Inkarri Multicultural Association. Pneuma means “spirit” in Greek, and refers to the sacred breath which brings to life all of creation. The Pneuma System provides holistic training for the purpose of reintegrating with our True Nature, and brings together a synthesis of major spiritual traditions from the East and West, ancient and modern, therefore offering a new vision of spirituality.
Pneuma Breathwork is an active form of meditation created by Juan Ruiz Naupari and inspired by the Golden Eagle. This practice offers the opportunity to directly experience our Divine Nature, and can lead us beyond ordinary consciousness into awareness of the more subtle dimensions of our existence. During a Pneuma Breathwork session, we consciously breathe in the sacred breath of life, which renews the cells in our body and brings a regenerative healing effect to our entire organism. Utilizing evocative music and mandala making for integration, Pneuma Breathwork offers a transpersonal experience of our inner truth.
Pneuma Yoga is a spiritual, psychological, and physical yoga, which emphasizes inner knowledge through self-observation and the sacred art of prayer. This transpersonal discipline expresses the spiritual dimensions of yoga and takes us beyond the limits of our personal identity. Through mantra, ritual, pranayama, and asana, this practice offers a new perspective of the Spirit-Mind-Body connection for greater health and overall well-being. Pneuma Yoga: A Transpersonal Discipline is a registered yoga school with the Yoga Alliance. At Day of Inner Peace, Pneuma Yoga will be led by Ciela Wynter, US Coordinator of Inkarri Multicultural Association and Co-Creator/Teacher of Pneuma Yoga.
6. WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE OF DAY OF INNER PEACE? WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE VISION?
Day of Inner Peace is celebrated globally by Inkarri Multicultural Association every year on October 27, and its intention will always remain the same. Day of Inner Peace celebrates the cultivation of the virtue of peace within our hearts, so that we may live as a peaceful humanity and create a peaceful world. Inner peace brothers and sisters, we hope you will join us for this sacred celebration in Los Angeles.
Day of Inner Peace
October 27, 2013
11AM - 10PM
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
2225 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, 90041
HI FRIENDS - MY NEW VIDEO - I AM THAT I AM
For a song based on the Old Testament story of Moses at the burning bush, I wanted the video to hopefully evoke an experience of hypnotic and all-enveloping beauty.
Much like Krishna’s reveal of his true nature to Arjuna on the battlefield in the Bhagavad Gita, I wanted images that would imply a revelation that was simply too much, too intense, too big. When I first saw the digital images put together for Rak Razam and Tim Parish’s “AYA: AWAKENINGS” documentary, I thought they did a great job of conveying the sense of movement towards magnitude - a sense of acceleration into the unknown, hurtling towards the unfathomable. I was pleased when they allowed me to use these images as a visual companion to the song.
How to portray the complexity of the inner journey is a tricky question. I often have mixed feelings about “psychedelic” imagery overall. While it is undoubtably beautiful, it can also be a distraction.
I loved hearing Robin Quivers (of the Howard Stern Show) talk about her Ayahuasca experience in Peru. After her first ceremony, the shaman asked her what she experienced. She mentioned the gorgeous colors and sacred geometry. He yelled at her “You’re not supposed to be looking at pretty colors! You’re supposed to be fighting for your life!”
With the release of this album, I have been emphatic about delineating recreational drug use from the spiritual “work” that this album is about.
In the broader secular world, people can be very reactionary, and I have attempted to shape the narrative and dialogue around the album to be one describing the work with Ayahuasca as more connected to the Hindu concept of “tapas” (conscious suffering as sacrifice for insight), rather than “psychedelic voyaging”. It felt important to me to explain that those drawn to medicine work, at least those in my circle, are not looking for a short cut to enlightenment, but are actually intentionally thrusting themselves into their own confusion in order to illuminate their own darkness.
So as you watch this video, for those have experienced the medicine, and for those that have not: please know that the images you are watching, as gorgeous and hypnotic as they may be, are not the destination. They are merely signposts along the way, letting us know that our world view is being altered, that we “are not in Kansas anymore”. However the true destination for the spiritual enquirer lies beyond all phenomena and imagery. Beyond our senses, beyond our desires, and beyond our mind. The true goal of the inner work is to know the mind of God, hovering silently beneath the surface of the world we know.
My new video for “ON MY KNEES” directed by Jessica Chapnik Kahn (Appleonia). Taken from my album AYAHUASCA: WELCOME TO THE WORK
WHAT WERE REALLY TALKING ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT UFOs
With the latest research suggesting that there are probably tens of billions of earth-like worlds strewn throughout the galaxy (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/billions-of-earthlike-planets-found-in-milky-way/), probability has never been higher that at some point we will come across some form of intelligent life on a planet other than our own.
While I have had no specific UFO/alien encounters in my own life, I am a firm believer in the symbolic unfolding of consciousness and the idea that our beliefs and mythologies around this particular issue of extra-terrestrial life reveal a lot to us about who we are and what we could become.
We can draw a clear psychological parallel between our attitudes towards the possibility of UFO encounters and our attitudes towards the unknown in general.
My friend Jordan Shapiro once described what he called a “nationalist” attitude towards the unconscious in Western psychology. We guard the borders of our conscious minds with vigilance and aggression, viewing any unconscious material that may arise (nightmares, anxiety attacks, unconscious behavior) as an “intruder” or “illegal immigrant”. We generally desire to protect life, and order, as we know it and do not take kindly to forces that bring our certainty into question.
This attitude is also prevalent in the movies and urban legends around “aliens” and “UFOs” in our culture. They are generally spoken of as dark and aggressive forces, seeking to invade, dominate and control us if we allow them to.
As we work on learning more, and inquiring more deeply into consciousness and the nature of reality, it seems important for us to ask ourselves: what attitude do we take in the face of the unknown? Are our “borders” closed and defended? Or are we open to communication and exchange of information with aspects of ourselves that we don’t understand yet?
Looking at the perilous state of the world, it becomes clear that in order for our species (and our natural environment) to survive, it is urgent that we must be open to “alien” ideas and concepts. Again, I mean “alien” symbolically, meaning “foreign, strange, extraneous, outlandish”. As Einstein said “no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. Our current state of consciousness, our accepted ideas and paradigms have led to us creating a non-sustainable way of life, and we need to be open to surprising and unexpected ideas - “alien” ideas - about where we could go as a society, and what we could become.
With all this in mind, I recently enacted a ritual on the roof of my Laurel Canyon home. My wife, Ione, our girls Kate and Goldie, and my friend and collaborator Jessica Chapnik Kahn, painted a giant mandala on our roof as a psychological symbol of contact and communication with our “brothers and sisters in the stars”. Based on a design by Gnostic mystic Samael Aun Weor, we worked on this symbol that signifies that “everything comes from Divinity and everything returns to Divinity” over the course of a week. We then consecrated the mandala with a “puja” - a Hindu prayer ritual performed for the welfare of humanity and the benefit of all other living things in the universe.
We also photographed the mandala to upload to www.lonesignal.com - the first website designed to broadcast crowd-sourced images and messages via the Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel Valley, CA to stellar systems suspected to have potentially habitable planets in their orbit.
While I am not necessarily expecting a silver space ship to land on our roof any time soon (although that is an interesting prospect!) the ritual was important as it signified our family’s willingness to begin the process of expansion in a new way. To open our minds and hearts to new ways of thinking. To make contact with parts of ourselves that we may not even know existed. To see the world, our challenges and our strengths, with new eyes, new minds and new hearts.
I wish the same prayer for everyone reading this.