Excerpts from the book: Getting To Sacred Sleep
chapter VII: Homage to my teachers.”
Calming our students and friends, preparing them for restful sleep; In recognition of our ancestral wisdom, letting go of day and actively celebrating our transformation by night.
We have all left our Source, our Home, our bed, our comfort, only that we may find it again and observe & realize the Experience between sleeps.
At WTM, we study each rhythm’s effect on people; do people come to it, do they want this music inside of their lives, or do they run away from it… are they Listening closely?! People come here for inspiration, to have a better day – to experience more enjoyment, to clear the confusion and chaos in their lives. They welcome our Sounds .. 2 relax.. Relaxing means letting go of attachments to pain, guilt or confusion. During sleep, we let go of these notions that seem to define us and we enter a world of infinite poSSibilities, beyond our limited perceptions.
Part of our training is practicing stillness. That we come to find ourSelves & our special gifts. Learn 2recognize these gifts, then learn to control them. Self-control means that this gift becomes a part of us and a contribution to our community. Living in a community requires a sense of self-control, self-regulation.
People who practice intentional self-control – just being in their presence becomes so natural, and naturally these people don’t get into a lot of arguments, and there’s not a whole lottta killing between them. Because Nature is honest. And Nature has a flow, and basically, flow is efficient, and efficiency is working together, creating union, not fighting or arguing or contributing in any way to poisoning the body or mind or flow of actions. Poisoning ritual, or poisoning fun… If there is poison in your life, then your living leads to devastation.
Goodness requires practice. One of my teacher’s says, “Practice good music to be able to Play good music.” Practice being good to ourselves, good to our family, even to our family from a long time ago. We call this “honoring” or sometimes we say “respecting” or even “REMEMBERING”. Sometimes we call this “Communicating”. Communicating is, in the least, an attempt to establish harmony.
Sometimes we create a situation just to ‘play it out’. Going on a journey, exploring, playing a game. Getting lost so that we may get found. Like being real silent, that’s a game I play w my students – and just listening – discovering – the sound of silence. Observing our footsteps, our breathing, our heart beating, then we remember that we are alive.
This is a tension that invites the release, and inhale that invites an exhale.
Whether listening to the orchestra of birds, – or even noticing everyone around us breathing – this is examining or observing, it can be real fun. These practices develop our intuition, they feed us, like spiritual medicine, feeding our bodies to be made healthy, drinking clean water – to be cleansed.
Positive thoughts are like that, they feed this routine and this ritual of health, vitality, happiness, wealth, good communications w people, good relationships with Nature. If we learn to enjoy playing the game of life, the game of existence, we win. As another one of my teachers says, “learn to recognize.. (these Patterns… … of breathing)”.
It is clear that our Inspiration for living is associated with our dedication to harmony, to healing; so it is clear that our destiny, our whole reason why we are here is to co-create. My actions affect you, somehow. So we are here to help each other. That’s how we succeed, or simply exist. To exist simply, 2 relax, to respect, ourselves …enough to fulfill our dying wish, to fulfill our destiny!
And dying is a sure thing, we are destined. While we’re living we may think we breath for free, but if we learn to control that breathing, then life really shines through us.
Being a musician, like any other profeSSion, has great responsibility. Once we are trained at expressing efficiently and confidently then we have the obligation to make sure there is peace within us. Otherwise, we throw our pain on our audience. Our training emphasizes growth in musical prowess but includes very Intentionally, our relationship with Grace & peacefulness; to be able to give the audience exactly what they need & at just the Perfect time. This is a spiritual training.
Doctors are here to help us, assisting us to get the poison out. Teachers bring us out of the darkness, out of ignorance, out of chaos, into knowledge, wisdom, clarity and balance.
Recently I found myself in a village in India – and it was good-sized number of people living there – where there was not a medical doctor in the sense of a person who gathers plants from the earth to help, assist the patient to finding balance with their world.
There was a community healer & he had the same power – to bring balance to a situation, or a person’s situation, or even to the entire community; representing health for the community, co-existence with Nature, with the heartbeat of the Earth. Certain that men and women should get along, he brought them together to make a strong unity, communion, CommUnity…
So in this village, that medicine man offered his healing wisdom – through music! He would establish communication between the patient & the earth. And he would get them in the same space and he would have them make up and be best friends again. He made people relax; he made them quiet. And as he told me, He “Reminds them to Listen”.
And this reminds them to breath, and take a deep breath when it comes, because that is the source of life. Being mean isn’t an option on this path; there’s simply no time. Any dishonesty would set us back, away from harmony, away from health, apart from living out our true destiny.
Well this ‘doctor’, this musical, magical, simple, living, creating, nice, helpful man – who is completely dedicated to keeping the community healthy, keeping the harmony secure and reliable, logical, fun even. …(because fun Inspires us) … His abilities are fueled by his dedication to the truth, which makes him light up, and energizes him and inspires and makes healthy, making flowers grow, purifying WaTeR & purifying air, proper breathing & proper drumming.
My teacher tells me of his education. Apparently his teacher had built a neighboring village that housed one of the largest community of monks in all of India. He had taken a village of outcasts, people carrying poison, all on their way out of this world, sadly & quickly dying; and through sound vibration, he led them back to their rOOts and healed them and together they built this place of worship and to practice honest living.
This community even today, studies the way of Nature and the Path of Men, and Peaceful & Creative forms of Communication, and of doing the opposite of quickly dying, slowly Living. They Compose Music through Intention, intentional breathing, and explore how breathing patterns affect their world in different ways as they create different vibrations.
These are the people that you may have heard of who practice the Raindance. If they need WaTeR – they get it. They study well. They focus, they are dedicated, they are the architects of their own Destiny.
They will remain a powerful community. They practice a form of communication w their ancestry. By honoring their story and REMEMBERing their destiny, (the same destiny as before and as now and for coming generations), they become more powerful each day, during each season and with each generation.
They do something else quite Interesting. They prepare for death. In fact, just outside of this town lies one of the largest cemetery in all of India. That’s because even though not everyone practices what this community teaches, they all come here for healing and inspiration and it is their dying wish to be buried near this community of monks who are so in touch with REAL Living and REAL dying.
I don’t think it is quite the intention of these monks that everyone want to die near them. They teach people how to live, how to remember to live and also how to die, gracefully, intentionally and peacefully.
The people who go there to die – usually they feel that they have waited too long to live properly. They haven’t dedicated their lives to remembering to live. They know that the monks live the truth – but they don’t necessarily listen or imitate. Maybe they needed more time, and maybe they’ll get it…
The monks are clear in their message, through example, and they’re really good musicians too, and they smile a lot! They don’t mind hosting these people who need this cemetery for rest. They are always happy to serve people to suffer leSS.
So my teacher’s teacher built that community and he did that by Remembering his reason for being here with these other humans. And acting accordingly, responsibly! And allowing the healing power of music to pass through him. As he often insisted, ‘Music is my teacher’.
My teacher himself is a well-respected leader & representative. He continues the teachings of his teacher on to his students and to those of us who listen. He follows his Path and that keeps us coming back to learn how to Remember to follow our own.”
“Another one of my teachers, from Africa, has a very similar situation, but he actually travels around singing to people their story, their actual family history story. He tells them of their grandparents and their grandparents’ parents and he keeps going back in time until finally he shows them their source. And he heals them this way. He calls himself a storyteller. He reminds people where they come from, who they are and who they are to Be! And then his listeners take responsibility & follow their path to personal healing and this healing is contagious, so actually whole communities are effected when he comes through town. He leaves that gift of health, of clarity! He empowers people, teaching them how to heal themselves, and even their neighbor.
My teachers are always very clear w me that I need to take their meSSage and ‘play for people while fulfilling destiny’ and ‘breath along to Tune’. Doing this aSSures them that their tradition lives on thru this musical lineage. Their message is so honest. With purity, they welcome us, their students to share their stage, their cave or their Oasis.
So I will continue to experience the work of these musical Masters, and share the wealth, share their inspiration for being. Hopefully other people in our community are researching & discovering & experiencing as well – on their unique path – and hopefully we will be able to come together, share & play.
‘The world is efficient’, as another one of my teachers says. ‘The world always aligns our path.’ In other words, harmonizing with our true honest selves, the earth preserves that unique original Pure Seed for her inhabitants, her family; she’s the Mother Earth.
The world has figured it out. It knows how to grow & become, how to create, co-create, harmonize – all of that. So our path is there! We come into contact with whoever else or whatever else situation that meets on our path… we get what we deserve. If I fulfill my destiny by following my path, honoring my dream, my Reality or my unique breathing rhythm, then I’ll meet whom I am supposed to. We create community.
If I’m mean on the other hand, and get lost and get stuck on that pattern, and get good at maintaining this way, existing on that trip, then the ego takes control. This is something totally different from what I’ve talking about, this other part of us – yes, it is part of us – but an altered part of us. It is so strange that we accept this ego, that we feed it so much, that it can grow & take over our true selves. It confuses us. People with big egos are really confused. If BIG ego takes over and feeds an individual or a community with pride and thinking that they’re independent from the rest of us (& ego feeds man this confusion because that’s how it survives and grows) and man keeps feeding it back, the cycle will continue until death. An unconscious suicide some call it, born of ignorance, but it can also be out of fear, which we all must face and we need courage to be honest with our True selves, not to be overcome by our insecurities. We also need to remember that everyone is afraid and that everyone is suffering. Ignoring our fears means accepting and nurturing bad health, bad energy, poor communication and imbalance. Forgetting that life is difficult for everyone is ignoring reality. With understanding comes compaSSion, and with this comes the greatest opportunity we will ever have: to forgive. This iS Service.
Negativity will cease to exist soon enough. The unhealthy world is progreSSing towards suicide. Motivation & Inspiration are part of an evolving world that will heal itself. Remember, nature heals itself; if only we would get out of the way.
Following the right path with determination offers clarity. Challenges are more like opportunities – that’s part of this fun game, the thrill, the Inspiration. We need to keep remembering, tell me again, show me how to be quiet, or how to be still or how to listen or how to run & play or how to sing…
Show me grandmother what we’ve learned. Let’s clean our WaTeR!
And that’s what my teachers did – they sought their teachers, they listened when their teachers explained how to find their personal power, their Self, their place in the world, their contribution to the world, existing, co-creating – not in a fight w the world, – whats that? A struggle for -powerleSSneSS? Against our own world?
And they learned how to play music, how to play for people, how to play with the earth, how to imitate the Wind, and re-create the Wind, to call the rain to feed their crops, to carry the fire to warm their bones; telling the Story of the people to the people, entertaining them, inspiring them, reminding them, healing them – just by being honest & dedicated to them & to creation.
Their source of life is living and it keeps them happy and healthy and Pure and is really fun to be around. It generates so much positive energy & we are attracted to this healing. Real dedication is constantly generating and sending out Love.
We must strive to remember that while honoring silence, and listening, we might recognize our own story.