I am sitting writing this post as the night thickens on this second day of a fresh year. Today has been another washout day – grey sky, rain – the full English works. Somehow it feels like it would be more appropriate if the ‘New Year’ arrived in spring. The riot of sunshine and blossoms in April certainly evoke hope and inspiration in the coldest of hearts. But here we are in January…at least the birds are singing a sweet evening song. And I am reflecting on how much I have to be grateful for over the past year.
2015 was a quietly beautiful year for me in many ways. After what felt like endless stops and starts, with long, dry spells where inspiration seemed to have taken a permanent holiday, I managed to finish my devotional music album.
Though it is a humble first effort, for me it felt like a mammoth task throughout. I had no idea of what I was getting myself in for when I decided to do it in 2012, and it’s a good thing; I may have never tried. It took over two years, and the creative contributions of many dear friends and artists.
‘Like a River to the Sea’ has now long set sail, like a message in a bottle – I hope that it will find its way to the shores of many ears. I’ve been quite overwhelmed at the positive feedback so far. Though an artist has a natural tendency to place claim on their creative output, the experience of creating devotional art demands the opposite mentality in some ways. Though the artist still sees their hand moving the brush, or their vocal chords channeling breath into music, the constant meditation of offering the output to the Supreme releases the pressure to create something that will be ‘successful’. This type of art tries to side step personal ego, and acknowledge the divine source of all beauty and artistry. My final impression has been just as when standing in a holy river – the traditional practice of a worshiper is to pour cupped palmfuls of water back into that same river. An offering of the pure, back into the pure.
On New Year’s Day I received some lovely news that it had been voted ‘Number 1 Conscious Album of the Year’ in a nomination list set up by Soul Traveller Radio. Many of my friends albums reached the final selection, including ‘Leaps and Bounds’, by the Hanumen; ‘Inevitable Time’ by Ananda Monet, and the freshly Grammy nominated (yes!) Bhakti Without Borders featuring the vocals of some of the most wonderful female devotional singers. You can check out the list here and also listen to the podcast later in the week here.
In two days I am headed to India, helping to facilitate a group of people that have never been before, and are fairly new to the path of bhakti yoga. It’s exciting, but I’m also nervous. India tends to bring some no holds barred purification. I will try to share some our journey as we go!
Wishing you all a most wonderful 2016, filled with adventure and inspiration. Here’s a new song from MC Yogi to lift your spirits. I love the video, and the message…