I sang my heart out Friday evening, in family, in Unity, in Oneness. And I am full of gratitude for this opportunity and all it presented.
I was tipping my toes into the sweet waters of Amit Carmeli’s WildRoot Journey with his offering on Salt Spring Island in the sacred space of the yurt at Ram Spring Wellness Centre. We sang, not words or lyrics. We sang tones and rhythms of varying volumes following Amit’s lead. As we sang, the mind was stilled, and with it, ego absent, and the heart sang out. Spirit sang.
Silencing the mind is the quintessential practice for awakening that the sages and gurus point us to, for being as Spirit, for removing the veil that separates us from our true being. We can achieve this through many different means, like yoga asanas (poses), meditation, mantra, or being in flow while creating music or art. We enter into the realm of Spirit, which is not any place we go, yet with a silent mind, in stillness and silence, we recognize we are That – that which is love, compassion, kindness, acceptance, and wisdom. This evening following Amit’s lead and singing together, silenced the mind. We were the music.
Amit speaks of three awarenesses for us to acknowledge during our time together singing. The first awareness is of Awareness itself. Who or what is listening? I have also watched Deepak Chopra ask this question to a large audience, to establish themselves as, or connect with, Awareness, or Spirit. What is hearing, right now? What is aware of who is listening? For our night of singing together, we remain as Awareness of Amit’s voicing, in each moment, and for which we will echo, follow, dive into fully, rejoice fully, let go fully.
The second awareness is to soften the face. A familiar directive, as with meditation, or savasana (corpse pose in yoga). Soften the brow, relax the lower jaw, relax the tongue. Why soften the face? Because this is what we present to the material world. We look outward from our eyes and engage in “doing”. And because we wear our story on our face, or we work to mask our story on our face. By relaxing the face, softening the face, we let go, we surrender, we drop judgement. The whole body can relax when the face softens. And the nervous system calms down. And in this place, we can be more accepting of what presents, of all that may arise in the course of the music making with our voices in Unity.
Breath, in religious or spiritual context, means spirit, soul. As expressed in Genesis of the Bible’s Old Testament, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life‘ . The third awareness is on breath. That animating life force called prana, ruah, great spirit, divine consciousness – whatever one chooses to call this connection to the divine. Awareness on breath. There will be no doubt, at the evening’s close, that each singing voice was a reflection of its breath. That each singing voice was an expression of Spirit.
In the words of Amit Carmeli’s WildRoot Journey, ”Our voice is a clear and immediate reflection of who we are in each moment. Listening and sensing our voice while singing allows us to recognize our true state of being in each moment… we learn how to surrender to the Wild Root which allows our bodies to become musical vessels, revealing the unique music that we each simply are. The wild root stands for life’s energy – the source of creation in each human being. The key practice to the Wild Roots Journey is learning how to connect to this mysterious source as a neutral vessel.”
Singing together intimately as family,
Singing by the men to the women, singing with respect, honouring and love,
Singing by the women to the men, with full reference for their song of respect, honouring, and love – echoing it back to them,
Singing into rising crescendos, ecstatic as a sufi lover of god,
Singing softly as a lullaby to a baby, tenderly, lovingly,
Singing as family in an intimacy of blended voices, Oneness,
Singing as empty vessels alive with sound, drawn to tears of joy or tears of sadness, all in.
When it all came to a close, the middle eastern and western African rhythms of Amit’s guitar playing no longer punctuated the night air, and the singing stilled to silence. We spoke of gratitude, for it had been a sacred evening shared together as family, as Oneness. Mystical. And always, there is much to be grateful of. Namaste