Friday, September 30, 2011

North Pole Retrospective: Back in Toronto

Dear friends,

A year ago this morning, back from the North Pole, I awoke from a powerful dream of the Goddess.


I was far north. I had no sense of bearing. I was just very north, looking for my spiritual community. I met the Goddess there in a co-op building with food supplies.
When I saw Her, I was surprised and overjoyed...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ask Parvati 30: Creating Your Reality, Part 5: Purification Back To The One

Dear friends,

A year ago today I visited a high school in Iqaluit before flying home to Toronto to conclude my life-changing North Pole journey.


North Pole Journey, Day Seven

The school bell rings and triggers a Pavlovian response in me. A feeling of excitement and freedom surges through my body. The halls fill with noisy, boisterous, vibrantly alive students who emerge from small rooms. Soon the auditorium is flooded with dynamic bodies full of the very hormones I felt pulsating through the halls when I first walked in. I peek out of my dressing room door and see a room agitated and full of energy...



(Continued from Welcome to Life School)

We must learn to purify our thoughts, lessen our attachment to our ego in order to evolve. Seeing life as a mirror provides a wonderful humbling opportunity to do just that. When we understand that what we experience is a result of our thoughts and perceptions, we can grow and make changes, so that our life becomes more fulfilling and joyful.

As our minds purify, eventually we become one with the Reality that we are love. Then, love is all we see. Once we have purified our minds, released our identification with our ego, the notion of life as a mirror dissolves. We see that we are literally one with all that is.

I say it over and over again: we are part of a much greater, intelligent whole. I think this is so important because most of us forget it. We get caught up in the micro-importance of what is happening right now, we lose the big picture of perfect interconnection. We get lost in defending our ego either by trying to prove our feeling worth by ‘got to get it right’, or by slathering on the “I am so great” or “I am so lowly” goop that we forget to keep our focus on Reality (and not on “reality”).

When we remember that we are part of a magnificent whole guiding us, we start to lessen our identification with the perceived importance of “me” and start of flow with pure consciousness. We let go of our defensive attachment to “reality” and start serving and merging with “Reality”.

When we have come to this place of ultimate non-attachment, a place I can speak of only from glimpses in exceptional moments, we realize that we are one with everything. We see that the notion of separation was an illusion all along. We fully understand that we are not creating anything at all. All already is! If anything, we have been resisting the perfection of creation. We have been learning to get out of the way the whole time and love. At that point, we reach yoga, a state of union, a place of absolute clarity where the mirror is no longer a separate reflection of our disconnected thoughts, but a perfect merging and a return to the One.

May each one of us remember our true nature and swiftly merge with “Reality” by humbly opening to and serving the “reality” that right before us.

In service,


PS: Don’t forget that this is the last day to submit questions for this week’s Ask Parvati blog. If you have a question, please send it to Have a super weekend!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ask Parvati 30: Creating Your Reality - Part 4: Welcome To Life School

Dear friends,

A year ago today was my last morning in Resolute Bay.

North Pole Journey, Day Six: Back to Iqaluit

We say our goodbyes to Chris at the inn, then Meghan at the airport who drives us to our departure. There is no doubt we are sad to leave. This has been an enormously important trip for each one of us, the likes of which seems still masked by a cloudy feeling that draws across my inner sight. I cannot quite see the magnitude of what this all means. All I know for sure is, like a child who marks their growth with lines on the inside of a doorjamb, the growth of my Self is marked on the doorjamb of my life by this trip to the North Pole....


Creating Your Reality, Part 4: Welcome To Life School

(Continued from Life Is A Mirror)

Seeing life as a mirror to our thoughts makes life our perfect school, the best place ever to evolve. We then see life constantly supporting our evolution, no matter what happens. We may experience difficulty. No problem! That is life showing us the way we have limiting beliefs, the way we need to grow, things we need to release, etc… If we are true spiritual seekers, this is great news! We now have a moment-to-moment teacher and road map to our evolution: this moment. This moment IS indeed perfection! We have exactly what we need in each moment to evolve, to learn to love and to grow.

It is my belief that we are here on this planet, like diamonds in the rough, going through a rock tumbler called life. Sometimes life moves smoothly, sometimes life feels rough. If we are open, ready and willing, we will have the humility to see that this moment is showing us the summation of who we are up until this moment. We may like it. We may not. Either way, it does not really matter. By welcoming this moment as a gift that reflects our selves, we are able to see the limitations of our beliefs, thoughts and ego and eventually move beyond them so we may merge into the universal field that ties us all together.

Contrary perhaps to some contemporary pop spirituality, I don’t believe that a life of riches, or a life that runs super smoothly, or a life full of worldly recognition, or a life with the success of lavish projects, shows any particular kind of noteworthy evolution or spiritual prowess. I know many wealthy, respected and “accomplished” people who are, simply put, lost. They may think they are doing great, because, look! Look at what reality “they” have created! Wow, aren’t “they” great! And yet to me, they may be further from pure consciousness than perhaps before these apparent “successes”, and further from freedom, joy and enlightenment than the simple janitor that sweeps their floors at night. The ego is indeed a very tricky thing!

I also know people who think they are so spiritual because they have acquired spiritual skills or may know lofty spiritual people. They may even feel quietly proud that “they” have touched these great spiritual heights. Look at what “they” have accomplished and created! But to me, they are missing the spiritual forest for the trees.

It seems to me that the goal of spirituality is to love, to cultivate humility, to serve. If we are lacking these qualities in our life, no amount of philosophy, spiritual or material accolades will quell the inner sense of lack from being off path. We may feel temporarily pleased with what “we” have created, but eventually our ivory tower will crumble. That which we feel “we” do is bound by “reality” and not in service to “Reality”.

If “we” strive to create “reality” (lower case “r”), eventually, we will suffer. It is only when we realize that “we” are not the doers, when we focus on the release of the ego and learn to humbly see ourselves, our shadow and our glory, with honesty and humility, will we begin to “create the reality” that will bring lasting joy.

(Continues tomorrow with Purification Back To The One)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ask Parvati 30: Creating Your Reality - Part 3: Life Is A Mirror

Dear friends,

This week's blog topic continues below, after I take a moment to pause and reflect on my North Pole journey.

A year ago today we were in Resolute Bay, having returned from the North Pole, and we joined with Satish Sikha to unveil his green eco-silk on an iceberg.

North Pole Journey: Day Five

Satish pulls open his fabric from his jute carrying case. Sunanda, Sam and I take a portion to help him draw it open. Rishi runs his video camera up and down its length, capturing its green colour and message fluttering in the wind. Satish seems happy, despite shivering in the freezing cold. He has traveled so far for this moment. On this iceberg, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, he exposes the hand-penned words of dignitaries from around the world as a call to ecological action in light of the melting polar ice. I am proud to hold the portion of the eco-silk fabric that I happened to sign...


Creating Your Reality: Part 3 - Life Is A Mirror

(Continued from Reality (Capital “R”) and Reality (Lower Case “r”) )

When we think of ourselves as important and in control, we inevitably suffer. We become attached to matter (objects, people, places, things), feeling we have power over them. But they are temporal; so they will, by their very nature, change. When they change, again, we need to try to gain control over them. On an ego-driven merry-go-round, we eventually experience pain.

Great mystics and sacred texts by enlightened masters tell us that we are not the ones doing, but at best, we are servants reflecting and one with the divine. We think that we are the temporal things such as this body, this personality, these thoughts, these perceptions, but all those go when our time has come. That is reality with the small “r”. But there is an energy within that continues on even after the things bound by time are long turned to dust. That is reality with the capital “R”.

So then, you may ask, what do we do with the temporal, our passing moods, the things that come into our lives that we like, that we don’t like, our emotions, painful and joyful situation? Are they just not real and not important? What are they and why are they in our lives at all?

It is my belief that literally all of life provides us with an opportunity to grow – the good, the bad and the ugly. All of it. There is not one thing in our life that does not serve our evolution in some way.

Life is like a mirror. The more we see it as such, the happier, freer and more loving we will be. The mirror reflects all of our thoughts back to us. We see and experience life through the lens of our mind, which is the accumulation of past memories and future desires. So we see, through the events and experiences of our life, a reflection of what we think, hope, fear, want, dream and remember.

This mirror is our greatest spiritual tool and ally. It provides us with an inescapable and perfectly clear way to see our thoughts and tendencies. You may ask, why would we want to see our thoughts? The simple answer is, so we may purify them.

No one of us is perfect. We all see through the lens of our ego, until we no longer give it power, until it no longer is in charge. Before we become enlightened, we see what we want to see, we believe what we want to believe, we love what we think will make us happy, and we want what we feel we lack. This is the human condition. To add a whole lot of flavour to the mix, each one of us has our own unique colours, shapes and sizes of those wants, beliefs and desires, expressed in our own unique way.

So if you want to know how you “create your reality”, well, you don’t have to look far. Look at what is in your life right now, and you will see an exact reflection of your thoughts and tendencies. If you don’t like it, then you need to be a humble student, face your ego and go within to learn to manage your consciousness more efficiently. Welcome to life school.

(Continues tomorrow with Welcome To Life School)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Ask Parvati 30: Creating Your Reality - Part 2: Reality (Capital “R”) and reality (Lower Case “r”)

Dear friends,

Before we start today's blog post, I would like to take a moment to remember that a year ago today, I landed at the top of the world. There, I performed and shot video for four of my songs. Then I spent a couple of hours in deep prayer and meditation, really tuning in to all beings and the planet. Thank you so much, again, for your support.


North Pole Retrospective: Day Four

Day Four, Part One: Up, Up And Away!

Somehow, I like this plane. Perhaps the purpose of the journey itself inspires me and makes all things uncomfortable seem meaningless. Neither the prevalent smell of gasoline nor the uncomfortable, collapsible seats made of woven, synthetic fabric hung over metal rods is a bother. I have ridden for hours in a tropical jeep crammed with more than twenty sweaty people as we bump over dirt roads. I have slept on concrete rooftops, park benches, on the soil of dense forests and on the sand in open, raging beaches with few necessities. As the adventurer and one ready to serve the highest good in all, I feel ready for anything...

Day Four, Part Two: Eureka, Angels, Natamba

As we land, Mark, already on the ground, opens our cabin door to help us deplane as it is a five-foot descent down slippery stairs. To his surprise, he looks up and sees Natamba in full costume emerging from the dark out of the cabin door hole. Amazed, he takes a few steps back and says: “Wow! THAT is cool!”...

Day Four, Part Three: At The North Pole

We are here for two reasons: for me to perform my songs at the top of the world and to do healing work for the planet Earth. Both of these are to help raise awareness of the speed with which the ice now beneath our feet is melting. In just a few years, we will be among the few who were able to stand here....

Day Four, Part Four: Frozen Music Video Shoot

My face is now tight and numb, and icicles are forming on the strands of hair that escape from my hood. It does not even occur to me that it may be hard to sing in this dry, freezing weather. I start to sing. Rishi shoots. All is going well until about one minute into the song...

Day Four, Part Five: Healing The Earth At The Top Of The World

In monk-like quiet, Sunanda pulls out from beneath her Arctic wear a book that she, Rishi and I very much respect. It contains the Lalita Sahasranama, Sanskrit prayers to the Divine Mother. We have traveled over 3000 miles (5000 kilometres) to chant these ancient prayers and make this offering to the Earth at the top of the world. The Earth is our Mother. She provides us with life and sustains us. But now, due to human ignorance, she is in distress. May our offerings serve in some way to alleviate suffering for all...






(Continued from What Does It Mean, “We Create Our Reality”?)

I have shared in past blog entries that our personalities tend to be the summation of our perceptions, which are the outcome of our experiences. These are processed through our senses and filtered through our mind. They are not absolute truths but subjective experiences.

Beyond these perceptions, there is a substratum that lies beneath the temporal quality of life. This exists beyond our likes and dislikes, beyond things that are born and things that die. In the eternal, we find pure consciousness that weaves through all the temporal things of life.

When we speak of reality, I feel we need to define what we mean. When we say, “That is real for me,” we speak of our senses, our experiences, and our thoughts. This reality is subjective and changes for each individual. When we speak of ultimate truth, we speak of a reality that is timeless and permanent.

I find it useful to refer to “reality” (with a lower case “r”) as the summation of our experiences. “Reality” (with a capital “R”) refers to the field of pure consciousness. They are very different yet beautifully interrelated and interconnected.

Where perhaps some of the explanations I have heard for “we create our reality” fall short for me is in the implication and encouragement of the notion that “we” are the doers. With the desire perhaps to help people feel peppy and in charge, the emphasis becomes on the idea that “we” create our reality. That just does not feel right for me and does not express my personal experience with manifesting.
In terms of manifesting, I have seen that our joys come to us when we are feeling full and grateful, not when we are feeling lack, separation and wanting. From the perspective of Reality (with a capital “R”), I have seen how “we” really are not doing anything.

There is an immense, vast, intelligent flow to which we as our limited, temporal selves learn to surrender and witness. We learn to show up and be present. Ultimately, the best thing we can do is get out of the way of that immensity. That way our reality with a lower case “r” is in service to Reality with a capital “R”. We are in service to the divine, creative flow. It is only then that we live rooted, vital and expansive in I AM consciousness.

There is a subtle yet very tricky shadow at play with the idea that “we” are the doers, that “we” create anything, because it implies “we” are in control. The ego loves that! “I am in control! Me! Great old me!” Uh oh! Me? What is that? Is it not just a passing series of thoughts, like a cloud over the sun? Are we not ultimately the sun, the universal light that shines eternal truths?

Yes, “we” do have some control, in terms of our free will. But ultimately, “we” have very little control. Our power lies in our ability to make wise and conscious choices about how to deal with our selves and where we place our awareness. From my understanding, how we choose to manage our consciousness is at the root of the idea that we create our reality. If we have the power to focus, to place and direct our awareness, then where are we focusing? Are we focusing on “reality” or “Reality”?

(Continued tomorrow with Life Is A Mirror)





Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ask Parvati 30: Creating Your Reality

Dear friends,

Thank you for this week’s emails, Facebook posts and tweets regarding my one-year anniversary of being at the North Pole. I really appreciate your support. To honour the work that was done on that trip, I am currently working on my first music video, using footage from the North Pole, and a short documentary of the trip to share with you all. So please stay tuned for the completion and release of those exciting projects.
This week I also received quite a few Ask Parvati questions. Thank you for those as well! As usual, the one I here answer was chosen lottery style. Enjoy!

The Ask Parvati for this week will begin after today's recollection of my North Pole journey. A year ago today, it was my second day in Resolute.

Day Three, Part One

I wake up to my second morning in Resolute Bay. It is the day before I leave for the North Pole. I feel inwardly warmed by the memory of meeting the Inuit healers Lisa and Louisa last night. What grace to have such palpable, human confirmation that a subtle thread of healing interconnects us all. How else could these women have known before meeting me that I was coming to the North Pole to do healing work for the Earth? It seems the same energy that sparks their inner healing journey also inspires mine. I feel carried by an invisible force, which affirms the rightness of my decision to follow the intuitive guidance, put my musical tour on hold and come to this icy land...

Day Three, Part Two

The light in the sky is dull. It is just early afternoon. In just a month or so it will be dark all day long. This is the way it is in the high Arctic during the early winter months, when winter is always dark and summer is constant light. Today, before the solar orb sinks behind the hills of shale, we hope to see a couple of local sites and review our gear for the final leg of our trip to the North Pole tomorrow morning.
Meghan kindly is driving us along the Arctic Ocean coast towards a local historic site in Resolute Bay to see remains of a thousand-year-old Inuit village....


Day Three, Part Three

Sunanda returns from the airport with a look of shock and horror carved in her frozen face. The wig and the boombox were not on the flight. That was the last flight arriving in Resolute Bay before we leave tomorrow morning. Despite all her efforts to ensure the luggage arrived on time, we are left in an awkward situation. So much work, money and effort has gone into this performance at the top of the world. And now, essential pieces for the show are missing.
I waste no time thinking about what is lost and fly into action. We left Toronto with a back-up audio system, so Rishi and I quickly discuss the plan to use an alternative music sources for the performance. But the wig… that is essential and irreplaceable. What to do?...

Ask Parvati 30: Creating Our Reality
Dear Parvati,
The notion of "Creating our own Reality" is very popular these days. Even though I understand it on some level, I think that people sometimes oversimplify it. Can you please explain what "reality" is and what it means to you and how reality is actually created?


Thank you for this question. I agree that the notion of ‘creating our reality’ is very popular with metaphysical teachers these days. I am not particularly involved with these various teachings. Not that I think they are ‘bad’. I don’t really have much of an opinion. It is just that most of them have not really resonated for me so I have not been drawn to explore them in any depth.

I prefer instead to explore my reactions and responses to my own experiences and touch universal truths through the dissolving of the ego. For guidance on my path, I rely on the teachings of saints and realized masters. I also check in with myself as often as possible to see if I feel rooted, vital and expansive in each moment. From what I have seen and heard, I believe that many of the pop metaphysical teachings, such as “you create your reality”, seem far oversimplified.

The notion of “you create your reality” is actually quite subtle, of course powerful, and also complex. It is not for everyone, but for those who truly wish to cultivate deep humility and experience the death of the ego, rather than fuel the ego’s need to feel right, validated, superior, or in control.

I am very much in process with finding out what ‘creating your reality’ really means. Each day I make it a practice to explore the relationship between my thoughts and what I see manifest. I am still very much finding out, evolving and learning.

What interests me most is the gap between thoughts and what we experience to be real. We all have a different sense of reality. Yet there are also universal truths that join us.

In this week's blog entries, I will share what I have found so far in terms of “we create our reality”, with the understanding that I have not yet reached “the goal” of enlightenment. As such, these words are by no means an expression of absolutes, but a humble offering that may serve, based on my experiences.

(Continues tomorrow with Reality (Capital “R”) and reality (Lower Case “r”)




Saturday, September 24, 2011

North Pole Retrospective - Part 3

Dear Friends,

My reunion with Satish yesterday was fun. Sunanda and Rishi were also there and we laughed about meeting polar bears and the craziness of our adventure. It was great to see Satish again who continues his philanthropic work globally.

Today I think of how a year ago, I had arrived on this day for the first time in Resolute Bay, a remote Inuit town of about 200 people on the Arctic Ocean in Nunavut. There I had the most amazing experiences. Please join me as I remember them here.

Enjoy the gift of this day.


Day Two, Part One - Resolute

I open my eyes and notice that the bed sheets don’t feel like my own. I am not at home. I am in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. I am on my way to the North Pole to sing and offer healing to help raise awareness of the melting polar ice caps.

I start to peel myself from the warmth of the bed, when I am overwhelmed with tears. What is this heaviness? Sitting myself up on the edge of the mattress, I allow myself to be present with the feelings. I feel grief, an overwhelming feeling of grief. My chest is heavy and my breathing tight. I feel puzzled. These emotions feel so deep, so burdened. Where are they coming from? What are they telling me? What am I grieving? Positioning myself into a cross-legged position, I allow my morning meditation practice to begin here, on this bed in a hotel in Resolute Bay with these raw, available feelings. The grief grips the edges of my lungs. My ribs feel tight. It is hard to breathe for the tears that have congested my head and throat. With my eyes closed and my mind inward listening, my awareness gently rides along the layers of emotion to hear more fully what they are saying. An image flashes before me...

Day Two, Part Two - With Satish Sikha

As Sunanda, Meghan and I struggle in the fierce, icy wind to outstretch this lengthy piece of silk so that Rishi can video tape it, I watch Satish from the corner of my eye as he walks pensively towards the water to pray. I can feel the sincerity of his heart as he quietly stands on the iceberg looking out at the vast ocean. The wind blows through his tussled, thin, black hair. He is sheltered from the elements only by his dark-grey parka and a soul full of mantras and prayers...

Day Two, Part Three - Arctic Nurses, Weathermen, Poutine and a Spiritual Encounter

Feeling fulfilled by the experience meeting the children at Resolute Bay’s Qarmartalik School, Rishi, Satish, Sunanda and I move to exit the building and face the Arctic frost. Suddenly out of nowhere, Rishi pulls out his back. We grab the nearest chair, sit him down and are immediately present for him. With a back in spasm, he cannot move much and his breathing feels laboured. Slumped over the chair and wincing, he quietly closes his eyes, tunes into himself, going within to find a healing space that may perhaps bring him some relief from the pain. 
After a few silent moments, he says he feels that his pulled back is a reaction to shooting video in this deep cold. He is used to neither shooting video for such long periods nor to such extreme weather. We encourage him to take it easy for a bit. As I watch him relax and soften, I get a sense that Rishi’s back speaks volumes about the burden we see here on these Inuit children, the difficulties they face with broken families and a broken culture; the burden we put on our planet due to our ignorance; and the immensity of the global ecological problem that we are now seeing first hand on this journey to the North Pole...


Day Two, Part Four - Lisa and Louisa

Louisa, the elder of the two women, shifts her body weight in her seat and looks at me with her penetrating, deep, dark eyes. “I knew you were coming,” she says. Chills run all through me. “I had a vision that someone was coming to offer healing at the top of the world. This person, I know, is you.” The shivers continue to run through my whole body and seem to undulate into the entire room. Everything I see seems to shudder and ripple, like the world around me is a vibrating bell, struck by a resonant truth....





Friday, September 23, 2011

North Pole Retrospective - Part 2

Dear friends,

It is amazing to think that a year already has gone by! A year ago on this day, I was up at the crack of dawn, ready to start a 13-hour journey with several stops and plane changes, en route to Resolute Bay, Nunavut. There I was to join my friend Satish Sikha, who had arrived a couple days prior. I was going to Resolute en route to the North Pole, to help Satish showcase his electric-green, eco-silk
at the Arctic Ocean. Satish had been traveling almost three years prior collecting signatures of dignitaries, performers and activists from all over the world (including yours truly - it was an honour to sign!) so it could fly in the fierce Arctic wind, sending a strong green message to the world.

Satish has been touring the world, showcasing his fabric, since our time in the Arctic. Amazingly, today - a year to the day since I joined him in Resolute Bay - I go to meet him at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. We have not seen each other since we parted ways after the Arctic. Today, my partner Rishi and my friend Sunanda, who also came to the North Pole, will join me to meet Satish. It will be a reunion!

Please enjoy the recounting below of my first day getting to Resolute Bay, Nunavut, on the way to the North Pole.

Enjoy the gift of this day.


Day One, Part One: Toronto to Iqaluit

I stir. It is only 4am. The sound of the morning alarm seems to echo from some distant place. I am deeply asleep. Quickly I realize it is the morning we leave for the North Pole and it is time for me to get up. As I get out of bed, the woozy feeling that swims through my head and stomach immediately tells me that I have not rested enough. I remind myself that I only got to bed a couple of hours earlier. We had been up most of the night getting last minute preparations together for our North Pole journey, checking rented gear, fixing costume pieces, finishing my new song and packing Arctic-ready luggage. The time has come to get on the road. My feelings are a tapestry of fatigue, fear, anticipation and quiet surrender. I begin to focus on moving quickly to take my mind off feeling less than rested and to make our plane’s early departure...

Day One, Part Two: Iqaluit to Resolute

We land at Iqaluit’s small airport, the exterior of the main building beaming a cheerful bright canary yellow. We walk off the plane and directly onto the runway. Immediately the wind fiercely blows and cuts through my winter coat. I pull my hood over my head and pinch the edges of my collar to stop the wind from flowing down my chest. Rishi walks in front of me with his video camera, taking in what he sees. I feel a certain thrill at being here. I feel a rush of humility, awe and wonder at the thought of now being on Inuit land...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

North Pole Retrospective - Part 1

Dear Friends,
One year ago today, my living room was strewn with backpacks, performance costumes and Arctic gear. I was preparing to head to the North Pole where I was to perform my songs dressed as my character Natamba to help raise awareness of the melting polar ice. It was a huge trip for me both personally, in the inner transformation it inspired, and socially, through the people I met along the way and the bonds that were formed. Please join me through the coming week as I contemplate and review this very important time in my life and the amazing things that flowered from this journey.

A year ago tonight was the night before we left:

How do you pack for a journey you have never taken, to a landscape that is dangerous, inhospitable and very, very cold? Thankfully, many people have come together to donate warm woolies, down sleeping bags, snowsuits and technical gear.Value Village had some used snowmobile boots that fit. Luckily we were able to get some expert advice from videographers who have shot in the kind of conditions we are expecting, anywhere between -15C to -25C. We need to be prepared for things like battery life depleting very quickly in the cold and gear freezing. Even our video camera needs a special Arctic snowsuit...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Video: What Are The Positive Possibilities?

Dear friends,

Here is a video in which I explain Positive Possibilities and Impossibilities. I go more into depth on this subject in my article for this month's edition of Parvati Magazine and, of course, in previous entries for this blog. Let me know what you think!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Parvati Magazine Videos

Dear Friends,
Here are a couple of videos that we took today to help promote Parvati Magazine.
Check in tomorrow for some more posts.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Introducing Parvati Magazine

Hello Friends,
This week has been very busy for me. I have been preparing to perform as the headliner for the St Pete Yoga Festival in Florida this October, and getting ready to launch the first issue of Parvati Magazine.

Thanks to the popularity of this blog, I felt inspired to reach out to some friends and ask if they would be willing to gather as a strong, conscious community, offering you broad support to live in the Positive Possibilities. The response was excellent and hence, the birth of Parvati Magazine.

Interestingly, this week I did not receive a question for “Ask Parvati.” So I took it as a sign from the universe to invite you to dive into the magazine and enjoy.

Without further ado, I am very pleased to announce the launch of Parvati Magazine! Below is the flyer that heralds the launch. Please go to and check it out for yourself!

Parvati magazine flyer final


In honour of the magazine launch, I will be posting entries this week introducing you to my friends who made the magazine possible. So please come back each day for more juicy bits.

In addition, please keep sending me your questions for “Ask Parvati”. I enjoy receiving them and the process of responding. In the meantime, enjoy Parvati Magazine!

Be well,


Friday, September 16, 2011

Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food - Part 5: Who Or What Is Creating?


(Continued from A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist: The Multi-Dimensional Co-Creator)

Ok. Buckle your seat belt. You may read this last entry in response to this week’s question and think, “uh oh, Parvati has drunk the kool-aid. What IS she talking about?” Well, in the spirit of sincerity, transparence and honesty, here it goes…

Many of you know me well enough by now to know that I see things in terms of the multi-dimensional. We are spiritual, infinite beings in a temporal body with a temporal personality returning back to the infinite. Our soul is a reflection of the divine, merging back to pure consciousness. Our personality is being purified, the aggregates removed so that we may be vessels of unconditional love.

Have you ever seen a show or looked at a work of art and wondered, who was actually creating? Sometimes, it is not only the voice of the artist’s soul. Sometimes, the work can feel superhuman, like other energies stepped in and participated in the creative process. You know what I mean?

I believe that we are not alone by any stretch. We are part of a vast, intelligent universe. Just like we can observe in Nature, there are energies that need healthy space, light and food to survive, and there are those that feed off of debris and decay. So it is in the unseen realm.

Each one of us has a shadow. We are human. We err. We cast a shadow upon the ground. The wise begin to know their shadow and welcome it into their field of awareness so that they may witness it and it may ultimately dissolve.

When we expand into the beings of light we are, we may co-create with unseen energies that are luminous and expansive, such as angels. This is an idea most of us like. Angels are pretty cool!

When our shadow remains unseen, hidden from our conscious mind, it can begin to rot in the dark. Like any wound that is not in clean air and open to the light to heal, festering can begin. Sometimes even bugs can come to feed on the decay. In the same way, there are energies in the unseen that feed on our shadow when we are in denial about it.

Why is it that so often artists turn to drugs? Could it be that the pressure to create draws them to find sources of instant power to propel their creativity forward? What if an artist was drawn to create for egotistical reasons, like fame and personal praise? The artist may be in denial about their shadow. What happens when they taste praise, would they not want more? Wanting only stops when we see it for what it is and choose to look at our shadow with humility.

If a person is attached to being in denial about their shadow and insists on wanting, energies in the unseen will latch on to amplify that reality. Soon, the source of inspiration is not the soul, but the personality plus free-loaders, subtle beings that are not exactly angels. So then what or who is really creating?

Now, I have always been one with a particular affinity to the unseen, so perhaps this may seem far-fetched for some. But I speak of my experience just like I am sure you have your own. I remember one artist I saw arrive on stage bringing with her an entire entourage of astral beings. The friend I was with had just returned from a ten-day silent meditation retreat. After the artist sang her first song, he left the auditorium running. Others in the audience were mesmerized. For others, the show was otherworldly, and to me, it quite literally was!

A couple years ago, I was on a plane back from an international music conference. I sat with some well-established musicians who were on tour with a top industry singer. I remember one of the guys had this vacant look in his eye. He was sweet and kind, but I could not get out of my mind the emptiness that was looking back at me. The singer he was touring with was to me a tragic black hole, an active addict who was lost and in denial about the depth of her addiction.

What I saw in this man was how the entropy of her artistic career drew towards it others of the same. He too had that specific character combination of black hole emptiness and gravitational pull. Just like the artist he toured with, he had a certain stickiness that felt like he would make it solo some day. But just like the singer he supported, that “it” factor that likely would make him famous, was not from the expansive sparkle of his soul, but from an entropic pull. It was not expansive, but constrictive.

When we listen to music or when we engage in any art, we must ask ourselves, “Does this make me feel expansive? Does it make me feel constrictive?”

We are organic beings, connected to a vast universe. We have free will. We can easily move away from evolution just as much as we can move in alignment with it. It is entirely up to us to manage our consciousness and evolve. When we evolve, we move away from suffering. When we remain attached in the dark, we suffer. The character Cypher in the movie “The Matrix” reminds us of this. He says:

You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak] Ignorance is bliss.

Just like the idea of eating the steak in the Matrix tasted good only in the mind because in essence it was not real, art that is based on surface gratification will satisfy only the surface personality temporarily but will not ultimately support your freedom. Only when you have the courage to go deeper and touch the eternal does suffering cease.

Anything we take in through our sense organs has a vibrational presence. We must make sure that what we ingest is in our highest good as ultimately, that is what is in the highest good for all. My suggestion is, ingest only deliciously, nutritious, rooted, expansive and vital art that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs: “YES LIFE!”

My next post will be on Sunday. Until then, have creative fun!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food - Part 4: A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist

(Continued from The Source of Creativity: Ego or Selflessness)

I step into gold spandex, put on an elaborate head dress and summon the Cosmic Intelligence to become Natamba, the Goddess from Avalon, the title character in my current show. I feel that I am part of a new generation of multi-media artists that I call multi-dimensional co-creators.

As a multidimensional co-creator, I am aware that I am part of a vast universe, and I feel I work with the palette of broad understanding that everything I see around me is a reflection of what I think, feel and believe. My thoughts are literally creating my reality.

I know that the creative process, whether conscious or not, taps into a collective field of energy, to such an extent that literally what we each do, think and create both reflects and shifts the directive of our collective consciousness as a whole. I choose to consciously tap into that vast pool and see how far down the rabbit hole Natamba, my gold spandex and I can go.

Multi-dimensional co-creators like myself are aware that no one person is an island. I am interconnected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of my personal will and ego. I believe that we each have the responsibility to manage our energy and learning to rest in rooted, vital expansion. I can see this need for personal responsibility in the power our media has to affect all of our lives. Our media is a reflection of who we are. If we were an enlightened society, our media would reflect that consciousness.

Because of the power of the media, I feel that the role and corresponding responsibility of the artist throughout history has never been more potent. Through the conscious co-creation between the artist’s inner inspiration and the collective field of consciousness, artists have the ability to assist a shift in human consciousness, if they so choose.

Joseph Campbell, the American mythology professor, writer and orator said, “The function of the artist is the mythologization of the environment and the world.” He believed it was the role of the artist to give a current voice to the divine intelligence whose source is beyond time and space, to re-interpret myths and communicate them in today’s language.

"Natamba" is about switching on to the fullness of who you are, your truest potential. The show explores an ancient message in a modern world. It uses the most broad-reaching language accessible to artists today, multi-media rooted in modern technology that accesses audiences globally. As well, the show taps into multidimensional knowing, which touches and stirs the already present quiet soul-wisdom, waiting to be switched on in each human being.

Reminiscent of - yet standing apart from - the famous counterculture Timothy Leary’s phrase “Turn on, tune in, drop out”, my character Natamba summarizes the notion of the Positive Possibilities as: “Be here. I Am. Now.” Being fully present in I Am consciousness is at the root of the Positive Possibilities.

"Natamba" is one expression of a new generation of multi-media art that accesses the greatest voice available to artists today. We all are interconnected and play our part in contributing to the collective conscious energy field. It is up to us if we will support the greater evolutionary directive through the release of our egoic attachments, or if we support involution. Through the palette and potency of conscious multi-dimensional co-creation, we each play our part in consciously tapping into and contributing to our collective energy field. I have consciously chosen to weave together my love of yogic consciousness, and of electronic, dance pop. What is your joy? Tap in to the collective energy field and support the shift to the positive possibilities. These are exciting times.

(Continues tomorrow with Multidimensional Co-Creators: Who or What is Creating?)

PS: Don’t forget that submissions are due today for this week’s question. Send your to

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food - Part 3: The Source of Creativity - Ego or Selflessness

(Continued from The Power of Intention)

Some people create art through pain and tension. Some thrive on tight deadlines and panic. Others need relaxed quiet in which to create. Though I can meet a painful situation and create, I tend to use the creative force to move through the pain towards expansion. Though some artists rest in pain and seem to need it to create, pain to me is passing. At best, it is a catalyst to propel me towards healing. It is not an end in itself.

When I wrote the song for 9/11, the pain I witnessed and the compassion I felt cracked open a well of goodness and interconnection. I could have written about injustice and anger, but more sincerely for me, more powerful for me was the call to rest in the field of interconnection.

I have written angry songs, judgmental songs, indignant songs, sad songs and happy songs, but if they do not come from a place of sincerity and honesty, they never make it past my song book and into a recording. I am very picky that way. For me, art is a spiritual practice, a way to challenge my ego and grind it down, so that it dissolves back to the One source.

Some are fueled by accolade and fame, while others hold themselves back and hide in the shadows wondering why. Both are an expression of the ego and living in fear. You can be on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people and never further from your soul voice. If an artistic expression is fueled by the ego, an audience member who seeks to hide and mask pain in their own life will likely resonate with it; while those that seek honesty and humility will not find it appealing.

The source of creativity plays a major part in the end artistic product. I feel artists either create from wanting approval, love, acceptance, etc… or from selflessness, service, surrender, love. The voice of the soul is connected to the infinite. When the artist’s soul speaks, their ego dies a little and so can the ego of the audience. But when the artist’s neuroses drive the creative process, we end up with a potentially catchy piece that can amplify the neuroses in others.

For the most part, I write and create music and produce my shows from a place of joy. Often with a smile on my face while at the computer producing, I am told I am like a kid in a toyshop. I can be seen literally jumping up and down when a certain resonance comes together in a song or a production. I just feel so aligned, so alive, so purposeful and complete. I watch my body to see if I feel expansive or constrictive. I consciously choose to create through expansion.

I wrote and produced my CD and show by following my joy. I am not talking about being happy without sincerity. I speak of the expansive expression of my soul that feels positive and tuned into life. I feel that when I connect to my joy, I contribute to the vibration of joy on the planet.

I wish deeply for all beings to be free, for all to be happy, for all to be without suffering. As such, I must first align my consciousness with these qualities so that I may serve others. I am part of a continual inner purification process in so doing. Housecleaning always starts at home. If we are to truly serve others, we must empty ourselves to be vessels for the divine. For me, emptiness comes from the dissolving of the ego, when we get out of our own way and allow Grace to flow. I feel both empty and full when creating and performing.

I am inspired by what my guru Mata Amritanadamayi Devi (Amma) says about music:

Q: Amma, being an artist, a musician, I would like to know what my attitude toward my profession should be and how to express more and more of my musical talents?

Amma: Art is God’s beauty manifested in the form of music, painting, dance and so forth. It is one of the easiest ways to realize one’s inherent divinity.
There are many saints who found God through music. So, you are specially blessed to be a musician. In regards to your attitude toward your profession, be a beginner, a child in front of God, in front of the divine. This will enable you to tap into the infinite possibilities of your mind. And this, in turn, will help you manifest more and more of your musical talents in a much deeper way.

Q: But, Amma, how to be a child, a beginner?

Amma: Just by accepting and recognizing your ignorance, you automatically become a beginner.

Q: I understand that, but I am not completely ignorant. I am a trained musician.
Amma: How much training do you have?

Q: I studied music for six years and have been a performing artist for the last 14 years.

Amma: How big is space?

Q (sounding a little puzzled): I don’t understand Your question.

Amma (smiling): You don’t understand the question because you don’t understand space, isn’t it?

Q (shrugging his shoulders): Maybe.

Amma: Maybe?

Q: But what is the connection between my question and Your asking, “How big is space?”

Amma: There is a connection. Pure music is as big as space. It is God. It is pure knowledge. It is the secret of allowing the pure sound of the universe to flow through you. You cannot learn music in 20 years. You may have been singing for the last 20 years, but to truly understand music means to realize music as your own Self. In order to realize music as your Self, you need to allow music to completely possess you. For more music to occupy your heart, you need to create more space within. More thoughts mean less space. Now, contemplate on this, “How much space do I have within me to spare for pure music?”

If you really wish more and more of your musical talents to manifest, lessen the quantity of unnecessary thoughts and allow more space for the energy of music to flow through you.

- From Amma’s Heart

(Continues tomorrow with A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist: the Multi-Dimensional Co-Creator)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food - Part 2: The Power of Intention


(Continued from Personal Perception and the Universal)

I had to take a few steps back before I sent out the video of me singing and playing the piano the other day on 9/11. After walking away, taking some space, I looked at the take with as much objectivity as I could. Technically, it was not one of my best “performances” of the song “You Gotta Believe”, but there was a presence in the delivery that somehow I felt I wanted to share. I decided to send it out mostly because it gave me goosebumps as I heard it back. What was it that gave me goosebumps? I asked a couple friends to watch it, and observed their reaction. I saw them too shudder a couple of times. Why did they respond that way? I could guess, but ultimately, I don’t know. It just felt right to send it so I did. I feel very sincere in singing about 9/11, so much so that I cried after the tape was off. Perhaps that vulnerability and sincerity came across. When I put the video out there, I wanted to communicate with transparent honesty above delivering with technical perfection.

All art communicates, whether it is done through narrative, colour, light, mood or vibration. After we have spent time with a work of art, we either feel we have been touched or not. Why then does certain art make us feel invigorated and others depleted? Why do certain songs have us tapping our feet but wanting to run out of the room?

I believe that the power of intention is at least in part responsible for how music makes me feel. My life is dedicated to a spiritual honesty. I am therefore more likely to resonate with music that communicates sincerity and supports evolution, connection and expansion than music that comes from the ego. I find the style of music does not matter as much as the creative intention.

If someone is writing a song from a place of “gotta get it right” or “wanna make a million bucks”, I feel it. I have heard songs on the radio that, on paper, would be a song I would write. The lyrics seem positive, the rhythm catchy, and the melody imaginative. But the song either leaves me flat or makes me feel unwell and I need to change the station. If the songwriter and performers are creating from ego, to me, it comes across.

My body never lies. It has been a great teacher and friend. When my consciousness rests in a place of expansion, my body feels relaxed and expansive. When I am disconnected or spaced out, my body is tense or agitated. My body is like a litmus test for my state of consciousness. It keeps me honest, humble and tuned in.

So I usually go to my body for advice on sounds and art. I ask myself, how does it feel? Not just emotionally, but physically. If I were to look at a painting, does the collection of colours, textures, mood and tone make me feel expansive? Or when I look at it, do I feel like a flower that quickly fades?

In art, there is both the personal and the transpersonal. To me, powerful art is where the artist touches the realm of the transpersonal, when it goes beyond the ego of the creator(s) and accesses the timeless and eternal. Great art can become a vehicle to cultivate our human potential. It can remind us of our divinity. It can help guide our way home. It can help dissolve the ego so that we may be rooted in selflessness.

(Continues tomorrow with The Source of Creativity: Ego or Selflessness)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food


Dear Parvati,
I have been thinking about creative expression and how not all expressions are expansive. I recently had a pop song stuck in my head (Adele's "Someone Like You"), and realized that the song is just glorifying the idea, amplifying the energy, of remaining stuck holding on to something instead of moving on with life. Then, last week I was in a shoe store and I heard Lady Gaga's "Alejandro", and while it was catchy, I also felt a strong sense of unease in my body at being exposed to these sounds, and was deeply relieved to get out of there. There are other artists whose music makes me feel good, like Eva Cassidy or Chicane. Your music feels really good and nourishing to me. Some classical music feels good, but not all. Good energy doesn't seem to be tied to the genre of music or even to the words (there are songs with apparently positive messages that feel deeply uncomfortable for me). So how do we know when a work of art of any kind is nourishing our spirit? How do we know when engaging with a song or other work is taking us off path? And how do we know when our creative impulses are in service to the highest good?


Thank you for sending in this question. Art and creativity are very close to my heart, as you know.

Creativity ultimately is a personal thing. We each have unique taste. We will respond differently to various artistic expressions. Some will feel boosted while others deflated by the same work of art. So are there any universal themes that tie artistry together?

No one song, composition, opera, symphony or concerto will make everyone feel the same way. If there are a thousand people in a room at a gig, there will be a thousand opinions about the music. That is part of human nature. We all perceive differently.

But deeper than perception, musicology and music therapy show us that certain sounds can cause a universal response. For example, minor musical keys tend to feel somber as compared to a major key. Chords that feel more open, such as a major seventh or eleventh chord, will feel more expansive, whereas a major triad will provide a sense of strength and stability. These are the colours that a composer has to use as he/she paints a sonic landscape. His/her specific collection of sounds that expand versus sounds that constrict creates the unique artist expression of that composition.

The same is true for dancers. Certain physical expressions will emit the emotion of hope where as others will communicate despair. Bringing the various emotional expressions into a choreographed piece will communicate the overall message of the artist. And the same would follow for painters, filmmakers, writers etc.

Beyond this more analytic approach to art, if we are going to look at how art nourishes the spirit, we need to explore the power of intention and consciousness and what those do to the creative process. For example, what makes the same singer have different recordings of a song and one makes your spine tingle and the other one leaves you flat? We could say great pitch, tone, etc… We could say that the unheard but sensed overtones varied based on the particular performance and that affected how we felt about it. Maybe there was a certain “je ne sais quoi” in the performance that contributed to a presence in the voice that just felt right, even if it was not technically perfect.

A singer can sing a supposedly happy song in a melancholic way by changing the inflexion of his/her voice or by adapting the speed and tone used. Depending on the state of consciousness at the time of creation, a piece with happy lyrics can come across as manipulative or insincere.

Emotional presence and the state of mind are communicated in the work of art. On this, we likely could all agree. What about the intention that the artist has to create? Does that affect the artistic work? How does intention affect the audience when the art is delivered? Does it change the way we experience art?

(Continued tomorrow with The Power of Intention)


Ask Parvati 29 Is Coming This Afternoon

Dear friends,

I have been working almost around the clock to prepare for upcoming shows in the US. As such, I will be posting today's blog entry this afternoon.

I really appreciate and value your support and viewership.


Sunday, September 11, 2011



This week, I have been thinking a lot about 9/11, the horrors of that day, the suffering thoughts and acts that led to the crisis and the suffering in so many that followed the crash. I have also been reflecting upon the way music connects, heals, inspires and touches people. Sound can expand, amplify and support human potentiality or be a vehicle for energies that destroy life.

Since today marks the ten-year anniversary of the tragic fall of the twin towers, I feel I need to acknowledge this memorial before digging more deeply into the question that I was asked this week. Interestingly, the question relates to the power of art to heal or destroy and how to discern when the energy behind a piece is in support of the evolutionary flow or not. It is a topic very close to my soul-home, and one that ties in perfectly with what I felt I needed to express today.Tomorrow, I will post the full question and dive more deeply into the specific question. Today, I need to honour and acknowledge 9/11 through my own experience of songwriting and singing.

Witnessing the twin towers fall was an experience for me of tremendous tragedy that also birthed a song of hope and possibility. That thought still brings pause to my mind. Why did something so horrific spawn a song called “You Gotta Believe”? What arose from my soul, after having seen the towers fall in real time, was not aggression and hatred, but hope and the call for connection. The experience reinforced for me the power of music to heal. It could also be a messenger of hope and love to uplift those that heard it.

The song that was born for me the day the twin towers fell was a reflection of my soul experience of the tragedy. Consciously, I would not have said the words found in my lyrics (below). At the time, if I was asked how I felt, all I would have been able to share was shock, anger and fear. But behind those reactive thoughts, my inner knowing had a different message. My rooted focus deep down in the midst of horror was on the goodness of life. My soul was anchored in the notion that we must believe, despite the presence of revenge, hate and evil, in human potentiality and our capacity to love.

Song writing, like any art form, is a mysterious process. For me, it is a sort of creative free fall based on letting go of control and the knowing mind while opening in trust to a mystical possibility of interconnection. What arises from the process is for me never known, but a respectful unfolding of the voice of the soul. It does not necessarily express my personality, but is an opportunity to tap into a zone where we are all connected. The way it is expressed is a reflection of my personality, the style of music, the choice of words. But deeper, it is as though doors temporarily open to a sacred space where we are all one. I can peer into it for a moment, breathe in the beauty to then bring back and share through an expressive exhale the splendor and expansion of it all.

The 9/11 tragedy obviously changed the city of New York, not only physically, but at a soul level. I lived there for some time before 9/11 and often felt on edge, tense and jumpy. There was a dominant, tribal law, a pulsating bass note that seemed to throb below the streets and emanate through the city. To me, it was intensely non-negotiable. It felt harsh and invoked an attitude of the survival of the fittest, a bestial, aggressive energy that said seize or be seized.

After 9/11, the city was brought to its knees. In the brokenness, horror and shock, something opened.  I found people more raw, real and vulnerable. Connection, community, honesty, sincerity, kindness, care and love were like diamonds that had been excavated in the blast from the human soul. They were sparkling and could be seen and shared, brought to the light through the impact of the crash. Tragedy has a way of cracking open our ego to reveal a more humble self.
The day the towers were hit, I unknowingly was working on a piano riff at my parents’ home. My creative flow was interrupted by my father who came running down to the main floor to let me know I needed to stop what I was doing and go upstairs to see the TV.

Shocked, horrified, I could not believe my eyes. Still shaking, the dust of the buildings not yet settled, I went back to the piano with all the emotion swirling about, the piano riff still fresh in my mind. What came out almost immediately was this song, “You Gotta Believe”. I had the honour to sing it for the city of New York some time later at the world famous Madison Square Garden.

Even when I sing it today, I still shake. You may not see, but I did in the video I share here. What you do not see in the video is that after the video camera was turned off, I cried. Singing it, thinking of those that died, those who suffer from violent crimes, brought me right back to the images I saw when the twin towers fell. I also thought of my dad who is now gone and felt grateful for the zest for life he taught me. These are the lyrics from “You Gotta Believe”:

If this moment were your very last, how would you want it to be?
What do you need to do to be at peace? Do you need to make that apology?
There’s no better time than this moment we now have
To live the way that you want to be.
What will be in your heart when you leave?
You gotta believe in the good of life and what you feel!
You gotta believe in the power of love and what is real!
You gotta believe! You gotta believe!

Would you want to go in the midst of fear or having a temper tantrum?

Do you want to wait until it’s too late To say you could’ve or you would’ve or you should’ve been?
Are you brave enough to look within? It’s easier to point out others' sins
Than to see where we each have erred, how we could have shared, how we could’ve cared.
You gotta believe in the good of life and what you feel!

You gotta believe in the power of love and what is real!
You gotta believe! You gotta believe!

Life’s a wake up call how we’re all afraid to fall without the love we all need.

What will it take, more raising the stakes, for your eyes to fully see, for your heart to remember its divinity?
You gotta believe in the good of life and what you feel!
You gotta believe in the power of love and what is real!
You gotta believe! You gotta believe!

May we all believe in the goodness of life. May we all feel love. May we learn from these tragic reminders of our human frailty and live each day with fullness, gratitude and honour. Our human magnificence is a gift we are called to cherish, not take for granted. Our time on Earth is to be celebrated, not squandered mindlessly.

Yes, horrors happen. Sadly at this time in our human evolution, such atrocities exist. But greater than those who choose to live in the dark and act in suffering is the potential for human greatness and good. Those who live by suffering teach us to choose differently. When we look with humility, we can see through them that we choose not to hate, but to love, not to attack, but to understand, not to destroy, but to create. We each have a choice. It is in the way we face adversity that reveals our true self.

(More to follow tomorrow)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions - Part 6: Guidance from the Enlightened


(Continued from The Rise And Fall Of Emotions)

“He who sees all beings in his own Self

and his own Self in all beings,

by virtue of that realization, feels no hatred.

He who has known that all beings

have become one with his own Self,

and he who has seen the oneness of existence,

what sorrow and what delusion can overwhelm him?”

- Isavasya Upanishad

We have explored this week the relationship between enlightenment and emotions. Enlightenment is a topic that is beyond most of us, as most of us are not enlightened. The masters show us the way through the perils of the mind and our tendency for attachment.

When we look at dealing with emotions along the path, we must remember that to feel better than or more evolved than another person, immediately lets us know that we are in our ego. The masters tell us that in an enlightened state, we would see all as divinity. There is no greater than or lesser than feeling in the divine.

We are human beings, sentient beings, returning to love. Emotions will come. Emotions will go. Until we are enlightened, we learn to witness them in ourselves and in others, without attachment. This is our practice until we are established in an open, flowing field of wisdom-compassion. We learn to respond to our emotions rather than react to them.

A friend of mine found out I was writing on this topic this week and sent me the most perfect quote from Amma, that I feel answers this week’s question perfectly. In the words of a true master, who resides in the One, Amma says:

“Enlightenment is not a rock-like state where one loses all inner feelings. It is a state of mind, a spiritual attainment into which you can withdraw yourself and remain absorbed whenever you want. After you tap into the infinite source of energy, your capacity to feel and express everything gains a special, unearthly beauty and depth. If an enlightened person wishes, he or she can express emotions in whatever intensity he or she desires.

Sri Rama cried when the demon king, Ravana, kidnapped his holy consort, Sita. In fact, lamenting like a mortal human being, he asked every creature in the forest, "Have you seen my Sita, where did she go, leaving me alone?" Krishna's eyes were filled with tears when He saw his dear friend Sudama after a very long time. Similar incidents are there in Christ's and Buddha's lives as well. These Mahatmas were as expansive as limitless space and therefore could reflect any emotion they wanted. They were reflective, not reactive.

Like a mirror, Mahatmas respond to situations with perfect spontaneity. Eating when you are hungry is a response. Whereas, eating whenever you see food is a reaction. It is also a disease. Responding to a particular situation, remaining unaffected by it and then moving to the next moment is what a Mahatma does.

Feeling and expressing emotions and honestly sharing them without reservation only adds to an enlightened being's spiritual splendor and glory. It is wrong to see that as a weakness. It should rather be considered as an expression of their compassion and love in a much more human way. Otherwise, how could ordinary humans understand their concern and love?”

May you witness the flow of your emotions and learn to rest in the field of true compassion for self and all beings. May you serve love by witnessing the ebb and flow of your thoughts and emotions. May you learn to love and serve the greatest good in all as you express presence by being in non-resistance to what is. May you move swiftly along your evolutionary path to enlightenment.


PS: My next post will be this Sunday.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions - Part 5: The Rise and Fall of Emotions


(Continued from Body, Mind, Emotion And Compassion)

“The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.” - Eckhart Tolle

Learning to witness is essential as we learn to let go of our identification with our ego and our emotions. On the journey towards enlightenment, we will experience periods when the mind is still and pure. In this state, we can witness and watch life from a place of spacious presence. Life arises. We witness. We are part of life, also dancing, yet still, watching the dance.

This space between thoughts is where truth lies. In this, is the eternal, the reality of existence, the enlightened presence. As we learn to meditate and evolve, we learn to find more space between our thoughts and emotions, so that the grip of our mind softens and our emotional flux becomes more balanced.

There is a reality that exists beyond our mind and beyond the up and downs of our moods and our feelings. This is an infinite space that is, that always has been. Our purpose is to rest in the fullness of that space and allow ourselves to be one with it. In that space is pure consciousness. All of life is pure consciousness arising, yet we think, we separate, we identify with our minds and allow our ego to control our life. We become constrictive and we lose sight of that space.

As we progress along the path to enlightenment, our emotions provide us with humbling guideposts, mirroring the way we identify with our mind. We learn how involved we are with the story, rather than witnessing what is in the space of fullness. When we are a witness, we are not cold, but warm, connected, and ultimately compassionate. Witnessing does not mean not having feelings, not expressing vitality and interconnection. Witnessing means remaining rooted in the expansion, even when experiencing potentially constrictive situations. We see the constriction. We understand it for what it is. It is identification with the temporal, with the mind, with the passing.

There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is passing. We feel happy, then we feel sad. But joy is connected to the infinite space beyond the mind, to the eternal voice of the soul as it expresses itself in this human form.

Enlightened masters tell us to watch the rise and fall of the mind, like the waves of the ocean. The waves are not the ocean, just the surface agitation. The ocean is deep, powerful and vast, just like the space beyond thoughts.

I would imagine that perhaps enlightened masters do not feel emotions the way we do, but rest in the field of pure compassion. Based on the scriptural reference in the Bhagavad Gita, I would guess that an enlightened being is beyond the rise and fall of emotion, as he resides in the all-pervading field of pure consciousness: “When you have reached enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no longer. In the light of that knowledge you will see the entire creation within your own Atman and in me.” - Bhagavad Gita 4:35

Along our path to enlightenment, we learn to respond to, rather than react to emotions, until we are in a oneness state of pure consciousness, residing in pure compassion. Until such time, we witness the rise and fall of our emotional landscape, like waves upon an ocean. As we watch the waves, even delight in their dance, we remember that we are as vast as the ocean and as open as the sky.

(Continued tomorrow with Guidance From The Enlightened)

REMINDER: Don’t forget that today submissions are due for this week’s Ask Parvati blog. Send your questions to


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions - Part 4: Body, Mind, Emotion and Compassion


(Continued from What Is The Mind?)

“When the self-created wall of the ego is lifted, you will realize that the dualistic nature of the world is only an external appearance, and that, in essence, everything is a whole, a single unity.” - Amma

When we “want”, we are directed by the energies of our mind and ego. When we are directed by our ego, we inevitably suffer. We can hurt ourselves and we can even hurt others. Our mind does not liberate us. Identifying with our mind restricts us and causes us pain.

Eckhart Tolle’s statement is succinct and clear: “Pain is inevitable as long as you are identified with your mind.” In our process of enlightenment, we learn to slowly dissolve the grip of our mind so that we may return to the field of pure consciousness and become enlightened.

As we dissolve the grip of the mind and of our ego, we face our emotional landscape. Our emotions exist as a bridge between our body and our mind. They are a way our mind expresses itself through our body. As we allow for more space in our mind, our emotions come more to the surface of our field of awareness. So too does the electrical information of all that is around us, including the emotions others may feel.

Emotions move through our body as a means for us to understand more viscerally our mental reactions to thoughts. When we feel afraid, our heart races. When we feel angry, our temperature rises. We feel in response to our thoughts. But our thoughts are not always pure and clear. In fact, our mind tends to only be a collection of expectations and memories. So our emotions tend to be based on the past and the future.

Emotional maturity is essential along the path to enlightenment. We are sentient beings. We feel. It is part of our nature. Just as with thoughts, there is nothing wrong or bad with emotions. There are painful ones and more pleasant ones. But they too, just like thoughts, are temporal. They are not eternal. They come and go. So just as with thoughts, we learn to find the space between emotions.

When the mind is clear, wisdom may effortlessly arise. Similarly, when our emotions are quiet, we may experience the well of compassion. Compassion is not an emotion, but a state of being. Unlike emotions, it is eternal. It is vast and unbound, unaffected by the temporal. It is a state that arises through the release of our identification with our emotions. Amma says:

"Compassion does not see the faults of others. It does not see the weaknesses of people. It makes no distinction between good and bad people. Compassion cannot draw a line between two countries, two faiths or two religions. Compassion has no ego; thus there is no fear, lust or passion. Compassion simply forgives and forgets. Compassion is like a passage. Everything passes through it. Nothing can stay there. Compassion is love expressed in all its fullness."

As we evolve, we learn to move beyond the chatter of emotional reactions and allow the room for compassion to arise. But first, we must learn to witness the ebb and flow of what is, the tides of emotions that move through us, that move through others, with balance, presence and space.

(Continued tomorrow with The Rise And Fall Of Emotions)


REMINDER: Don’t forget that tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day for submissions for this week’s Ask Parvati blog. Send your questions to



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions - Part 3: What Is The Mind?


(Continued from Enlightenment Now)

“When the walls of a reservoir are destroyed, the waters rush out in all directions. Similarly, when the limitations of restlessness and delusion are removed by meditation, the consciousness of man spreads out to infinity and merges in the omnipresence of Spirit.” - Paramahamsa Yogananda

The mind only knows division. It knows the past as a body of memories. It feels it knows the future as a body of projections. Even though we feel we have lived the past so it is therefore for us “fact”, it is still only a collection of perceptual experiences that make up our reality. It is no more fixed, in essence, than our future, which is a series of perceptual projections based on anticipation and expectation.

When we explore the mind, we see that in fact, it does not exist by any other means than by the energy we give it. We believe our thoughts. We make them fixed. We feel that person hurt us because we experienced that in our past. That is the truth with which we identify. We feel that terrible thing will happen, because that is what we fear. Most of what we think and feel we “know” is a configuration of the mind, mental constructs to help make us feel in control, powerful, important.

But all thoughts are passing. There is no thought that is fixed, permanent or eternal. Thoughts exist within the realm of the temporal. They come. They go. New ones come again. It is the nature of the mind to think, and thinking it does. It goes on and on - thinking - until we bump up against grace and notice that perhaps what we think may not be so fixed and solid after all.

When we look at our lives, we see that what we think in fact is not all that reliable. We think for sure we will get that promotion, or that we won’t get it. We get ourselves all worked up about it, either with excitement or with foreboding. Then the opposite occurs and we are relieved, happy or sad. When the thing we like happens, we are happy. When it does not, we are sad. We are like weathervanes turning in the winds of our passing, ever changing thoughts.

So then what is beyond the mind? Is there something that is not subject to moods, to the ebb and flow, to every whim and change? Does the eternal exist?

Most of us have had, at some point or another, an arresting experience where what we thought was real, turns out to be false. We are shocked, shaken, and a whole new reality opens up to us. In that opening, something magical occurs. Perhaps we notice it. Perhaps we are too afraid of it, so we shake it off and close down again.

If we remain open, we begin to see that between our thoughts is a space, just like the pause that exists between each inhalation and exhalation. In that pause, lies possibility. Yogis have taught this wisdom for millennia through meditation and breathing practices, in which the aspirant learns to observe the space between.

Amma guides us through our attachment to our ego by saying: “By extinguishing the smaller flame of ego, you will lose your identity as a small, limited individual. Nevertheless, this is absolutely nothing compared to what you gain from that apparent loss - the sun of pure knowledge, the inextinguishable light. Also, when you lose your identity as a small, limited self, you become one with the bigger than the biggest, the universe, the unconditional consciousness.”

In the space between, we open up to the field of pure consciousness that has been there all along. It seems that is why our way of understanding change is not the same as how an enlightened being understands change. We see the change we need to make through the lens of our limited, ego self. We either see our self as good, or bad, because that is all the ego can do: divide.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna: "What is day for me is night for all beings, and what is night for me is day for all beings." This reference reminds us that what we perceive with our minds is not the way for the enlightened master.

The change we are inspired to embody in the process of enlightenment is one that dissolves the grip of the mind and opens us to the field of possibility that lies as a substratum beyond it. This, in essence, is at the root of meditation practice and ultimately, enlightenment: becoming one with the space through which pure consciousness arises. Eckhart Tolle goes on to say:

“As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.”

As we begin to loosen the grip of our mind and ego, we create space in which we can explore possibility. Part of what arises in the space is the flow of our emotions. So how do we learn to master that flow along our path to enlightenment?

(Continued tomorrow with Body, Mind, Emotion And Compassion)


Monday, September 5, 2011

Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions - Part 2: Enlightenment Now


(Continued from What Is Enlightenment?)

“Self-realization is the knowing - in body, mind and soul - that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God's omnipresence is our omnipresence; that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing.” - Paramahamsa Yogananda

It is my understanding from my meditation practice, and from guidance from great teachers, that our state of unity with the One already exists, but we, for the most part, cannot see it because we are so busy, so caught up with our mind. This is why great masters tell us, it already is, that we can rest into the perfection of the now.

We on the other hand are used to identifying with our mind, to feeling that our ego is in control. We do not allow ourselves to trust and to let go. It is a bit like we are so focused on a tiny speck of cloud, thinking that it is the entire world, we miss the vastness of the sky and the infinite expanse of the universe. Amma describes this attachment to our ego so beautifully:

“Nobody likes to let go of the ego - it is so precious to everyone. However, once you have attained the state of egolessness, the world won't disappear, as you may think it will. The world will continue, but a chance takes place within you. Something is uncovered. You start seeing everything with the wonder and innocence of a child.”

We know that we are evolving, and that through evolution, we change. So we know that change is part of the process of moving towards enlightenment. However, the greats tell us that enlightenment does not actually involve change in the way most of us would think it to mean.

Most of us see change as to mean “be other than you are”, a sort of moving away from and moving towards something else. Yet the enlightened masters tell us that what we seek does not exist “out there”, but only in the infinite expanse of the now. We are told that what we seek is already here. We are told that what we are is already perfection. Great teachers like Eckhart Tolle say, “You find God the moment you realize that you don't need to seek God.”

Those kinds of thoughts can quickly become mentally confusing. Like the famous Zen koan by the Japanese teacher Hakuin Ekaky, “Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?” designed to throw a wrench in the mind’s sense of control, statement from the enlightened can leave us feeling confused, our minds reeling. For example, how can we become enlightened and also not change?

Most of us who are seeking to better ourselves or who consider enlightenment as a goal know that we have bad habits that must be overcome in order for us to evolve. In Sanskrit, teachers refer to these as our “vasanas”, our negative tendencies. We know we get ourselves into painful situations and we would like to stop doing so. So how can we already be in a state of perfection?

It seems that most of us get caught up in “wanting” to be other than we are, and therein lies the rub. We “want” to be free. We “want” to be happy. We “want” enlightenment. We “want” to have fewer emotional reactions or more emotional connection, so we live with anticipations and expectations, in dissonance with the fullness of the present moment. How many of us know how to let go and be with what actually is, now?

Eckhart Tolle says, “Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.”

The benevolent group of channeled guides from the Causal Realm known warmly as The Team beautifully repeat in most of their teachings that we are to practice non-resistance to what is. In previous blog entries, I have explored this idea in many different ways. If we are to move into an enlightened state and flow with emotions with wisdom compassion, we must practice non-resistance to what is.

We tend to live in a push/pull dynamic, resisting what is because we deem it “bad”, or we grab onto it because we deem it “good”. This is what the mind does. It divides. It categorizes. It tries to control, so that we feel important. But we are told that enlightenment is beyond the mind, so we know that somehow, the mind, our thoughts and our ego interfere with the experience of enlightenment.

We speak of the mind easily, as though we understand what it is. But what is the mind? How does it interfere with our evolutionary journey towards the One? And how do we get beyond it?

(Continued tomorrow with What Is The Mind?)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions - Part 1: What Is Enlightenment?


Dear Parvati,

When a person is enlightened do they still respond to human emotions the same way that, lets say, the average person would?


Thank you for this question. It is an important question in that there are many misconceptions about enlightenment, mostly because most of us are not yet fully enlightened. If we are lucky, we may have glimpses. But enlightenment is something most of us actually know very little about from personal experience.

They say that only the enlightened can recognize an enlightened being. So not yet being fully realized myself, I can only imagine what the end “goal” would be and how a fully realized being would respond to emotions. I have a sense based on what I have experienced and through learning from great masters.

Due to this, I feel it appropriate to talk about emotions and enlightenment in this blog referring to the body of experience that I can offer and in drawing upon to wisdom of the great masters that guide our way.

Unlike book learning, wisdom that comes from experience resonates in complete understanding through our entire being. There have been periods in my life of blissful flow and oneness, but not in a permanent way. I also experience states of division, separation and suffering. My journey is not yet complete. So we rely on the guidance of the great masters such as the Buddha and Christ to provide us with the tools and roadmaps to direct our journey to enlightenment.

So what is enlightenment? I understand enlightenment to be part of every human being’s destiny. We each are called to this state, to reach the “goal” (as some traditions call it) at some point through our many incarnations. In truth, we are one with pure consciousness. The process of our soul’s evolution involves a purification of our distorted perceptions so that we may realize our true, divine nature. This process is of personal benefit, and also of benefit to all beings, as we are all connected.

In the Hindu tradition, there is an understanding of four primary goals of human existence: dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (desire) and moksha (liberation). It is said that of these, the highest dharma is moksha, the experience of full realization.

There are various stages of enlightenment. In the early stages, we begin to awaken and realize that there is more to life than wanting and our perceptions. We start to question the nature of the mind and the grip of the ego. Then there are various stages of purification of the mind as the ego dissolves and we feel more interconnection. As we evolve, the ego holds less power and we slowly merge back to the One. Finally, we reside in a permanent state of oneness with pure, divine consciousness and feel a unity with all that is. In this final stage, we are no longer identified with the body or the mind. We have transcended even death itself.

The fully realized being, my guru, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, lovingly known as Amma or Mother, speaks eloquently of the dissolution of the ego:

“Within the bud of the ego, it is dark and narrow. When the bud gives way and the flower emerges, everything becomes beautiful and pervaded by the most glorious light. You come out of the dark into radiant light, from imprisonment to freedom, from ignorance to true knowledge. This world of diversity is transformed into perfect oneness. It happens within you, not externally.”

It is my understanding that when we return to the One, the final stage of enlightenment, we see all that is as a reflection of pure consciousness. All that is, is divine. In this state, we don’t have emotional reactions but still have the capacity for emotion, while abiding in the equanimous state of pure compassion.

This is a very sophisticated state of being, one very few know, one that is true mastery. Such a state involves the absolute dissolution of the ego, of any notion of duality or separation and the complete merging into the flow of pure consciousness. When we are in the One, it is my understanding that we are in a permanent state of unity with the world, with the universe and with all of creation.

Amma speaks of this state of being with first hand experience:

“As the realization that everything is pervaded with Divine Consciousness dawns within you, you also see that every human being, everything in creation, is already Divine. The only difference is that you know that you and they are one with Divinity, but they do not. It is only a question of uncovering the truth.”

In the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred Hindu text, Krishna tells Arjuna that an enlightened being sees all things equally and loves all things equally. This passage expresses some of this notion:

“By seeing the Ultimate Consciousness equally everywhere, impartially situated, one does not degrade the embodied self, by the self; therefore reaching the supreme goal.” (Bhagavad Gita, 13:29)

So then how do we embody such a sophisticated state of equanimity and balance? The masters tell us, the answers lie right here, in the eternal now.

(Continued tomorrow with Enlightenment Now)