My very first deep friendship on Twitter was with Wayne Mcevilly. A fascinating gentleman who was as comfortable talking about Sanskrit and chanting SamaVeda shlokas, as he was fluid in playing Bach and Beethoven. It was his direct, honest, authentic as it gets approach to life that kept me around on Twitter when I was barely sure about what I was even doing on the medium. I finally got a hold of his “Bach Preludes and Fugues” on piano, and classical music entered my awareness. Among many phone conversations, I have learnt much from the journey of this musical mystic. (my interview with Wayne)
In his own unique way, Wayne taught me that we are all have a bit of the musical mystic within us. From the very dawn of our awareness in our mother’s wombs, sound is an integral part of our being. When sound find arrangement in pitch, tone, meter and such, it can become music. What are some of your earliest memories of sound or music?
The line between music and noise is often as fine as the tuning of our ears, the state of our mind, and the station of our heart. Indian classical music thus has different classes of musical compositions (called ragas), each of which are best suited to a particular time of the day, or even a particular season. Are there particular genres of music that you tune into, are attuned towards, depending on your mood or the state of your life?
One gift of music that has words attached to it is that we can be influenced by the words as much as we can be moved by the instruments. Some of the earliest mantras and shlokas (Sanskrit collections of syllables, words and hymns) were set to music in the form of meters – the most famous being the eight-step Gayatri. The rhythm of meters enabled for smriti (memorization) , and hence the ancient ‘scriptures’ were preserved through generations. What are some songs, prayers or hymns that were ‘passed on’ to you and have perhaps become an integral part of your life?
Beyond the external sound of music, of nature and the noise of our daily living, there is the incessant internal rhythm within us.
“Within ourselves is this eternal voice speaking of eternal freedom; its music is always going on!” – Vivekananda in ‘Practical Vedanta’
Our spiritual work, if we so choose to do it, is perhaps to take time, make time, to create a space of silence and stillness so that we can hear the musical rhythm that leads us to freedom. It is often in the company of fellow seekers (satsang) that we can find this space where we can do a ‘group sing-along’ (kirtan) in the presence of sound and light, embracing joy and bliss in our harmonious energies that contribute to the orchestra of community.
And who knows, someday, we may even learn, through sustained (inner) musical practice, we may discover anew some music, and even learn to sing some of the most difficult songs of life. And in the singing, we shall laugh and love life deeply again, as the healing spreads through our heart, and radiates to all who connect with us, in new radiant connections.
P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat – Sunday Aug 4 at 9amET in #SpiritChat – bring your favorite music to the kirtan and I will bring the tea and questions – Namaste – Kumud
A location, where my heart often tunes into its inner music…