Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: May 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

On Friendship

The entire society around us has totally isolated us. In society there was never the need for a great relationship; everybody could relate to everybody and the flow was very effective and smooth and basic. Now it is not. You need three, four types of friends. One type you can go to lunch with. One kind you can go to dinner with. One kind you can visit and cry at their shoulder. One who you can go to and make them miserable. One who comes and makes you miserable. Lot of things; lots of types of relationships. Yet, you are lonely, you are isolated and you have lost communication and confidence. This has not happened to an individual. This has happened to the whole human race. --Yogi Bhajan


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Golden Sea

Here in Northern New Mexico we don't have the ocean, but we have miles and miles of sand--arroyos, dunes, great mountains of clay and sand formed by wind and rain. Last night I was on my usual walking route behind the ashram and it had been so transformed by the spring rains that I hardly recognized. Over a field of wild grass the setting sun caught the seed fronds so that it became a shimmering wave of light. So beautiful. And in that breathtaking moment I realized that everything changes. This landscape so fragile, yet so rugged has survived so many hundreds of years and will continue to transform again and again and again.

So, too, we spiritual pilgrims to this land continue to survive and transform only to be refreshed by spring rains--new insights, new vistas of the Self, and new understandings of our patterns. Things become clear. But it's generally the result of a great storm. Sometimes painful, often confusing, and generally uncomfortable.

There have been many times in my past where friendships have ended. Usually I was 'fired' for reasons various and sundry but generally because of judgement or misunderstanding on the part of them or myself. Because of this, I've learned that my opinions aren't what being a friend is about--even though I have plenty of them. Most of the time, friends just want someone to listen to them--not save them, not judge them, not teach them, not mother them. Or any of the other 'helpful' things people call friendship.

As time has passed, I've become more self-aware and more grounded in my own truth. And with that, I've recognized that friendships are fragile just like the environment here and sometimes they come and sometimes they go. Sometimes breaches can be healed and sometimes they cannot. Sometimes it simply changes. For the first time in my life, I've had to make choices about who I will continue to call a friend and who I'm willing to let go. It's been painful to be on this side of the equation. Generally, time takes care of these breaches. But sometimes the impact on the land, this fragile ground of the human psyche, is too great.

This is a reflection and also a prayer that the spring rains will continue to come and what is now a scar on my consciousness will heal into a golden sea, a rich new landscape, that covers the breach, that dry desert that warps the face of the land--the face of our friendship.


Friday, May 18, 2007


After weeks of promising you some samples, they're finally here....with the help of a friend, you'll find samples from each song on the forthcoming album. . . .please let me know what you think! I want to hear from you. In the next few days I'll post more about the album and the process of getting here, but for now just enjoy!

There's also a live link to Spirit Voyage so that you can find out more. . .

Sample songs from Nectar of The Name available June 15th at Spirit Voyage


Track 1: Aisa Naam

Track 2: Guru Ram Das

Track 3: The One I Love Copyright 2001 Gina Sala see

Track 4: Mera Man Loche (Meditation to Heal the Wounds of Love)

Track 5: Ardas Bhaee

Track 6: Nectar of the Name

Track 7: The Time Is Now

Track 8: Guru Dev Mata

THANK YOU DJ P.O.A.!!! For helping me post these!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

International Peace Conference

Last night I had the privelege of performing at the VIP dinner hosted by Sikh Dharma International for the guests of the International Peace Conference being held in Santa Fe this week. It was amazing to be in the same room with two Nobel Peace Laureates and the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi. One laureate was especially close to my heart, Rigoberta Menchu. I read her book years ago when I was first learning about the crisis in Guatemala. It was like being the room with Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr. She spoke so simply and honestly about the process of peace--it's about action.

I was really moved by the entire event. It gave me a new perspective on what we as a community of Sikhs do here in Espanola and throughout the world.

Let there be peace
Let there be peace of mind
Let there be peace with mankind
Let there be peace of the states
And let the world dwell within the force
of peace.

Peace to all
Love to all
Light to all.
---Yogi Bhajan


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


An interesting part of getting to know someone is finding out how well you work together, cook together, play together, and so on. As I get to know my beloved, my friend, I am continually amazed at the creative energy that flows between us when we're together--and in creative endeavor's anyway, we can take each other's feedback!

When we play music, it's as if it's a symbiotic dance--always listening, always responding, always flowing. When we work on websites together, either his or my work's, it's always an easy exchange of ideas and brainstorming. When we cook--well, we're both a bit protective of our cooking skills. He especially wants me out of the kitchen when he's in charge. But we've also collaborated on a few things that have turned out beautifully.

Someone observing us said we have a lot of Shakti together. I have to agree. I pray it's only the beginning of a very long collaboration.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flagrant Foul

Last night's game between the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs was a spectacle. I felt like a hockey game had broken out in the middle of my favorite sport! Or worse, that the days of the colliseum were back and we were waiting for the ref's thumbs up or thumbs down.

More bodies hit the floor last night in spectacular fashion than I've seen in years of watching the game. Elbows thrown, undercuts, outright pushes. The Suns played dirty and it won them the game. Not that the Spurs didn't have their moments, as well as their own team bully on board; but it felt more like a last gasp of frustration than outright unfair play. But in the end, they are the ones who took the bullet--Robert Horry ejected from the game.

I haven't checked the headlines, but the Suns may lose Staudemeier today for coming off the bench in the near brawl toward the end of the game. Basically, Barbosa got away with murder all night--who or what grants him special dispensation is beyond me. Nash was playing like he took one too many of something. On the other side of the court, Bowen was his typical bad boy self, but he looked like a kindergarten bully compared to what was happening on the Suns side of the ball. Duncan looked baffled as he quickly garned two offensive fouls in a row in the final quarter, Barry was thrown around like a rag doll; while Parker and Finley made some key plays but not enough as Finley missed the 3-pointer that could have taken the Spurs back into the lead in the final minutes; and Horry laid the final blow.

It was an ugly game and it doesn't bode well for the final three games of the series. If the refs don't put themselves into this match-up a little tighter, there's going to be a major brawl that could end up affecting the entire finals....which would not be good for the game.

So boys, come out and play clean. Remember, this is basketball.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

and also more disheartening. . . .here in Northern New Mexico tragic things happen everyday. Last week there was an especially horrific story of a 'Good Samaritan' killed for trying to help a pregnant woman being beaten by her 'parnter'. It was on a fairly busy state road that leads from Espanola to Abiquiu. Beautiful country--making this act of violence all the more surreal.

The good samaritan was run over by the perpetrator and killed. Today's headlines read, "Pregnant Woman Says She Will Marry the Man Who Beat Her" This of course makes the entire tragedy all the more incredible--and I do mean that in its most literal form, without credibility.

First of all, one can only hope that the perpetrator will be jailed for his actions. Secondly, what did this woman's father do to her? It's pitiful.

I don't like to use the word pity in reference to human beings and their decisions or choices, but clearly this is not a woman acting from choice as we understand it. Instead, she like the man who beat her, is acting from compulsion, that most beastly part of ourselves. Yogiji says that we are 1/3 beat, 1/3 human and 1/3 angel and it is our duty to at least become human, truly human--compassionate, kind, and caring. And then, with the grace of the fellowship and God, we can elevate ourselves to acts of angelic nature. But the beast is often the only part of our nature we ever express.

God help this woman and all others like her who are willing to accept abuse and call it love. God help all the families, the fathers and mothers, who don't uplift their daughters to be the graceful, powerful women they are--and instead instill in them such self-loathing that they stay in such dangerous situations, where abuse and pain are accepted because it's better than 'nothing.'

Yogiji often said that to uplift a woman is to uplift an entire generation. So, look around, see that young girl--say something to her today that will allow her to know her grace, her dignity, and her value. Uplift her and in so doing, uplift an entire generation.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Dedicate Your Birthday Revisited

So this week was my friend Ek Ong Kaar Kaur's Birthday and it reminded me to give you all an update on the Yogi Bhajan Legacy Birthday Project. So far we've raised almost $1500 on just a handfull of birthdays from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, to LA and a few here in Espanola. Each participant has been able to raise the goal of $300 or more. We're really excited that people have taken this idea to heart; please continue spreading the word. And if you'd like a really beautiful PDF to print out for your party, let me know, I can forward it to you. Sopurkh Singh of GRD design created it for us--and we are VERY grateful.

Ek Ong Kaar was raising money toward a particular project that will enable several of Yogiji's gurdwara lectures to be archived and produced for broadcast on JusPunjabi, a new cable network that caters to the Punjabi community living in the US and Canada. Exciting stuff!

So if you're birthday or anniversary is still to come this year--use it as an opportunity to take one more step toward realizing the dream of The Library of Teachings!

Sat Nam and Blessings.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sweet Honey in the Rock

It's always a risk to take your new honey to Sweet Honey....what if he doesn't like it? What if he isn't touched and moved by the power of these women, their voices? Plus there's the added pressure of it being your first big outing--dinner and a show. And you picked it....

But, much to his surprise and my relief, within the first 30 minutes, he was sitting on the edge of his seat, engaged, deeply listening, and even laughing.

It was a great show--more political than the first time I saw them, but then, we're in the middle of a terrible war now and we weren't then. I didn't cry through the entire thing as I did when I saw them in Seattle, but I was nevertheless moved by their performance, by their power and their presence.

We both commented that it made us miss the South.

If they're in your neighborhood go see them. You won't regret it!

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Seen at the Cinema


I agree with Stephanie Z. at Salon that Ryan Gosling is the kind of actor we're going to see from now on. So physical but so natural. So completely believeable--without playing himself (not a Robert Redford).

Anthony Hopkins plays his character in the typical inimitible creepy way. For being such a pleasant man in person (from what I read in the magazines), he can really embody the psychopath. Terrifying.

This movie is very well done. Interesting cinematography--I didn't like all of it--but it was interesting. It felt like an old 40s movie--not noir--but the classic murder mystery, plot driven rather than violence driven. It could very easily have been Gregory Peck and Hugh Laurie.

Highly recommend if you're in the mood for something smart--and a refreshing performance from Ryan Gosling. He's an Oscar winner; it's only a matter of time.