Monday, January 17, 2011

A Song in My Heart

Hello Dear Ones, and welcome to my new blog! As I begin this first entry, I am celebrating the new name I've chosen for my yoga teaching work, Singing Heart Yoga. As a musician, songwriter and leader of devotional chanting, I feel that the name expresses the joining together of two deep passions in my life--singing and yoga. 

In sifting through the many possible ideas for names, I was reminded that, back in October of 1995, I attended a 5-day meditation retreat with the great Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. At that time, I was given a dharma name: "Wholehearted Voice of the Heart." Although I liked the sentiment it conveyed, it seemed rather long and awkward to use in any practical sense. So it sat on my altar, written in beautiful calligraphy on a certificate, reminding me to sing and live from the heart.  

Over the years, I have poured my heart into my music, my interfaith ministry work, and most recently the teaching of yoga, which for me includes chanting, singing, and prayer. It seemed a natural choice, and one that honored the spirit of my dharma name, to call my work Singing Heart Yoga.

Atha Yoga Nusasanam
"Now, with great respect and love (and a song in my heart!), the blessings of yoga instruction are offered." 
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, I,1

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.

Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

~Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

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Poetry, readings & words of wisdom from modern and ancient sources