Sweet Mystery Tour

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Location: San Jose, California, United States

I am the Maya half of Maya & Sage. I am the one who is prone to writing down flashes of what seem like insights and often turning those into songs or bhajans. I used to think I knew who I was, part of a married duo called Maya & Sage, Spirit Singers out to spread the energy of love and healing to the world. Now, I am seeing the possibilities of being even more than that. Many folks have asked us to write about our adventure into the unknown. To occasionally describe what our life is like with a saint guiding us to deeper truths. Our wish is to keep in touch. We will do our best to update you now and then and post the musings of Maya along the way. We hold you all close in our hearts and we are here if you need special prayers and healing. We are happy to practice the ancient ways as we learn to be healing lights in the world. Another way to keep up with our adventures and schedule is through our website.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ganesha Festival

We are basking in the energy of Ganesha, the elephant headed son of the Divine Mother. He is the remover of all impossible obstacles, the harmonizer of energies, the blesser of all things. We had the joy of watching a local artist create a Ganesha statue, sculpt it, and paint it. Then the decorating began. It turned into such a gorgeous scene with flowers and offerings of sugar cane and sweets. The village has been celebrating for three days...I can hear the fireworks as I write. Even the children love Ganesha.

Here is the Ganesha prayer from Sri Kaleshwar's book, Gifts of Shirdi Sai Baba:

Om Suklam Bhara-dharam
Vishnum Se-shivarnam
Chatur-bujam Prasanna-vadanam
Dhi-ya-ye Sarva Vignopa Shanta-ye

Om Agajanana Padmarkam Gajanana
Maharnisham Aneka-Dantanam
Yekadanta Mupasma-he

So as the huge elephant of Love clears our path, may your energy channels open and success be yours!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Discipline Required

Sometimes I’m hard on myself as I see the beautiful devotion of many of the students here. They seem so genuine in their connection.

It struck me as I look back that I have very little experience at devotion to gurus and specific paths. I have appreciated many teachers and practiced techniques over the years, but I had always put my allegiance to the “inner guru” (my unique blend of spirituality.)

I see how that same inner guru led me to find a teacher and lineage I can surrender to. The inner guru prepared me for this step. However, I was not prepared for so much ritual, conformity and discipline. Perhaps not being prepared is what is helping me to surrender to it.

I am learning to swim in the waters of soul science. Everyday I swish closer as I go through the motions, watch the questions float by and observe bubbles of truth rising to awareness. I am not naturally wired with a reserve of patience either.

But all things considered, hey…I’m doing pretty good. It’s a big sea and the ocean is deep so I will keep going and enjoy the sparks of light as I travel forth.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What a Pretty Picture

Imagine the couple sitting in deep meditation at the ashram. So peaceful, not a care in the world but finding God.

Actually, several weeks ago we started studying Vaastu, ancient Indian architecture based on the directions and the elements. We were told to read the entire book and know the subject in a week. Everyone frantically came out from temple and started studying. As we jumped into the knowledge, our fearless leader, Sri Kaleshwar modeled what we were reading by building the compound walls higher.

We looked around us at the Northeast and the Southwest and we understood some of Swami’s recent comments about the ashram vaastu. A week or so later, Swami showed up at a bhajan evening to inform us that the digging would begin the next day. It would take a month of non-stop digging to remove the dirt to lower the Northeast corner and put that same dirt in the Southwest to bring in height and weight. This would help to bring up the marks for perfect Vaastu for the ashram and anyone who thinks of it as their home.

We were imagining the digging to go somewhat like the compound walls with locals carrying containers on their heads and the days rolling by with dirt quietly being moved from one place to another. Well, they don’t call it the Divine Mystery Fort for nothing. The next day, in came several huge backhoes, five dump trucks and a huge crew of workers. It was loud motorized earthmoving from early morning until late at night. Oh by the way, guess where all the meditators live? In the Southwest corner where the new dirt is dumped. There is no escaping the noise, and the dirt. It is the earth element in action, blessing of the earth angel, Bhuteshwari.

So next time you think of us, you may notice a light coating of brownish desert dirt on our clean white outfits. Is this where the expression “True Grit” was born??? Yippe ki ow ki ay!!!

Spiritual Vocabulary

In spiritual circles discussions can quickly turn from normal family, career, and sports topics to things like illusion, karma, and dharma. I am currently swimming in this sea and I contemplate words like this daily.

What is illusion? How is it different for the normal everyday life and for the spiritual soul researcher? What is karma? How does it affect me and the people I love and care about? What is dharma and how do I know it in my life different from desire or illusion or even karmic debt being played out in my current life? Is this the longing to know how it all works and who I really am?

It is a gnawing feeling to be in such mystery and know there is so much more to every move than meets the eye. It is hard to trust my humanness and yet I live in this body and operate from here. How do I make peace with it all?

I can hear Jonathan’s voice now, ” Do your sadhana and build resistance power. Build your protection circles and just keep going in faith and patience.” We are so blessed, having had such incredible guidance from our teachers Jonathan and Alx. They are never afraid to tell it like it is and we were prepared before coming here. We heard references and stories about the illusion. We were always encouraged to be honing in on what we deeply want. We talked about karma and yet, to be here peeling back the beliefs and looking at the essence of these words leaves me speechless.

Who Needs Fun?

Imagine hearing this as a North American Sagittarian. A person I admire here at the Penukonda ashram had been very sick for over two weeks. I watched the life force slipping away. We talked briefly on the stairs one day and he said he was so happy. I said, “But it isn’t any fun!” His response, “As long as were happy, who needs fun? I walked away quite twisted. I chewed on that idea for days. Then my opportunity arrived to implement that concept myself.

I had been leading the organization of the evening bhajans once every three days for several weeks. I was inviting interesting musicians and singers to join. We practiced for an hour before the evening singing began. It was really fun! The creativity flowed, we took turns picking songs and we put together the line up for the evening. It was a courageous act of love for all of us. When the group gathered in the Baba Temple, we made mistakes and had moments of complete synchronicity as we led the singers in devotional songs.

Well, things change around here overnight. The person in charge of the music SEVA team (selfless service) was directed to start traditional bhajan classes and to develop a Kaleshwar brand of bhajan singing. It turned out that I didn’t fit because I had a different style that needed grooming. I took it personally, mistake number one. I tried to make a case for diversity, mistake number two. Then I got into an emotional stir fry with the addition of the bhajan director adding ghee in the name of Baba. Have you ever tried to get someone to see clearly when their glasses are fogged up. Waiting for the fog to clear is helpful. I didn’t get that chance.

Here comes the implementation part….I realized that I was happy. I was in deep heartbreak, emotional cleansing, feeling left out, feeling betrayed, told I’m not good enough AND happy! Who needs fun? What I did need was decharging!!! This was a tip from the good hearted ghee slinger and a good one. In order to maintain balance in the fire, I needed to get my feet on the black marble, download the sadness and the solution-finding to Baba, pray for help in the mother’s cleansing water of the shower, stick my finger in the dirt and stare into the candle flame. The other thing that helped was to go into silence. I didn’t want to make it worse by talking about it to others.

Yesterday one of our teachers mentioned that Americans have the hardest time with discipline. We come from the land of the free and we give priority to diversity and creativity. To come to this path from the States and a New Age freedom background, it is hard to be asked to conform. It is hard to be told to trust and to give up all notions of the way we think it is. This may be the greatest lesson yet. Having every previous way of being, torn apart and reconstructed is an interesting path to divinity.

And so far…I am happy ….who needs fun anyway????