Tag Archives: Krishna Das


22 May

Greetings from the midwest as the Coronavirus journey continues! Like many of you out there, I am shifting through an unexpected set of life circumstances at this time. In an effort to relate to what’s so in my life in a way that serves me, I am doing my best to expand and adjust my way of thinking and not get lost in my own mind or tripped up on the intense world of emotions out there out in plain sight and hiding in some unexpected corners.

In the past weeks I’ve tuned into a handful of zoom meetings and youtube videos in an effort to keep myself tuned to a positive channel.

Here are few of my “favorite hits” and resources from recent weeks!

Krishna Das Chai and Chat Series
I love this series of little snippets of Krishna Das having tea while answering questions from selected curious minds. If you’re unfamiliar with Krishna Das, he is a well-known Kirtan Artist and loved and respected worldwide for his soulful chanting and humble, fun and down to earth nature. What I love about these videos is I feel he is the real deal sharing simple earnest truths from his journey. I love the vibe of his talks, the information shared and the way I just feel better after I’ve relaxed in them for a bit.

The “I” of the Storm
This is a book I am reading with an online Unity Church book group. We’re just a few chapters in, but already it is assisting me is shifting and developing a new point of view. The heart of the message of this book is that nothing is against us. The journey so far supports coming from a place of wholeness, outside of our automatic beliefs and meaning that we assign in this world of opposites, and living, making choices and viewing our lives from this lens.  He refers to this as the “I” of the storm.  A worthwhile read and a great lens for strengthening new muscles and adjusting points of view!

Creative Mornings Acts of Wholeness by Katherine Wintsch
Creative Mornings is an international meetup group in cities around the world that supports gatherings of creative folks – which is all of us!  They recently shared this video in their regular email offerings. It’s a fresh light story of a professional woman’s journey of needing to totally reevaluate her life when it was broken and not working. She shares some wonderful metaphors and her own experiences reminding us to start within in assessing what we need to make our life work and build out from there.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy, Reiki Master
Maureen has a distinct intuitive gift and offers numerous light-hearted and fun reminders of how we can stay tuned to joy in our lives no matter what our circumstances.

The unmistakable theme of all of these is wholeness. In my experience, it’s easy to get lost in feeling fragmented and tripped up. There are so many distractions out there that invite us into that!  I found all of these to be like signposts and simple reminders that it needn’t be so.

How about you? What beacons of light or simple joys are helping you stay connected in a positive way?

Thanks for tuning in!  Here’s wishing all of us wisdom and grace as we continue this journey!




American Yogi

7 Mar

The new place I’ve landed is a private downstairs “suite” in the home of a couple in Asheville.  In addition to the quiet neighborhood and wooded lot, my stay here comes with an additional unexpected bonus.  My new landlords and house-sharers are filmmakers and have nearly completed their project, American Yogi (click here to view the trailer!).

It was a real treat when, a few weeks ago, they invited me to a private screening in their home, conveniently, just upstairs. All I knew about their film was it had a spiritual focus and was about India – both which sounded good to me. So I joined them in their living room surrounded by a few of their friends and happily took in the film.



The film was a real treat!  It was a light-hearted, fun and unfolding story of the spiritual journey of my upstairs neighbor, Steven Newmark, and highlights the presence, power and teachings of Indian Guru, Maharaj-ji.

So far on my spiritual journey, I feel like I’ve just dabbled my toe into the spiritual teachings of India.  Just recently I watched the documentary telling the story of Krishna Das called One Track Heart.  Some of you may know Krishna Das is an internationally known kirtan artist (a beautiful and inspirational style of call and response chanting).  


Krishna Das and Maharaj-ji

A big part of the Krishna Das story was his relationship to his Guru, Maharaj-ji. Honestly, I still feel a little new to the whole “Indian Guru” thing, but I was earnestly touched by Krishna Das’ relationship with him, his complete unbridled experience of unconditional love, and his magnificent healing experience in the face of many deep troubles and sorrows.

So, when watching American Yogi and being “reintroduced” to Maharaj-ji, in some ways it felt a bit like seeing an old friend. In its simplest form, this film was a reminder to me that I don’t have to take all the hassles and worries of this life so seriously or hold on so tightly.

American Yogi's Steven Newmark in the 60s

American Yogi’s Steven Newmark in the 60s

This spiritual tale is filled with mystical experiences, unexpected diversions, and enlightening stories all folded within the uncommon journey of a pretty regular guy. It is intertwined within the stories of Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now, and features the music of Krishna Das and Jai Uttal.  And there’s even a little love story!

It debuted in the prestigious International Film Fest of India.

Here’s what folks are saying about it:

American Yogi is an inspiration.” Ram Dass

“A deeply inspired film! About what the Western mind calls fiction–and the East calls reality.” — Shankar Mohan, Director of the International Film Festival of India

Are you curious?  Well, American Yogi will soon be accessible out in the world. But first they need to handle a few final housekeeping requirements to prepare the film for professional release.  Would you like to be a part of it?

American Yogi has just launched an Indigogo Campaign to raise funds for these final steps. Here are a few ways you can participate:

    1. Get a copy of American Yogi for Yourself! Visit is.gd/americanyogithemovie to view the trailer and learn how to get a downloaded copy of the film for yourself!
    2. americanyogifb1Share American Yogi on Facebook.
      Please include the link: is.gd/americanyogithemovie and if you like you can also use this groovy graphic (right click, save image as)
    3. Share American Yogi with your community, friends and connections. Anyway you like!  Email, Facebook, Twitter…we’d love your help in spreading the word of American Yogi!

Through my travels I’ve learned first hand – it’s amazing what can be accomplished when we take the leap to support each other in our creative endeavors.  Thanks for reading and your support of American Yogi!

The wake of the storm

5 Nov

It’s a chilly evening here in Philadelphia.  While Hurricane Sandy didn’t bring much damage or activity here, she did seem to bring the colder weather.  I suppose I will take it in exchange for a generally quiet hurricane experience.  On Monday, the Eve of Sandy’s arrival, I went to bed about 10:30pm content that I wasn’t going to miss much action by going to sleep.  The next morning I awoke to conversations of “did you hear that wind last night?”  And learned that for a period of about an hour and half the winds were so strong my host considered waking me up and moving me out of the third floor bedroom for safety.  Alas, I slept soundly and in its wake, generally here all is well.

It’s the weekend, which is my free time here in my world of work and exchange.  Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Krishna Das concert at the Mind, Body and Spirit expo held at Lincoln Financial Field, where the Philadelphia Eagles play.  For those of you not familiar with Krishna Das, he plays what is called Kirtan music, that is call and response chanting of spiritual mantras.  It was my second time seeing Krishna Das, the first was time back in New Orleans.   In addition to his beautiful and devoted music, voice and chanting, I have to say that I like the guy!  During his performance he shared stories of his time in India and he was earnest, compelling and funny.  I was grateful to be able to attend the concert in exchange for helping Krishna Das sell CDs at their CD table.  What a treat!

At the end of the night, as I was among the last of folks to leave I decided to take a minute to find my train ticket back home before heading out into the night darkness.  And guess what… I couldn’t find it!  I looked everywhere… emptied out my purse twice, checked all of my pockets.  The trick of this situation was after purchasing the return ticket on my earlier train I only had $1 cash left on me, not enough for a new return ticket.  Not my favorite situation to be in, but I trusted my gut and while I was eager to resolve the situation, I didn’t panic.  I headed up the escalator in search of a cash machine.  As I was going up there were two kind looking youngish men heading down.  I eagerly asked, “Do you by chance live in Mt. Airy?” (the neighborhood in Philly where I reside)  “Yes we do” they replied… Unbelievable!  I quickly explained my situation and asked if I could catch a ride.  My request must have caught them off guard as they seemed hesitant and a bit perplexed by my request… but after a moment or two…  I was invited with them for a ride home.  So I hopped in the backseat of their Honda Fit and were were on our way!

The ride home was quite amicable.  My temporary companions were friendly and good company.  The “driver”, we’ll call him,  is a teacher of yoga and meditation as well as an interfaith minister.  His loyal companion is in Seminary school studying to be a Lutheran Minister.  And so it seemed I was in good hands!  We shared our tales and adventures of working at Universities in Residential Life, an experience we all had in common.  And before you knew it, we were in Mount Airy and I was happily home.   What a gift!

Today I spent some time with a Reiki friend who I met in New Orleans, originally from and now living again in Philadelphia.  We spent a few hours connecting and giving each other Reiki treatments.  It has been at least a month since I have connected with others to share Reiki.  Today was a great reminded how a little Reiki from a friend goes a long way.  There is nothing like a Reiki treatment to turn down the dial of my anxiety, stress and generally being “wound up”.  I left her apartment feeling all is well and grounded a bit back in my body and my being.

After that I made my way to the Art Museum.  The first Sunday of the Month is free at the Philadelphia Art Museum.  It was such a treat to get to head downtown in the brisk fall air and be out amongst the masses and go to the Museum.  I spent most of my time there enjoying a contemporary dance peformance.  What a treat!  Not long after I made my way back to my host’s car that she generously lets me use, and found my way back to Mt. Airy.

It’s been a big week.  Hurricane Sandy, Halloween, a busy weekend and a brief adventure with strangers.  I am still in the midst of plans for a new adventure but things are taking longer to come together then I expected.  So, for now, I am still in the US and, for now, in Philadelphia.

Tonight I cooked a simple but yummy dinner of black beans and rice for me and the fam.  I am now up in my third floor “hen’s nest” chilling to some tunes on Pandora, one of my favorite things about returning to the States!  Good night for now from the post Hurricane and thankful to be safe and sound world of Philadelphia.

Photo of Philadelphia Art Museum

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