This is my story with music and chanting…
Being brought up in a beautiful small fishing village/tourist town called Lorne blessed me with a supportive family and community.
At the age of twenty one I walked away from the beginning of a music career, feeling there was something more I needed to share with music, but not knowing what it was, just knowing within myself that I wasn’t ready. My heart lead me towards exploring the world.
Traveling to South East Asia I discovered there was a lot more out there than the sheltered life I had left behind.
I remember so well my first introduction to the teachings of the East…
It was in a book shop in Penang Malaysia. There was a wall of books with just one small book sticking out….
I took it back to where I was staying, opened it up and found myself weeping just reading the introduction.
It was a book on the Tibetan teaching of Dzogchen.
Dzogchen is the natural, primordial state or natural condition of the mind. The book explained that our ultimate nature is pure, all-encompassing, naturally occurring timeless awareness. The analogy given by Dzogchen masters is that one’s nature is like a mirror which reflects with complete openness but is not affected by the reflections. To read these words, for the first time reflected a deep knowing that had always been inside of me, and for the first time since entering my teens, I felt that I wasn’t alone in this world. It was a feeling of home.
On my travels through India I discovered chanting, where I learnt my first bhajans and the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, this created a paradigm shift in me. Upon returning to Australia, my search led me to the tropics near Cairns where my path of self-discovery intensified. I remember reading six books at a time, aiming to deepen my understanding.
I ended up disconnecting from mainstream culture for ten years. I didn’t hate my culture, but my dissatisfaction was leading me to find another way.
To find out what that was I knew I had to first unplug from the system as much as possible, so I turned to nature.
I began living a very simple life; no TV, radio, newspapers, no electricity or phone. I became very interested in health and believed if I could experience a clean body it would help me to clean my mind.
I discovered a book called The Essene Gospel of Peace and began to live by its principles. I ate a diet of only raw food and even went to the extreme of spending one year as a fruitarian.
I was practicing yoga every day and it was then that chanting became one of my great loves. One cannot imagine the bliss I was in unless one has experienced it; bathing and drinking from the creeks and eating straight from the table of our earthly mother, feeling so light and pure and clean.
I believed that if I followed my heart it would guide me to my ultimate destiny and to the highest service…
Now I know that following my heart is the highest service. Om Mani Padme Hum….
It was from there, in this paradisal lifestyle, that I realised that all of the suffering in myself and the world is linked to one thing – the illusion of a separated self.
This illusion alone is what disconnects us from our true self, our heart, nature and each other.
Recognising that there is no separation, I realised I am in some way connected to all the suffering in the world.
I felt with my heart that I would devote my life to dissolving this illusion in myself and others.
A new awareness of compassion was arising in me and I knew that my days of living in paradise were to end. My heart was calling to reach out to others to expand in this awareness together, and reach out my hand to those who, like me years before, had not yet been exposed to it.
The message was coming from everywhere that a radical change is needed within the consciousness of humanity. The days of waiting for someone or something to save us are gone. I felt it was time for all of us to work together.
I recognise that I am also part of a major paradigm shift in human consciousness and that there are countless others who have also recognised the need for change and are doing their bit to piece together a new way of being a new way of seeing in the world with the awareness of ONE.
The way of the heart has led me to do this work of reconnection through sitting in circle and chanting universal heart mantras.
Every way that I look at it, it is blessed. Chanting is by far the most healing, centring, transforming and enlightening thing in my life.
It is such a great honour to be sharing in the way that we do. To see how it affects others, just read some of the testimonials.
I am facilitating mantras of devotion and prayer, with a universal approach that is applicable to the growing movement of people who are interested in what we all have in common, rather that our differences. Who wish to celebrate our unity, regardless of our beliefs.
“We create heaven or hell on earth, and it’s our responsibility not to wait any longer. Heaven is here, right now, in our hearts.”