Life is a song-sing it. Life is a game-play it. Life is a challenge-meet it. Life is a dream- realize it. Life is a sacrifice- offer it. Life is love-enjoy it. -Sai Baba
I haven’t stopped singing since I came full circle at an evening of live devotional electronica celebrating the release of Donna De Lory’s new album “Universal Light Remixes from The Unchanging and Bonus Tracks. Talk about a natural high. Her kirtin-pop-trance-prayer songs and soulful, ethereal voice are reminders of and portals to the best part of myself -and to community! I have been a fan since 2009 Maui where the Aloha helped to elevate Donna’s already spell-binding effect to a stellar level of love and bliss.
The whole experience was fun from beginning to end. Made possible by star promoter Kent Purdy of FilmHouseNY, who along with the great staff at Full Circle, assured me that I could relax and they would take care of everything. And they did. Down to the last moments in which Purdy ushered us out as the set ended and carried me down the last of the stairs to the street and the waiting car. Wow!
Housed in a 110-year old temple at 305 Rose Avenue, Full Circle Venice is an open source spiritual community center that offers regular yoga and growth-oriented workshops and an experiential environment that aims to elevate the individual while connecting us with each other,” says Full Circle Co-Founder Andrew Keegan. “The walls are as old as Venice itself, yet the people who gather within them seek timeless universal truths. People of all beliefs and backgrounds are welcome to take part in the weekly cultural gatherings at our space. We operate according to a co-creative model, encouraging folks to seek individual enlightenment while aligning their talents with forces larger than themselves. Much spiritual development is inner-focused. We certainly offer that, but people are also looking for a way to authentically connect with others around a higher purpose.” Amen to that brothers and sisters….Speaking of sisters…my pursuit of high minded fun, consciousness and bliss was made so much richer by the company of two amazing women and sister Cancerians.
The beguiling Irish-English Rose, Haley McGuire, an inspired designer and local-queen-of-the-afternoon-tea showers, graduations, birthdays, and girl get-togethers. I love her Santa Barbara beachey, British-boho, mix of vintage china, roses in jam jars, and old silver vases, charming tea cups and pots alongside local watercress and goat’s cheese sandwiches with fresh garden mint. Thanks to Haley I got to meet the radiantly humble and gifted songwriter and teacher, Pam Sheyne. (What I’d give to attend her week long Andulusion retreat in Spain this Oct. Pam has written songs for hit movies like Frozen and Princess Diaries and artists from Sinaed O’Conner, Billie Piper, Rikki Lee, and Seal. Though she is best known for the global breakthrough single “ Genie In a Bottle” for Christina Aguilera, Pam was unpretentious, feisty, warm and shy all at the same time and refreshingly open to Kirtin and to Donna’s music.
Fans will be familiar with Donna from her years of touring with Madonna. De Lory traveled the globe for 20 years as a backup singer and dancer, appearing in the documentary film Truth or Dare, and on stage during many legendary tours before dedicating her life to singing sacred mantras and lyrics of spiritual aspiration. “De Lory’s own music combines sparkling pop savvy with a deeply felt sense of spirituality, and has won her a strong fan base in the yoga/conscious living community and beyond. Inspired by Indian devotional music and dance beats from around the globe as well as western pop.” Donna’s songs blend diverse styles for a sound that’s as natural as it is unique. Her music is a sanctuary for the soul...Right now I am in love with the original Kinder and Praying for Love as well as her covers of My Sweet Lord and Amazing Grace! “With a string of best-selling and much-loved albums—including Bliss (2000), In the Glow (2003), The Lover and The Beloved (2004), Sky is Open (2006), Sanctuary (2008), Remixes (2010) and The Unchanging (2013)—Donna has become one of the reigning queens of world devotional music.
“As for Kirtin… Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to tell people when they ask, What is kirtan? Kirtan is a new kind of concert experience here in the West. It began in India centuries ago as a spiritual practice, and was known as the layman’s way to connect with the Divine. And in the last ten years, kirtan has become a phenomenon across the United States, and has transformed musically to appeal to the ears of American audiences. It’s not so much a performance as a journey into the self through the practice of listening & singing.” According to the New World Kirtan podcast
- Kirtan is a very simple & powerful way to meditate. It’s effortless & joyful; the music does the work for you as you flow with the melody & rhythm.
- The performers & the concert-goers create the experience together.
- The chants are sung in Sanskrit unless you attend a Sikh kirtan ( e.g. Snatam Kaur). The ancient chants contain powerful renewing & transformative energy that helps us reconnect with the Divinity that resides within all of us.
- Singing is the heart of kirtan, and no one cares what you sound like. At a kirtan concert all voices merge together to become One Voice.
- “Kirtan is a means of finding our way back to the core of our Being, to our heart, and to our connection with each other.” Reagan
So Beautiful Readers this week I want to leave you with these words from “Kinder”
“I’ve decided to be be happy, I’ve decided to be kind, I’ve decided to be grateful for all i’ve ever had. I’ve decided to be open to that little voice inside telling me I am beautiful, it’s ok to be alive. I’ve decided to be kinder to my self when I am sad. I’ve decided to be grateful for all i’ve ever had“
and wish us all a week of singing our heart’s out…be it in the shower, or in your car, or in front of the mirror.. let’s just sing.
Engagingly Yours, xoxoxoxox Sabrina