Friday, April 27, 2012

Kevin + Kim

You know those moments in life when you meet those people who just touch you… in a deep, uncharted space inside.. A space that not many are able to access and brush their fingertips upon. They are Ones who has walked just as far along. Ones who know and see. Precious gemstone radiant eyed creatures that one day, just waltz right on into your life.

Meet my new friends. Kevin and Kim. Better known as Kevin James Carroll and Kim Kinedrsley. Kevin is a musician and kirtan leader throughout Asia and the South Pacific, Kim is a beaming ray of light in a man’s body. They’ve just been added to my list of favorite people. In full devotion to their own hearts and the hearts of others.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

May The Whole World Be Joyous!

My son came with me to the Midwest Yoga Journal Conference last year, although he didn’t attend any asana sessions with me (he was about one and a half), he really grooved to the Kirtan. With several hundred yogis chanting Om, his face lit up like the sun and I could almost swear there was a halo of light around him.

With wobbly walking skills, he kept trying to meander through the people. Nervous about him “bothering” people, I kept trying to still him. Persistence won out (his, not mine!) and I let him be free. Lo and behold, he walked straight to an older man with silver in his hair and crinkles on his face from many smiles. He lifted his arms to be picked up, and with a mix of wonder and fear, I watched him settle in to chant Lokha Samasta Sukino Bhavantu with a total stranger. A stranger to me, it would seem, but not for my son who seemed to know this man with the wordless understanding of soul. He wandered no further and was content.

Top 10 Transformational Summer Festivals for 2012

Last summer I had the opportunity to discover a remarkably inspiring and consciousness-shifting cultural phenomenon that has been evolving for over fifteen years, yet has remained predominantly ‘below the radar’ of mainstream awareness: The transformational summer festivals movement.

As writer, DJ and speaker Jeet Kei Leung says during an engaging and dynamic TED talk about transformational festival culture, these transformational festivals are “convergence points for many forms of cutting-edge content. They are playing a significant role in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people”, and this has a palpable ripple effect out into society at large.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Sacred Marriage of Music and Yoga

I still remember my very first yoga class…the one that seemed to drag on forever, with the clock ticking backward in my ears. The one where we did only 10 poses; the one that seemed like it would never, ever end!

I traveled from the 80’s with big hair, loud music, bass thumping aerobics, headphones in my ears on the elliptical to the 90’s, sitting in a silent Iyengar Yoga class watching my nails grow.

What a rude (but much needed) awakening! Yoga was quite a challenge for me right out of the gates! I would fidget, laugh, talk to my neighbor, get up and go to the bathroom…anything to avoid the silence.

There are two things that are REALLY funny about this now…twenty some odd years later. One is that I CRAVE silence! In fact, I tell my daughters, who are seven and nine that after 15 questions …their quota for the hour has been reached. I can’t possibly take in that much information in one hour. The second is that I can’t imagine a day going by without some sort of yoga asana practice. AND presently, for me personally, it HAS to be set to music.

Hello and thank you!

I am also glad to be posting in this blog. I knew it yesterday, when I have completed three months of daily practice, and I felt it was like a nice gift to me.

I appreciate the fact that, besides selling great music, YogiTunes also work with social projects that have Yoga as a transformation tool to bring more happiness into the world. For all that, I feel honored to be writing to this blog.

English is not my mother language, and I apologize for the many mistakes that you will probably notice.

I also dont have such a nice picture as Ricky, nor can I do such a headstand :) As I said above, I have been practicing for three months now. But I am practicing, and I will get there!

YogiTunes still doesn't sell music in Brazil, but I know they're working hard to open up down here! Brazilian people enjoy Yoga and also music (a lot!), and I am pretty sure we are going to be good customers and friends.

What I write here is also available in portuguese (my mother language), at my personal blog.

See you soon!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meditating in noisy places

Photo: Our iamb-three; the view from my window

I am not a morning person, but I like to meditate in the morning, about 8 or 9 a.m., more or less. Before that only in exceptional days, and by 7a.m. only if I am alone at home and it is sunday, and all the neighborhood is silent.

I live with my parents and sisters at a house in front of a very noisy company, and next to a building under construction.

Trucks come and go and stay in front of our house all the time, and the workers at the next building do their job.

It is in this scenario that I meditate.

And I really do, I can meditate even when things get pretty ugly outside or inside the house.

I just have not yet managed to meditate when my 8-years-old cousin come to visit, but I think that this meditation will only be possible when I reach Samadhi.

It is more than possible to meditate in a noisy, turbulent environment.

I started to meditate when I was 16, 17 years old, in a period of my life when meditation was not a trend topic between my school friends, or in my family, so I have kind of experience in getting in a meditative state even if the circumstances around me are not ideal.

If I waited until everything is silent and perfect around me (and in my life) to start meditating, I would never begin.
It would be great to meditate everyday in front of the sun, the ocean, or between the mountains, with nature around me. But as I cant,

I enjoy the view from my window, that allows me to see a gorgeous sky everyday, a "iamb-tree" always green (picture above), which is beautiful and home to a lot of noisy birds, but they do a"noise" that I like.

To medidate in noisy environments isn't ideal, but sometimes I have also felt that while entering in a meditative state, things around me slowly were calming down, and little by little the silence was set. I prefer to call it a happy coincidence, instead of thinking that I have the "power" to change things like that. But maybe it is a stillness that ressonates with people around me and the silence happens. I dont know.

Sometimes, this "coincidence" doesn't happen, and the noise around goes on, and even gets worst. I continue to meditate even though.

At this circumstances, I say to myself that the noise will always be there, that the world is "in ebullition", and that there is intense activity "outside", and it wont stop so that I meditate better, and it should not stop. It must go on, life is movement, is activity.

But all that activity never hindered anyone to meditate and to practice, and to find inner peace, and it wont hinder me either.

It wont even bother me.


I love YogiTunes!

Thank you for inviting me to contribute to this blog! It's so hard to find good music for yoga when you don't know where to look.. I love .. it's a wonderful resource for yogis and yoga teachers!

I'll be posting more soon..


Ricky Tran

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Shadow Side of Practice

My early years in yoga found all sorts of blissful paths, the ability to slow and be present, and the ability to calm. Then, when I became more serious, old hurts and painful pieces of my life began to surface. At times, I would wonder if yoga was leading me in a good direction or if it was leading to something crazy, something way down the rabbit hole.

Turns out – it led me down the rabbit hole. But that’s not a bad thing.