2012 was a wild and amazing year for me and also for so many of my friends. There were huge energetic shifts, some magical and fantastic and some challenging. It was like a huge wind blowing all the dust of the ages away! For many years I have had an impression or theme for what the year will bring but last year nothing came to mind or heart. Looking back I can see that it was a kind of wild chaos that was needed to shift gears from the old ways of being and a way to launch us into a new level of awareness. Welcome to 2013!!! The theme that has come into my heart for this year is: Splendour – Simplicity – Serenity. Wow, what an interesting year this is going to be!
It took a little while for this year to fully settle in for me and when I offered a Healing Music Meditation and talk on January 19th I felt a big landing in this new splendiferous year! I always love to play these meditations but sometimes they feel so monumental, and this was one of those events. I am grateful each and every time I can share the healing energy that flows through me and my music.
I'll start with news from my trips to both Japan and Ireland. These are the two places on the earth where my heart constantly calls me to go, and every time I travel to these beautiful places I feel such a soul/heart connection.
The Japan trip this year was a very healing experience for me and for friends I visited. Such a different experience compared to being there just a week after the tsunami. Some very sad feelings still linger in the air – it will take many years for the pain of the disaster to slowly heal. I had to go a bit later in the year for this trip and it just happened that I was there when the first nuclear plant was restarted, which brought up a lot of sadness for the people of Japan.
The Japan tour this year will be at the regular time – cherry blossom viewing season during the first week of April. Music meditations under the cherry blossoms at my favourite temples!
I am trying to keep the heart connection with Japan strong and active. We all felt such a pull in our hearts after the tragedy. To this end I have started a Japan Cultural Fund with my good friend Rebecca Cragg in Ottawa. We are doing fund-raising events and will be bringing some of our Japanese teachers here to Canada – a way of showing our love to our Japanese friends and also a way to offer some of the amazing gifts and talents of these Japanese masters to our friends here in Canada. Stay tuned to hear more about this project.....
My trip to Ireland was very dramatic in many ways. The wonderful friend I visit in Galway almost died a few days before I arrived – luckily he is well after months of recovery. And the bookend to this near death experience occurred on the plane during my return visit when the fellow sitting beside me had convulsions and went unconscious. Luckily I had felt a strange sensation in my energetic field before this happened and had felt the need to stay awake during the night flight. I was able to get him help right away (of course there was an emergency room nurse just across the aisle) and the man was revived and made it to our landing in Canada. Whew.
The actual trip to Ireland was, as always, incredibly fantastic – I find the country wistfully beautiful. The atmosphere there pulls on my heartstrings like a harp being played by the wind. I offered Music Meditations in both Dublin and Galway and loved playing again in both these lovely cities. It was so nice to have my friend Catriona play with me for the Galway event, fun! I travelled to the Aran Islands on the west coast and as I stood at the edge of the cliffs, I felt like I was standing at the edge of the world. Listened to wonderful music wherever I went – live music is a part of everyday life there. I resolved to go to more musical events when I came home. Music is such a source of joy and blessing in our lives and we are lucky to be able to hear so many wonderful musicians. Please join me in this resolve to attend more musical events wherever you are on the planet.
I travelled to Colorado twice last year. In February, Steve and I met David Darling in Boulder to record some finishing tracks on our CD 'Light from the Super Earth'. David is such an inspiration. During the recording session he just keeps on playing and playing and even in between takes he keeps on working away at ideas. The music just pours out of him!
I spent a few lovely days at the Emissaries of Divine Light - Sunrise Ranch retreat centre in Loveland, and then I was lucky to be invited back there again in September to play with David at the Creative Field Conference: Bridging Science and Spirituality. Always a joy and a pleasure to play with David. This was also the 60th anniversary concert for the Emissaries and I felt so honoured to be playing at this incredible event. The attunement healing energy sessions that are offered there feel to me like the energy that flows through my Shakuhachi – clear and full of light.
I have travelled north to Grail Springs retreat centre every season this year offering Music Meditations and workshops. The summer Lady Grail Faire was a delight. The year culminated at the Grail with a Gala Solstice event which included court dancing and music, a play, fantastical costumes and wonderful company. A perfect place and way to see out the Mayan calender and prepare for this new age!
In April I returned to the beautiful and peaceful Five Oaks United Church retreat centre in Brantford. I offered a Music Meditation and Healing Music talk to the wonderful group in attendance. It was a magical few days on the sacred land there.
I spent a wonderful week in July up in Huntsville. I played at the Music at Noon series there and also offered several workshops to groups of seniors. Thanks to Sylvia for arranging these fun events.
I am so happy and thrilled with our new 'Light from the Super Earth' CD. The recording process took us from Toronto to London, England to Colorado and then the final mixing was done back in London with the producer who mixed the Beatle's Love CD! This latest CD hasn't been released yet as we are seeking new avenues for distribution. I will let you all know as soon as it is launched!!!
I have two other CD's on the go, both in various stages of production. Truly a year of splendour!
I was honoured to be asked by Zasep Rinpoche to play on his new recording of chanting. To this end we recorded Rinpoche here in Toronto. I am really looking forward to playing on this incredible project.
I was really happy to be asked to contribute a chapter for a new book on Women and Spirituality – stay tuned for updates. Thanks to Janice for her wonderful help with the editing.
I mentioned our Japan Cultural Fund earlier in the newsletter – I look forward to the fruition of this project and will let you know about upcoming events.
My heart was so open when I played at this year's Ottawa Friends of Tibet fundraising event. This is the third event I have played at for them and the exciting news is that after fourteen years of fundraising they have opened a home for Tibetan seniors living in exile in India. The land for this beautiful residence was donated by the Dalai Lama. A beautiful slide show of these amazing seniors was shown while I played my healing music. They spend most of their days reciting prayers/mantras knowing that they are approaching the ends of their lives and knowing that each day/hour/minute is precious, a spiritual gift.
I played at another Pegasus fundraising concert in April, hosted by Mark Battenberg. Pegasus has wonderful drop in centres for adults with disabilities.
I joined the board of directors for a Palliative Care project set up here in Toronto and also played at a benefit concert to support this worthwhile endeavour.
I was so happy to play for Jac O'Keefe here in Toronto at her satsang spiritual talks. She is a joy and a delight. Jac also attended my Dublin Music Meditation and it was so fun to play for her in Ireland.
Joanna Macy was here in Toronto in the fall and Chris Gartner and I played a Music Meditation at the event. I love Joanna – her message of environmental spirituality is always so strong and clear.
And of course spending time with Zasep Rinpoche is always a time of joy, peace and light. I am so grateful to him for being here.
Lovely Toronto/Ottawa events:
The year started off with playing at a lovely ritual for a 40 day meditation called Winter Feast. A nice way to mark the new year. It was hosted by my wonderful qigong teacher Andrew.
In January I also offered a Music Meditation at the beautiful Beayni home – this has become an annual event and each year the energy transmitted through the music builds and builds....
August took me to Ottawa for a 'Symphony of Sound' concert at the fantastic Dunrobin Sonic Gym. Always a treat playing with friends Ian Hepburn, Jeremy Sills and Johannes Welsh.
In September I played with many of my favourite friends at the annual Ottawa Sound Healing Conference. Thanks to Maike for all her tremendous work in arranging these healing events.
Coleman Barks was here in November and it was great to play for him with my friend Chris at an event at The Inner Garden. Coleman is an inspiration in living life to the fullest! He has such a strong and healing presence.
I offered a very sweet 'Love after Love' poetry and music workshop with my friend Lorraine Gane at the beautiful Red Canoe space. Thanks Lorraine for travelling from Salt Spring Island to bring us your lovely poems.
I played at some lovely events including the opening of a beautiful outdoor labyrinth at a hospice centre in Lindsay. I love playing my healing music while walking on the labyrinth and I especially love playing at opening ceremonies. Thanks Cathy for your help with this event.
I continue to teach Shakuhachi and my students are such a joy. Thanks to you all who work so hard and with such devotion. Shakuhachi is difficult but oh so rewarding! We had our annual Shakuhachi Playday hosted again by Rebecca and Matthew at The Stepping Stone Gallery. So beautiful there, a little Japan oasis!
I love my Music Meditations that I offer with friends at The Inner Garden here in Toronto. Some of the ideas and energy for the new recordings have evolved from these events. Always lovely folks in attendance. I have also been playing in the same complex at the beautiful Musideum space, so lovely...
It is always lovely playing at the various yoga studios that I am invited to, such a peaceful atmosphere. I also played at several memorial services and special ceremonies. Plus I continue my energy healing sessions for individuals and the house and work space clearings.
It was a full year indeed! I am looking forward to the marvellous adventures that 2013 will offer.
Please hold these energies in your heart: Splendour – Simplicity – Serenity