Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food – Part 3: The Source of Creativity – Ego or Selflessness

PART 3: THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY: EGO OR SELFLESSNESS
(Continued from The Power of Intention)
Some people create art through pain and tension. Some thrive on tight deadlines and panic. Others need relaxed quiet in which to create. Though I can meet a painful situation and create, I tend to use the creative force to move through the pain towards expansion. Though some artists rest in pain and seem to need it to create, pain to me is passing. At best, it is a catalyst to propel me towards healing. It is not an end in itself.When I wrote the song for 9/11, the pain I witnessed and the compassion I felt cracked open a well of goodness and interconnection. I could have written about injustice and anger, but more sincerely for me, more powerful for me was the call to rest in the field of interconnection.

I have written angry songs, judgmental songs, indignant songs, sad songs and happy songs, but if they do not come from a place of sincerity and honesty, they never make it past my song book and into a recording. I am very picky that way. For me, art is a spiritual practice, a way to challenge my ego and grind it down, so that it dissolves back to the One source.

Some are fueled by accolade and fame, while others hold themselves back and hide in the shadows wondering why. Both are an expression of the ego and living in fear. You can be on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people and never further from your soul voice. If an artistic expression is fueled by the ego, an audience member who seeks to hide and mask pain in their own life will likely resonate with it; while those that seek honesty and humility will not find it appealing.

The source of creativity plays a major part in the end artistic product. I feel artists either create from wanting approval, love, acceptance, etc… or from selflessness, service, surrender, love. The voice of the soul is connected to the infinite. When the artist’s soul speaks, their ego dies a little and so can the ego of the audience. But when the artist’s neuroses drive the creative process, we end up with a potentially catchy piece that can amplify the neuroses in others.

For the most part, I write and create music and produce my shows from a place of joy. Often with a smile on my face while at the computer producing, I am told I am like a kid in a toyshop. I can be seen literally jumping up and down when a certain resonance comes together in a song or a production. I just feel so aligned, so alive, so purposeful and complete. I watch my body to see if I feel expansive or constrictive. I consciously choose to create through expansion.

I wrote and produced my CD and show by following my joy. I am not talking about being happy without sincerity. I speak of the expansive expression of my soul that feels positive and tuned into life. I feel that when I connect to my joy, I contribute to the vibration of joy on the planet.

I wish deeply for all beings to be free, for all to be happy, for all to be without suffering. As such, I must first align my consciousness with these qualities so that I may serve others. I am part of a continual inner purification process in so doing. Housecleaning always starts at home. If we are to truly serve others, we must empty ourselves to be vessels for the divine. For me, emptiness comes from the dissolving of the ego, when we get out of our own way and allow Grace to flow. I feel both empty and full when creating and performing.

I am inspired by what my guru Mata Amritanadamayi Devi (Amma) says about music:

Q: Amma, being an artist, a musician, I would like to know what my attitude toward my profession should be and how to express more and more of my musical talents?

Amma: Art is God’s beauty manifested in the form of music, painting, dance and so forth. It is one of the easiest ways to realize one’s inherent divinity.
There are many saints who found God through music. So, you are specially blessed to be a musician. In regards to your attitude toward your profession, be a beginner, a child in front of God, in front of the divine. This will enable you to tap into the infinite possibilities of your mind. And this, in turn, will help you manifest more and more of your musical talents in a much deeper way.


Q: But, Amma, how to be a child, a beginner?


Amma: Just by accepting and recognizing your ignorance, you automatically become a beginner.


Q: I understand that, but I am not completely ignorant. I am a trained musician.
Amma: How much training do you have?


Q: I studied music for six years and have been a performing artist for the last 14 years.


Amma: How big is space?


Q (sounding a little puzzled): I don’t understand Your question.


Amma (smiling): You don’t understand the question because you don’t understand space, isn’t it?


Q (shrugging his shoulders): Maybe.


Amma: Maybe?


Q: But what is the connection between my question and Your asking, “How big is space?”


Amma: There is a connection. Pure music is as big as space. It is God. It is pure knowledge. It is the secret of allowing the pure sound of the universe to flow through you. You cannot learn music in 20 years. You may have been singing for the last 20 years, but to truly understand music means to realize music as your own Self. In order to realize music as your Self, you need to allow music to completely possess you. For more music to occupy your heart, you need to create more space within. More thoughts mean less space. Now, contemplate on this, “How much space do I have within me to spare for pure music?”

If you really wish more and more of your musical talents to manifest, lessen the quantity of unnecessary thoughts and allow more space for the energy of music to flow through you.

From Amma’s Heart

(Continues tomorrow with A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist: the Multi-Dimensional Co-Creator)

 

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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