The Secret Beyond Stillness

(This blog is from the mystical side of my musical/spiritual practice) I use music daily before meditation to awaken my relationship with the Divine, chanting sacred sanskrit verses with my harmonium. The effect is always uplifting, energizing and centering, but

A Gift Given

A Gift Given

I’m about to share something dearly close to my heart. On July 4th I led an all-star group of colleagues and former students in a concert celebrating Ananda’s 50th anniversary in California. As we played Life Is the Quest for

A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

I grew up in Pittsburgh. Yesterday’s attack hit me hard. My weekly cello lessons with Michael Lipman took place just blocks away from the synagogue. Again the question arises: what can I do in response? Last night at the Oregon Symphony,

Music, Yoga, and the Divine Response

Live music & yoga: what incredible, dramatic impact they have on each other! I experienced this firsthand in February at the Northwest Yoga Conference. Then in March, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a yoga class, this time with a

Giving the Gift of Love Through Music

I sat at the end of a quiet hallway at Randall Children’s Hospital and unpacked my cello for what seemed just a few passersby on the 4th floor unit. My idealism faded away—what good could my music truly do for

A Thanksgiving Pilgrimage

It’s fun to be a pilgrim traveling to a sacred place at Thanksgiving. This week my family drove down to the Ananda Village in California, where we lived from 2001-20013. As soon as we arrived, I felt the essence of what

If Music is Your Religion, Here’s How to Worship

Think of one of your most amazing musical experiences—a concert, rehearsal or your private practice—and you’ll soon realize that music brought you into some form of bliss. Wherever it happened, you likely felt an awakening of energy, a presence, expanded

4th of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Willingness

What I’m most ashamed of: Sitting in a cello lesson with a guest teacher, being completely unwilling to try any of his suggestions. “See!” I inwardly seethed, “that doesn’t work for me!” The lesson was a total waste, and I certainly didn’t

3rd of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Joy

Joyful performances can’t help but inspire. Musicians performing with Joy draw us into their sphere of inspiration. Their subtle physical cues of relaxed pleasure and confident presence trigger something within us—perhaps due to mirror neurons in our brain that elicit our own inner experience of uplifting

Fighting Fear with the Fuel of Music

Fear is ripping our country apart. How can we as musicians fight this pervading fear? How can we best be instruments of change? We need to act more than ever, but expressions of anger and frustration don’t lead to the