In The Bleak Midwinter
As I sit in my basement studio & look outside with today’s forecast calling for freezing rain, the title of this podcast seems appropriate. ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ is a melancholy & evocative 19th century Christmas carol, and the title just seemed to fit the dark & cold of late January. This is also a time we can use to do deep work, and that brings us to the content of this week’s podcast — but first, some news.
We’ve just wrapped up a visit with our dear friends Ian Boccio & Stephanie Kohler of Blue Spirit Wheel — they brought so much beauty to our community through their kirtan & workshops. Dave Stringer is coming to Corvallis in April, and Shantala in June! And I have great news — the Midwest Yoga & Kirtan Fest made their Kickstarter goal, so it will be happening again this year! There will be lots to share with you in the months ahead, you’ll hear more details in the podcast.
Several years ago I took a course on Shiva from Russill Paul, and this deity’s energy is ideal to enter into for deep work during this dark time of the year. I played this set several weeks ago at satsang, and sometimes I like to include some spoken information to give context on what we’ll be singing about. This week it’s provided by Ian Boccio of Blue Spirit Wheel, who showed us once again when he was here what a font of knowledge he is about this Bhakti Yoga practice — the excerpts were taken from an interview I did with him several years ago. The artists contributing to this week’s set in order of appearance are Donna de Lory from her CD ‘The Lover & the Beloved’, Krishna Das from ‘Live Ananda’, Johanna Beekman with backup from Girish in ‘Beyond Love, Soothing Songs for the Soul’, Dave Stringer from ‘Mala’, Shantala from their CD ‘Jaya’ and we end with IndiaJiva from ‘Om Spiritus — Music for a Peaceful Planet.’
So, my friends, in this dark midwinter I hope you’re warm, surrounded by those with open hearts, drinking lots of tea & reading good books. I’ll see you next time. Namaste.