Temple-Song-Hearts: Just Another Girl Group NOT!

Start your day with the cheerful sounds of Temple-Song-Hearts. If your soul is crying out for nature and the sounds of natural living, you’ll appreciate their all acoustic sound.

Temple~Song~Hearts is an all female vocal and instrumental ensemble in a new age/meditative vein. Those labels fade in significance, however, when one actually hears their music. It’s not any kind of mindless noodling, but full arrangements for vocal ensemble, piano, and diverse acoustic instruments which these women play beautifully.

Gentle and soulful are the two adjectives which come to mind. Their music reflects that special sincerity which springs forth from a life lived in harmony with nature and the universe.

To learn more or support them by buying their music, please visit them on CD Baby:

Temple-Song-Hearts on CD Baby
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/templesonghearts

Or check out their home page designed by the most excellent Sumangali Morhall of Pure Web Designs:

Temple-Song-Hearts Home Page
http://templesonghearts.org/

Bach’s St. John Passion: Crucifixion (video)

A 3-minute look into the heart of this thrilling work often performed at Easter. One remembers the crowd scenes in particular…

I fondly recall making a study of Bach’s St. John Passion. It’s well worth the study, but here no study is required. In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee, you can check out this short compilation of crowd scenes:

The selections are:

1. “If he were not a criminal, we would not have brought him to you.”
2. “Away with him! Crucify him!”
3. “We have no king but Caesar.”

The music is quite striking and moving, with some of Bach’s most distinctive counterpoint in a chromatic style. John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir.

If you liked the trailer, you’ll love the movie (for as long as it stays on YouTube):
Bach: St. John Passion full (Gardiner/Monteverdi Choir)
[Alas, gone!]

I highly recommend the 1986 CD done by Gardiner/Monteverdi:
Amazon.com: CD Set of Bach’s St. John Passion
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-John-Passion-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B0000057CW

It’s a beautiful recording that you can get to know little by little, and the music is so glorious you would ideally want to hear it with the best possible fidelity.

If you’re a Bach lover, you might even want to contemplate this work at length until you grasp the essence of it; then make a compilation with your favourite choruses, arias, and chorales. I tend to cut out a lot of the narrative, which is written in a somewhat formulaic recitative style. Finding your own personal pathway through Bach’s St. John Passion is an experience that will last you a lifetime! So stop binge-watching The Sopranos and discover (ahem)… a higher tenor of entertainment. 😉

See also: “Easter Thoughts on Mercy” (includes selections from Bach’s B Minor Mass)

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Kids learn to help others at Sri Chinmoy Centre

Making dolls for South African children orphaned by AIDS

Dateline: July 8, 2007
Source: Newsday.com — Merle English

newsday-logo-v3They don’t play with dolls, but Jaffie Balthazard and other boys at Renaissance Middle School in St. Albans like creating them — for a cause. They make dolls to be distributed to children in South Africa who have been orphaned by AIDS.

Balthazard, 12, and his classmates, Kwesi Wilson, 11, and Max Couloute, 13, were among nine boys and girls from the school who went to the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Jamaica recently to show off the dolls they are making.

Volunteers at Sri Chinmoy’s Centres International will send the dolls to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s AIDS Clinic and several pediatric nutrition centers in South Africa for distribution.

The students are participating in the Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles program, started in 1990 by global peace advocate Sri Chinmoy, 76. Continue reading

Sri Chinmoy’s Opening Meditation at the 1993 Parliament

A silent meditation with much light in evidence!

Dateline: April 10, 2013
Source: Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions

Interfaith Reborn

The modern Parliament of the World’s Religions began twenty years ago in Chicago. A 100-year celebration of the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893 became a revival for global interfaith. There and then, we declared the mission we continue today; convening global citizens of spirit and faith, connecting a network of worldwide communities, and enabling the dialogue among us to transform into action. The collective goal over these years?

A just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

Looking back to move forward this year makes now the time to revisit our roots, learn from our history, and step into our future wired for progress.

Sri Chinmoy was officially invited to hold the opening meditation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago on August 28, 1993.

Parliament of the World’s Religions, 1993 from Vasudeva Server on Vimeo.

Doubt, Faith, and the Ethics of Apostasy

Exploring the spiritual web of trust and remaining true to ethics, right speech, and right action. Avoiding spiritual fakery.

I recently completed a five-part series on “The ACLU and Religious Freedom” which actually covered many topics related to faith and reason, apostasy, anti-cult groups, faux therapy, and the victim mentality. That series was largely analytical, but I wanted to follow up with some comments which are more personal and philosophical, plus some good old-fashioned ranting. 😉

The type of faux therapy discussed in Part 2 — whether practised formally or by a loose-knit group on the Internet — robs former spiritual seekers of something precious: of a valuable relationship (with the spiritual teacher), and of what they had previously achieved in the spiritual life.

To borrow a quote from Doctor Who: “Every life is a pile of good things and bad things.”

When people pray, meditate, and engage in selfless work, they add to their pile of good things. But when people become doubting and hostile, and consciously try to take away the faith of others, this negates the good things and adds to their pile of bad things, their negative karma.

Life is cyclic; people sometimes go through phases which are more spiritual or less so. A wise person gradually adds to their pile of goods things, and even during a less spiritual phase they don’t subtract from it by committing acts which are spiritually destructive. In this way, they make gradual progress. Continue reading