Headless and fullness of being

I paid attention to the slight shifts between headlessness and being with experiences today. They are very similar, although in being with the form is slightly more in the foreground, and in headlessness the awake emptiness is slightly more in the foreground. And of course, within each, there are also shifts in which of the two are more in the foreground.

I also noticed a curiosity about how it is when both are more fully present, and had that answered a few minutes later when I walked into the public library and listened to a surprisingly good live performance of baroque chamber music (Bach, Corelli etc.). The sound, which was full, rich and clear as water, evoked a similar sense of fullness of being at human and soul levels, and also brought into the foreground the awake emptiness.

So at once, there was a deep and rich sense of fullness of being, as an individual, and also the awake emptiness within which and as all form arises. A fullness of being as individual, and also the field arising absent of a separate self.

Sounds from home

Sometimes my longing for home comes up more strongly than other times, such as today, sparked by an article in the Observer, Arctic Magic, about yoik and also Adjagas.

Yes, this is the physical original home, my birth place (not home as who I am, the fullness of this individual, nor home as what I am, as Spirit)…

So in terms of music reminding me of home, here is one of my favorite Norwegian music videos (sweetly and charmingly human and innocent) , and a good song as well.

I’d Rather Dance with You, Kings of Convenience. Their other videos are also worth a look and listen: Misread, Failure, Cayman Islands.

And other music from Norway I often (or sometimes, with the ones further down the list) listen to…

Mari Boine
– Sami traditional song woven into contemporary music.

Jaga Jazzist – experimental jazz (a friend of mine played in this one a while back.)

Jan Garbarek – experimental jazz.

Salvatore, ambient punk band with a classmate and friend of mine from high school (myspace).

Röyksopp – ambient, electronic.

Bel Canto – ambient, electronic (myspace).

Remind Me from Röyksopp (a great way of showing interconnectedness, this one at the mid-range of the holarchy.)

Eple from Röyksopp (this one giving a taste of the seamlessness of the world, again at the mid-range.)

Insatiable as who and what I am

Both as what (Spirit) and who (individual soul/human) we are, we seem to be insatiable…

I notice this most recently in exploring music (through Last.fm, online radio, and other sources).

There is a deep and quiet exitment and satisfaction in exploring all this music from all over the world, having it at my fingertips, in my living room, being able to share it with others who have similar taste (or not.)

As who I am

As who I am, part of the satisfaction is to explore different parts of myself through this music, especially that of other cultures. I experience myself differently through this music, as I experience myself differently through the larger world in general… any situation, any relationship, any interaction, any engagement, any music, literature, theater, movie… all of these allows me to experience myself and the world differently… bringing new aspects and qualities out.

As what I am

And as what I am, it is the same. The infinite variety of the world of form allows me, as awake emptiness and form, to experience myself in, through and as this infinite variety. Why would awake emptiness arise as form, if not to experience itself as form…?

Awakening to what I am, while embracing who I am

By the way, this is where many approaches to spirituality seem to be a little one-sided. It is true that to awaken as what we (already) are, we need to disidentify with all our (fixed, limited) identities, to die to what we have taken ourselves as, to let go of beliefs in thoughts and ideas.

But this does not exclude living a full life. On the contrary, it allows us to live a far more full life, as who and what we are, in and through this human life. It is fully possible to disidentify from fixed identities, and let go of beliefs, in the midst of a full life.

Awakening to what I am, and experiencing without holding on

What they got right is that to explore life only as who we are does not give any lasting or complete satisfaction. Something will always seem to be missing, and that is awakening to what we are. And in awakening to what we are, we allow anything… There is an absence of holding on, no pushing away, of anything in the world of form.

We can be insatiable, just allowing what arises to arise, without holding on, without pushing away. Just experiencing (and enjoying) our form aspect, as this individual and the wider world, independent of its particulars.


The word insatiable has connotations of craving, desiring, clinging. When these are blind, it means that we have not yet awakened to what we are.

Here, I am using insatiable in a more free and loose sense, to include Spirit arising as, and experiencing and exploring itself as form. Spirit is “insatiable” only in that it arises as and in innumerable forms, always as new. But since there is no Other here, there is also no clinging.

The fertile void and Arvo Pärt

During the initial diksha, empty light dropped into my body and stayed there, as present and clear now as then. During the Enlovenment diksha last weekend, full darkness dropped into the body, and seems as stable as the empty light. There is a beautiful symmetry there, as with so much else.

I have been drawn to Arvo Pärt‘s music again for the last week or so. It seems that the fertile void and the empty light are both there in his music, the velvety blackness and the clear luminosity.

For me, this is most clearly expressed in Passio, Misrere, Te Deum, Arbos and Tabula Rasa (the ECM recordings.)

And this is also a reminder of how deeply I was into this during the initial awakening (into the luminosity and the fertile void, during my time in Norway, immersed in Pärt’s music, in Orthodox music in general, being a student of Odd Nerdrum, and much more that all combine this sense of black and full earthiness with luminosity and clarity.)

It may be that this is not so new after all. One of the main differences is that then, it all came at once, and now, it comes spaced out more. Then, it just happened, out of the blue, all at once, with a great deal of intensity, and a sense of it being remarkable. Now, it comes in a different way, more spaced out, with less intensity, and as less remarkable.

Music and prayer

As with just about anything else, my draw to food, movies and music goes through the usual fractal cycles (longer cycles over years, seasons, months and weeks, with short cycles overlaid going over weeks, days and hours).

So my music listening goes from 60s lounge to baroque (Bach, Marin Marais) to world (Mari Boine, Carlos Nakai, Hun Huur Tu, Yossou N’Dour), to renaissance (Palestrina, Victoria) to pop (Sting, Kate Bush, Stereolab) to religious (Rachmaninov’s Vesper, Sister Marie Keyrouz, Russian Orthodox) to folk music (Agnes Buen Garnås) to contemporary (Jan Garbarek, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Arvo Pärt) to romatic (Shubert) to other genres.

Music as prayer

This weekend, I got into an Arvo Pärt phase, and am reminded of music as prayer.

His compositions, such as Passio, Arbos, Tablua Rasa, Te Deum and others, are prayer in the form of music, and they resonate with and awaken prayer in the (receptive) listener. Wherever our center of gravity is, the music closely mirrors, reflects and awakens our relation with Spirit as a Thou.

For me, listening to Pärt brings me right into the deep, full, rich and all-pervading sense of mystery, awe, unspeakable beauty, longing, pain, passion, joy, bliss, and disappearing of any separate I as any heart-centered and deeply felt prayer do, such as the heart prayer and Christ meditation.

While our center of gravity is still in a segment of the totality, prayer in any form – including music, can help us shift out of it and taste selflessness.

And after the awakening to selflessness, prayer and music can awaken the same sense of awe, beauty, longing, pain, joy and bliss, and work in and throughout our human self, allowing it to mature, deepen, become even more of a vehicle for Spirit-awake-to-itself in the world of phenomena.



Luminous Night’s Journey – A. H. Almaas

Spacecruiser Inquiry – A. H. Almaas

Anatomy of Miracles – Subagh Singh Khalsa (Sat Nam Rasayan)

The Healing Art of Sat Nam Rasayan – Guru Dev Singh

Classical Five Element Acupuncture Vol. III – J.R. Worsley

Listening to

Aerial – Kate Bush

Ancestral Voices – Carlos Nakai, William Eaton

Voices from the Distant Steppe – Shu De

Orphan’s Lament – Huun Huur Tu

Egypt – Yossou N’Dour

Glassworks – Philip Glass

Unfolding – Axiom of Choice


Portals of Grace – Azam Ali

Himalaya – Eric Valli

Blue Idol – Altan

Morimur – Bach (Hilliard Ensamble)

Die Kunst der Fuge – Bach (Keller Quartet)

Byron Katie – dialogues

Joel Morwood – talks (Center for Sacred Sciences)


Byron Katie inquiries, daily in periods

Atma Vichara – inquiry into what appears most as “I” and seeing that too as empty of any I, just appearing within space as everything else

Breema – Self-Breema and bodywork, daily

Facilitating Big Mind – couple of times a week

Kundalini yoga – weekly classes, simple exercises a few times a day (breath of fire and more)

Sitting practice – shikantaze, now and then

Deeksha – monthly hands-on deekshas, and inviting in at any time

Sat Nam Rasayan – weekly classes, sometimes during the day

Being with whatever is – going into experiences, especially uncomfortable ones

Water (80+ ounces a day), diet, some strength, walks, biking

Offering to the divine – any perceived problems, my human self, my whole being, my relationships, the house and material goods, community, earth, universe

Intention – to have resolved/cleared whatever prevents… (awakening, living a fuller live)

Nocturn: Kate Bush and the nondual

I find Kate Bush‘s music very beautiful (especially Hounds of Love, The Sensual World and Aerial), and there is also a luminosity in much of what she writes. There is a translucency in Arjuna Ardagh‘s terminology.

For instance, the lyrics of Nocturn is a beautiful description of awakening to – or at least intuiting – Big Mind. God as all and ourselves as That.

Interpreting can only detract from it, but here is a go at it…


On this Midsummer night
Everyone is sleeping
We go driving into the moonlight

Could be in a dream
Our clothes are on the beach
These prints of our feet
Lead right up to the sea
No one, no one is here
No one, no one is here
We stand in the Atlantic
We become panoramic

No one is here – this probably means that there were no others there, but can also be seen as the realization that there is no “I” – there is no one here. I am gone, and there is only God. We become panoramic – the world world is within us.

We tire of the city
We tire of it all
We long for just that something more

Yes, a longing for discovering our true nature. As that which is, with no “I” anywhere. As consciousness and all its manifestations.

Could be in a dream
Our clothes are on the beach
The prints of our feet
Lead right up to the sea
No one, no one is here
No one, no one is here
We stand in the Atlantic
We become panoramic

The stars are caught in our hair
The stars are on our fingers
A veil of diamond dust
Just reach up and touch it
The sky’s above our heads
The sea’s around our legs
In milky, silky water
We swim further and further

The universe happens within and as us, and the stars are caught in our hair and the stars are on our fingers. The can be seen as a beautiful expression of the play of the absolute and relative, as ourselves as Big Mind and a human self.

We dive down… We dive down

A diamond night, a diamond sea
and a diamond sky…

When the realization of no “I” pops, there is indeed a diamond quality to it all. It is brilliantly clear, stainless.

We dive deeper and deeper
we dive deeper and deeper
Could be we are here
Could be in a dream
It came up on the horizon
Rising and rising
In a sea of honey, a sky of honey
A sea of honey, a sky of honey

And here is the bliss that comes with an awakening. The sea and sky of honey that comes with the release from the previous contractions.

The chorus:
Look at the light, all the time it’s a changing
Look at the light, climbing up the aerial
Bright, white coming alive jumping off of the aerial
All the time it’s a changing, like now…
All the time it’s a changing, like then again…
All the time it’s a changing
And all the dreamers are waking

Finding ourselves as the ground, as that from and as the world of form arises, as emptiness dancing, we see clearly how the world of form is always changing. And there is no need to hold onto anything.

This is the dreamers waking. And each one of us is the dreamer waiting to awaken.

Dream :: Playing Music

I joined in playing with a group of people in a very interesting version of Bulgarian (or similar) folk song. I played on an improvised flute made of white electrical tubing (!). It was very beautiful in an unusual way, and I experienced a deep satisfaction in it.

I used to play music (keyboard and electronic) but haven’t done so for several years. Recently, I have wanted to come back into it again. It fills something in me that nothings else does. My sense is that the dream can be taken in a quite literal way, maybe with exception of the particular instrument! It gave the dream the quality of improvisation, of suddenly and unexpectedly becoming engaged, and something very beautiful coming out of it.

Music I listen to

Note: current list here.  

A selection of music I listen to…

Contemporary I
Arvo Part: (anything) Te Deum, Passio, Arbos, Miserere, Alina, Orient & Occident (ECM recordings) ***
Meredith Monk: (anything) Facing North, Book of Days, Mercy, Do You Be, Turtle Dreams, Dolmen Music ***
Philip Glass: (most) Akhnaten, Satyagraha, Symphony no. 2, Glassworks, Dracula ***
Steve Reich: Different Trains, Music for 18 Musicians ***
John Adams: Shaker Loops ***

Contemporary II
Sting: (anything) Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner’s Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day ***
Kate Bush: (most) Aerial, Hounds of Love, This Sensual World ***
Laurie Anderson: (most) Big Science, Home of the Brave ***
Peter Gabriel: Passion – Music for the Last Temptation of Christ (+ sources) ***

Contemporary III
Stereolab: (anything) Dots & Loops, Cobra & Phases, Sound Dust, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Margerine Eclipse ***
Jaga Jazzist: Magazine, Stix ***
Kings of Convenience: Riot on an Empty Street, Quiet is the New Loud

Contemporary IV (light & fly-by-night)
St. Germain: Tourist
Gabin: Gabin
Ben Charest: The Triplets of Belleville
Ultra Lounge: Coctail Capers
Brazilian Lounge, Putumayo.
Benabar: Risques du Metier
Django Reinhardt
Sweet & Lowdown (soundtrack)

New Ageish
Carlon Nakai: (most) Carry the Gift, Island of Bows, Earth Spirit, Journeys, Feathers Stone & Light, Canyon Trilogy, Sanctuary ***
William Eaton: Where Rivers Meet **
Music from the World of Osho: This!, Shadow of the Pines **
Andreas Vollenweider: Behind the Gardens, Caverna Magica, White Winds **
The Harmonic Choir: Hearing Solar Winds ***
Naaz Hosseini: Soundpath
Voice of Earth (NASA recordings)

International: Middle-East
Axiom of Choice: (anything) Niya Yesh, Unfolding ***
Azam Ali: Portals of Grace ***
Niyaz ***
Seiur Marie Keyrouz: Chant Byzantin, Canticles de L’Orient ***
Fairuz: Good Friday Eastern Sacred Song ***
Najima: Pukar
Masters of Persian Music: Without You, Faryad ***

International: Africa
Youssou N’dour: (most) Eyes Open, The Guide, Set, Egypt, Nothing’s in Vain ***
Egypte: Les Musiciens Du Nil ***
Hamza El Din: Eclipse, Escalay **
Oumou Sangare: Moussolou **
Salif Keita
Natacha Atlas: Ayeshten

International: Europe
Mari Boine: Eight Seasons ***
Agnes Buen Garn�s: Han red den m�rke natt, Rosensfole (exceptional album with Jan Garbarek) ***
Anne Vada & Aki Fukakusa: Solrenning ***
Sinikka: Strengen var av r�de guld
Kalenda Maya
Bulgarian Women’s Choir: (anything) Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Ritual, Bulgarian Custom Songs ***
Maria Salgado: Siete Modos De Guisar Las Berenjenas **
Gaelic Voices (compilation) **
Altan: (anything) Harvest Storm, Horse With a Heart, The Red Crow **
Kila: (anything) Tog e go bog e, Lemonade & Buns
Milladorio: Agua de Maio ***
Patric Ball: Celtic Harp ***

International: Americas
Bela Fleck: The Bluegrass Sessions, Tales from the Acoustic Planet ***
Bill Monroe
Flatt & Scruggs
Newgrass Revival
Sam Bush
El Cruzao
Soledad Bravo: Volando Voy

International: Asia
Huun Huur-Tu: (anything) If I’d Been Born an Eagle, Where Young Grass Grows ***
Angelite & Huun HuurTu: Fly Away My Sadness ***
Tuva, Among the Spirits ***
Shakuhachi – The Japanese Flute ***
Tadashi Tajima: Shingetsu ***
Flute & Koto du Japon ***
Ravi Shankar ***
Hariprasad Chaurasia: Chaurasia’s Choice, Rag Lalit, Rag Bhimpalasi

European Classical
Bach: Morimur (ECM label), Die Kunst Der Fuge (Keller Quartett), Orgelwerke (Ton Coopman), Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (Jordi Savall) ***
Rachmaninov: Vespers ***
Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli, Missa Aeterna Christi Munea, Stabat Mater (Naxos label) ***
Victoria: Missa O Magnum Mysterium, Missa O Quam Gloriosum (Naxos label), Cantis Canticorum (Hilliard Ensamble) ***
Allegri: Miserere ***
Masterpieces of Mexican Polyphony ***
Marin Marais: (anything) Pieces de Viole du Second Livre (Jordi Savall) ***
Sainte Colombe: Concerts a Deux Violes Esgales (Jordi Savall) ***
Marais/Colombe etc: Tous Les Matins du Monde (Jordi Savall) **
Couperin: Lecons de Tenebres (Les Arts Florissants)
Lully: Arys (Les Arts Florissants)
Carlo Gesualdo: Tenebrae (Hilliard Ensamble), Madrigaux a 5 Voix (Les Arts Florissants)
John Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears (Jordi Savall)
Canteloube: Songs of the Auvergne (Dawn Upshaw) **
Franz Schubert: Winterreise (Njål Sparbo)
Erik Satie: Piano Works (Naxos label) **

to be continued…