Opening to Love — Connecting to the Love You Are~Ashana
This week, I’ve uploaded the complete song “Opening To Love” from my new CD, “Beloved“ to my MySpace and Facebook Fan Pages. In this post, I want to share with you some of my experiences while writing and recording this song and a very beautiful meditation practice that I’ve been doing to the music.
The words for “Opening To Love” were inspired by my friendship with an extraordinary and dearly loved friend, Robert Frey, who died five years ago. Robert was a totally magical human being. He was like an elf in human form and one of the kindest and most loving people I have ever known. A musician and songwriter, Robert led tantra workshops, was a counselor and helped people learn how to have healthy relationships. One of the last songs he recorded was a very simple chant “I am opening to love.”
Robert held a space for me to come into my heart long before I ever had a clue what that meant, let alone what it might feel like. The whole idea of being vulnerable was terrifying to me. The idea of actually feeling love and acceptance for myself terrified me even more. Nevertheless, Robert’s presence and influence remained with me long after we lost touch. Two weeks before he died, I felt a strong inspiration to contact a mutual friend of ours. I sent a message to Robert, sending him my love and shortly thereafter, received a message back from him. The next thing I heard, he had suffered an accident, and had passed away, peacefully, surrounded by friends who sang him over to the other side on the music he so lovingly shared with all of us. After his passing, I felt his presence, love and encouragement very tangibly. In the three years since his death, my heart is indeed opening, more and more each day. I’ve no doubt that Robert’s spirit is laughing with delight.
So when it came time to record “Beloved“, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to offer a song with these precious words — “I am opening to your love.” Recording the lead vocals was a totally blissful experience. As I began to sing, all the people in my life who I have loved, and who loved me, came before me, one by one. I sang to each of them. Then, I felt and saw all those who have challenged me the most — the relationships that demanded relentless forgiveness, understanding, patience and acceptance. I sang to each one. As I chanted the words, over and over and over again, I experienced my heart softening, and filling with gentleness, forgiveness and love.
When I perform this song in concert, I share this story with the audience and suggest that people try it for themselves as we sing together. I cannot tell you how often I sit at the piano, singing and watching, as people begin to cry, their hearts breaking open in the space of love that these simple, healing words create.
A few days ago, I had the inspiration to use this song as a meditation for myself. In closing, I’d like to share it with you. It is a very sweet and easy practice you can do to connect more deeply with the Love You Are, using this beautiful chant as an anchor. The first time I did it, I literally felt my heart break open as I gazed into my own eyes.
Opening To Love — a simple meditation to connect to the Love You Are
Find 10 minutes where you can sit quietly and undisturbed in front of a mirror, where you can comfortably look into your own eyes. If you like, you can also place one or two beautiful pictures of someone you love or who inspires you — a family member, friend, a beloved pet, a spiritual guide or teacher with whom you feel a connection.
Gently place your right hand over your left, on top of your heart. Look into the mirror and gaze deeply into your own eyes. Begin singing along with “Opening To Love.” Notice the feelings that come up for you — boredom, joy, judgment, love, sadness, grief — whatever they are, simply notice them and allow them to be. Make no effort to change or correct what you are feeling. Give yourself full permission to be present and gently accept everything that comes up for you. Alternate between the photos and the mirror, whatever feels right for you in the moment. Imagine that your voice is coming directly out of your heart. When the song is over, repeat, or sit quietly, allowing your awareness to rest in the quiet, still center of your being.
I’ve made a commitment to do this practice for 21 days. If you feel inspired to join me, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share experiences with you and see what happens for us.
From my heart to yours,
“Opening To Love” is the fourth song on Ashana’s CD “Beloved.” To order a copy, visit www.AshanaMusic.com. The song is also available for download from iTunes.