I am back from performing at Bhakti Fest, a drug-free music and yoga festival in Joshua Tree, California, that focuses on devotional music. It was an excellent experience sharing my new album and show “Yoga In the Nightclub”, making new friends and fans, developing new contacts, all to help expand the reach of this creative work that is in service to the divine. It was great to be there. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it, so I give a shout out in gratitude to the festival founder Sridhar Filberstein. He has clearly put together an event that meets the needs of many. I also loved meeting Joni Yung, host of the radio show The Accidental Yogist, and Leanne Wood, founder of Bliss Bubble Radio.
As one switched-on festival attendee said to me, when we turn our lives to the divine, we get tested in a big way. This, I know intimately, as I am sure many do. This is especially true for people who have chosen to sing traditional mantras and devotional chants. The very vibration of these chants puts one to the test at every level. Being in the performing arts, the test is also in letting go of the seduction of our ego that thinks the praise for our work is all for “me”, rather than the muse that works through us.
The ego is a tricky thing. It expresses itself in feeling greater than and lesser than others. So both inflated self-praise and self-deprecation are expressions of our shadows. The spiritual path is walking along the razor’s edge, but to be a spiritual aspirant devoted to the performing arts is, to me, like the razor’s edge of the razor’s edge.
Speaking with managers, musicians and technicians of big names in the devotional music world, I touched the wounded hearts of many who are supposedly spreading love and inspiration. As with all stories shared, there are many sides to any event, and then there is the truth. We can trust our own experience, and take the experience of others with awareness that this is their experience.
In part two, I will share more about the power of masks to conceal and reveal.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator, having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, and developed her own yoga teaching style called YEM™: Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her current shows, “YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub” and “Natamba”, bring forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream.