Why did I choose to make a meditation album?

I started my adventure with Migration of the Soul, A Meditative Journey a few years ago when I was playing at various yoga classes. Many practitioners, loving what I was playing during savasana, would always ask me for a CD to meditate with. I had already released a beautiful CD of just Native American Flute music called Montana Crossings (by Nightdancers) and so after becoming a solo performer, decided I would fulfill this request.

You see I came upon the Native American flute many years before when I had heard its voice while walking through the Pueblo in Taos, New Mexico. The wonderful master of it was none other than John Rainer Jr. who had been playing, at that time, for over 30 years. My friendship with John continued until his death this past June, which was a great loss for me. For the last decade, he and many other Native sages have taught me much more than just the songs.

Three years ago this coming January, I went to South Africa to see and be with the big animals and experience the heart of it all. While in the township of Lanza, I met a medicine woman and we exchanged our music. As she hugged me she thanked me for sharing my "spirit prayer."  I thanked her for doing the same with her drum.

Shortly before leaving, I unfortunately found myself in a hospital ward with 24 other very sick women. I had severely broken my leg in a surfing accident and was not permitted to travel. I was alone and knew no one there. I did what the doctor told me to… not move my leg but wiggle my toes every two hours if I wanted to ensure my leg would be okay. I am an RN, so having heard stories of people losing their limbs under such circumstances, I knew to follow instructions completely. Keep my leg steady…no operation till I returned to the States…too much HIV and poor conditions for any operation here…too much pain! Fear was starting to win this game until I grabbed for an old friend…a valuable tool…

Meditation was the answer! I had been studying yoga under Dharma Mittra and also completed Sadie Nardini's Teacher Training, so meditation had become part of my routine. As it was very simply imparted by Dharma,” it is a good thing to do.” I began to do meditations that I had collected from many different places and persons.

Having worked as a volunteer for Dr.Donden (the Dalai Lama’s former personal physician), I found he had enormous patience and retained a sense of humor even in the most challenging of circumstances. I also

realized that he arose at about three o'clock in the morning to do a meditation practice before seeing patients for well over 12 hours a day. During this stay in the hospital I began to meditate and to connect with the journeys I had made throughout my life…the places I had been, the trails I had hiked, the wonders I had seen. While in my bed, I remembered looking out from the Cape of Good Hope and gazing out on the waters from the lighthouse and seeing some large whales migrating and imagined myself with them.

I also remembered a hike I made for three days along a trail someone showed me on a topographical map. I was hiking in wolf country and heard the high mating whistle of the bull elk echo throughout the valleys. I stopped to rest as I was going to start setting up my lean- to and make camp for the night. Above me, I witnessed a family of three bald eagles flying in the sky as they had just caught their dinner. They were just twenty feet over my head. What an amazing experience it was!

While attending a workshop of "internationally acclaimed healer, clairvoyant and medicine woman", Rosalyn L. Bruyere, one of the attendees, who was an astronomer and had worked with the Hubble telescope, gave us a preview of the then unreleased slides taken by this amazing window into the heavens. I was entranced by their beauty and the thought to myself…as above- so too below. To actually witness the birthing and dying of the stars as they form this vast, ever changing and expanding universe brought to mind what an amazing journey this telescope has and how similar it could be to our own journey, if we can just open ourselves to the marvels of endless space.

At the end of his days, my husband was unable to move as a result of a debilitating stroke. I met some monks who were visiting from Thailand. They imparted a mediation technique to me and then came to visit him at

the hospital. The monks then explained this technique to my husband. It was a meditation that could be done while lying down in bed. Did it help him? Well, the doctors, the medicine, the energy work (he was a kidney transplant and diabetic as well), all helped but meditation seemed to bring him something more…it imparted a wisdom and insight that seemed to give him at least some peace of mind.

In its conception and production, I tried to create an environment in Migration of the Soul that would be simple and open yet also one that would empower the listener to create their own unique and personal Meditative Journey as well.

Coming from a classical background, I was drawn to the Native flute for its entrancing tone and purity. In Migration of the Soul, my love affair with the Native flutes calls upon me to embrace their simplicity, thereby ensuring their everlasting beauty. I have many flutes, some of which were custom-made for me. Even though they were made for me, sometimes I had to sit with them, often for many years until their voices became apparent to me. Once all the voices revealed themselves to me, the project would begin in my simple home studio and grow as I carefully listened to them and followed their direction as to where they needed to go. I incorporated the drum and percussion as they had also been shown to have healing qualities of their own. Enter T.M Dubas, who lent me his generous hand and whose undulating chords from the synthesizer provided atmosphere for such difficult concepts as to create the sounds of outer space and others. The next and most critical challenge was to capture the purity of the flutes. A chance meeting with multi-Grammy award winning engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner grew into a friendship. He became interested in the project and kindly offered to engineer the all-important flutes at the Manhattan Center Studios. He also mixed the album and produced it with me. What started as a germ of an idea in my little home studio, with some world-class help, eventually became the lovely little gem that I feel it is.

When I perform Migration of the Soul live, I accompany myself with a slideshow presentation to help the listener to transport themselves to where it is they need to go. The most rewarding thing for me is when after a show, someone tells me that they have always wanted to meditate but never thought they could, and that this experience has helped to open the door. How wonderful to be able to help an audience gain insight into the amazing and far reaches of our minds and to find some peace in such a beautiful way.

In Peace and Harmony,