Recently, my father had surgery. He’d been in a lot of pain before the surgery and upon waking up, although he was in additional pain, said that he felt a kind of internal release, as if a long held grimace had left him.

Now my dad isn’t really the kind of man who gets involved in yoga and chanting. You’re more likely to see him watching Fox News than a kirtan concert and more likely to hear him listening to the Rolling Stones than Snatam Kaur.

But when he woke up from the surgery, just a short time out of recovery, he called me closer to his bed and said in a kind of whisper, “On the way to the hospital, your mom played some music in the car. They were singing about the ocean. Who was that? What were they singing? It was really nice. Made me feel peaceful.”

Once I got over my shock, I realized he was talking about Mirabai Ceiba’s Ocean. The words he was referring to are “The ocean refuses no river, no river. The open heart refuses no part of me, no part of you. Guru Guru Waheguru Guru Ram Das Guru.” Somehow, despite his constant vigilance against public participation in the overtly spiritual (I promise not to tell anyone about how he meditates silently every morning with my mother, owns a tarot deck, and loves to juice veggies so much that his juicer has a name — Penelope), he felt within him something move and shift when listening to Mirabai Ceiba. Not surprising of course, given the power of their music to heal. But I felt like in spite of his growing curmudgeony-ness (that CANNOT be a word), the healing energy of Guru Ram Das pierced through his veil and brought him comfort.

I cannot pay a higher compliment to Markus and Angelika of Mirabai Ceiba. You got my dad to open his heart and heal. And his new hip is doing just fine, too. And that takes one heck of an Ocean.

(Editor’s Note: Originally published on Ramdesh’s blog No Ordinary Light.)

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