(Editor’s Note: In this series, “My Spirit Voyage”, we’ll be bringing you stories of people’s personal awakenings with Kundalini yoga. We’ve posed many teachers, writers, and musicians this question: “What Kundalini yoga music album started you on this path? ” In “My Spirit Voyage”, they share their stories of awakening and deep love for the path of chanting.)
Grace. When I think of the definition of the word, Grace, I feel a softening in my heart. Beauty and charm. Divine love and protection. A gift granted by God. This is how I feel about Snatam Kaur’s album, Grace.
When Grace came out we were living in New York City, and I was practicing Kundalini Yoga in a tiny yoga studio around the corner from our apartment. It was such a small class, but we all felt we had found the best kept secret in Manhattan. When I began practicing yoga to Snatam’s beautiful voice, my heart began to melt into a golden light of love. I think I cried every day for a few weeks just listening to the mantras. The album became my favorite gift for friends and family members, and to this day I enjoy wrapping it up and sharing it with others.
When my children were babies, my dear father became very ill. It was one of the most challenging times in my life. We were in the process of moving, and were living in a rental an hour and a half from my parents. Gabriella and Christian were both so young and sweet, and each time I left them they cried. Gabriella would hold me so tightly asking why she could not come to see Dada. Children were not allowed in the intensive care unit due to germs, and I already felt awful because she had picked up a fever from the initial emergency visit when daddy was rushed to the hospital. Leaving my children to drive and visit my father in the hospital with tears rolling down my face created a torn, devastated and overwhelmed mommy. It is difficult leaving a crying child, but leaving a crying child a few days a week in order to visit a very special father who could pass at any moment was excruciating. I just prayed he would still be there while I asked God to embrace my babies with love. I have so much gratitude for my family and friends, yet what truly saved my heart at that time was my connection to Spirit, and Grace was the album that I listened to on every drive. It became the vibration that connected to the light from above that shined love on us all. I am forever grateful to Snatam’s album and the cd player in my car which brought sound currents of peace to my heart center.
It was an absolute miracle that our father’s health improved, and we had the joy of sharing two full years together savoring every moment of our laughter and hugs. We were so blessed to have one last trip to Italy as a full family where our father could bond so much with his grandchildren. Yet, in the Winter of 2006, our dear father passed on to the heavens. As he took his last breath my sister, Stephanie, our mom and I were fortunate to be at his side. As he left to be with the angels, Stephanie and I were singing May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You from Snatam’s Grace. We had the feeling that the sound of his favorite girls singing these soft words would give him a sense of peace in knowing we would be taken care of without him in our presence physically. This was one of the most touching moments of my life. I saw a white light release from the top of his head as his entire body softened and peace appeared on his face. A few days later, we held his services, and in the midst of so many tears I again somehow managed to sing this song, asking the hundreds of people present in the church to imagine a white light around Giulio Ferrari, and to join in the song. Snatam’s angelic voice played in the background. No words can express the moment, the peace, the sadness, the release and sheer depth of love, and this will always be with my soul. I can still feel my father’s presence when I sit and chant to Grace. In fact, the album strikes a love cord with our entire family.
This is quite an emotional story to share, but life can have challenges, and we are here to support, love and uplift one another. It is part of life to experience heartache, yet when we share our hearts with one another we understand that healing can occur when love is present. The beauty of Grace is that while it can be played practicing yoga, entertaining guests, driving, playing with children, working in an office or at home and as background music while sleeping, there is something magical about the way the mantras can open our hearts with true grace. It is so joyful to remind Snatam of this story, and for her to remember that with each song she shares, she is touching so many souls. I pray this story touches yours as well, and you remember that on this journey we are interconnected and loved at all times. God bless you.