A project by Regula Curti, TinaTurner, Ani Choying, Dima Orsho, Sawani Shende Sathaye, Mor Karbasi
A review by Barbara Bullock, M.F.A., spiritual writer
Time to awaken to your soul
When I listen to music, I see the music. Images appear in my mind. A message from the divine is delivered through music. Come with me on the journey of Awakening Beyond.
A new way of seeing
A soft sound of a single flute seemingly out of nowhere is soon joined by an ever empowering crescendo. As our world sees yet another day, the first few rays of sunlight merge with the most powerful star of our galaxy to shine its life-giving light and warmth each day. Angelic tunes of the founder of the Beyond projects, Regula Curti, are accompanied by new, unknown yet the spirit of inquiry evoking vocal sounds that bring forth new thought forms. This time, it’s aim is to take the listener to places not yet explored by the Beyond projects while providing a thread to previous projects with spiritual messages and familiar voices. Followers have heard and learned to love various songs and prayers from a variety of religious traditions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism. Awakening Beyond further examines the deep roots of Heart Sutras, Sufi poems, Sephardic music, Syrian lullabies, Arabic traditions and additions from India and Spain and brings ancient sounds into our modern world. Like a river of time, Awakening Beyond tries to bridge the past with the present and creates awareness that will allow for hearts to open and choices made for a better tomorrow.
I think it is no coincidence that Tibet and Syria, two beautiful countries with history and traditions well worth passing on to future generations were chosen to be represented by the Beyond projects. The conflicts and endless destruction of cultural heritage, eradicating entire communities and assassinating countless human beings, many of them innocent children, have been occurring for so long. Images of such agony and despair on television and in the press, have almost become a part of our days. So much so that many people have literally stopped paying attention and even question their authenticity.
Are these battles so insurmountable that there is no end in sight and the only solution the complete elimination of entire cultures? As one of the answers to the problems, many countries around the world have opened their gates to provide refuge for the innocent bystanders. However, after leaving everything behind and voyaging deadly passages many face new challenges. Those who don’t seem to adapt to unknown cultures and traditions quick enough encounter everything but newfound freedom. Citing fellow human beings as too dangerous, which certainly some are, closed borders for them also means closed borders for the old shop owner whose livelihood was ruined by an unexpected aerial attack, a grandmother who is unable to visit her grandchild studying abroad to further her education unobtainable in her home country in order to serve humanity, and a child standing in agony, hungry, alone, and with nothing left except heart-breaking memories of having his home destroyed and entire family killed, waiting to be rescued by a stranger taken away into an uncertain future. There are many more.
It’s time to wake up
Listening to Awakening Beyond feels to me like a wakeup call for our society as it is today. As an empath, I am very receptive to invisible, mystical and metaphysical existences in our world. I can feel the energy of another person, a room, a place, nature, and sounds. At first, Awakening Beyond omits a new, darker energy to me. It is not a kind of music for the light-hearted or someone who just wants to be entertained for a while. Awakening Beyond truly awakens you to a new world of seeing, a new world of listening, a new world of thinking, and most importantly, a new world of feeling. Waking up is a term most familiar to those who learn about the law of attraction, spirituality, abundance, and the fact that we are indeed spiritual beings in human bodies having a human experience. We know we are eternal. We know that we don’t have souls, but that we are souls. We know that, in order to improve our world as it is, we need to educate as many people as possible about the fact that tolerance, love, and compassion for others and their lives, is the solution to the world’s problems, not violence, discrimination, and war. Understanding really does not take much science and learning. Rather, it takes an open heart and mind to comprehend that we are not that different from the person next to us or living on the other side of the planet. There are many ways to get to such a place in our hearts. Awakening Beyond is one of them. It does not deny the fact that traditions, religions, and customs differ, but, like a mantra, keeps chanting the teaching that the foundation and goal of all traditions are the same. Human feelings and the eternal quest for the meaning of life is identical across all cultures and histories. As in previous Beyond projects, the message is clear once again. We are all one. We are all spiritual beings coming to planet Earth in different shapes, forms, colors, nationalities, likes, and dislikes. Yet we are all made of and a part of the divine and our vast universe. Ancient cultures have known this for eons. Our modern societies focusing so much on separation, exclusion, and selection, need to reawaken to this fact. I believe that it is one of the goals of the Awakening Beyond project to contribute its share to do just that. Have an open mind. Let the music sink into your consciousness. You might be surprised.
As if these conflicts and contradictions were not enough, we cannot ignore other pressing issues such as climate change. While water gives life, drought diminishes it. It threatens our very own habitat – Mother Earth – more than many of its inhabitants are aware of. Animals and humans alike can no longer survive. The journey of Awakening Beyond begins Earth Mother Anna Mae Bullock. Tina Turner is the better-known name but is more familiar to most in company with song and dance on the world’s stages. Presented here is the spiritual message of what I believe to be a highly evolved soul. We have heard the stage persona to be retired; we have heard her sing her heart and soul out with the most touching interpretation of Buddhist chants and the Lord’s prayers. As spirituality has played a tremendous part in the person’s life, probably even her soul’s growth in this lifetime, I see our Earth mother as a teacher of her eternal wisdom. Listen closely to her soft yet strong voice. A lonesome soul cries out into the vast universe. Yet it is echoed by unconditional love returning to her multiplied. Many love her but are we really listening to our Earth Mother and her teachings?
As I do, I see land, a desert. Crops bountiful and flourishing last year, are now dying due to drought. Cultures of the desert all eradicated by segregation, war, and violence. Innocent people like you and me have nothing. Not even a drop of water.
Our Earth mother prays for rain so that crops can grow again. We need our Mother Earth. Don’t you see? We cannot keep destroying her, exploiting her. Otherwise, we’ll destroy ourselves. Our Earth Mother Anna Mae knows that. Are we listening to her truthful, divinely guided words? We need the land to revive. Otherwise, we all will be dying of thirst on the way to freedom.
What really stands out for me on this album is the orchestra. I hear more classical crescendos which remind me of important points in a movie script. Filmmakers frequently use music to intensify a scene and make it appear more dramatic. Like a choir, an orchestra needs every single instrument to function as a whole to create the sound it is supposed to. Awakening Beyond seems to seek to achieve a similar effect. Throughout the project, we hear one voice then another, first single and together as a choir. Complementing each other, blending together and creating a new voice together which can only exist with all participants present. Two or more singers singing from different places on our planet. Like two birds singing the morning song, first one, then another one, then another one joins the conversation. Regardless of culture, religion, and background, singing together with one heart, the source of unconditional love, where all voices and all cultures come from.
Let your chakras and heart dance in peace
Everyone knows how good dancing feels. It connects us to our Mother Earth yet lifts spirits up high. Salutations is a trip to India with enchanting Sawani Shende Sathaye with a modern twist. A classic crescendo accompanies earthly drums, strings represent the connection to our divine. Let’s get up and dance! It is good for the chakras, the energy centers in our human bodies. Everyone feels good after a dance, feels more connected to others so unconditional love can flow more freely. Show your inner happiness with a smile to your neighbor.
Partos Trocados by Mor Karbasi is introduced with soft sounds like the raindrops we heard earlier in the project. Seemingly an innocent lullaby it soon turns into a melancholic melody reminding me a bit of French chansons trying to express a certain sadness of the heart. The English translation of the lyrics gives me chills. Diaspora and slavery are the topics here. A mother sitting in a rocking chair rocking her baby asleep. A beautiful image of motherly love. Not so in cultures experiencing uproar. Always in the awareness that her baby might be taken or their family torn apart as the real world out there is not a peaceful one but filled with sadness and the fading hope of a better tomorrow for our children.
Avalokiteshvara begins with suspension. In search of a way out of an uncomfortable, perhaps even scary situation such as being lost in a dark forest, Om Mani Peme Hung, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist mantra, is soon the savior. The regularity of chanting a regular rhythm is very soothing and comforting. Mantras offer a return to regularity, a comfort zone, a peaceful and relaxing yet uplifting environment in the mind and in the heart. Like a peaceful warrior inviting me to join a wave of peace through chanting. Peaceful resistance is likely the appropriate terminology here and, yes, I suddenly do think of the nonviolent actions of countless evolved beings during the civil rights movement standing up for what is right without violence and rage. The consistent chants and the comfort they bring to my ears invite me to join the movement. Something inside of the music and voice by Ani Choying is calling my attention. Like the nectar inside of a beautiful blossom attracts the bee, a flower field is surrounded by butterflies, so I am too attracted by this expression of divine, unconditional, universal love. An invitation by voice and sound – the audible expression of the divine – to join this movement. A movement of love. The longer I listen, the more I feel like chanting myself. I find myself in a different place. Higher somehow. Vibrating higher into the realms of divine unconditional love I start to feel more peaceful in my heart. I encourage the listener to listen to this powerful mantra in a place where one cannot be disturbed. Too powerful to be silenced, I feel like joining the choir and chanting out loud. Getting close to my heart and my soul I join the Beyond. Listening with headphones on my commute, I look around and don’t see just fellow passengers. I feel compassion for the beings next to me. This is the power of a mantra.
Wiegenlied, Regula Curti’s German lullaby is very soothing and comforting. An angel’s soft touch and embrace taking humanity into his wings and leaving a feather as a reminder that angelic help is always available. Regula reminds us that no matter what happens, we are safe and protected. I see an innocent baby in his crib looking back representing our world’s future.
Our children of today, especially those in war-torn countries, those innocent angel-like beings, are caught in the middle of fighting. Children don’t understand why adults see differences in each other and fight. The angels remind us that children only learn differences when adults teach them those. Children are also naturally curious and just want to try to understand their world around them and why things are the way they seem. Children don’t see differences because they don’t really exist. Children know unconditional love.
Nini Nini sung by Dima Orsho accompanied by a soft flute sounds like a gentle good morning kiss. As the world slowly awakens on a new morning, a new chance, a new day, is given. The sun rises slowly over the rooftops of an ancient city connecting its inhabitants with what has long gone, the past, with what is yet to be, the future. No one really knows what the day will bring. Human beings are once more awakened by the great Beyond to rise again. The opportunity of a new day should not be taken for granted, nor should free will. Free will is another chance for humanity to choose peace, to choose love on this brand-new day. It is up to all of us what we make of this new day. It’s time for Awakening Beyond. It’s time to go Beyond on this new day.
Sojaa Sojaa another sweet lullaby with Indian origin allows us to rise for a new day. Very uplifting and bright like the sun coming up fully now over the horizon providing light and love. The power of the sun gives life and is eternal. Eternal power, eternal love, wishing us all a powerful new day filled with light and love. Let’s all keep dancing as our Mother Earth has greeted a new day in our time and space. This is the opportunity to choose love and light. Seize the day and make it light and loving!
Mountain blessings is a further invitation sent from the distant corners of our galaxy to every human being on this planet. An intense crescendo is the wake-up call our world needs now. Regula Curti’s call from the mountaintop to humankind of all sorts all around the world cannot be overheard. This is the master’s invitation to get up and join the choir. No longer can we depend on others to save us. Instead, through music, let your heart open up and join the lightworkers to change the world for the better today. We were given a new day, but we also have to mobilize every person to contribute something to everlasting world peace.
The current challenges are too great for a few to bear. We need every voice, every opinion, every tradition, every trace, every culture, every language, every mind and every heart to join for a better tomorrow.
Lama Chenno feels, once again, very soothing, a Tibetan mantra that provides safety, regularity, and peace. Like a mother figure letting me know that everything is going to be all right even if it might not seem so at the moment. We, the human race, progress and evolve, but we certainly face uncertainty on the path to peace. Yet, as learned previously, mantras provide comfort along the way.
One soul is the reminder we need now. Opening drums invite the listener to join the dance of life. The blending voices of different cultures and religions remind us that we are all here in all our different shapes, shades, customs and beliefs yet we are all one from one soul. All of us contribute to the diversity in our world we live in. No one is inferior or superior. We are all one. The comparison to a chain like a necklace or a bracelet comes easy here. Each part connects with one before and one after. Each part is not just important for the whole peace. Each part is required so much so that the whole piece would not hold together without every single tiny part.
Two Loves and Caritas Abundat are the last but not least reminders that we need to open our hearts to others. Yes, another being might be less familiar even unknown. Yes, it is possible to learn compassion for others no matter what the history, the background, the origin. Serving as reminders that we all one heart, one soul, one universe. Unconditional love is all there is and so I feel it in me, in you, around me, around you, for you, and for me, to the stars and back to Mother Earth and all there is. Love is all there is, ever was and ever will be. I feel compassion and love as I look into your eyes, fellow human being. I know I am guided on my path to peace by the angels of the universe. Heaven is not a place far away that we might see one day. Heaven is here right now. And so, it is. Amen.
As the journey of Awakening Beyond comes to an end, we step through the door and discover that this journey has just begun. Our Mother Earth teacher Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner) once again invites us to follow her voice. I listen closely to her heartwarming voice; Anna Mae teaches us that we have gone beyond. The music has changed us as we are not the same as before. The music we have listened to has made us feel comfortable. A beautiful journey through diverse religions and cultures has opened my heart even more. I feel calmer now, softer now, like the sound of the ringing of soft bells, I feel more compassion filling my heart even to the unfamiliar and new. As I realize that we are indeed all one. I thank God for our Earth Mother. I can listen to her voice forever. Strong yet soft, empowering yet comforting. A true gift from the great Beyond. I indeed have gone Beyond. Let Earth Mother Anna Mae keep guiding you with her eternal wisdom and spiritual messages. Try chanting with her. It changed her life and can also do wonders for yours. It can change our world for the better. This is our time to do exactly that. We can have a better world. A more peaceful world. A more loving, compassionate, forgiving world. But it is also up to us!
One more time Regula Curti closes the circle back to previous Beyond projects with Kyrei Eleison Christe Eleison. Indeed, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy. The last invitation follows. As was said before, we are completely gone, in the beyond now. The focus here for me is the now. We are in the Beyond right now! The journey of Awakening Beyond has brought us closer to compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love for others. We are gone. Gone in the Beyond. What that means for me is that there is no way back. Once in the Beyond, I must stay here. This is heaven; this is Nirvana; this is enlightenment. It is not a realm distant from us. It is right here. But it also takes our contribution. The world we live in can be a very beautiful place of peace and freedom for all religions and cultures in which we enrich each other’s lives by teaching each other instead of fighting against each other and exclude each other.
I certainly don’t have the solution to all the problems in our world. However, I do believe that each of us can contribute something for a more peaceful, loving, and forgiving world. As the beautiful Beyond sisters have taught us over and over: Keep singing and go Beyond. Listen to the Beyond projects and try to emulate the same compassion, tolerance, unconditional love and forgiveness they have articulated through song and voice. Our world is very blessed for their continuous efforts and contributions. Please support their projects and their foundations. Our world is already a little better. With gratitude, I close my review. With gratitude, I bow once again and thank the great Beyond for all founders, artists, producers, designers, and so many more. Through music and prayer, the Beyond projects enchant and uplift our homes, commutes, communities, and world. My life is not the same as it was before the Beyond projects.
I have gone beyond. I hope you have too or will soon.
With gratitude and the hope for a better tomorrow.
Copyright © 2018 by Barbara Bullock, M.F.A., spiritual writer
Have you been inspired today? Barbarabullock.wordpress.com
Edition Beyond Singing, Switzerland, administrated by BMG
℗ and © Edition Beyond Singing, 2017
Photo credit: Edition Beyond Singing, eyeworks, Zurich (graphic design), Nathan Beck, Knoepfel Indlekofer
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