JUST LISTEN TO IT!

March 23, 2009

A lot of amazing things have happened to me over the past few years–supernatural and mystical experiences. Many of the events involved concepts I wasn’t quite sure I believed in until they actually occurred in my life. They were so strange and wonderful that I wrote a book about them. Since much of what happened has to do with music–Sammy Hagar’s music to be exact, I will start there. Thank you for listening.

If it makes you happy, do more of it.

Music transports us to a place where words cannot go. It lifts our spirits, takes us on a ride—of fantasy or magnified reality.

It gives a name to the darkness of our pain, wings to the exuberance of our joy. It validates feelings we may not know how to articulate. It draws upon these emotions and by the very act of sharing, it renews our souls.

But music is more than a portrait of life. I think music is a separate entity with a “body” and “mind” of its own. This new creation comes to life through the performance of the vocals, the instruments, the lyrics, the notes and through the passion of the musicians as it merges with the personal experience of each listener.

Live music is even more powerful. When our favorite band or singer takes the stage, the outside world seems to stop. We forget our troubles. We are transported to another world.

And we can take that feeling wherever we choose to take it. We can leave it in the auditorium after the show, forget about it after we turn off the CD player, or we can absorb its energy into our hearts and use its influence as an inspiration for finding meaning in our lives.

About Sammy Hagar

March 26, 2009

Inexhaustible Performer

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Roy Hagar was born on Oct. 13, 1947 in Monterey, CA. Sammy’s dad was a professional boxer who held the title in the bantamweight division in the 1940′s. In his younger years, Sammy had planned on following in his father’s footsteps and he took up boxing—until the call of rock and roll seduced him. After performing with several different bands, he joined guitarist Ronnie Montrose and became the lead singer for Montrose in 1972. Their first album, self-titled “Montrose,” was released in 1973, followed by “Paper Money,” in 1974. Some of the most notable songs from these albums were: “Bad Motor Scooter,” “Rock Candy,” “Space Station #5” and “Rock the Nation.”

From there, Sammy went solo. His album “Nine on a Ten Scale” was released in 1976, with Bill Church on bass and Denny Carmassi on drums.

Sammy continued to build a name for himself in the world of rock music as he tirelessly cranked out one album after the other and enthusiastically toured to share his love of the game.

Some of his best known songs from this era are: “I’ll Fall in Love Again,” “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” “Remember the Heroes” and “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy,” along with what would come to be known as his mantra: “I Can’t Drive 55.”

During that time, his song “Red” earned him the nickname “The Red Rocker.”

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A short tour with HSAS (Hagar, Schon, Aaronson and Shrieve), featuring Journey’s guitarist Neal Schon, along with Michael Shrieve on drums and Kenny Aaronson on bass, produced one album, “Through the Fire,” released in 1984.

In 1985, legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen contacted Sammy for a jam session. It went so well that Sammy ended up replacing Van Halen’s departing lead singer, David Lee Roth. The band featured Eddie Van Halen on lead guitar, his brother Alex on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and Sammy on lead vocals. Although fans and critics were skeptical that Hagar could carry such a heavy-hitting rock band, in 1986, the newly-formed Van Halen proved themselves a volcanic force in the world of rock music as their first album, “5150” went to number one.

After more than 10 years together, things between the players began to go sour. Sammy and the Van Halen brothers went their separate ways.10-12-06 (14)

Ever the entertainer, Sammy went on to create his own band with his friend, drummer David Lauser, who had been working with Sammy on his solo projects since 1981. The band also included guitarist Victor Johnson, formerly of The Bus Boys (who kicks ass, by the way), Jesse Harms on keyboards and Mona on bass. Calling themselves The Waboritas, they later became known simply as The Wabos.

Between performing and recording with The Wabos, in 2004, Sammy also did a short-lived reunion tour with Van Halen and in 2007, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sammy and Mikey were the only members present at the ceremony to personally receive the honors.

Sammy’s most recent album, “Cosmic Universal Fashion” was released in 2008.

In June 2009, the supergroup Chickenfoot is poised to release their debut album. With Sammy as frontman, the band boasts guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith.

To date, Sammy has sold more than 60 million records worldwide.

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Sources: www.redrocker.com, www.billboard.com

How Does it Feel to Have a Mystical Experience?

March 28, 2009

Initially I felt a golden liquid light flowing into me—a light that felt as solid and real as a steel girder. I then felt lifted out of my body, pulled by an unseen force higher and higher, until my consciousness was above the room, above the world.

All at once, I understood on a level deeper than I knew I was capable of, that there was no separation between myself and every living and non-living thing of this world and all worlds.

I was an integral component of all the thoughts that were being thought or had been thought forever—backward and forward in time. And there was no such thing as the concept of time.

Pure love, ecstasy and light poured into me. I was submerged in its essence.

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The colors of my tangible world seemed dull and grey compared to the colors of the bliss I was experiencing: vibrant, alive and breathing.

I knew that within this ecstasy was a connection to the Divine—to God or whatever term one needs to use. The feeling was all-encompassing. I suddenly understood the meaning of the word ecstasy, which seems to have become misconstrued in our human language.

I realized in a very deep way that God is, as the Sufi say “Love, Lover and Beloved.” And I was.

And I am…

What is a Mystical Experience?

March 24, 2009

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What is the meaning of my life?
Is there really such a thing as God?

If you find yourself asking these questions, you’re not alone. I’ve wondered the same things all my life. In 2003, I found the answers; not by looking for them but through a mystical experience that sought me.

According to merriam-webster, the term mysticism means “the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality.” It refers to an incident of connection to God, the Divine Source, the Most High or whatever term one feels comfortable calling It, accompanied by a feeling of inner peace and unimaginable bliss. It’s as if the experience itself has been orchestrated by a higher intelligence, something separate, yet inextricably entwined with one’s deepest sense of Being.

From a psychological standpoint, in “Body Mind Spirit,” K. Ramakrishna Rao describes it thus:

“Religious experience, the mystic experience, the peak experience, and all paranormal experiences may have one thing in common. They are the encounters with consciousness as such, pure consciousness in which there is no subject-object distinction … but a transformational process that often results in remarkable behavioral changes and beliefs and sometimes translates itself into informational content.”

How can I explain it so that you too, can know? I can’t, but I can give you a taste:

Have you ever felt the wonder of gazing at the stars on a warm summer night and thought about all the people over eons of time who might also have witnessed them?

Have you considered that the concept of time may be nothing but illusion or had the feeling that you’ve been here before?

Have you relished the sensation of freedom when taking off your shoes and socks and burrowing your bare feet into powdery, warm sand?

Have you known a sense of smallness as you stood at the base of a mighty glacier and questioned what a responsibility it would be to be a glacier? Or pondered what the  glacier knew that you didn’t?

Have you ever strained your ears to hear the messages these things have been trying to tell you?

These are the flavors of mystical experience.

Have you appreciated the tiny eyelashes of a newborn baby or felt the fragile hand of an elderly person with its paper-thin skin, blue veins rising just below the surface? Knowing your grip could easily crush that frail hand, your instinct instantly acts to protect something so tender and vulnerable.

Have you ever fallen so deeply into art where you are no longer conscious of where your identity ends and the identity of the artist and the work itself begins?

These moments are the first steps on the path to mystical experience.

Possibilities

December 31, 2009

 Clouds, rainbow, shadows

Pouring myself a cup of coffee, I head upstairs to my computer to wrap up the final edits on DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD. But as I glance at the pages before me, my little notes scribbled in the margins, I pause. It’s almost done.

It’s also New Year’s Eve and a small voice in my heart is telling me that it’s more important to post on my blog than to work on my book, so here goes:

There’s something about the prospect of a new year that fills me with hope. Its possibilities are endless.

Lastnight I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. She asked me to explain what my book was about. I did my best to condense six years into a two-hour conversation. I thought I was simply recanting the story, but afterward, she hugged me. With a new light in her eyes, she told me that she was excited because my story had caused her to think about her own life. For years, she’d been feeling restless and couldn’t figure out why. She kept getting the idea that she was meant to do something important for the world, and yet, something kept stopping her.

After hearing about what had happened to me, she said that she now sees the importance of listening to her inner self and pursuing that which calls her, even though she still isn’t quite sure where it will take her. But now she is inspired to take that first step on her path! By my simply telling her what my book was about? I wondered. Wow.

To say I am humbled is a gross understatement.

She’s not the first to tell me this. After hearing about my experience, people have often told me the same thing, and I almost hate to say this out loud, but maybe this story is magic. It certainly has been for me.

I can’t wait to share it with the rest of you! Stay tuned; it won’t be long now. I have a strong feeling that 2010 will be the year.

In the meantime, keep believing in yourself. Use the new year, with its limitless scope of possibilities, to cultivate and nurture your dreams. You already have all the answers. You just need to give yourself permission to hear them within yourself.

Wishing you a blessed and happy 2010.

–Baja Rock Pat

Patricia Walker–Featured Writer This Week

January 6, 2010

Published author Tim Northburg, a fellow member of the Northern Colorado Writer’s Association has featured me and my book, DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD on his blog this week!

You can read it here: feature-northern-colorado-writer-pat.html

Thanks so much for your support, Tim!

 

Tim Northburg

T.A. Northburg

Oh, the Drama of Writing (and Achieving Goals)

January 17, 2010

I’m scared to death. My book is finished. I’ve been sending queries to prospective agents. Last week, one of them emailed me back and requested my manuscript. Oh my God…

A million thoughts are running through my mind. What if she doesn’t like it? What if my writing is no good?

Worse, what if she does like it? What if she finds a publisher for me and my book is released to the world? Then, what? I might as well stand stark naked in the middle of I-25 at rush hour, with a blinking neon sign and arrows pointing to me! Am I really willing to do that?

I sometimes compare my book to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend that you do. DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD is a modern day and true story version of this fictionalized tale about a shepherd boy seeking his Personal Legend—the purpose of his life. And just like in The Alchemist, now that I’m standing on the edge and I need to let go and jump into the abyss—solo and without a parachute, I’m paralyzed with fear.

“Just DO it,” Nike says. Yeah, easier said than done, pal.

Apparently this is a common reaction. We want our dream to come true. We want it with all our might, have perhaps even spent our entire lives working toward it. And then, just when we are about to see it come to fruition, most of us back off. Why? Because of all of those fears I mentioned. Then the final hurdle consists of facing the notion that we may actually be more afraid of achieving our dream than we are of not achieving it!

This isn’t as absurd as it sounds. Now that I’ve arrived at this point, I find myself wondering, What if I’m successful? Then I’ll have an entirely new set of conditions to deal with and right now, I have no clue what they could be. It’s much safer to remain with my known world; I pretty much know how to deal with that.

So what am I doing about the letter from the agent? I’m stalling. I’m finding all kinds of excuses to keep from emailing my reply. I’ve written it, but I can’t seem to make myself push “send.” “I have other queries to get to other agents,” I tell myself, so I work on them instead. And I’m writing this post! I’ve also come across a very good lead, and I’m doing the same thing there—stalling instead of writing to the author involved.

Oh, and www.addictinggames.com keeps seducing me with stupid tactics like: “You need a break. Your mind is tired. Just play a few rounds and then you’ll be able to think clearly again and write a better letter.” Wink, wink.

Like the boy in The Alchemist, I must make that leap into the unknown, let go of the trapeze bar, fling myself to the mercy of the void and trust that there’s another bar out there coming toward me. I haven’t worked this hard to stay where I am. But still…

And then this morning, I receive an email that says: “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” —Gail Sheehy

I suppose I should take this as a sign that the Universe is trying to tell me something!

Give me a minute. A hot cup of tea is calling. Oh wait; I’ve already used that excuse. I’ll get to the email tomorrow when my mind is fresher. Really, I will!

(P.S.–I sent it.)

Book Review: “The Shack” by William P. Young

 January 26, 2010

 

I believe there are as many ways to God as there are beings in this universe.

The Shack by William P. Young is about how one man finds God through the atrocity of his young daughter’s murder.

This book reinforces some of the truths I’ve learned on my own journey, primarily the discovery of God in unexpected places and times in our lives.

I also find it interesting that the author mentions music and musicians here, and references James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Moby, Sarah McLachlan, Jackson Browne,  Bruce Cockburn and the bands U2, Indigo Girls and Dixie Chicks, to name a few.

Kudos to The Shack for portraying God as alternating between male and female personifications and for depicting God as more than one spiritual entity. For me, these were the book’s shining moments.

I did however, have a few problems with this book. The main issue was that it is a bit too slanted toward Christianity. Although the author goes out of his way to say this isn’t the case, I found some of the concepts confusing. For instance, Young assumes that everyone practices a rite called “devotions.” I had no idea what he was talking about.

I also think that due to the manner in which the story is presented, it excludes a lot of people. Not everyone sees God within the context of Christianity or religion. The Shack makes reference only to The Bible, as if it were the only holy text, whereas there are other books out there that also contain universal truths. Tao Te Ching, for instance, is even older than The Bible.

In any case, this book is written, as all books are, from the author’s perspective, which includes that which he believes to be true and that’s why I forgive these “indiscretions.” There is still a light in this book that will inspire many.

That being said, neither do I think it’s wrong to see God within the context of Christianity or religion. However one discovers God is great. It only matters that you find Him/Her/It/Them–whatever your definition of the Divine may be, and that you realize you are an important part of the Magnificence—that which is in you and also all around you.

 

 

Will the World End in 2012?

February 4, 2010

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I’m sure by now most of you have heard some of the hype about the year 2012: that the Mayan calendar ends there, therefore perhaps the world will end then too. For me, that thought conjures up images of doom and gloom—Armageddon, fire, turmoil and a “you’d-better-have-your-shit-together-by-now- because-if-you-don’t-it’s-too-late” feeling of complete helplessness.

But people have predicted the end of the world for as long as I can remember. In the ‘60s there were cartoons of beatniks carrying signs that read “The end is near.” (Or maybe there really were hippies carrying signs like that, I just didn’t see them because I was too young at the time!)

In 1999, they said we would never get to the year 2000 because computers would freak out and life as we knew it would erupt in utter chaos. Some of my neighbors stock-piled freeze-dried food, bottles of water and gasoline. But the world didn’t end. Perhaps our computers were smarter than we gave them credit for.

Now they’re saying that 2012 will be the end. After all the articles I’ve read and “experts” I’ve heard speak on the matter, I’ve come to my own conclusions.

I choose not to dwell in doom and gloom. I don’t believe God dwells in doom and gloom either. I believe God is hope and light.

I choose that hope and light. Therefore, I don’t think 2012 will be the end. I think it will be a new beginning.

True, we seem to be experiencing many more natural disasters all over the world than in the past. And I don’t know about you, but I sense something different in the air—that our way of looking at things seems to be changing—we are even more hungry for spiritual fulfillment than ever before and a lot of us are no longer satisfied with accepting someone else’s definition of “The Truth” based on blind faith alone.

I think this is great! We cannot grow if we don’t ask questions and discover our own answers. If you’re completely happy with your life, that’s wonderful, but if not, by looking in other directions you may discover what you’re looking for. Or rather, what you’re looking for will find you! But I’ll save that for another post.

j0437185My interpretation of 2012 is that people will become more spiritually aware, more tolerant and loving. It’s already happening, don’t you see? The outpouring of love for those who’ve endured the earthquakes, 9/11, the hurricanes and tsunamis—the coming together of complete strangers to help those in need. And maybe the reason for these disasters is to teach us not to segregate ourselves based on the color of our skin or to fight over whose religion is the truth, but to come together as brothers and sisters. We obviously haven’t been getting the message thus far, so maybe these things are God’s way of forcing us to unite.

The mystical experience I had in 2003 was a tremendous gift bestowed upon me. It showed me that nothing is more powerful than love and that there is no separation between me and God and all the living and non-living things of this world and all worlds. I know this sounds cliché, but it’s all so simple really. This is why I believe that 2012 will be a time of rebirth for our world—a new way of looking at ourselves and realizing our connection to one another, to this earth and to the Divine. I’m not saying there won’t be great upheaval, because sometimes this is what it takes to wake us up. If we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, there is nowhere to go but UP, right? So if we stick together and continue to believe in the power of love, we will emerge stronger than before and find ourselves in a world of new possibilities for spiritual growth and the attainment of our human need to realize God on a personal basis—whatever that definition means to you.

In each and every moment, we have a choice.

I choose love.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 21, 2010

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The sky was grey and it had been cold outside for days. Weeks. Months, it seemed. Snowflakes were falling all morning, covering the streets with a dusting of white.

It was the kind of day where you just didn’t want to get out of bed and face the cold; you’d rather curl up with a hot cup of tea and a good book in your favorite chair by the fireplace. Or smell the comforting scent of soup cooking in the crock-pot and homemade bread baking in the oven.

Instead, I was at work and business was slow. As I sat at my desk, talking with a co-worker, suddenly I smelled the unmistakable aroma of chocolate chip cookies.

“Do you smell that?” I asked her.

“No, what?”

“Chocolate chip cookies! I wonder if someone is baking them in the kitchen.”

She said she didn’t smell anything and that there wasn’t anybody in the kitchen.

I asked another of my co-workers if he could smell it. He said “no.”

But the mouth-watering scent was very strong.

Several hours later, a woman came through the door dressed like the statue of liberty in an effort to promote her tax business. She handed me some coupons and two packages of home-baked cookies, not the least of which were chocolate chip!

These sorts of things have been happening to me on a regular basis ever since my mystical experience in 2003. Whether it’s coincidence or not, it gives me a new perspective on the power of my mind to create what I desire.

Now, if I can just figure out how to manifest a million dollars…