Thursday, May 27, 2010

Healing Music for Premature Baby

Wordless singing has been medically proven to lower blood pressure, heart rate, increase focus and quality of sleep amongst neonates in the NICU unit. In this video clip, I am guiding a new mother to sing with her baby in the neonatal ward of Meir Hospital. This lovely mother, appropriately named Shira, which in Hebrew means "singing - song" has taken to singing along with the monitor beeping in order to lower her own level of stress. You can hear the music composed for the healing music research project.

I have also opened a new blog specifically for lullaby music:

How do you calm yourself in the midst of the "beeping monitors" of daily life?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Desktop Altar, Anita Diamant & Miriam

On Anita Diamants blog: The Red Tent... and more... she posted a photo of the items on her desktop altar. This was in response to a query from a curious reader. At the end of her post, Anita asked: What is on your desktop altar?

So, I flipped open my trusty cell phone camera and clicked the photo above.
On my desktop altar (from right to left - as befits a Hebrew speaker :-)...

1) Clay statuette of Miriam that I made some seven years ago on a glorious vacation in the Sinai desert. This statuette, fashioned from simple clay mud found in Sinai, which I sealed with simple glue (now peeling), has chaperoned me through countless ancient healing music tours overseas. It's my number one touchstone.

2) An ancient pottery handle which I found in Tel Hazor - an sacred healing music site in northern Galillee. This provides me with something to hold onto... when I don't know where to go next. It provides me with lots of faith.

3) A small Egyptian tambourine. Provides me with the sound of music.

4 & 5) Another ancient pottery handle picked up on a recent visit to Tel Megiddo (Armageddon) and Tel Dor (Phoenician site next to Atlit). These were also important sites for ancient sacred healing music of the biblical prophetesses.

6) Finger cymbals. Hand made in Egypt, I use these to dissipate energy. When I need a break, I ring them. It reminds me of the music I recorded with them in the ancient water well of Zippori.

7) A small peace dove bookmarker gift handmade by a colleague of mine. It reminds me of the beauty of simple aesthetic found in Israel. It calms me.

8) Behind the Miriam statuette - my logo - that includes a statuette of Miriam found in Achziv in the Western Galilee, dating from the Helenistic period. The Hebrew says: Kolot Eden - Havaya Musikaleet Tehorah... which in English means...

Voices of Eden
Pure and Authentic Music Experience

What's on your desktop altar?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Next Top Spiritual Author Contest - Winning Round One

It is Saturday, or in Hebrew, Shabbat.

Shabbat comes from the Hebrew root letters: Shin-Bet-Taf. These letters share the same root of the verb "to sit". Shabbat is a time to contemplate the week passed.

Today I am sitting to contemplate the last several weeks completed of Round One of the Next Top Spiritual Authors Contest.

Approximately 3000 authors entered the contest... 250 would be chosen to go on to Round Two. The ultimate winner of this contest, sponsored by Hampton Roads Publishing, will receive a publishing contract. The voting deadline closed on May 3, with the announcement of the 250 winners to be made by Thursday, May 6.

A few days can seem like an eternity.

My task was to stay on purpose, inside and to keep a steady pace moving forward. Regardless of the results, I made a commitment to complete Miriam's Secret by the end of this year. If I didn't win this round, would I be courageous enough to follow through? If I did win, would I be willing to meet my fears and move forward?

The contests' creators' sent an email promotion of their own projects the day following the voting deadline. Some of the authors were outraged and complained bitterly. The contest creator sent an email in response.

The path to one's goal is filled with detours.

I enjoyed many inner detours on the path of my own response:

1) Reserving my own judgment on both sides of the issue in favor of deepening my sense of equinimity.

2) My willingness to notice my judgements as they arose. I filled out Judge Your Neighbor worksheets of The Work by Byron Katie, to set my thinking free.

I appreciated the angered emails, reflecting that competitive voice inside – "no" – "won't move ahead"... it's a small fine line... in this place one gets to be righteous and indignant.

3) Appreciation of how the contest creator addressed criticism head on AND stood up for himself transparently, e.g. "you'll find in the… (xyz places) written that we will send announcements... etc..."

I knew this when I signed on. I chose to sign on to use this platform as a support to get my OWN VOICE out there. What I appreciate seeing modeled is how people DO PLAY BIG.

Stretching beyond the comfort zone.

If you spend all your energy trying to dart the bullets, how will you ever move forward?

YUP, people will criticize you when you move ahead. People may even want to attack. Yet if you spend all your energy trying to appease "them", where will you have the energy to appease yourself?

Courage is having the discipline to stand by yourself in times of doubt.

Holistic winning requires several things:

1) Compassion. Criticism may sting. It's not a comfortable place to be.

2) Self Respect. Leaders are those who are willing to tread the unbeaten path.

3) Remaining Open... Especially in the face of a big OUCH; such as when others criticize us for moving ahead. Seeing how the contest creator responded gave me courage to keep my heart open.

I wrote a response thanking them for showing up, and opening the door for me to show up in a much bigger way as well. We all benefit! Taking the time to acknowledge them and me, publicly is a BIG CHANGE, for me. The shift is in the focus, not upon the physical action. I have decided to WIN.

WINNING starts and ends WITHIN.

Here's what I wrote the morning following the cutoff for Round One voting:

My experience inside of me is shifting. It is a big payoff.

I guess we are all so used to sitting in our comfortable habits - with the mediocre payoff of getting to be "right" about our beliefs. Staying as much as I can in the NOW moment. In the end, we don't have final control (although it's so nice to believe that we do :-)!

I am in LOVE. And I appreciate YOU.


I credit the win to all of us. I acknowledge my response above as a major contributor.

The next two weeks are for finishing the book proposal and uploading it to the contest site.
Voting for Round Two will begin May 24th.

Every one who votes receives a membership in the online healing and transformational music site, and also goes into a raffle to win a free Transformational Journey Intensive with me in Israel, where I will personally take you to Miriam's Well and Magdalene's Well.

Come visit on my facebook pages:

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My personal page:

Voices of Eden page