Today marks the birthday of Alice Coltrane a/k/a Swamini Turiya Sangitananda, one of my greatest spiritual teachers. She was an amazing woman, teacher, leader/founder of an ashram, musician, mother, and wife to jazz musician John Coltrane. Click on the following link to see a YouTube video of a 1978 interview of Alice Coltrane and friends in concert in Bombay, India: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgqimZjJZ3U.
In 2004, my sistalove Shantam introduced me to Alice’s music. Journey in Satchidananda was the first CD I purchased. It remains one of my favorites.
Alice’s music deepened my practice of yoga, mantra chanting, and meditation. It also helped me write and complete my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).
I even included her music and teachings in Love’s Troubadours. Her husband John Coltrane’s music and life also play a major role in my novel. Hint hint … One of the main characters is named Ohnedaruth, the spiritual name of John Coltrane. Watch Love’s Troubadoursvideos on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/kiamshaleeke. You can purchase Love’s Troubadours on Amazon.com for $20.95. Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Troubadours-Karma-Book-One/dp/0595440819/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2834089-1615222?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192066805&sr=8-1.
One of my best memories of Alice is from 2007 when Shantam and I drove to Newark, New Jersey to see her perform with her son Ravi Coltrane (www.ravicoltrane.com). There are no words to describe the power and presence of such a beautiful soul. Her devotion to Spirit manifested in each composition she lovingly offered to the audience.
LOVE was the only vibration we could feel in her presence. Shantamand I sat mesmerized with tears rolling down our faces for most of that magical evening. We knew then that it was a lifetime experience we would always cherish. Alice made her life transition in January 2008. To learn more about her, visit www.alicecoltrane.org. For more information about her husband John, visit www.johncoltrane.com.
That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness, 2005 (painting on cover of my new book)
My new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (September 2009) includes a quote from Alice, several references about her music, and a poem about her transition. I thought you might enjoy reading the quote I use to open my new book. See below. Enjoy!
“Go within. God is working on the inside. Just go into the sanctuary of your heart, offer your prayers and your worship there.”
Thank you for stopping by!
PS: Please remember to honor the following days of remembrance this week.
1) August 26 – 89th Anniversary of American women’s right to vote (passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution)
2) August 28 – 46th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech and my brother Mike Leeke’s birthday
My brother Mike Leeke, an amazing comic book graphic artist
Copyright by Michael D. Leeke
Copyright by Michael D. Leeke
Tune into Go Green Sangha Radio on August 29that 11:00 a.m. for my interview with my brother Mike about his career as a comic book graphic artist and the power of diversity in his artwork and comic book stories. Click here to listen to the show: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/21325. Visit Mike’s Facebook page to learn more about his artwork and career as a comic book graphic artist: www.facebook.com/michaelleeke.
4) August 29 – 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Michael Jackson’s birthday
Send love and light to all those who were and remain affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you are in DC, join me for a free yoga class that honors everyone impacted by Hurricane Katrina on August 29th from 9am to 9:30am in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park. Click here for more information: http://yoga.meetup.com/584.