Blog

Join Ananda for a conversation about yoga and creativity with Leslie Kershna, founder of Creative Space Yoga tonite at 7 p.m. on Go Green Sangha Radio

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Leslie Kersha, founder of Creative Space Yoga (and one of my favorite yoga bloggers!), will join me for a discussion about yoga and creativity tonite on Go Green Sangha Radio at 7:00 p.m. EST on Talkshoe.com – http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/21325.  For more information about Leslie, visit http://creativespaceyoga.blogspot.com.

Ananda discusses “Healing Community Through Revolutionary Artistry” on Sisterhood, the Blog Radio today at 4pm EST

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 Happy Sunday!

Today I am talking to Las Manas Tres about “Healing Community Through Revolutionary Artistry” on Sisterhood, the Blog Radio at 4:00 p.m. EST   Click here to listen to the show: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.  Las Manas Tres is a group of Latina storytellers that includes  members Maya  Chinchilla, Cruz Grimaldo, and Milta Ortiz. Visit http://lasmanastres.com. If you miss the show, don’t panic. You can download a free recording from the web site.

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

Ananda’s 1st Day of Autumn Update

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Happy Wednesday!

It’s the second day of Autumn.  The weather in DC is still warm. They call it Indian summer!  I hope it lasts a long time. I am not ready for the cool temperatures. 

Yesterday, I created an audio blog update about my Autumn activities. Click on the button below  to listen to my update.

 

What are your Autumn plans?

Enjoy your day!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

Celebrate jazz musician John Coltrane’s birthday today and his connection to my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One

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Happy John Coltrane’s Birthday!

Today marks the 83rd birthday of jazz musician Ohnedaruth John William Coltrane. Ohnedaruth is the Sanskrit spiritual name that Coltrane adopted. It means compassion.  Below are some of my favorite Coltrane quotes:

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being … When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups … I want to speak to their souls.”

“My goal is to live the truly religious life, and express it in my music. If you live it, when you play there’s no problem because the music is part of the whole thing. To be a musician is really something. It goes very, very deep. My music is the spiritual expression of what I am – my faith, my knowledge, my being.”

“There is never any end. There are always new sounds to imagine; new feelings to get at. And always, there is the need to keep purifying these feelings and sounds so that we can really see what we’ve discovered in its pure state. So that we can see more and more clearly what we are. In that way, we can give to those who listen the essence, the best of what we are. But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror.” 

 

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Coltrane’s spiritual name Ohnedadurth is also the name of one of the main characters in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).

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Ohnedaruth is the brother of Love’s Troubadours main character Karma Francois.  Karma and Ohnedaruth visit St. John Coltrane Church in San Francisco, CA.  Click here to learn more about the church:  http://www.coltranechurch.org. Coltrane’s music is also featured throughout the book.

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Alice Coltrane

The music of Coltrane’s wife Alice Coltrane is also featured in my novel.  For more information about Coltrane, visit www.johncoltrane.com. Click here to learn more about Alice Coltrane: www.alicecoltrane.org.

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Love’s Troubadours (iUniverse, Inc. – August 2007 – www.lovestroubadours.com) tells the story of Karma Francois, a thirtysomething Oakland-born BoHo B.A.P. (Bohemian Black American Princess) with Louisiana roots and urban debutante flair. The novel begins with Karma’s life in an uproar. Her relationships and the museum curator career that she struggled to form in New York City have crumbled, leaving no viable options to rebuild. Relocating to Washington, DC, Karma struggles with denial, depression, and debt. A lack of full-time employment opportunities forces her to craft a gypsy existence as a Jill of Many Trades: yoga teacher, art consultant, and freelance curator at Howard University Gallery of Art. Unable and unwilling to appreciate these jobs as gifts, she wallows in a pool of lost identity-and doesn’t see a way to keep from drowning. When she looks in the mirror, Karma sees a woman whose choices have dishonored her true character. Now, for the first time in her life, Karma must learn to see herself for who she really is.

Love’s Troubadours is available on Amazon.com for $20.95. To purchase a copy, click on the link below.

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

What is your favorite John Coltrane composition? 

I love Coltrane’s “In A Sentimental Mood” composition that he and Duke Ellington created together.  It was featured in Love Jones, one of my favorite movies!

Enjoy your day!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

 

 

 

Week 1 – Next Chapter Book Blogging Group – The Joy Diet by Martha Beck

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Happy Tuesday!  Happy Autumn!  Happy OneWebDay!  Happy National Yoga Month!

As you can see, I have a lot to be happy about this month.  It is a really sweet September because I am joining the Next Chapter Book Blogging Group (http://tnc-thejoydiet.blogspot.com).  Our latest reading adventure is with The Joy Diet by Martha Beck.  I love Martha’s column in The O Magazine.  Click here to read Martha’s blog: http://marthabeck.com/blog.

The Next Chapter Book Blogging  Group started on September 18.  Click here to learn more about what the Group has been doing since the official start date:  http://tnc-thejoydiet.blogspot.com/2009/09/welcome-to-journey.html.

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Jamie Ridler

 
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Jamie recently created the Creative Living with Jamie podcast. Click here to listen to the first episode:  http://jamieridlerstudios.ca/podcast

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Ananda sitting in Balasana (child’s pose)

 

I started reading The Joy Dieton September 11.  The first chapter encourages readers to do nothing for 15 minutes.  I call it my do-nothing experience.  So far, I have been doing no-thing in the morning as a pre-meditation session.  I wake up and allow myself 15 minutes to just be.  In this state, I don’t resist the whirling thoughts moving through my brain.  I just let them go where they want to go.  I start my 15 minutes in one of my favorite yoga poses called Balasana (child’s pose) and move into Savasana (corpse pose). 

On September 12, I filmed a webisode about reading The Joy Diet and the Next Chapter Book Blogging Group for my OneWebDay 22 Countdown Campaign sponsored by kg yoga life practices (http://kgyoga.blogspot.com).  See the video above.  OneWebDay was established in 2006 on September 22 honor the presence and power of the Internet in our lives.  Click here for more information: www.onewebday.org

I’ll be posting another blog post about my adventures for Week 2 later in the week. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Peace, Joy, OneWebDay, Creativity and Yoga OMs,

Ananda

Get ready for OneWebDay & the 1st Day of Autumn by taking my kind & gentle yoga class for computer users (15 min.) on Stickam.com

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Celebrate National Yoga Month and get ready for OneWebDay 2009 (http://onewebday.org) and the first day of Autumn with my free online yoga class called Kind & Gentle Yoga for Computer Users.  Click here to watch the video: www.stickam.com/anandaleeke. The class is 15 minutes. It aired on September 19 at 9pm. During the class, I shared tips on breathing exercises, eye yoga, and keyboard yoga.  FYI – I am offering Pink October Yoga classes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on October 6, 13, 17, 20, and 27 on  www.stickam.com/anandaleeke.

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If you are in the DC Area on September 22, join me for kg yoga life practices’ Meetup Group’s first annual celebration of OneWebDay and National Yoga Month. The FREE morning yoga class for Internet users will be held from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park in DC. For more details, visit http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

Sign the 2009 pledge to Free the Internet and End the Digital Divide

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Dear Friends,

This week, on September 22, people all over the world are celebrating OneWebDay.

Founded by Susan Crawford, who now advises President Obama on science, technology, and innovation policy, OneWebDay is a global event which is celebrated every September 22 since 2006. Much like Earth Day, which inspired it, OneWebDay provides an opportunity for communities to celebrate the power of Web for positive change, to take action to protect what is precious about it, and to educate the public and policy-makers on key social, economic, and political Web issues.

This year’s theme — One Web. For All — is all about digital inclusion, digital literacy, and working to close the digital divide. OneWebDay organizers are calling attention to efforts that work to ensure that anyone who wants it has access to the Internet and the skills they need to engage in our new communications environment.

The fight for digital inclusion is now on the cutting edge in the long struggle for social and economic justice. Access to a fast, affordable, and open Internet is essential for every child in school, every entrepreneur with a new idea, and anyone who wants full access to our government and the democratic process.

To show my support for OneWebDay and digital inclusion efforts, I have signed the 2009 pledge to Free the Internet and End the Digital Divide. I hope you will join me and help to spread the word.

Read and sign the pledge here! Or copy and paste in the following URL into your Web browser: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6087/t/7286/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=509

Find out more about OneWebDay and how you can get involved here.

Enjoy your day and week!
Peace, Creativity, and One.Web For All,
Ananda

Celebrate National Yoga Month with me tonight at 9pm EST as I launch my very first online yoga class for computer users

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Celebrate National Yoga Month with me tonight at 9pm EST as I launch my very first online yoga class with live video stream on www.stickam.com. The class is called Kind & Gentle Yoga for Computer Users. I will share a live demonstration featuring breathing exercises, eye yoga, and keyboard yoga. Click here to watch the show: www.stickam.com/anandaleeke. A chat room will be included.

Where You Can Find Ananda Blogging in September

 

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Ananda Leeke’s New Logo

Logo Drawing by Ananda Leeke

Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke

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Happy Early September and National Yoga Month!

I will be taking a mini blog vacation from August 28 to September 18 so I can dive deep into blogging on kg yoga life practices’ blog (http://kgyoga.blogspot.com) for the OM A Day Campaign (September 1-30) in honor of National Yoga Month and OneWebDay 22 Countdown.  Please stop by kg yoga life practices’ blog and see what I am talking about.  I’ll also blog on Sisterhood, the Blog – http://sisterhoodtheblog.wordpress.com.   

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On September 21st, I will  a post a blog about my Next Chapter Book Blogging Group adventures from reading The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. Click here to learn about the group:  http://tnc-thejoydiet.blogspot.com.  Feel free to join the group.  It is an amazing community of dynamic and supportive folks!

Be sure to check the right side of my blog for all of my September events.  Please participate if you can.

Enjoy September! Celebrate National Yoga Month and OneWebDay (www.onewebday.org) on September 22!

Many blessings,

Ananda

Celebrating Alice Coltrane’s b-day on August 27

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Happy Thursday!

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.

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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.  

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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). 

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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.

 

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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.

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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!

Many blessings,

Ananda

 

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)

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2) August 28 – 46th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech and my brother Mike Leeke’s birthday

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My brother Mike Leeke, an amazing comic book graphic artist

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Copyright by Michael D. Leeke

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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.

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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.