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Bike to Work, Bike to School Week

Dean bike barnIn May, communities across the country celebrate Bike to Work Day and Bike to Work Month by encouraging people to leave their car keys at home, put on their helmet and get on their bicycles.  Riding a bike is great exercise and in addition to your body benefiting, the environment also benefits.  Not only that, you will be saving money by not using your car which may cost over $9000 annually to operate and contributes to greenhouses gases.  Bike to Work Day was initiated in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists to encourage bike riding.  This year it is celebrated on Friday, May 16.  It has now become part of Bike-to-Work Week, which is in turn part of National Bike Month.  In our town, city transit buses usually have bike racks on the front of their buses so people who have to go long distances can combine bike riding with using public transportation.

Some people don’t have so far to go – like Dean Evenson who can ride his bike all the way from his house to his studio in the barn.
Naked BikersOthers like those in the Fremont Parade ride their bikes naked!  So whatever your commute, please consider riding a bike and get some healthy exercise.  Your heart will be happy and who knows, you may come across some naked bikers in the bike lane.  And of course, you will benefit most by riding your bike often, not just once a year.  Happy riding!

Mother’s Day Began to Honor Peace Building Efforts by Women

Rose with dewMother’s Day has a long a various history but what is most exciting to me is that it was founded to honor women’s work in the field of peace building.  As early as the mid-19th century, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia started Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach local women how to better care for their children. Later, in 1868, she organized Mothers’ Friendship Day that brought together women from north and south to promote reconciliation after the divisive Civil War.

Soon thereafter in 1870, Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and suffragette, wrote the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’ which was a call to action asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace.  The official holiday that we call Mother’s Day began in the 1900s by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, who wanted to honor her mother’s work for peace and all the mothers who sacrificed so much for their children.  In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure to make the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day but by then, the day had become so commercialized that Anna Jarvis disowned the holiday.

Needless to say, florists, greeting card companies and other retailers have benefited from this holiday honoring mothers which apparently is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Mother’s Day has now spread around the world and is celebrated differently in many cultures.  The holiday has also been used to launch various campaigns to support underprivileged women and children and highlight the need for equal rights and childcare.

Whatever your path, whether your mother is living or passed on, whether you are motherless or have a full brood, we know we all come from our mothers.  Whether your mother was the best super mom in the world, or if your mother wasn’t quite what you had hoped for in a mother, we wish you the blessings of peace and reconciliation in your family.  Happy Mother’s Day.

And hopefully, not to seem too commercial, Soundings of the Planet’s Mother’s Day CD sale ends on May 11 so you can take advantage of it for yourself or a late gift for your mom.

choice

12 Steps Living Your Dreams

TWELVE STEPS TO LIVING YOUR DREAMS

Here are some simple ideas to help you live your dreams.

One – Identify your purpose and mission in life.
Why were you born?  What are your special gifts, passions and skills?  Meditate on it. Clear your mind and environment of clutter. Create clarity in your life and be open to understanding what you want to be and do in this life.

Two –  Only you can create your own reality.
Do your ‘own’ thing, not your parent’s idea of what that might be. Vision it, sing it, say it. Create an affirmation vision mantra.  Spend time in nature learning from natural systems.  Refresh yourself constantly.  Know what you want and go for your goals.

Three – Go with the Flow.  Don’t resist it.
Resist Not Evil. Tai Chi it. “The Great Way (The Tao) is not difficult for those who have no preferences…  If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything.”

Four – Be open and accept all as support.
Discern but don’t judge.  The Universe is a sea of infinite possibilities. Accept guidance from the Universe.   You never know where help will come from.

Five – Do what you love to do.
Enjoy your life.  What makes you happy and feel good?  Take time to cultivate your daily life so it includes doing what harmonizes with your spirit.  Design your life so it works for you.

Six – What you focus on expands.
Focus on the positive, not the negative.  What you have, not what you lack.  What you desire, not your problems.  The Law of Attraction.  Power of Intention.  Turn off your television and pray!

Seven – Find a Partner or Partners.  Dream together.
Get support.  Find people who share your values, ideals, visions and dreams.  “Where two or more are gathered, there also shall I be.” (Jesus) Group action.  Hire a helper or helpers.

Eight – Map it.  Design it.  Plan it.
Draw it, sketch it, write about it, model it.  Research.  Who is out there doing something similar?  Make lists.  Write a business plan. Be always alert for new ideas and ways of manifesting.

Nine – Take action.  Do it!
Pick up the phone, write a letter.  Volunteer your services.  Teach or take a workshop.  Set up a business.  Let people know about your dream, vision or project.

Ten – Constantly re-evaluate and modify your dream.
Update, upgrade.  No dream ever stays the same.  OK to change, improve and rework it.  Learn from your mistakes. Your original dream may have been incomplete. Add to it, change it.

Eleven – Accept success!  Don’t hold back.
Feel that you deserve to be all you can be.  Go for it.  Share it.  Tithe a portion of your income.  Share your blessings and they will grow.  Enjoy the process.

Twelve – Honor and gratitude for all that is.
Praise and thanks for life and whatever it delivers. Appreciate even that which you feel you don’t want.  Learn from everything, even mistakes, tragedies and pain.  Be grateful and then move on.

What are your dreams? What is holding you back from living your dreams? When you comment here we will send you a free mp3 of our music in gratitude.
~ Many Blessings, Dudley Evenson

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Have you heard about children with Nature Deficit Disorder?

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  ~ Albert Einstein

4 kids in tree
April is here, the month of spring emerging and anticipation of the resurrection of all of nature.  It’s also the time that many of us acknowledge and celebrate Earth Day. But did you know that today, an unprecedented majority of children in modern societies have what is being called ‘Nature Deficit Disorder?’  That wouldn’t apply to the kids sitting in the tree pictured here though, but according to a report on BBC about a three-year study done in Britain, only one-fifth of the children aged 8-12 were ‘connected to nature.’  That means four-fifths or a staggering 80% of children have little or no connection with nature.

Why should this matter?  In recent years, a lot of research has focused on the negative effects that result from lack of contact with nature.  In 2012, Britain’s National Trust published a report on the phenomenon of ‘nature deficit disorder.’   Though it is not yet recognized as a medical condition, this lack of connection with nature can have harmful, long lasting effects on children of all ages.  With the pervasive use of technology by younger and younger children, the growth of virtual, as opposed to reality-based play is having a profound effect on children’s physical and emotional lives. Mental health disorders including depression and self-harming can often be a result of this nature disconnect.

According to Sue Armstrong-Brown, head of RSPB, Britain’s largest nature conservation charity, “improving the natural connection for children is not only good for the youngsters, it is crucial for the future of nature conservation.  If we can grow a generation of children that have a connection to nature and do feel a sense of oneness with it, we then have the force for the future that can save nature and stop us living in a world where nature is declining.”

Dean video pink flowersBecause of their deep love and concern for the natural world, Dudley and Dean Evenson have dedicated their life and work to elevating awareness and appreciation for the earth, our planet, our only home.  They remember the very first Earth Day back in 1970. And in 1972, with Dudley being five months pregnant, they back-packed across Sweden to the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.  There they met Native Americans who were talking about Mother Earth and saying that the planet itself is an actual living being providing for all our physical needs and we are destroying her.  The Evensons were just beginning to work with the early portable video camera so they were able to document their experience in Stockholm and all that they were learning.  These videos and others ended up in a DVD released recently called ‘2 U.N. Earth Summits: 1972 & 1992’ of their experiences in Stockholm and later in Rio de Janeiro.

Then in 1979, Soundings of the Planet was formed to be a voice of the earth.  Dean had recorded the sounds of dawn in the Arizona desert and added their peaceful music of flute and harp and a whole new genre of music was born.  For over three decades, Dean and Dudley have produced CDs and DVDs that focus on peaceful, natural environments.  In celebration of Earth Day, Soundings of the Planet is offering super discounts on all Soundings albums that include natural sounds including our new 4 Earth CD and 4 Earth DVD of only natural sounds.  Please share with your children, grandchildren, or just enjoy them yourself.

Chakra Meditations & Tones new release

Chakra Meditations & Tones
Dudley & Dean Evenson with Beth Quist

ChakraMeditations&Tones“Experiencing this meditation is perfect for the beginner and the advanced. The first eight tracks are instructional and provide the listener with a meditation experience at the same time. The melodic sounds of the chakra tones of the second eight tracks are delightful! Truly calming and peaceful. I highly recommend this sound experience!”
    ~ Margaret Ann Lembo, Owner The Crystal Garden & author of Chakra Awakening

The first half hour of the album is spoken by Dudley Evenson, whose soothing voice leads the guided affirmations for each chakra – concluding with a track for balancing all the chakras.  The second half hour is comprised of musical toning with the chakras and features Beth Quist whose beautiful vocalizations of the chakras reflect the essence of each energy center.

For more than three decades, Dudley and Dean Evenson have immersed themselves in the exploration of healing through music.  They have traveled to temples, interviewed healers and worked with masterful musicians around the world.  On this progressive path, they have developed an understanding of the multi-dimensional uses of music.  Their album “Chakra Meditations & Tones” reveals the basic steps of healing through sound on a journey through your chakras, body, spirit and mind.

These award-winning sound healing pioneers have created this beautiful album as an effective tool for energizing and balancing the chakras. The album is designed to be listened to frequently and is arranged so that one can add their own tones to the sound track. It is ideal for meditation, healing, yoga and overall relaxation.  Liner notes explain the chakra system.

The Hindustani Scale (Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha Ni Sa) and the Sanskrit Seed Sounds of Bija mantra (Lam Vam Ram Yam Ham Sham Aum) are used along with the vowel tones (UH, OO, OH, AH, EYE, AYE, EEE) to evoke deep inner peace and set the ground for the rhythms and tones of this mind calming, meditative, body healing, musical album.

Official Release date April 8, 2014 Pre-order on amazon.com 

Pondering Our Blessings

Dean meditating beach bowl

Pondering the many blessings we have is a focusing, choice-making process that allows us to recognize and appreciate the simple things around us that we take for granted.  For starters, we are a consciousness gifted with a functioning body that experiences the stimuli of life and interconnects us with other spiritual entities encased in similar protoplasmic form.  The life sentence we receive is a gift from the source energy of creation and as such is plugged into the constantly recycling energy fields flowing around us. We did not create ourselves, however once we recognize our own existences, we are responsible for what we use our heart/mind energy/our thoughts to focus on.  And we all know that what one focuses on expands.  Think about it.  What we fill our heads with is what naturally envelopes us.  So let’s keep our thoughts pure and saturated with a heart connection of unconditional love.  The whole world will reflect that love back to us in an expanded multiplicity of forms, bonds, opportunities, and connections.  Everyday brings a new sunrise.  ~ Dean Evenson

Mindful Revolution Reaches Mainstream

 Time MindfulWe picked up a copy of Time Magazine recently because of this awesome cover article on mindfulness.  It is satisfying to learn that what we have been working on for over four decades has reached the mainstream with cover stories such as this.  The article talks about how technology and our many devices have fractured our attention to such an extent that we are never able to give our full attention to any one thing.  Fortunately, through a practice of mindfulness and meditation, we can learn to focus and use various techniques to quiet our busy minds and become more aware of the present moment.

Since Dean and I first began meditating in the early 70s, we have seen the benefits that such a practice can bring to our daily lives.  We have also learned that the peaceful music we create can also help the process of centering and calming the mind and body and help bring about a deeper sense of inner peace.

The good news is that these same mental training techniques are used by people in all walks of life from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 titans and soccer moms to students wanting to enhance their learning and people dealing with health issues.  One technique discussed in the article is called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and was developed in 1979 (the same year we founded Soundings of the Planet) by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an MIT educated scientist with a PhD. degree in Molecular Biology (like Dean Evenson’s Masters in Molecular Biology).  We have had the privilege of meeting Jon many times at the various mind-body conferences. He is also the son-in-law of author and social activist, Howard Zinn, but that’s another story. In fact, Jon and his wife Myla told us that every morning they wake up listening to us on their alarm clock which is set to play Soundings of the Planet’s music.   Now that’s a good way to begin the day with Peace Through Music!

If you are interested in using music to support your meditation and mindfulness practice or simply to reduce stress in your life, here is some of our music that is good for meditation.

Power of Love to Overcome Conflict

As I prepared for the birth of my first child over forty years ago, one of the things I knew I needed to deal with was my long-standing conflict with my parents.  Ever since my husband, Dean Evenson, and I had been living together and growing our hair out and expressing our controversial ideas against war and for civil rights issues, we had an uncomfortable relationship with my parents.  Since I had begun to see the world differently from my parents and develop a more free spirited lifestyle in keeping with my true nature, we had not been able to see eye to eye and I had felt terribly judged by them.  It hurt me deeply. As I approached my own parenthood, I decided to thoughtfully look at what was going on.
Heart Rocks

One day, I had the startling realization that I had equally strong judgments about my parents as they did of me.  I judged their judgments, their prejudices, their conservatism, their materialism, and their affluent lifestyle.  It occurred to me, on the eve of my becoming a mother, that I couldn’t change them, but I could change myself.  I could let go of my judgments and love them unconditionally.  With some effort, but also with a great feeling of relief I did just that.  I let the love return that I had felt in my earlier years, and I just appreciated my parents as who they are, not who I thought they should be.  Interestingly, within a few weeks, we had the first real communication in years.  I hadn’t sent them a letter or called to announce my change of heart, but somehow, it had gotten through, and we renewed our family ties.

Years later I took a workshop that introduced the idea of ‘Changing Your Telepathic Agreement’ with someone you are in conflict with.  The way it works is this – you bring that person into your consciousness and in a meditative state you speak to their ‘higher self’.  At the beginning, you let them have it.  In other words, you say all the things that are bothering you about that person, words that you might not want to say in person but what you are truly feeling.  By the end of the first session you shift and begin to say things like ‘but I understand how you may have become this way’…or ‘I know you are trying to change.’  You do the meditation day after day with each day having less of the first part (‘you make me mad, you hurt me’) and more of the second part (‘we are getting closer to understanding, I forgive, etc.). You can also create a forgiveness mantra and sing it to yourself.  It could be something simple like ‘I forgive you and you forgive me.’  Give it a melody and sing it whenever the person comes to mind. If you do this practice with conviction and repetition, you will find that soon, your projection of the conflict is changing and no matter how much they may have harmed you, when you think of that person, your thoughts won’t carry as much charge, and eventually you will find a peaceful resolution of the conflict with them.  In any event, you will have more inner peace and isn’t that what forgiveness is all about?

World Sound Healing Day February 14, 2014

World Sound Healing Day

What if enough people set an intention for love to prevail and they all decided to take a moment on one day of the year to send out a tone representing their commitment to love – do you think it would make a difference?  Well, in case you want to be part of a worldwide experiment testing the LOVE FREQUENCY in action, you might want to join a great many of us who are choosing to send out the great AH tone of the heart chakra with the intention of sending out love to the whole planet.  This will be on Valentine’s Day when so many are considering love in all its facets.  Our good friends Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman have been sponsoring this planetary toning for many years. You can learn more from their new video and actually participate in creating a live group sound on their website on February 14th.  Whether you go through the process and listen in with others or just find a quiet space in your own home to sit and make the Ah tone, please consider joining this powerful sound healing experience of elevating the frequency of love on the planet.  Not much to lose and much to possibly gain.
Goldmans Evensons

Join thousands throughout the planet for the 12th Annual World Sound Healing Day on Friday, February 14, 2014.  At 12 noon (local time in your time zone) sound forth for 5 minutes with the ‘Ah’ tone created and projected with the energy of compassion and love, sending a sonic valentine to Gaia, our Mother Earth.

At that time, you can also go to the Temple of Sacred Sound to enhance the vibratory effect as we sound together for Global Harmonization, planetary peace and healing,  If you cannot tone at noon, sounding any time during the day will help create positive shift and change for our planet on World Sound Healing Day.

The purpose of World Sound Healing Day is to:

  1. Heal Our Planet!
  2. Heal Our Waters!
  3. Raise Our Consciousness!