Devotional practices that involve music and singing are deeply somatic in nature and offer a myriad of miraculous benefits to our human bodies and therefore our human experience.
Prema Mayi has been a lifelong practitioner of Bhakti and is internationally renowned for her music and incredible facilitation of this ancient art.
On today's podcast we explore:
-Her story of how she came to know Bhakti and begin this practice
-What is Bhakti?
-The incredible health benefits and beauty that comes from embedding this practice into her life
-The surprising health problems that we masked for year because of her life-giving practices and how she has eventually healed
-A magical story of liberation as she faced a long held fear and opened herself more fully to trust
-The path of service and how it is the key to fulfillment and deep peace
And so much more!
Prema's music can be found on Spotify and other music platforms. Connect with her on social media @prema_mayi and look for her upcoming events at www.premamayi.com
LISTEN WHILE READING!
A: Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your Soma. Hello everyone and welcome to Free Your Soma, Stories of Somatic Awakening and How to Live from the Inside Out. I have an exciting and lovely guest with me today, Pamra Mahi, and she is a Bakhti practitioner and mentor. She is a Kirtan artist and I have been following her music and her energy for a few years now. We are both from Ashland, Oregon, so we have that connection. It has been cool to see your offerings and things show up all over the world. I mentioned to you that when I was in Sweden and Norway, I met people who knew you and had experiences with you. It was so lovely. I I like, oh, a little piece of Ashland is out there in the world with me. Thank you so much for being here. I am excited to have this conversation today.
P: Thank you, Amy. It It really special for me. After we had our conversation about doing this together, I was very excited because I could see your depth and where you are coming from. That for me means a lot.
A: Thank you. Wonderful. Yes. We are going to talk about some really beautiful, big concepts today. I am really excited for our listeners to get an understanding of some of these terms that maybe they have heard before, or seeing posted on a flyer somewhere, but not really fully understood the deeper meaning or the essence of these things. But before we begin into all of that, would you tell us a little bit about where this journey of expression, singing, connecting, and in your body in this way? Where did that start for you in your life?
P: I was like, I didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't able to to to not. not. not. not. not. didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't not. I was like, I I I I I I I I I I I I I not. I was like, I didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't didn't or not. I was like, I I I I I I going going going able to to to not. not. the the the really my love. I I a drummer at a very young age.
A: Awesome. Yes. And it was also a certain point, and we kind of talked about this in our pre-interview conversation, that there were elements that started arriving in your life a little later on that were more related to spirituality. And how did it end up combining? What was the discoveries that you made that started combining spirituality and this innate attraction to rhythm that you had? Yeah.
P: So for me, I mean, spirituality, you you I grew up as a Catholic, so there was a lot of God conversation. But it felt a little dry to me. There was just a lot of conversation about it. And then I started watching my brother who did yoga, and I would always see him meditating in his room, and that really caught my attention. And so he was the one that actually introduced me to, to bhakti yoga when I was eight years old. And it had such an impact on me because my cat died, and I was so impacted by that. I had never lost a dear one. And he spoke to me about reincarnation. And then he introduced me when he saw that I was so blown away by that concept that life is actually eternal. And there's, there's cycles of, you know, renewal. And we begin another chapter, another chapter. That concept really blew my mind. So So he saw that I had such an interest, he started introducing me to the practice of mantra. So he taught me how mantra can be a recitation can be in a meditational way, or it can be sung like a song. And of course, me loving music, I started singing all the time. And adding, you know, my own rhythms to it. And then it was later on when we traveled to France that we actually got introduced to an ashram. And my family ended up moving to that ashram. And that was incredibly beautiful to me because we would start the practices at 4am with singing, singing, dancing and drumming. It It like, that's how you begin your day at that time, you know, before, before everything in nature is awake is like you start, you, you offer your voice, you offer your, your movements, you, you make an offering of your music. You make make make make make make yourself yourself day. And that was such a beautiful, mystical way for me to begin such such an important years of my life. And by the time we moved to the ashram I was 12. And that's a pretty important age in our development. So that was really very exciting, very exciting. Of course, it was, you know, the, the part of the teenager that wants to rebel and I don't want to wake up at four o'clock today and I would hide and I would, you know, get in trouble and all these things that are so, you know, part of me a teenager but my memories and the foundation that those years created for me have been so crucial in who I am today and how I show up in the world and how I show up to myself, to my children, to my grandchildren. Yeah, it's been a really, really special adventure in this lifetime. Yeah.
A: Oh yeah so when you were eight you were introduced to these huge big, beautiful concepts that kind of opened your mind to more possibility it sounds like then you had been experiencing that had you know kind of the limited framework that at that time Catholicism was was offering to you and then things just kind of opened up and it sounds like over the next four years you know and been being 12 and having this, you know, morning ritual. Like, things were just expanding and I definitely think that for am to is a very special time for our, our body and for our brain. And if we can go to bed you know early enough like I've had those experiences and ashrams as well where you know go to bed, you know lights out at nine o'clock, you can wake up at four in the morning and there's a special energy, like you said the rest of the world. The sun, everything is not quite like moving yet, and you can start to kind of my experience was sort of like tap into the beginning just like the little tendrils of momentum of the day. And I can imagine like, you you the practices I've done have usually been around yoga and movement but to be expressing and singing and chanting and using your voice to sort of call in the day. That sounds like a really, a really wonderful experience and to have that over and over for a period of time would definitely change things in your in your body and in your consciousness. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, and then you know, you have had your, you know, your whole life kind of devoted to some of these practices how would you say that, you know, from that time that you just described when you're this young woman, and you're starting to awaken right and puberty and all these things to, you know, this collective energy. Gee, how does, how is that shifted for you as a woman over the course of your life. I'm sure you've been through different phases. What What what is that how does that evolve. Can you say a little bit about that experience. Yeah.
P: Well, I got married very young. So I spent my teenage years in, in deep, you know, learning, learning so many chance learning the practices of the meditation. We also did a lot of drama and dance with a lot of dance. Traditional dance but at the time and music of course, learning the music of instruments I spent all my teenage years learning. And then I got married. I was pretty young when I got married. It was like 1918. So, yeah, so there was, you know, going into married life and having children pretty soon after I got married. So that was the whole other chapter, but always keeping my practices very vibrant and very alive that, you know, I always continue getting up early in the mornings, doing the chance, because I realize how pivotal that is. Because we are, you know, we are embodied in this bodies and we are spirit souls. So in society we get kind of lost into just taking care of the basic needs of making money and keeping a house and all these things and we forget that the fundamental part of our existence which is our eternality, you you the soul. So I always understood that as a very important truth. So I always kept my practices. I mean, until today, my morning, if I have to do something early, then I have to get up really early to make sure my two hours of, you know, sadhana or spiritual practice are there. So that really kept me going through the different transitions of my life, even though as I've gotten older, I've realized that also there's been a part of me that was disconnected from my body, you know, because I didn't. That was part of the education that I would say was lacking in the ashram. Sometimes, Sometimes, know, the spiritual settings can be so dedicated into just the spirit that our physical necessities get a little bit abandoned. So as I got older and my body was really calling my attention, I realized, wow, I realized how disconnected I have been to my body. So I really started paying attention, you know, to also have my conversation with my body and take my times in the morning to just really be present to my feelings. What are the feelings that are coming up and, you know, and the traumas that we experienced throughout life that sometimes we don't even think that was traumatic because you get so used to to You just get to the next level, you know, that we think, oh, that was okay. That wasn't so bad after all. But as we get older, you know, the body will scream a little bit louder to like, no, you didn't pay attention to this that happened long ago, that as much as sacred sound can purify so much. If we don't bring consciousness, then it could take a little longer, unless we're really pure, and then we awaken, you know, that's a possibility too. But it's such a balance, you know, to really understand how to apply the, you know, the spiritual practices and how to listen to and to pay attention to our physical and emotional body and how we're experiencing life. Yeah.
A: Yeah, I relate to that the way that you're describing that when we kind of become aware of what we've been holding, because as you said, it's mostly unconscious that we don't really know, like you kind of discovered like, oh, there's been this accumulating, you know, whatever you want to call it like tension or stress, or build up of life experiences. That I'm sure that having the practices that you have has allowed those things to, you know, not take the kind of toll on me that they would otherwise, right. And the kind of moving into our, our spiritual body and our the ether of our, our energy field is very like you said purifying and can help us kind of move through things. And at the same time, there was this kind of hidden piece of the physicality, like the just the raw kind of human experience that had not necessarily been like the spiritual practice have hadn't gotten to it because there was like a model, it was like an an unawareness of it, right. And so it's fascinating I'm curious how, as you become aware of that more somatic, and as human animal experience has it been possible for you to bring the spiritual practices that you're already so developed in, like further and deeper into your body with that new awareness of what you were holding. Absolutely.
P: Yeah, it really shifted a lot for me and it started. Was it like three years ago when you know I've been traveling so much. Like you said you heard somebody in Norway, because I spent a lot of time in Sweden. And every year I would go into events and retreats in Europe. So I spent like 10 years of full on traveling, full on like I was on the road, all the time taking so many flights. And it was when the pandemic came that I realized, my God, I'm exhausted. I didn't even know that I was so exhausted. And in that exhaustion, I started finding so many weird symptoms in my body, because I could listen. And so I went to get checked because somebody said to me go get checked for Lyme disease because I was having a lot of nervous system neurological problems. At one point when I was traveling in Germany, my right side of my face got paralyzed. I I Bell's palsy. So I was like something's up on my body, you know, I need to go get checked. So I went to get checked. And this guy was, what do you call, like specializes in Lyme disease. And so they did a bunch of different tests. And the guy said, you know, because you know you're right in the form to what you do how you live your life and I said, you know, I did like to meditation and a lot of chanting mantra meditation. So he he was familiar with spirituality and Kirtan and all this thing. So he said, the reason you're able to function the way you are with such good spirits is because of your practice. He said, you have so many different strands of Lyme. I mean, I was like top most like really affected by you being dead by a tick from Europe to buy in the US. I I they're able when they go deep into the. I mean, he really recognized this is the people that I know that have been affected the way you are. They cannot even get out of bed. The depression is such that they cannot function. They're just totally out. So he said the way that you I mean you look like a happy person is like this is going to be because of your practice. So it really made me realize, you know, well, this is such a gift and now how to apply it in a more conscious way to actually really heal my body because I've always been really good to heal others with the chanting like my kids when they would have a cold and they would have a headaches. I would just have him lie down and I would play the tempura and just sing to them and the next day they were feeling better, but I never thought to do that for myself. I didn't even stop long enough to realize, wow, I need to take care of myself. So as I started bringing more consciousness, you you more awareness of really allowing the sound vibration to bathe in my, my cells and to release trauma, you know, and to speak with words to my body as some bringing in the chance. It needs such a big difference, you know, like this level of awareness and conversation and attention is so essential for healing.
A: Yeah. Yes, and I think that as practitioners guides who are helping other people it can be so easy to, you know, move that energy out to others and to give, you know, especially as a woman, and as a mother, and kind of the way that you bring your, your divine mother energy to the others and your presence. And like you said, we can forget that we also need to redirect that energy inward into our own being, you know, on a regular basis and you know that's incredible that you were living with Lyme, probably for a long time, hey, and didn't know because your practices were keeping your, your health so well that it was going undetected. That's really a testament, like you said, to the gift of these practices. And it's also a little bit like, a little bit kind of like concerning because there was almost like a, there was such a high level of vibration and these other energy fields that like it took your body really screaming at you to notice that something was off and had been off for a while. You You yeah.
P: So the kind of person I am, I just like push through push through until I can't anymore.
A: Okay, I see that yeah like that. It's beautiful because it's like a strength. But as you pointed out, like sometimes what we need isn't the strength we need the softness and we need to slow down and it was that big I mean, collectively everybody was forced to slow down during the pandemic and this huge way. And it was a real gift for many of us even though it felt like some kind of punishment at the same time right. So true. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, for those of the listeners who aren't familiar with some of these practices, you know that you've been mentioning and talking about, would you be able to kind of explain what is back to me.
P: So the word back to you. The translation of back to is devotion. So back to is about cultivating our relationship to divinity. And it's a very personal way of life where you You address divinity as a person, a divine person. So in my culture in my lineage is Rada and Krishna. So Rada is the feminine aspect of divinity Krishna is the masculine. Rada is the embodiment of love. And he's the embodiment of Rasa of all the emotions of love. So if you can just imagine and is pure form all the emotions of love. That's the embodiment that is Krishna. So we relate to this personalities through service, like we began the practices with offerings, you know, we have the altar, we make offerings of water, we make offerings of food, fruits or what we, you you whatever it is that you're cooking. And we make it offering. And it's so beautiful. I I just, I mean, every morning I begin my day like that. So I pick flowers. And I make my office and there's this altar full of flowers and food offerings. And it's just, it helps you also step out of our self, you know, we tend to be so self absorbed selfish, you know, I need this I need that and that creates a separation that creates a space between us. But when we begin our day with how can I serve you. Then you serve life, you serve your day, you, the moment you step out of your house, you have the foundation of service. You know, you approach life with that frequency. And life reciprocates that way. So there's a beautiful reciprocation that happens. That is more natural than our way of getting things in this world we're always striving to have. But when your life is about giving, I I life gives you back in way more beautiful ways than if we're just trying to get what we need. So that is the essence of Bakhti is a service to divinity service to the whole. And through that, one of the main principles of Bakhti is Kirtan. There's Shravanam, Kirtanam, Shravanam is we, we receive the sacred sounds and then we express them, we chant. And a lot of the mantras that we do are like in the morning is all about awakening, you know, so you're awakening. You're already speaking of you have arrived to this awakening. So you're already cultivating that you're an awake person and that you're relating to life from that plane of consciousness. You're aware, you're conscious. So to begin your day like that it makes a huge difference in how we perceive because it's all about perception. And we are the way we are perceiving life is painted through concepts that we that have been imposed on us. I am a woman, I'm a man, I am this, I I that. So that's how those are the filters that we have. So how can we purify ourselves and begin to live from the heart from the center of who we are. So that is, in essence, what Bakhti is about and we do practices throughout the day, like in the morning, if there's time, you know, midday and then even in time. So it's a cultivation of devotion and love. Yeah.
A: Wow, that's a, I love that the very kind of thorough description of like what it means to do these things. Right, that it's not just that you're, you know, singing or chanting but that you're doing it with a sense of an offering and a surrendering to something bigger than you. And I, yeah, I think that starting your day in a kind of humble reverence would absolutely change the filter. And we orient a person to, you know, how can I contribute to the world, rather than what is the world here to do for me. Yeah, right. And yeah, I can really sense and feel how that's a shift that like, I feel like in a small way, my somatic movement practice kind of does that as well, because what I've stepped into now is that when I'm doing the somatic releasing in my body, right, it's not just for my body, it's so that I can facilitate this for others. It's so that there's space inside of me to actually hold another person in their process. And if I, you know, if I fail to do that, it's not that I don't have that capacity because at this point it's something that I have practice, but it's a little bit harder to like open up fully. Right. And so I can imagine that the, you know, see there's 365 days in a year. And if you've been waking up and practicing this, it compounds over time like your ability and your skill in opening yourself like this to, to something higher than you and then therefore opening to the world would just become more and more powerful over time. The other question I have that kind of bring this, this back to some of the things you mentioned earlier is the way that your devotion to taking this time in the morning. How, how was that when you were traveling so much. How did you, how did you manage that piece with all of this activity. I'm curious about that like how did your, how did your body and your consciousness managed that balance.
P: You know, is such a part of me, such a natural part of me by now that is not even, is not much of an effort that part is the easiest part of anything else that I have to do in my travels. And especially when I did the retreats, then I invite everybody to participate. So it was something we did together, which was really beautiful to, you know, to be able to share something that is so intimate to me to share with, with so called strangers that we so quickly become intimate, because of entering such a plane of the soul, you you such a space of the heart. So, so yeah that was, that was quite natural for me to flow, wherever I am when I go camping when I go wherever I am. That's the first thing I do. And yeah, it's lovely.
A: Yeah, that's a, that's a deep habit. Goes all the way and I feel that that's wonderful and I love the way that, you know, your retreats or your offerings would support your own practice you would kind of like you said invite people into the space that you were already cultivating and holding and, and what an honor what a gift to get to experience that, that intimate realm with you I can see why people would love to do that. Yeah, yeah. Let's, with this sense of like, okay so giving and devotion and this way that we can start to interact with the world through the lens of service, and then now kind of is how can we also create that as a gift towards ourselves and like a somatic sense of like, what might be the gift in shifting the attention outward to the attention inward? Like you mentioned with being able to bring these vibrations more deeply into your body to address the Lyme disease and the fatigue that you were experiencing. And how is this tied in and related to, you know, the work that you are doing more and more with women? Like is there a way that as women, like I mentioned before, we can be very programmed to be in this space of service to others and have a blind spot when it comes to ourselves? And like, in what way can we start weaving these practices more deeply into our bodies through things that maybe we have been programmed to think are selfish such as setting boundaries or, you know, speaking our truths even when someone else doesn't want to hear it, all those things that as women were kind of conditioned to, you know, not do that and depending on the cultures that we're raised in, right? How is it that you've experienced being able to weave these things together?
P: You know, it's been really beautiful for me to understand as my spiritual life is becoming deeper and deeper and as I choose to become more authentic in my life on all levels of my life, whether it is as a presenter, as I'm sharing something in my personal dealings with family and friends. My commitment to authenticity has helped me also go deeper into the depth of my spiritual practice, you know, in a way that has been so beautiful and so rich. And as I go deeper into this reverence to divinity, because we are, divinity is our roots, right? So when we are truly dedicating and offering to our roots, you start nourishing yourself and you start becoming more aware of who you are in this existence. You start having more consciousness of your own value. If you are a ray of divine consciousness as you worship this greatness, you realize, wow, I am in a little drop of that, just like the ocean, you know, is gigantic, but a little drop of that ocean has the same qualities, right, of the great vast ocean. So as I'm realizing where I come from, what are my roots is making me honor myself to a deeper level, have a deep respect for myself and for this opportunity of who I am in this world as a woman, I've been incarnated as a woman and the walk that I carry in this life. And so there is also a respect that has grown, you know, as I bring deeper consciousness to my practices and to who I'm worshiping is bringing also a deeper respect to myself and to honor myself. And when situations happen, also it's so important to always take a pause before you make choices. Because of the advice we make choices from a place of reaction or, you know, impulse, to just always take a deep breath before you engage, before you make a choice, before you do anything. Is this in alignment with me? Is this in alignment with who I am, with what I'm here to do? Is this gonna support my well-being on all levels? You know, you start becoming so conscious and aware of everything. So consciousness, it will affect all the realms, you know, of your existence. Yeah, so that's how it's been for me to just really take a moment to be, to just be present. Yeah. We live in a society that doesn't support that. It's all just...
A: Yeah, so bombardment of stimulation and also, you know, the different reactions and experiences that we're holding that we may not realize we're holding that when we take that space before saying yes or saying no or before, you know, letting someone end on what we're experiencing in whatever way. We take that pause. It's a moment to sort of allow some sorting out to occur, to allow some differentiation to occur, right? I've been thinking a lot about differentiation and then how once we're differentiated, we can integrate things again, whether we're talking in terms of like our bodies or our consciousness. And maybe you can, you know, think about how this relates to sound and music as you're, you know, singing one piece of a song. It's like there's this hearing of that differentiated piece and then the other instruments start coming in and you slowly are adding one piece to another until you have this integrated whole. But there's this value to our learning process, to be able to separate things. And, you know, hear just this part, you know, practice just this word or this part of the chant multiple times that repetition of creating a little bit of space around these things so we can see them, so we can feel them, so we can understand them and then allow for all that to come together into a song or into, you know, my practice into a full body movement that becomes bigger than just the little piece that we started with, right? Yeah, yeah.
P: Are you asking me a question?
A: Yeah, I mean, I just was curious like with, let's take it to talking about chanting and kirtan with the way that you, you know, you described earlier almost like the call and response, which is what I have associated often with kirtan is like you listen, you receive the sound first, right? And you take it in and you have like, okay, this is the noise, this is the rhythm, this is the chant, and then you become part of it. You like integrate your voice into it by responding and there's this conversation that's going on, right? But it takes the listening and the differentiating to be able to become part of that, you know? Otherwise we would be kind of disoriented, like if you were just like, okay, sing with me, but I haven't heard it yet. Like I haven't had that little bit of space to receive it first. I wouldn't know how to speak it. So maybe you can say a little bit about how, what that relationship between listening and then being able to produce the sound that we hear, how is that related to what we're doing with spirit, what we're doing with the spiritual practice? Yes.
P: So in the, like I said before, there is a term, it's called shravanam. Shravanam is hearing, kirtanam is chanting. So shravanam is a really essential part of bhakti because first you have to receive what's called shatabrahma or transcendental sound vibration. So that lands in, you know, once we become, to hear from a saintly person has a great impact. And I had the great good fortune to have walked with great masters that, you know, reach those levels of purity. And when you receive the sound from them, is a whole other experience because you feel transmission. There is a transmission that goes into your consciousness, that goes into your body and is information, right? Because, and that's why one of the things that is really important to understand is how much we are affected by sound vibration. Sound vibration has a great impact in our body because we're, you know, a great percentage of liquid, right? And we understand how liquid is transformed in a positive way or in a negative way. It can be purifying or it can be polluting. So to be aware of what are you drinking from? You know, who is the person you're receiving the sound from? Is really important to understand. I have become super, you know, sensitive to sound because that's what I've been working with so much throughout my life that I'm very sensitive when somebody is lying to me or, you know, you become more sensitive and you start perceiving like, because you become aware also of how your body receives it. Our bodies are so intelligent. Our bodies are perfect little alarm systems, you know? And sometimes we are aware of why do I feel this company in my belly when this person talks to me, but we become so used to not pay attention and we let ourselves fall into this place of like, oh no, I'm just thinking these things. It's just my mind telling me this thing and we have lost trust, you know, you in the chanting is a really important part to receive the sound with an open heart, you know, to let it land, to let it bring the purification, to let it bring the blessings and open, it's like an opening, you know, way to receive. And then we make our offering and we chant and we invite our own voice so that we can vibrate our own bodies with our own voice, you know, but to receive it first, especially like I said, from people that are more pure, that, you know, that their essence as a person is there's purity there, even if they're not always, you know, trans, if they're not like a transcendental person, but even that offering that they're making, they're able to invoke, they're able to be a channel of love and transformation, so we have to become very sensitive and clear ourselves who you're receiving from. For me, I've always felt like sharing kirtan is like we're drinking from the same cup, you know, so it's a very intimate sharing. We are all sharing our voice, we're sharing our presence, our heart, so it's very important to become aware who you're receiving the sound from, who's leading you into this alchemy, because there's all kinds of people, right? And some people, they're out there for the money, some people are there just to feel, to receive all the attention, you know, so you're gonna be affected by that, so you have to be, you yourself have to be authentic and honest enough, and by that dedication to authenticity and honesty, you will be able to perceive others, because if we are ourselves cheating ourselves, then you cannot perceive when others are not in a pure state, you know? So yeah.
A: Yeah, that's fascinating this idea of being receiving and that, you know, especially sound and vibration, and you think about all the noise that's around us all the time in cities, you know, or in listening to others and feeling like what they're bringing in, and I mean, I relate to this as someone who's, you know, listening to people and receiving their energy, and that's part of, like as I said before, what's so important about emptying myself to be able to have space for that, because, you know, it's coming both ways, right? Like I'm receiving their energy, but they're also receiving my energy and what you're describing, you know, with the, you know, the teachers that you've been able to receive from, and I can relate to that with my own mentors and those who, you know, are carrying a stronger resonance of this gift, you know, that I'm sharing, and then I receive it, you know, more deeply from a mentor or someone in my life who's been, you know, a little bit further along in the path from than me for a while, right? So there's, it's really powerful to, like you said, have that practice of acknowledging what's coming in and feeling into it. And like you were saying before, creating that space to really ask, is this an alignment? Is this, how does this really land in my body? And is this, what's something that I want to swallow? Like if you think about taking that sip from the cup, take a moment to hold it in your mouth and to taste it before swallowing it because it's gonna become part of you.
P: Absolutely. Yeah, we're very influenced by our environment. You know, that's why, you know, our teachers always speak about association. Who are you associating with? Because that will make you who you are, who you're sharing the food with. We're very affected by that. So if your desire is to elevate your consciousness, then you have to choose the people that you surround yourself by, you know, where are they at? What are they, how they're influencing you?
A: Yes, I've heard that, you know, somewhere recently you become most like the five people that you spend the most time with. Yeah. And I think that's really true. And there's something to be said for surrounding yourself with people who are inspiring, right? Or who are mentors, who are carrying a certain wealth of knowledge and experience in their body. That's huge, you know, to spend time with a mentor and with someone. And I can feel from you that that's part of what you're offering in the world. And we mentioned that before, that you're offering this level of mentorship and you've been carrying that torch for a while with the consistency of your practices, with the way you're drawing this more deeply into your own body in an authentic way. And yeah, this is like a great example of we can just get better with age, we can just continue to grow and evolve, you know, with time, that that can be a blessing rather than some kind of, you know, curse that I think a lot of the mainstream cultures that we come across look at getting older as this kind of burden or something versus the way that I'm experiencing it from you at this moment and from things you're talking about that it's really more like we're building more and more wisdom and more and more connection with time that we're able to then give to others.
P: Right, yeah. It's super important to understand the gifts that each chapter of your life gives you, you know. And I think the reason why a lot of times, especially women have a hard time in us getting older is because life in, you know, once you enter the fifties, it begins the preparation, you know, for letting go. And it's a big one. You have to let go of your beauty the way you saw yourself, you know, you have to accept that your face is gonna get wrinkled, that your hair is gonna get wider and in that acceptance, there's so much wisdom that comes. And if you resist it, then you can't access it because life is preparing you for the greatest letting go. And if you are trying to go around and, you know, and you think that you can manipulate things so that you don't have to go through old age in the way that, you know, you'll like do all this stretching of the skin and all that, that you're gonna miss out in one of the greatest gifts that is the wisdom that comes. And the letting go, you begin to really let go, you know, because death is the greatest letting go. And if you're not ready for it, it's not gonna be a very glorious departure.
A: It's funny because there's this term, you know, she let herself go and it's like kind of a negative thing that one might say about somebody who like let themselves go, meaning they stopped caring or whatever. But the way you just framed it was so beautiful. And I almost feel like it just turned that term on its head for me, where it's like, what if we say it said that, but instead of, you know, calling in judgment, we called in like reverence, like, wow, she really let herself go, like look at all that wisdom and that freedom that she, you know, was able to access because, you know, death is just the biggest letting go. I went through that with my grandmother watching my grandmother for the last year and a half of her life in this really deep process of letting go, you know, and it was confronting for me as like a woman, you know, who was just beginning my motherhood journey at this point, I became pregnant in the process of caring for my grandmother during her departure. And so I was in this really deep place of like noticing and honoring these stages of life, you know, as life and her great grandchild is literally building and me and watching her on the way out. And so as you were describing, like from age 50 onwards, that it's beautiful actually that our bodies allow us to experience this by degrees, you know, first that changing of our appearance, our hair, the way our bodies are functioning, feeling maybe that it takes more time to give ourselves the level of care that we needed because of all these shifting things that are going on. Maybe this is the point where if people haven't been practicing digging deep and uncovering things that this is maybe a time when stuff starts coming to the surface, you know, in the form of, you know, body illnesses, health issues, stuff like that is during this phase of life. And I love the way you put that, just this gradualness to a letting go that is gonna continue until that moment that we shift form, right?
P: So important. That is beautiful. Once you, you know, it's all about surrender. We have such a resistance to surrender. But when you surrender, it's just so beautiful, you know? I remember, whenever I say there was surrender, I think of this moment that I had in my life when I've always been so afraid of heights, extremely afraid I had pretty much like trauma since I was a kid. I couldn't even get on a swing. So it was really bad. I was doing a retreat in the Alps once and I could see how people were paragliding. And I thought, oh my God, who does that? Who wants to do something like that? That looks awful to me. I had like, I would watch it out of entertainment and at the same time I just couldn't relate to it. And then of course I started feeling like the mountains were calling me to heal my fear. And I was like, I'm tripping or is this for real? I felt like the mountains were calling me this gigantic, and this huge mountains, right? And I was like, no way, I would never do that. And of course, one of my students says to me, premise my birthday this week and it would mean so much to me if you went paragliding to me. It's like, of course, life would orchestrate something like this. I was like, how can I say no? So I had to say yes. I was like, I can't believe it. So I called my sons and I told them, look, I'm gonna do this. I just felt like I needed to say my love, my goodbyes to everybody just in case because it's a little girl. Actually, I had this reoccurring dream that I would fall of a mountain and I would die and I would make up every time I hit the ground. So it was really intense. And I thought, oh my God, maybe this is the way I'm gonna die. This is it. So I said, I was telling my sons how much I love them. I took all the flowers from my altar, I put them in my chest and here we are driving up the mountain with these guides and we get to the top and they're putting the harness and the guy that's sitting behind me, he goes, okay, so we're gonna run. You run down the slope and then you jump. So I was absolutely terrified. I just took a deep breath and it was a moment, I knew I was gonna have to surrender. So we were running, running, running and he goes, jump and I jump and I throw all the pedals and I open my arms fully in total surrender. And it was the most beautiful moment of my life. One of the most beautiful moments of my life. It was such a sense of absolute peace, absolute peace and beauty. I felt like everything became alive, beauty became alive and I didn't even wanna go down. So I always, in so many moments of my life, I think of that moment, whenever I'm having a resistance about something, I'm like, remember to trust, trust and surrender, where life is presenting something to you, is for a deeper lesson than you can imagine. So that was such a powerful moment for me.
A: I love that story, that's incredible. I think of you like, the quality of surrender that's the most scary is that we don't know what's gonna happen, right? And as you're throwing yourself into the sky, I'm sure like you said, those dreams and those memories of the fear of heights, all of that's like in you still, it's not like that went away, but there was a greater trust that you had to just give yourself over to and I was thinking about it the way that in paragliding, the wind catches you and the wind is invisible. We don't see the wind, we feel it. We can know that it's there through the evidence of the trees shifting, or the way our hair moves, but the wind is invisible. So it's almost this perfect metaphor for spirits, for consciousness, because the trust that, we can let go and that we're gonna be held by something much grander and greater and bigger than us and something that's invisible, that we don't have any proof for, except that we see the way that life moves, right? Yes, yes.
P: Yeah, and so that's what Bhakti is about, is having this relationship to this personality that we don't see and we don't fully know yet, but it shows up and reciprocates with you. The more you present yourself and allow faith to grow, it's gonna reciprocate with you more and more in very tangible ways in my life. And that's when we experience what we call miracles, right? We think of miracles as something that happens to the saints or to some people, but it's actually life, that is life. Life is a miracle. So the more we trust, the more we approach life in this relationship to divinity in everything, it reciprocates with you in a very personal way, very tangible. I could go on and tell you so many stories of how it is reciprocated with me. So I have faith, more and more faith. And the more that we jump, the more it shows up with you, for you.
A: Oh, yeah, this is perfect medicine for me right now. I'm taking some leaps in my business and in my personal life that feels scary. And I'm just tapping more and more into resting in trust, not just trust in myself, but trust in the bigger rhythms that I'm starting to tap into that are calling me into these shifts, that are calling me into these leaps. In the same way, I guess your student was calling you. And the mountains were calling you, all these different voices calling us into further surrender and jumping into the unknown. And I just, I feel so fortunate to be able to receive this from you today and share all of this with our listeners. Because I feel with this podcast, it's a perfect way for building and creating a message that can be felt by many people. You and I could be sitting in a cafe by ourselves sharing this beautiful conversation, sharing this energy with the devotion to a higher essence, but how much more impactful it can be when we let people listen in and get a feel for this as well. That's that sharing, that's that offering. So thank you for all of this today. I would love to also get to mention something you have coming up mid-September for people who are listening, who are feeling resonant, who are feeling called into your physical presence and being able to be with your resonance and the vibration that you bring. Could you tell us a little bit about what you're doing in mid-September? It sounds like it's gonna be in Kansas.
P: Yes, it's gonna be in Kansas. It'll be in Lawrence. And there's a couple of different places where we're going to be, but it's going to be a weaving of bhakti, the practices of bhakti, the practices and also just sharing through storytelling because I feel like that's where there's so much richness in the transmission of something that I have personally lived. And then I invite the participants to apply some of these practices in their home. So I share some of the mantras, some of the chants. And then my friend will be teaching Ayurveda. And she's really expert at teaching about the hormones and just all the physicality and all the different things that we go through as women. So there is a lot of openness for questions and we share meals together. So it's a really great opportunity to experience, to have an experience and also in community, which is so important because there's so much that happens when we come together. Yeah.
A: Yeah, that immersion into these practices sounds absolutely delightful and powerful. If people wanna connect with you, if they wanna hear your music or they want to reach out and talk to you, where is the best place that you can be connected with and reach?
P: Yeah, so people can reach me through my website. There is a contact place. So it's premamae.com. And also people can listen to my music either in the website or they can go to Spotify, premamae. Yeah. Yes.
A: Well, thank you so much for this incredible conversation. I've received so much from it that I'll be feeling into and playing with over the next few days in my own personal journey. And what a gift to get to share this conversation and your resonance with everyone else, all of my listeners. I feel the same way.
P: Thank you Amy for inviting me to participate in this way and share with everyone.
A: Thank you, we'll talk soon. Okay. Hello everyone, I'm Amy Tecaja and I have an exciting announcement. At the end of September, I will be hosting my first full length retreat. Somatic Awakening will take place in the San Gabriel Mountains. This three day transformational experience will include, Hanosomatic Movement, Hands on Somatic Bodywork by my father, William Davis, my cousin, Seiji Oshenza and myself. We will also explore somatic yoga and mudra practice as well as an end of the day sound healing to deepen your calm and release. Only nine spaces are available for full time participants. Day passes will be available for the Saturday activities. Right now, you can get $200 off the full price of the retreat. So if you're feeling called into, freedom and ease of movement, a peaceful, relaxed nervous system, delicious plant-based meals and a fresh and enlivened way of being, go to freeyoursoma.com and hold your space. Payment plans are available by request and feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments at freeyoursoma.com. Thanks again for listening and supporting this self-healing revolution.