Airdate: October 24, 2014
On this podcast, Ramdesh welcomes a special guest who is “very close” to her heart. Sacred chant artist/painter Harnam Singh (aka Ramdesh’s fiancé) joins her to talk about his uplifting new CD, All Roads. The show is also about the spirit of creativity, as Harnam is committed to helping others develop their own creative strengths.
But first off, what is it like to be engaged to Ramdesh (in case you were wondering)? Harnam says it’s kind of like being on a roller coaster, but all kidding aside, she is a beacon of light and he is totally blessed to “be on the ride with her.” Sweet!
Ramdesh and Harnam will be leading a retreat in Mexico this January called “Awakening Your Creative Fire.” The couple will lead participants in the practice of Kundalini yoga as well as creating actual art. Find out more at spiritvoyage.com/creativefire. Unity’s Reverend Paulette Pipe will be joining them as well.
Where did Harnam’s connection to his own creativity begin? “I think there’s an innocence to creativity,” says Harnam, “and it’s fair to say that childhood is where that connection is born.” He has always been inquisitive, initially exploring creativity through science. As he got older he discovered his relationship to creativity through art and music, and eventually through yoga and his spiritual practice.
What advice does Harnam have for listeners hoping to explore creativity? “Any spiritual practice be it chanting, meditation, or yoga, that takes us to a place where the chatter of the mind stops, and we tap into that infinite potential of the human experience, that is where creativity flows from…some people call it shunia or the zero point.” Quieting that chatter opens up a space where creativity, ideas, and inspiration can blossom, Harnam points out, whether you are a writer, musician, a painter, or someone looking for a way to expand the potential of your life.
Ramdesh knows that Harnam lives a creative life; he’s always painting, writing and playing music, or creating an amazing meal (he is a great cook—how lucky is this woman!?). Ramdesh shares how he encouraged her to face and remove her own creative blocks as a writer.
All Roads is a collaboration between Harnam and his producer, Daryn Roven, who actually taught him how to play guitar at 25 years of age; they met in 1985 in college and Roven later became a premier recording artist in the Bay Area. After some years apart they re-met and recorded the song “What Does Your Heart Know” which led to making a record. Listen first to this loving and joyous song, which features the mantra sa ta na ma wahe guru. Harnam is accompanied by awesome sacred chant singer Simrit Kaur.
What is his favorite track on the album? He’s most fond of the title track, but Ramdesh’s choice is “Aad Guray Nameh,”so that’s what you’ll hear next! This incredible protection mantra features a duet with Harnam and Simrit that is very special; feel free to chant along. Harnam notes that the song is played on a baritone guitar that possesses a unique richness and depth (his fiancée encouraged him to buy it). “The wand chooses the wizard!” he quotes from Harry Potter. Indeed, this is quite a magical track!
Ramdesh recalls that the next track, “I’ll Be Fine (Guru Ram Das)” was co-written via Skype shortly after she and Harnam first met. The song combines mantra and English lyrics—it also includes the Guru Ram Das mantra for healing, and is a beautiful tribute to trusting in the Divine.
Every day, Ramdesh observes, we feel pressured to multi-task and do so many things. But to come back to the stillness of our heart is most important. Music has always gotten Harnam through challenging times and connected him to his inner voice and heart. “As an artist and a creative being, I just pick up my guitar and see what comes out.” Lately he’s been chanting the Guru Ram Das mantra on a daily basis: “When in doubt, invoke a miracle!” he suggests.
Next up is “Wahe Guru, Wahe Jio.” This mantra exclaims that the miracle of the universe is right there, right now! Tim White plays a fantastic bamboo flute solo on this track.
Last up is the title track, “All Roads,” a song that “wrote itself.” The Divine exists within each of us, so the phrase “all roads lead to God” is a metaphor for the journey inward. We all take the same journey, no matter what our spiritual tradition may be.
Tune into this fun podcast with this extraordinary couple and check out Harnam’s new album. You will feel his positive vibration, and your own creativity will be awakened (but “Hands off ladies,” Ramdesh warns, “he’s taken!”). Fortunately, however, all can share in Harnam’s uplifting and inspiring music!