Door of the Heart Music

Robert Kelaghan

Biography

   

 

(When I Take The Vow of Silence)

 

 Paramahansa Yogananda is widely known for his classic book,“Autobiography of a Yogi.”  As has happened with hundreds of thousands of people, that book completely rocked my world & changed my life in my early 20’s.  Perhaps, I might even say – it saved my life. 

    Within a relatively short time, I had sent away for his lessons (from SRF, Self-Realization Fellowship, his parent organization), spent months at Ananda Co-Operative Village (the first World Brotherhood Colony based on his teachings) & received Kriya initiation from one of his direct disciples, Roy Eugene Davis.  So, right away I was exposed to 3 very distinct rays of Yogananda’s family.  And each exhibited the tell tale signs of true discipleship:  sincerity, loyalty, honesty, service to others, etc.   Since that initiation (in 1976) I have spent nearly my entire adult life living in spiritual community as his disciple, mostly at Ananda (8+ years) or towns close to it (Nevada City, Grass Valley) and from 2007-2011 at Polestar Gardens Community in Hawaii.

     Most of the great religious traditions in our world today have developed off-shoots of their original paths.  Christianity devolving into Protestantism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, etc. being the most obvious example.  This seems to be the “way of the world” & unfortunately, Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings have not been the exception to that rule.   It is no little cause for distress to me that different streams of Yogananda’s large, planetary family have all too often been uncomfortable with each other. 

     With the deepest sincerity of my being, I pray that all these schisms under the universal umbrella of this great world teacher be healed and released.  In that spirit, I offer these simple melodies set to Yogananda’s powerful poetry that came to me over 27 years ago (& which I held back from distribution for fear of doing something a-dharmic).  Now, it feels right to give them their own life.  They have been a source of a much solace & comfort to me, and I hope the same for anyone else who will give them a good trial.   

 

 (You Are Truly A Miracle)

 

I fell in love with Music at an early age.  Piano was my first instrument and I studied that from ages 5 to 10.  Overlapping the latter part of that time, I also sang (and tap danced !?!) with a Children’s Dance Company and performed regularly in their end-of-the-year recitals.  During my teens, I picked up the guitar and that has been my main instrument ever since (although I have flirted with synthesizers on occasion).  Also, some of the best memories in Church growing up were of singing when the whole church was filled with many, many voices lifted together (& brought together) by the power of song or hymn.  

 

Song writing showed up in college.  Like many of my generation I was captivated by the emergence of the “singer-songwriters” such as Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Van Morrison.  And of course, the Beatles too. I don’t remember the first song I ever wrote (probably for a good reason), but I do remember the joy of creating something out of nothing, almost like it was a kind of magic.


When I got “zapped” by Spirit & totally hooked by yoga and meditation in my late teens, my attention was drawn to the incredible power of music as a vehicle for raising consciousness -- since then I have used song-writing first as a way to “process” the lessons and mysteries of my own life, and then, as a way to reach out, share and touch other souls who are searching for more in their lives as well.  

 

That journey continues today.  Along the way I have added several instruments, including harmonica and the harmonium and have founded several bands: “Namaste,”  (World-Beat & Spiritual Rock), “The Crazy Karma Kirtan Band (Eastern & Western Chant Music) & my current group, “BHAKTI BLISS” (Chant & Devotional Music). 

 

Most exciting for me now is playing in a duo with my partner, Juanita Bratton, who adds her sweet violin & lovely harmony vocals to our mix.  More and more, I see that music can not only inspire and educate, but even more importantly, it can take us all into the silences ..... & the still places, ..... where we can tap into the deepest parts of our Selves.  Where we can remember, literally -- again -- who we really are ....."